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  • Javier Romano

Solomon and the Jinns of the Temple

"Be like Solomon so that your demons will cut stones for your palace.

Like Solomon, empty yourself of thoughts that tempt to do evil

or deceive, so that jinn and demons obey your command."

Rumi. Mathnavi, IV

Playing a game of Quaternity alone against the three "bots" is an interesting daily challenge and practice.

They are programmed to attack all opponents, indiscriminately and in a way that is generally surprisingly illogical and somewhat chaotic. They do not "know" (they were not programmed) to checkmate, this is the advantage, but if you are careless, they can act in a coordinated way and capture several of your pieces at any time.

After several games, it is possible to identify a certain pattern of behaviour and thus prevent yourself from their combined attacks. After a little practice, it is possible to give the three check mates.

In this last game, which lasted a long time, I set myself the task of taking as many queens as I could. At a certain point in the game, the idea came to me to build a central square using the eight queens obtained by the promotion of pawns and other pieces I had left. This was not difficult, and it was only at the end that I realised that something unusual was taking shape on the board beyond my original intention. Only after I had taken the screenshot did I begin to see something that resonated in my memory with a biblical and Koranic story: that of King Solomon and the building of the temple in Jerusalem, called by Rumi "the far mosque" in his Mathnavi.

For this enormous task, Solomon enlisted the help of "angels, demons, jinn and men" who submitted to his will, thanks to the power granted by his ring of power.

When I started playing with the "bots" I had the feeling that I was dealing with mischievous demons, "gremlins", evil creatures who know no compassion and delight in importuning and destroying.

It took me a few games to get to know their tricks, their unexpected traps. Like the ape men in the film "The Magic Flute" (also called "The Iron Circle"), with David Carradine, they appear to have power, and dance a hypnotic dance, but in reality, they are frightened by the certainty of the martial arts fighter who simply watches them from his centre of serenity and finally surrenders to the one who unmasks them.

It is another way of referring to the unreal nature of the nafs that serve a useful function in the development of unitary consciousness.

When I finished the design of the central square, I had the feeling that a kind of temple had taken shape, in the style of Indian mandalas, which in its three-dimensional form and seen from above could be a pyramid in Egypt or the Kaaba in Mecca, the Taj Mahal or Chartres Cathedral, all symbolic icons of Divine power on earth.

The red king remains throughout the game in his square A12, the A representing the first letter, the origin, the Aleph. The number 12 is the largest number on the board and contains all the preceding numbers. It also represents the twelve zodiacal signs, the whole of the empyrean. Thus, we have King Solomon occupying the place of the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, the place of central power.

The black king (or representative of darkness) is deprived of his army, limited in his movements, until he finally surrenders, submissively converting to the omnipotence of Unity. His initial position was L12; in losing the battle he is displaced from his original place, banished, and stripped of his royal investiture. This square is no longer inaccessible to him as a queen is protecting him on the diagonal.

Finally, we see that there are also two opposing pawns left on the board on squares K6 and K7. These could be the initial representatives of both polarised forces, which, by facing each other, are deactivated and at the same time harmonised.

Peace and bliss are manifested on earth (represented by the board) and harmony is restored.

If we look closely, focusing on the quadrant occupied by the red pieces, we can see that there are 8 other equal quadrants surrounding it on the board. The 9 is situated in the centre, as in a magic square.

The central quadrant, occupied by the red pieces, is represented by the letters E F G H and the numbers 5 6 7 8.

The combinations of these would then be:

E5 E6 E7 E8

F5 F6 F7 F8

G5 G6 G7 G8

H5 H6 H 7 H8

Inside this square is a smaller square represented by:

F6 F7

G6 G7

The sum of the four numbers gives 26 = 8.

8 is the number of the Divine Throne, represented by the Qur'anic verse 'Ayat al-Kursi' or Verse of the Throne.

J. Romano



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