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Why is Six Afraid of Seven?

This post continues my investigation into the two Treasure Poems that bookend the Paintings and the Verses in The Secret: A Treasure Hunt by Byron Priess.

In the first post, I show how Byron set up his concepts of "Man" and the "Fair Folk" to be associated with the Verses and Paintings, respectively. In the second post, I did a deep dive into the last line of the Poem and its potential instructive nature.

In this post, I'm going to look at a few particular lines in the first Poem:

But Man His numbers quickly grew And so the Fair Folk come to you With their challenge and a pact

An image of the quote above
Treasure Poem, Page 34

If we accept the premise that Byron went out of his way to establish "Man" as the metaphorical concept for the Verses, then we can look at the first two lines in the quote above with that lens.

The story portion of The Secret (that is, The Tale Simply Told, The Passage to the New World, and The Vanishing) is a story about immigration. It first tells of the Fair Folk leaving Europe to "dwell in the hills and forests" of North America.[1] Then concludes as the Europeans make their way the North America, leaving the Fair Folk "[t]hreatened once again by the coming of Man".[2]

In the context of the story, the lines "But Man / His numbers quickly grew" speak to the immigration of Man from Europe mentioned above. However, when we remove the metaphor and view "Man" as a stand in for the Verses, then these lines can be interpreted to mean the "numbers" in the Verses "quickly grew".

For me, this is the first time I've seen any evidence within the text of The Secret that seems to align with the infamous hint from the Japanese edition:

We got some special advice from Mr. Preiss for our Japanese readers. That is to start by solving the pictures/paintings. To do so, you must decode the poem by solving the combinations of numbers that are in the poems.[3]

There is a lot packed into this quote and has sparked tons of debate. I don't want to get into that here. If we take the quote at face value, it refers to "solving the combinations of numbers that are in the poems", where we interpret "the poems" (plural) to be referring to the Verses.

We have the Treasure Poem telling us the "numbers" in the Verses "quickly grew" and we have a hint from the Japanese edition telling us to "solve the combinations of numbers" in the Verses.

Now we need to interpret what that information is telling us and whether we can use it to correctly pair the Verses and the Painting.


[1]: The Secret: A Treasure Hunt by Byron Preiss, page 11

[2[: Ibid., page 29

[3]: The Secret, Japanese Edition, Page 248-249 (translation)

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Feb 04

I see what you did there...on the right track.

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