FURTHER ANALYSIS OF JAMES HOLMES’ NOTEBOOK
THE INFINITY SYMBOL (placed on top of James’ notebook was a yellow post-it note with an infinity symbol drawn on it)*:
Often the simplest symbols are the ones with the richest meanings. The infinity sign, the figure of eight, and the mathematical lemniscate all refer to the same shape that contains a wealth of complex meaning within its fluid lines.
As a mathematical device, the infinity sign was first “discovered” in 1655 by John Wallis, but its significance as a religious symbol is much older. The infinity sign has its origins in the Arabic numerals that actually came from India in the first place. The sign can be drawn in one continuous movement, making a seesaw movement of clockwise and counterclockwise loops. These loops reflect the balance of opposites; male and female, day and night, dark and light.
Because the circles of the lemniscate sit side by side, the sign implies equality between these opposing forces, with the connecting point in the center the convergent point. The sign epitomizes the idea of sex-ual union and of “two becoming one.” The infinity sign stands for wholeness and completion.
The lemniscate appears in the elaborate curlicues in Arabic calligraphic renderings of the Name of God; the elegant loops providing a decorative device as well as pointing toward the idea of eternity.
BURNT MONEY/MONEY BURNING (inside the notebook James sent to Fenton was $400.00 in burnt $20.00 bills)*:
The purposeful act of destroying money. In the prototypical example, banknotes are destroyed by literally setting them on fire. Burning money decreases the wealth of the owner without directly enriching any particular party. However, according to the quantity theory of money, because it reduces the supply of money it increases the value of the remaining money, increasing (by roughly the same amount as the money burnt) the collective wealth of everyone else who holds money.
Money is usually burned to communicate a message, either for artistic effect, as a form of protest, or as a signal.
A PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE COLOR BROWN (James’ notebook was brown)*:
The color brown is a serious, down-to-earth color signifying stability, structure and support. Relating to the protection and support of the family unit, with a keen sense of duty and responsibility, brown takes its obligations seriously. It encourages a strong need for security and a sense of belonging.
In color psychology, brown is honest, genuine and sincere. It relates to the hardworking, the industrious and reliable, with both feet planted firmly on the ground.
Brown is a frugal color - it is not associated with frivolity, excess or waste in any form.
Brown suppresses the emotions, creating a safe haven from the stresses of the outside world within which problems can be contemplated and solved.
Brown is a color of structure, it encourages orderliness and organization.
The color brown gives reassurance. Brown does not seek attention.
Brown is solid with strength and maturity. It prefers to function in its own safe little world.
“JAMES HOLMES, OF LIFE” was written on a placard that was placed on the notebook itself.*
If James was loosely eluding to the meaning of life: “Why are we here?”, “What is life all about?”, and “What is the purpose of existence?” It has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific, and theological speculation throughout history. The meaning of life is in the philosophical and religious conceptions of existence, social ties, consciousness, and happiness, and borders on many other issues, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, conceptions of God, the soul, and the afterlife. (James was/is an agnostic) Scientific contributions focus primarily on describing related empirical facts about the universe, exploring the context and parameters concerning the ‘how’ of life. Science also studies and can provide recommendations for the pursuit of well-being and a related conception of morality. An alternative, humanistic approach poses the question “What is the meaning of my life?” The value of the question pertaining to the purpose of life may coincide with the achievement of ultimate reality, or a feeling of oneness, or even a feeling of sacredness.