Readers of William S. Burroughs and Robert Anton Wilson will be familiar with the "23 enigma," and the real or imagined synchronicities associated with those digits. It was Burroughs who turned Wilson on to the fun fascination with 23, and Wilson then popularized it in his Illuminatus Trilogy. But apparently, observations of the 23 enigma has a much longer history than the earliest examples Burroughs collected, dating back to a weird connection to gangster Dutch Schultz in the 1930. Over at the CFI Blogs, Theo Paijmans takes a look back:
German painter, poet and writer Maximilian Dauthendey's (1867 – 1918)… Der Geist Meines Vaters was published in Germany in 1912. About his strange affiliation with the number 23, and describing himself as a 'numbers fanatic' who kept a keen eye on lucky and unlucky numbers in daily life, Dauthendey had this to say:
"My burdensome fateful number that accompanies me throughout the entire life is the number 23. Twentythree years after the death of my mother my father died, and I can be certain, that always the twentythird of the month delivers some burdening message, a twist of fate, a rare case of luck or an extraordinary case of bad luck…"