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ARCHIVE for Thursday 10th January 2002 - The beginning of number

The discussion here last week was about numbers, their hidden meaning and symbolism. This is a new start, introducing the first three numbers, beginning, as you would expect, with the number One.

But that is the most difficult way of starting. Great thinkers down the ages have been driven mad by puzzling over the One. What is it and how does it relate to the Many?

Some say that One represents the Creator. But that cannot be right, because the philosopher’s God is beyond all description or numbering. More accurately, One is the unique symbol of the universe, regarded as one organic creature, independent and with nothing outside it. Each individual is an imitation of One, but can never be One itself. That is because we are not real individuals but parts of nature and of each other. You may think you are One (or even, if you are mad, The One). But you are just one of the Many.

In the Genesis story of creation, number Two arose when God divided everything into two parts. That is why there are two sexes and two sides to every argument. For its parts to be reconciled Two naturally gives rise to the number Three.

Three is the first truly odd number. Its shape, the triangle, is a symbol of fire and fertility. Odd numbers are considered to be male and active. A party with an odd number of people isd more inter-active than an even number, when the guests pair off.

Next week we will go on through the other base numbers.

John Michell

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Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
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