Numbers Matter

All the focus on the fact that our calendar hit the recent date, 11.11.11 got me thinking about my own relationship to numbers. Unlike my sister and father, I wasn’t good with numbers.  In fact, I developed a fear of them as my engineer father would quiz me nightly on my multiplication tables, and lose patience quickly while helping me with my homework. He had his own shortcuts to solving the problems but when I tried to use them, my teacher got mad at me for not doing it the way she was teaching. And all the while, numbers seemed to me, a set of symbols in a foreign language.

I got through elementary and high schools by drilling and memorizing formulas with little comprehension of meaning.  Entering college I selected my major on the basis of which one required the least amount of math. In spite of that precaution, as a science teacher began writing a formula on the blackboard; the palms of my hands began sweating. Since I was seated in the back of the room I tried to tell myself it wasn’t likely I’d be called on but this didn’t interrupt my body’s automatic response.   It turned out there were other girls and women who felt the same way I did about numbers and that many, like me experienced what came to be called “math anxiety.”

Now I know that numbers are another language, another way to describe reality. Musicians calculate and count the tempo of drums, the voice, and other instruments. Numerologists use a person’s date of birth to enhance their understanding of the phases of their life. Fractal calculations generated by a computer measure and describe natures’ unending creativity; leaves, seeds, and swirling clouds. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Fractal.html

The Kabbalah, the Jewish system of mysticism, uses numbers to reveal a hidden level of meaning in the Torah. http://www.kabbalah.com/

And as my daughter was facing her own death, she reminded her three children, “it matters what is written in the book of life because, remember, our days are numbered.” Job 14 : 5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.

3 thoughts on “Numbers Matter”

1. Lisa Laing says:

Sheila, you are so lovely. You have reminded me to be gentle with myself and witness the miracles around me every moment. Sometimes the voice on the “repeat” button in my head gets pretty loud…I don’t believe that I’m alone in feeling generalized anxiety as a result of the goings-on in the world and in my life. I count you as one of my myriad blessings! thank you ~ Lisa

2. LaVerne Baker Hoteo says:

Well now, you know the “Numbers Lady” has to respond! The class I’ll be teacing this winter at CMU’s Osher is entiltled, “Your Days are Numbered!” As a professional numerologist, I love sharing my knowledge and facination with numbers and what they reveal in a way that is exciting and uplifting. The basic cycle of digits 1 through 9 is used in numerology to symbolize the human life cycle. Numerology is an easy-to-use system that shows your life from a different perspective, analyses your experiences, and helps you to do something about it. It also takes away a lot of the “fear” of numbers. Count on it!!
Thanks for sharing your insights, Shelia!

3. Thanks for your description of numerology. I’m sure mine doesn’t do it justice. I will say that some of what you told me from looking at the numbers related to me and my husband is already beginning to happen, at least for him. Your course sounds intriguing. I just might have to see about enrolling. Sheila