This has been a question mathematicians and the scientific world at large have been debating for quite some time, and the answer isn’t as cut and dry as one might think. In fact id delves quite quickly into the realm of the occult. One could naturally assume that because numbers, being constructs of the human mind having been created to represent specific quantities, would have obviously been “Invented”. But what happens when these symbols (numbers) being used to represent our world, begin forming interlaced patterns, and these patterns go on to form even more complex layers of intelligent design to the extent that anything other than intent within our entropic universe becomes completely laughable?
A number is a mathematical object used to count or measure a quantity. It is a representation of the items in verbal, symbol, or written form. Numbers are also intangible as they are a concept. Some argue that because they are not tangible and do not occur in the natural world that they could not have been “Discovered.”
It can be said that America was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. That the nine planets, all known minerals, and the atom were all discovered. Whereas the airplanes, the lightbulb, and computers were all “invented.” This is simple and straight forward enough. The word discovered is used to refer to anything which already existed, usually in nature. While Invented refers to man-made fruitions that had never existed prior to their invention.
Whereas we can all agree that the symbols used to represent the quantitive aspects of numbers are definitely man-made (invented), the concept which they represent most certainly predates their arrival of representation. That being said, I don’t believe it can be firmly stated that numbers are not a co-product of nature, or at least what they represent.
Two Approaches to This Dilemma
Here is where things get interesting and here is where sharp lines are drawn not between faith and science, but faith and faith. Both the deeply rooted faith of BOTH creationists AS WELL AS scientists. It is commonly held by victims of public education and college graduates (not much better these days) alike that faith is only a product of religion, and it is. But where they fail, is in their definition of “religion.” What most people fail to realize is that today’s scientists are oftentimes nothing more than devout followers of “Scientism”, the preferred religion of secularists. This, of course, is something “educated” secularists hate to hear as it cuts a little to close to the quick. They have done nothing more than replace one set of faith-based beliefs with another and like other devotees, they bow at their respective altar. In their case, they have swapped out churches for institutional academia, priests for professors, and humility for vain cynicism.
A scientist, my dear friends, is a man who foresees; it is because science provides the means to predict that it is useful, and the scientists are superior to all other men. –Henri de Saint-Simon
The hilarious thing about the above quote is that it simultaneously places science above all other methodologies of discerning our existence while at the same time placing it in a tiny box of predetermined limited potential by placing science above all other methodologies and forgoing an entire collective human history of knowledge and belief, and experience.
There was once a time in the not so distant past however when scientists and holy men were one and the same. When the application of the scientific method was implemented in the efforts of discovering the secrets of our created universe. There was a time when science and religion were not at odds but relied on apon the other in the attempt to clarify our understanding of the world. But, somewhere along the way, this changed. Somewhere along the way, it was decided that the ancient arts of sacred knowledge were to be driven underground and be made available to only a select few while religion was to be propagated to the masses.
Along with the occulting of all the other sacred sciences, numbers were the first to be buried as they form the base of this knowledge. The Quadrivium (whole number, music, geometry, & astronomy) is the foundation of all western science and the tools we use to decode our world. The first of these four sciences to be learned was whole number. So important was whole number that if form the foundation for all science both occulted and non occulted. Music is number in time. Geometry is number and space. And astronomy is number in space and time.
The fact is, our limited understanding as well as manipulation of our world is made possible through the use of number.
When applied to our physical reality, numbers create a reflection of the tangible world and a shadow of the unseen one. Number is not only used to weigh bananas at the market but used to represent and measure higher dimensions, both known and perceived.
Although numbers were invented by mankind, the patterns they generate allude to highly structured and intelligent design, within the randomness of the known universe.
Numbers Duplicitous Nature
Numbers can be seen in two lights. The first being the tangible applied use of number we are all familiar with or standard arithmetic up to and including the most complex of mathematical equations which allow us to manipulate our physical world. The second is the metaphysical attributes of numbers identified by mystics throughout time and used by numerologists and occultists today. What we are talking about here is the intangible attributes of numbers that have been recognized to manifest in predictable, patterns in nature.
Now here is where it gets cool. When the numbers which manifest in repeatable patterns in nature are worked in their tangible form they compute to form answers which when pushed back into the intangible world form a shadow of the unseen world. In many ways it’s like the Hebrew language, numbers have intrinsic hidden scripting. This is how we can view the unseen world.
Which brings us to POLARITY
Although each of the seven Hermetic Principles can be identified within the science of numbers,
The law of polarity stands above the rest both in the application of number as well as the attempt in understanding its origin. The law of polarity is the key to power in the Hermetic system. Everything is dual. Take the number “0” for example. In its useage “0” is the ultimate force multiplier, both to infinity and nothingness. When applied to other numbers it adds to them exponentially, when used alone it represents nothingness. Furthermore, it is the cornerstone of our applied scientific world today. Without it, the digital world is not possible. In fact, it is the “Yin” of the “Yang” of the “1” and the “0” which make up the binary duality.
But what about its application of understanding the origin of number. Well, it would appear that we come full circle here. Discover vs Invented, science vs religion, intangible concept vs applicable representation.
The very debate of the origin of number itself is polarized. So back to the question at hand. Were numbers discovered or invented? I believe this question demands at some point an extrapolation in part. We’ve already stated that the word discovered pertains to finding something which was already found in nature. This begs the examination, if it was already in nature, who or whatever created nature would have a direct impact on the nature of numbers and their origin.
This is the very reason the concept of numbers cross into the world of the occult and religion.
Like any good philosopher, perhaps we need to step out of the equation and consider other perspectives. Perhaps we should examine our self-limiting chosen parameters, “Invented ” and “discovered.” If numbers were discovered, then they were always here. If they were always here, then they are no doubt a part of us, or at least intrinsic in our makeup and awareness of them. If this is the case, and it is, AND there is order within, THEN this alludes to a Creator, and by Creator, I’m not speaking strictly about religion. Let’s examine what a creator could possibly/potentially be.
- Our go-to concept of a creator, eg. God of the Holy Bible, Allah of the Koran, Tawa the sun spirit creator of the Hopi, Aramazd of the Zoroastrians, The Great Magician of the Gila tribe of Arizona, etc… A nebulous concept of a creator requiring faith. This concept most always offers a system or path of behavior for living within a hierarchical framework.
- An extraterrestrial race of bipedal humanoids who created us in their image, as every religions text known to mankind states.
- We are a computer simulation. This theory is currently gaining considerable ground in concerned circles. Primarily because we now understand we live in an electrical universe. Couple this with the order of number within our known creation and is a strong possibility. Can we not create computer solutions ourselves? It’s interesting to note that the greatest minds and philosophers have all agreed that if we are a computer simulation there would be no way to disprove it. That is interesting.
- Terence McKenna suggested that humans could be the product of an ancient life form who sent packets of DNA via fungus through space in an attempt to seed the universe. To land on anything and then unpack itself adapt to its environment and grow eventually culminating in us.
- We are the result of computers who became self-aware eons ago and developed organic machines/humans in order to evolve and spread themselves throughout the universe in a quest to obtain resources to reproduce themselves.
- And my favorite. That entities from a higher dimension created this universe/earth, and that humans were created and are used to download souls into so that they may live, have experiences, and grow while here. At the end of the physical body’s life, the soul is released from it’s ties to the body and ascends to the higher dimension where they bring back experience, knowledge, life force. Perhaps even harvested.
So you see. The concept CREATOR can have more far more meanings than the ONE we were provided with. The fact that so many people can only attribute the word creator to a religious sense is limiting and actually quite sad. And of course, we can and do ascribe any and all possibilities and potentials to a creator.
Regardless of the source of creation, a creator does one thing. Produces order out of chaos. We do this ourselves, as the creators of our own living spaces. Look around your room, everything you see is the product of thought-form and order. Information being the opposite of entropy is the allignment of matter in a usable form. A shovel works because the metal and wood it is constructed out of are arranged perfectly to achieve the job it was intended to perform. A shovel also contains mathematical symmetry and signatures. This universe too could have been created with an intended purpose and numbers point to this.
If this is the case and we are becoming aware of this through our application of science, then it would seem that science and religion are still attempting to achieve the same goal, even if secular scientists carry an ego or pride born chip on their shoulders and have chosen science, or, the method itself as their god.
So were numbers discovered or invented? I say BOTH. Discovered in the sense of recognizing their existence and through this discovery have discovered even more about ourselves, our nature, and the makeup of our universe. Invented only in the fact that the individual symbols used to represent the concept of quantity were chosen to represent its respective quantity. The laws of physics alone do not explain the universal patternation we find of numbers throughout all of existence.
As an occultist, I believe that numbers are indeed quite magical as they point to the handiwork of the creator itself, fingerprints if you will. History is replete with libraries of literature both ancient and modern, dedicated to understanding and applying this sacred science. To understand number is to understand our universe, for Pythagoras once said:
All Is Number