We've drawn attention on Catholica recently to a documentary series that's been screening on television in Australia in recent weeks called "The Code". Yesterday on the forum we viewed a beautiful animation on the Fibonacci Numbers [LINK]. In this mini-commentary today, Tom McMahon is also into the fascination with numbers — this time concerning their association with religion.
Stranded at Mehphis Egypt, year 4000 b.c.e.
There are times as I dabble around in ancient religions that I get the notion that I am into a seven-sided "whatca-call-it". The process is like going to great grandpa's attic and finding "antiques" that don't fit in the age of technology ... and yet religion is full of "old stuff" that wears a modern disguise. Probing around is a lonely affair as in today's culture old stuff gets the heavho, including the old who write about such. I sense today that many of those with whom I shared church and community twenty years ago have abandoned their childhood religion; once we got rid of no meat on Friday all the rest slipped out like the baby with the bath water. When Vatican Two teachings exposed the magic that made us sit up straight in Sister Hebenebens Catholic school class many just turned away and considered the whole a crock.
There are two words used universally that supposedly need no explanation for recognition. They are coca-cola and god. Rummaging around the Temple at Memphis boggles my mind as I contemplate the thousand Egyptian gods, yet when I go into the Portuguese Five Wounds church I see many statues to the saints. I remember dealing with the people who came from the Azores, asking at one of their festivals where the statue of Ecce Homo Jesus came from. I was soundly rebuffed with: "it is not Jesus; it is the Christ saint!" (My reply: Ok, ok. Where did this saint come from?) Look around the Western world today and one can find 1000 x 100 ideas about "god". Try to have a conversation about what this word stands for and people think you're nuts. Everybody knows about the old man in the sky and let's just leave it at that. For heaven sake, literally, don't get the old man pissed at you. One lady disgustingly called me an atheist because I did not understand Constantine's Three-Persons-in-One god, aka Trinity.
Have you ever asked how the numbers 3, 7, 12, and 40 got their start as religious symbols: 3 persons in the Trinity; 7 sacraments; 12 apostles; and 40 days in the desert? Could they be from the enlightened early Fathers of the Church like Brigham Young finding god's word on heavenly tablets or like Mohamed having sacred cave séances with Allah. I encourage readers to think again and look up on the internet "Number Symbolism":
The number 3 is also very mystical and spiritual number featured in many folktales, (three wishes, three guesses, three little pigs, three bears) ... Seven is a sacred number representing the union of divinity... Twelve is a number of universal fulfilment, being the number of Christ's disciples, as well as the 12 tribes of Israel ... Representing wholeness, the number 40 is especially important in the Bible. (and Tom the investigator says: well "Ok....uh?!")
TMcM: Here's something for Forum — what did Pythagoras mean above when he said the feminine was divisible into two equal parts? I have begun to read MASCULINE/FEMININE, Readings in Sexual Mythology and the Liberation of women, edited by Betty Roszek and Theorore Roszel. In any war the point man on a scouting expedition is in a dangerous place.
LINK: Watch the short video on our forum looking at the Fibonacci number sequence that orders much of life.
Comments (mine and yours) can be found in the Catholica Forum at:
Tom in San Jose, contemplating my navel and wondering what is in the coca cola formula. 02Mar2012
What are your thoughts on this commentary?