Math & Space
Jan 26, 1994 11:24 PM
by Gerald Schueler
Math. The recent discussion on math is interesting and I feel
compelled to add my own thoughts. Is math culturally
independent? Don say, "To say that math is culturally
independent though is a tough call to support. if this is the
case, then why have not all cultures developed mathematics like
I think the problem here is in our definition of "math."
I think that the basic principle of numbers, one, two, three,
etc., is culturally independent. Probably basic addition and
subtraction is culturally independent. But what can be called
"higher math" (certainly calculus would be included here) is
probably culturally dependent.'
Pythagoras and others have taught that the whole universe is
mathematical. But Pythagoras didn't know about calculus (a
Newton invention) or differential equations, and so on. Today,
we have a whole fist full of mathematical theories and techniques
unknown to anyone a generation ago. However, they are all based
on the fundamental idea of numbers and their addition and
Don says, "I think we cannot discuss math as a phenomena in
isolation from the cultures that developed (relatively) advanced
mathematical theories. There is always a specific metaphysic
behind any culture, and such a metaphysic will color what ever
social products the culture produces."
I agree with this. For example, how a culture defines each
number (7 is good, while 9 is bad, and so on) will determine how
that culture sees the addition or subtraction of numbers. Most
ancient cultures associated letters of their alphabet with
numbers, and by using the simple technique of gematria (a Hebrew
term for adding up the numerical value of a word or phrase) were
able to associate everything in their worldview with a number.
Don says, "I am presently reading an excellent sociology
book (ref upon request) that shows quite convincingly that space
and time are cultural products. That is, concepts of space and
time are subject to the concept of *cultural relativism*. Space
and time do not exist except as a specific cultural formulation."
I agree that cultural relativism exists, and that societies
view time and space differently (in fact, I would go so far as to
say that each person views time and space differently). However,
this doesn't mean that time and space don't exist objectively in
an independent sense. This sounds like the old argument that if
a tree falls in the woods with no one around to hear it, will it
make a sound? I prefer to think that we all share a *concept* of
space and time, albeit somewhat different in the particulars.
Every human being (I am not sure about animals) has a sense of
time and space. The particulars or specifics are not always
shared by others - thus the need for clocks and rulers in every
John says, "The physical reality is too impure to maintain its
form (i.e. it is maya). The Math does not work (in a predictive
sense within reality) because the Physical is only a mere/crude
imitation of the exact forms."
I agree with this, but I would submit that chaos is also a
factor here, and that mathematical predictions usually include a
chaos factor based on experiential data that is almost always
close, but seldom exact.
Don says, "Mathematics are merely symbolic representations of
Nature. Nature is the fundamental factor."
I can't really agree with this, although it seems that we
are very close to a point where words don't work any more. In a
sense, Nature itself is a symbolic representation. Perhaps truth
is also a symbolic representation? Here we must leave logic and
reason behind and take a leap of faith, which is not necessarily
a bad thing to do. My own feeling here is that numbers begin
with manifestation. The very concept of duality being manifest
or self-emanating from nonduality implies the numbers one and
two. We cannot conceive of manifestation without numbers.
Again, numbers are inherent in our vocabulary and language, and
thus inherent in our human minds. But how we see them and use
them is an individual/cultural thing.
Don, I like your quotes from Seth. I have most of the Seth books
and I have found them to contain a lot of good ideas (like
probable selves, for example).
Eldon says, "When we look at the *manifest world,* we find that
everything takes on form, shape, and movement according to certain
mathematical laws ... Looking at the manifest world-any particular
globe or plane of being-we find that everything attempts to follow,
in its own imperfect sort of way, certain mathematics."
Everything in manifestation is in Motion. We can even say that
our motion defines our true Self at any point in spacetime. If we could
express this motion mathematically, then we could use a simple
extrapolation to predict future events. The ancients called such motion
magic formulas. The magic formulas of our magical forefathers were
nothing more than specific actions or motions to be taken. When a
magician repeated a magic word, he would also meditate on its
mathematical value - and thus on its correspondences with other
words of a similar numerical value. The ancient magical languages
also had social meanings for each of its letters (such as Tarot card
correspondences) that implied a specific thing or action or feeling. So
every magic word had a magic formula inherent in it based on the
meanings of its letters.
Eldon says, "Space itself is pure, unconditioned, and like mathematics,
is in relation to the manifest world ... In a sense, we are space, or
rather a locality in space, with a focus and an extent, and it goes with
us, it goes to where we are or where we project our consciousness."
The ancient Egyptians represented Space as the goddess Nut who
they called the Goddess of the Night Sky and often pictured her naked
(with nothing hidden). They depicted consciousness as the god Horus,
usually shown in the form of a winged globe. These two concepts were
often shown together, with the winged globe under a stooping naked
goddess - consciousness moving through infinite unconditioned Space.
The ancient Egyptians taught that Space (objectivity) and Consciousness
(subjectivity) are the primal duality of the universe. It is
interesting that they saw space as feminine and consciousness as
masculine, indicating a primal sexual duality as well, much like
numbers can be viewed as odd or even.
Eldon writes, "We might define a plane then as the collection of lives
energies and forces that act upon matter in such a way as to constrain
it to take on the form and function of a world or universe and all
that can be perceived in interacted with thereon."
This is very close to the definition that I give in ENOCHIAN
PHYSICS. This "collection" is the mathematical set (a union of subsets)
of all participating monads. In a sense, life is a game that we are
playing, and all of us helped to make the rules.
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