I understand the meaning of the numeric values and the significance of each number. I have also read a number of other works that explain the meaning of numbers. A book that I can really recommend is The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael S Schneider.
The author explains how each number has three levels of meaning.
The first level is secular: 1 and 1 = 2.
The second level is symbolic or philosophical: numbers are represented in shapes, such as a circle, triangle, square and so on. These shapes form their own symbolic language, called geometry.
The third level is sacred: when you understand 1 and 2, you have embedded the meaning of unity and division in your consciousness. Both Plato and Pythagoras wanted all citizens to learn the properties of the first ten numbers as a form of moral instruction - to understand and learn to respect the magnificence of the Universe. I would agree with that.
The significance of the numbers is also captured in tarot, where the number forms part of the meaning of each card. I have a huge respect for tarot as an encyclopedia of life, and I understand that the meaning of the numbers is part of the Universal language of Life.
That is one side of the puzzle.
The other side of the puzzle is the application as reflected in numerology, specifically related to birth dates and names. Let's say my birthday is 3rd August 1978. I was born at 4.45 in the morning. In terms of numerology that date and time is significant to predict trends in my life. Add to that the numeric values of the letters in my name (or even my nickname if I am not known by my name), which also supposedly predicts trends in my life. There seems to be more than one system for allocating numbers to the letters in the Western alphabet, and the number of letters in the Western alphabet differs from the Hebrew alphabet.
And did you know that there are as many as eighteen different alphabets?
This is the part that I am trying to figure out. My date of birth is in terms of the Gregorian calendar. Would my destiny have been different if I applied the Jewish calendar (which is still in use)? The time of my birth was in South Africa. Would my destiny have been different if I was born in Moscow at 4.45 am (which is in fact 2.45 am in a different time zone in South Africa and therefore numerically not the same time as in South Africa)?
Time is not a constant - it is what we make of it.
And do the trends in my future and my destiny really change if I change my surname or if I am known by a name other than my birth name? I know that when I got divorced and reverted back to my maiden name, I felt significantly different - free and back to my true self again. However, it is possible that my feeling was more the result of my mind-set than the result of my name change at the time. There is no doubt in my mind that changing my name changed my destiny, so maybe there is some truth in that application of numerology?
I may be quite wrong, but for me it feels like using numerology to predict people's lives and future would be similar to doing personality profiles based on the flowers a person randomly picks in a garden. The flowers were meant to please the senses, but that basic purpose got lost in an application that turns the fragrance and texture of a rose petal into a diagnostic tool. As that guy who could not spell said: 'A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet'. Why try to change it? Or why pretend that it is something else?
The more I know, the more I realize how little I know. There is much truth in numbers, but I still have to learn much about the application of numbers and the nature of time.
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