The Story of Number: Introduction

What do I believe? I believe in simplicity and accuracy. The more I can say in a smaller space, the closer I am to the truth. But the truth can never be conveyed with mere words. It must be felt. It must come from within. Words, symbols, images can only circle the truth, which is why we are so full of words. There is no end to our discussions about belief.

Science claims to have the answer. But science always shrugs in the end, when the questions get deep and murky. Science describes the mundane aspects of our physical universe, tacking our existence to specific physical truths. Many people use this limit of science to defend the idea that there is nothing more to the universe, only the superficial and material aspects. There is only science.

But the knowledge of our physical selves must be balanced with the wisdom of our spiritual selves. Where knowledge is expansive, wisdom is reductive. Wisdom is the neat little bow that ties our knowledge together. Wisdom keeps us from becoming too scattered, from believing the implications of our science. We must not forget that science is explicit and precise. Science does not hedge. It either knows, or it does not. There is no belief in science. Belief is the domain of religion.

Belief, meaning, implication allow for the hedge that is so important when calculating our daily decisions, because there is too much to know, and yet we must act. We must forever calculate our risk, balancing our knowledge and belief. Knowledge tells us what is, belief tells us what it means. In the end we are all guessing, but it is best if it is an educated guess.

So where do we start? Where do we gain an education in belief? In science we start with math, and math starts with number. Quantity is the explicit nature of number, but is there implication? Does number possess a quality? I believe so. I also believe that these qualities would be reflected in the processes and outcomes of traditional math. If all is related, then science and religion should mirror the truths of each other.

I did not learn this in any order, and certainly not all at once. This information came to me in many forms, from a variety of voices. It was often a reminder of things I already knew, only needing to remember. This is not new information. It is not meant to be new. It is to remind me of what was, is, and always will be. It is the wisdom of ages, if you will, parsed and packaged in my language, for my convenience. It is intentionally short, to maintain focus. It is not all, and I doubt it is without error. I draw my lines as best I can, but each is not meant for every, as every is not meant for each.

May it serve, and if it does not, set it aside. In the end, it is but one man’s observations. God bless.