mispar katan mispari: kabbalists do it sideways

Numbers are everywhere. They lurk in the deepest darkest depths, and sparkle on the highest brightest peaks.

Integers are hard-working numbers that can never be broken. That's why Kabbalists use them to do gematria -- a job that involves a lot of heavy digging and delving deep into words and phrases to unearth their hidden meaning.

But hidden meanings lurk at least as much within numbers as in words. Meanings are patterns, and numbers lend themselves to pattern-making much more readily than words.

This post looks at some of the weird patterns in the dreaded "times tables" that used to be drummed into the minds of school-kids, before the age of electronic calculators.

Nine is selfish but stable

Column 1 shows the times table for 9.

Column 2 ("sideways adding") shows what you get when you sideways-add the digits of each "answer" in column 1.

For example: 9x3=27. The answer is 27. Sideways-adding 2 and 7 yields 9: 2+7=9.

As you can see, the results in column 2 are the same in each case (9). This indicates that 9 is extremely self-absorbed, and finds it easy to remain calm and stable in all conditions and circumstances.

times table
sideways adding
9x1= 90+9=9


Eight suffers from manic depression

From the results in column 2 you can see that 8 gets more and more down, feels more and more low (8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) until zir mood suddenly changes and ze feels ze is on a real high: (9).

In clinical terms, 8's depressive episodes are more frequent and of longer duration than the manic episodes, eight times longer and more frequent, to be precise.

[Please note there are no mistakes in column 2. It's true that 4 plus 8 does not equal 3. In fact, 4 plus 8 equals 12. But sideways-adding the digits in 12 yields 3: 1+2=3.

Likewise re 8x7=56. Sideways-adding the digits in 56 yields 11. And sideways-adding the digits in 11 yields 2: 1+1=2

Likewise re 8x8=64. Sideways-adding 6 and 4 yields 10. And 1+0=1.]

times table
sideways adding
8x1= 80+8=8

Seven is confused, even odd

You can see that 7 is confused, "all over the place" -- all the numbers between 0 and 10 can be found in column 2, in no apparent order. Chaos seems to rule.

But there is a pattern to 7's moodswings. Often, ze feels upbeat (3+5=8), but zir mood EVEN-tually deteriorates until ze feels very down in the dumps: (8, 6, 4, 2).

Then ze is on a high again: (0+7=7). But sadly, zir mood deteriorates. Ze gets more and more down until ze reaches rock-bottom, ODDly enough: (7, 5, 3, 1).

[Note that in the case of 7x4=28, two rounds of sideways-adding are required: (2+8=10) followed by (1+0=1).

Similar comments apply to 7x7=49 and 7x8=56.]

times table
sideways adding
7x1= 70+7=7

You can analyse 6, 5, 4 and 3 yourself. They're pretty weird too, subject to all sorts of complex moodswings and deep-rooted issues. For now, let's just take a look at 2.

Two is pathologically cheerful

Two is one of those patients that apparently has no problems, issues or anxieties. Two is a psychologist's nightmare.

Whatever happens, 2 takes it in zir stride. Zir mood is almost always "on the up": (2, 4, 6, 8).

And when ze does feel low (1+0=1), ODDly enough ze almost immediately begins to recover: (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).

What is of some concern, however, is the possibility that 2's cheerfulness may not be appropriate in all circumstances (eg when 2 tries to find zir root) but may in fact be pathological.

times table
sideways adding
2x1= 20+2=2
2x2= 40+4=4
2x3= 60+6=6
2x4= 80+8=8

There are many different types of numbers: real numbers, rational numbers, complex numbers, transcendental numbers, perfect numbers and many more: a magnificent zoo of different creatures, each with zir own personality and habits and jobs to do.

Even the imaginary numbers have an important job to do, a real ie non-imaginary job. And they do that job so well that none of the other numbers ever bothers to send in zir resume when vacancies become available.

There's a great mystery to numbers. Some brainy folk say that numbers are the building blocks of the House of Reality in which the Universe lives.

Einstein among others taught us that matter and energy are forms of each other, and that each can be transformed into the other. These days some physicists believe that matter and energy are not fundamental, but rather are just different forms of information expressed numerically. The implication is that Everything and every thing is no more or less than information, ie the multiverse is a gigantic array of data.


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mgeorge said...

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." - Prof. Albert Einstein, Geometry & Experience, 1921

"The fact that our universe lends itself to mathematical treatment is not a fact of any great philosophical significance. A mathematical web of some kind can be woven about any universe containing several objects." - Prof. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

masterymistery said...

Hi mgeorge, thanks for the very apt quotations. Einstein and Russell clearly are not among the "brainy folk" referred to in the penultimate paragraph. Which of course is not to say they were not brainy.

Re the issue of the extent of the role of numbers in the drama called "Reality", it is said by some that Einstein "got it wrong".

For some "brainy folk" (eg Bohr) the numbers-ridden nature of quantum physics shows that in fact God does "...play dice with the Universe" notwithstanding Einstein's stubborn insistence to the contrary.

And as for the anthropic principle, but let's not go there...

Thanks for your comments, Cheers, MM

The Real Cie said...

I'm horrible at math, and yet I'm fascinated by numbers. I have OCD, and sometimes to reach a decision, I have a system of counting to help me choose. If it sounds crazy, well, it is.

masterymistery said...

Hi Cie, in my opinion in these weird and awe-full times, it's those who are deemed "crazy" who are the sane ones. It's the "normals" -- those who have adjusted to the corruption and sickness around them -- who are the insane ones. Thanks for your comments, Cheers, MM