Since the primordial beginning of humanity, the mysteries of nature have been recorded and explained in the form of numbers, geometrical figures and symbols. In antiquity, people experienced numbers as spiritual qualities, by which they were able to understand the order and structural power, with which the cosmos, our earth and the original elements had developed. Sacred geometry is a science that returns to the consciousness of humanity in our time. The core of this geometry, which is quite different from the geometry we learned in school, studies the language of forms and proportions in nature. Many scientists and philosophers saw and still see the primordial language of the universe in this “sacred” language of geometry. The ancients called it sacred, because its points of departure remained unvaryingly the same. They studied its laws to find the primordial basis or primordial proportions of the cosmos.
Nowadays, numbers seem to be something abstract to us, something sober, with which we need not occupy ourselves. To many people, geometry and mathematics are not really their favourite subject, but here it does not refer to the geometry we were taught in school. Distracted and fragmented by a multitude of things, the modern person has lost access to the original meaning of numbers. However, if we nevertheless succeed in unveiling this meaning, we will be linked with profound knowledge. Behind the numbers, access to the inner structure and laws of the spiritual world lies hidden. They are the reflections of spiritual hierarchies and of the course of development of the soul, both of the individual as well as of humanity as a whole.
Numbers refer to matter as well as to spiritual processes of structuring. Something of this will be explained in this article.
A number counts and recounts. The coherence between counting and recounting is not only visible in English, but also in Dutch (tellen, vertellen), German (zählen, erzählen), French (compter, raconter) and other languages.
Our word cipher, for the numbers zero up to nine, is derived from the Hebrew word sephira that originally meant something like light, lustre. The plural of Sephira is Sephiroth. The ten Sephiroth represent the ten primordial principles of the cabbala. They are the so-called emanations of the deity, by which the world was created. Seen in this way, the word cipher, which appeared in our language via the Arabic sifr and the Latin cifra, refers to its origin from the light and to the divine-spiritual origin of numbers. In French, the word chiffre nowadays still means a kind of secret code, a secret key. This indicates that words consist of numbers.
The close link between word and number is of fundamental importance for a better understanding of many languages from antiquity, amongst which are those of the Old and the New Testament and the Thora. By a literary technique, called gematria, that was widespread in antiquity, words and sentences were linked with numerical values to transmit certain concepts in an encrypted way.
Numbers are hidden powers that show the primordial images of life and reveal the history of life and of the consciousness. They recount them. If we understand numbers, they unveil to us the knowledge of existence, of the human descent, development and destiny. Their symbolic language helps us to recognise and decipher the road markings of life. In this way, number and cipher become keys to what is hidden.
From the history of numbers, we can simultaneously read the history of our development. To us, the essence of numbers changed from the originally qualitative spiritual to the quantitative, ever-growing material.
By a quantitative approach to numbers, a second, a third, etc., element is added to a unity, so that they are lying side by side, and one number is always larger or smaller than the adjoining number. The point is to determine quantities and measurements and to ascertain which one has more or less or is more or less valuable. This is accompanied by an attitude of enlarging and of comparing of more and less, an attitude of “wanting to have” that measures and judges the world as to quantities and sizes.
Initially, people did not count according to the additive system, but according to the dividing, classifying principle, by which one does not arrive outside the unity, at the use of the two, the three, etc. In this view, all numbers are parts or aspects of the unity; they are always interrelated and derive their meaning from the link with the whole. This qualitative way of looking sees each being, each individual as a part of a whole and also recognises the indi- viduality solely on the basis of the coherence and the link with the all-one.
In this series of articles, we will focus on the qualitative way of looking at numbers.
The zero was not introduced and used in the West until the twelfth Century. Originally, it did not belong to the numbers, because its addition to or subtraction from another number did not change its value. Written behind a number, however, it lends importance to that number: It renders the number more dynamic and gives it extra value. Generally speaking, we only encounter the zero combined with another number that is written in front of it.
The zero symbolizes fullness and void at the same time.
Seen spiritually, the zero refers to what is absolute, the ineffable being of God in his mysteriousness, before his manifestation in the world. From the primordial night, the timeless primordial ground, first form and life had to be conceived.
Sources: Ernst Bindel, Die geistigen Grundlagen der Zahlen
Michael Stelzner, Die Weltformel der Unsterblichkeit