Mathematics and Spirituality
Although mathematics is very well-established science, there is no generally accepted definition of mathematics. A typical definition – by non-mathematicians – would be: ‘Mathematics is the study of numbers’. But this does not cover the whole area of mathematics. For example, most parts of Euclid’s elements, the first volume on mathematics, published around 300 BC, are on geometry. This also has to do with the fact that mathematics is not an empirical science. Mathematical objects are not part of our sensual world; they cannot be touched, and mathematical formulae cannot be tested empirically. While physicists perceive the ‘world’ by observing and recording and thinking. Mathematicians perceive the ‘world’ by looking within themselves. Mathematics shares these properties with the discipline of spirituality. Spiritual knowledge is not part of our sensual world, nor can spiritual statements be tested empirically. Spiritual knowledge is often given by inner visions.
In the Classic Greek tradition (such as Pythagoras and Plato), spirituality and mathematics were close to each other. Pythagoras was convinced that numbers and formulae had an inherent spiritual meaning, and his school at Croton was more a religious brotherhood than an academy. Although both Pythagoras and Plato regarded mathematics as a spiritual path leading to the Divine, their approaches were different. For Plato, mathematical studies were a preparation for the contemplation of the divine principles, for the Pythagoreans, mathematics itself was the study of God immanent in His creation.
In the Western world, we still find close links between mathematics and spirituality during the 17th century. For example, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) from France and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) from Germany both published about theology and mathematics and drew several links between these disciplines. This understanding, somehow, became quite unusual in the Western world today. Due to the splitting up of the disciplines in the modern era, the distance between mathematics and spirituality seems to have grown up to the point where it has become less common for a scholar to publish about mathematics and spirituality. For example, the famous mathematician Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) developed a new theistic proof but never wanted to publish it in his lifetime. But there were still some famous mathematicians for whom doing mathematics was a deeply spiritual activity, for example, Georg Cantor (1844–1918) and L.E.J. Brouwer (1881–1966).
Mathematics and spirituality today:
Although today the spiritual function of mathematics, and rational thought in general, has been largely forgotten, yet there are a small number of persons who remember, such as Dr. Yosef Segman and Franklin Merrell-Wolff.
According to these scholars, mathematics functions as a bridge between the relative and transcendent states of consciousness. It serves, on the one hand, as a vehicle for crossing from the transcendent to the relative by providing a highly subtle and precise language for expressing the immediate contents of transcendent states with minimal distortion. On the other hand, it also serves as a vehicle for crossing from the relative to the transcendent by providing highly abstract and universal symbols for generating insights through contemplation. For example, using abstract mathematical symbols to cross-translate transcendent states corresponds to a very precise approximation of an irrational number by a rational. Thus, using mathematical concepts, it is possible to express subtleties of transcendent states with much greater precision than with ordinary language. Therefore, mathematics is not only a thread by which we may know the Beyond, but also a means by which we may commune with it. Wolff emphasizes, however, that although the structure of this mathematical bridge is provided by the highly subtle forms of thought, an actual crossing of the bridge requires the motivating power of love and devotion. It is said that when mathematics is practiced with great devotion and humility, it involves the transformation of both mind and heart which leads to wisdom.
Here we begin to touch upon important aspects of the spiritual power of mathematics: its universality, impersonality, and selflessness. When we enter the realm of mathematics, we transcend the realm of the personal human and enter a realm of universals. “Man will have long since ceased to be human, in the restricting meaning of the term, by the time he has awakened in terms of Consciousness at the most advanced levels represented by mathematical concepts and symbolic formulae. Mathematics thus constitutes a thread to the Beyond that has never been lost”.
All objects comprise of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and other elements in proper way and form. Man is made of matter and energy. Science is developing all the time. Yesterday’s metaphysics is today’s physics. Some time ago atom was indivisible, today we divide it. Scientists tell us that “nothing can be created from nothing” while in the spiritual field, as is commonly believed, anything can be created out of nothing by the power of intention. All that exists can be made to disappear and all that doesn’t exist can be made to appear. Material laws do not apply to metaphysics. The link between physics and spirituality is found in the depths of mathematics. Just as the mind mediates between body and soul so does mathematics connects physics and metaphysics.
Mathematics, spirituality and daily life:
Often, mathematical education in schools simply demonstrates that mathematics is useful. Usually a few students at school get excited about mathematics, but the majority of students just endure the math’s lessons. Maybe one could make mathematics lessons more attractive by pointing out the spiritual aspects of mathematics. So, let us analyze some of the problems faced in life and see how mathematics helps in understanding the problems more clearly and gives clue to the right solution.
Let’s look at the magical function of zero. As you go on adding more and more of that which does not exist, i.e. zero to the right side of that which exists, i.e. one, it goes on swelling and multiplying itself. For example, adding 0 after 1 will give 10, adding 0 after 10 will give 100 and so on. There is hardly a comprehensible limit to this expansion. Then start adding zero to the left side or negative side of one, with the function of negativizing will, i.e., the decimal point. The addition of more and more naught will gradually bring the one closer and closer to zero. So, pay attention to the negative and positive will that you are using.
Present life is full of complexity. Let us relate this complexity of existence with the complex number in mathematics. In mathematics complex number is represented by a+ib. In this expression both a and b are real numbers and i = p−1. Because b is associated with i, it is called imaginary part of the complex number. I (i = p−1) in the human existence is associated with ego of the self. Association of i with b (the real number), makes it imaginary part. Similarly, the ’present’ in our life can be related to the real existence that is real part and past or future in our life can be related to the imaginary existence that is the imaginary part. So, it is the past or future which makes our life complex. Therefore, life can be made real only when we live in the present.
Let’s have additional example. When we take the root of negative number, it gives complex number (√−x2 = ix). In a similar way, if we keep on thinking of negative aspect of our life then the life becomes complex, so the above mathematical wisdom points out that in order to simplify our life we need to have positive thinking.
Finally, let’s see the power of small changes. While doing nothing changes nothing, small changes can be powerful. People make a mistake to round down small efforts. Let’s look at the difference .01 vs. 0 makes in life if you are persistent with your small efforts over a year of time.
(1.01)365= 37.7 (!!!!!!)
Small changes can add up. Evolve in life with small changes. Each day work on slight improvements in both your lifestyle and in being creative. At the end of the year, you will be a new person.
Mathematics, spirituality and decision making:
Let’s see now how mathematics can assist us in the decision-making process, as described by Robert Monroe, the pioneer of the out of body exploration.
The major underlying cause of human worry relates to the Law of Change. All human conflict relates to this law. Some worry that change will take place, others that it will not. Wars are fought to resist change or to accelerate it. At the individual level, this translates into various forms of indecision. Fear enters into the pattern, fear of the consequences of any decision or action. The pressure builds up, intensifies as the decision is put off, delayed. The result accumulates toxins in all parts of the human system until there is failure or severe reduction in operating efficiency. Indecision is the killer.
Consider the statistics of decision, in general and simplified. In any abstract decision, there is a 50 percent probability that the correct or constructive choice will be made. If the correct path is taken, obviously no problems will exist. If the incorrect selection is made, it will become evident. When it does, there is a 50 percent probability that the choice can be reversed and the constructive path substituted in its place.
Therefore, there is only one chance in four, at the most, that an irrevocable direction may be taken in decision making. All vital decisions in the history of man have been made on much worse odds than three to one. Some were as high as one in twenty and came out positively.
To move away from the null point of indecision, take the position that any action or decision is better than none at all, based upon the odds of three to one. To get the process underway without trauma, perform the following:
- Make up an A list. Place on this list all of your worries, anxieties, and concerns about which you can do absolutely nothing. You cannot do anything about tomorrow’s weather conditions. It will rain, snow, be cold or hot, and there is no action you can take to prevent it. If there is absolutely nothing you can do today about such items, place them on this A list.
- Make up a B list. Place on this list all of your worries, anxieties, and concerns about which you can do something today, take action, large or small.
- Make up a C list. Place on this list all of your needs, hopes, and desires, large or small, which have yet to be fulfilled.
Today, perform the following functions:
- Take the A list and destroy it, and in so doing, dismiss all items contained therein from your consciousness. Why waste your energy worrying about that which you cannot control?
- Take the B list and take some action, however small, to begin the resolution of each item contained therein. Several may be concluded immediately and thus can be released and dismissed from your consciousness. Others will be reduced in pressure because the flow has begun, a decision has been made.
- Take at least one item on the C list and perform one act, large or small, that moves you in the direction of such goal.
Perform this entire process each day until you have no A list, no B list, and all of your energy and consciousness are devoted to items on your C list. You then will complete serenely all the purposes you put for yourself in this life.
Mathematics, spirituality and origin of everything:
The philosophical, theological, mathematical, physical question of how the universe exists out of nothing has not been answered clearly and satisfactorily so far. Stephen Hawking describes the evolution of the universe from the moment the material explodes but does not explain where the exploding material came from. Physicists say the universe is expanding but do not say into what it is expanding, alternatively what is outside the universe? Physics deals with questions related to physical laws given matter, but no one explain where did the initial matter came from. Today there are other theories claiming that the universe began from quantum void. Looking at the expression- quantum void- it can be understood that this void is not really empty and is buzzing with electromagnetic activity, therefore it is not the total void with nothing at all inside.
Now, let’s see if mathematics can help us in this case also, as described by Dr. Yosef Segman in this scientific article that was published recently in a peer reviewed journal.
Let’s take number zero to represent nothing, as it is very intuitive for us to correlate this number with nothingness. When thinking of zero, we usually associate it with null matter. For example, when we say someone has zero money in the bank, we mean that someone has no money in the bank. But, if we look at zero more carefully, we should realize that zero also means:
(+2) +(-2) =0
(+300) +(-300) =0
Or, if we write it in general manner
(+U) +(-U) =0
When written in such way, we can see that while the right part of the equation represents zero force, or zero physical matter, the left part of the equation represents the physical force/matter of +2/-2, +300/-300 etc.
And here is the logical explanation of how matter exists out of total void 😊