I got thinking yesterday – if atheists got it into their heads to create a calendar and declare someone else’s birth year to be year Zero (or One), who’d the get honours? My personal vote would go to Epicurus, and not just for his sweet diatribe on the disappointing nature of god.
That is why it’s 2009 now. A group got together, retroactively labeled Jesus Christ’s year of birth as the beginning of a whole new calendar and adjusted the dates accordingly. If we rebooted the calendar based on the birth of Epicurus, it’d be the year 2350 and not really special at all. Unless you like numerology or something and can devise meaning out of some slightly hidden code of the universe.
A livescience article looks at the power of numbers — power they have over people, at any rate. Especially when numbers repeat, like today’s date.
Modern numerologists – who operate outside the realm of real science – believe that mystical significance or vibrations can be assigned to each numeral one through nine, and different combinations of the digits produce tangible results in life depending on their application.
As the final numeral, the number nine holds special rank. It is associated with forgiveness, compassion and success on the positive side as well as arrogance and self-righteousness on the negative, according to numerologists.
Though usually discredited as bogus, numerologists do have a famous predecessor to look to. Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician and father of the famous theorem, is also credited with popularizing numerology in ancient times.
“Pythagoras most of all seems to have honored and advanced the study concerned with numbers, having taken it away from the use of merchants and likening all things to numbers,” wrote Aristoxenus, an ancient Greek historian, in the 4th century B.C.
As part of his obsession with numbers both mathematically and divine, and like many mathematicians before and since, Pythagoras noted that nine in particular had many unique properties.
Maybe numerologists would want to reboot the calendar back to whenever Pythagoras was born. I think it’d be 2504 now if that were the case. But then they’d have to go back to renumber everyone based on their new birth year. What a pain in the collective ass that would be.
The livescience article also marks the difference between Japan and China when it comes to the significance of 9. For China, it’s an auspicious number; for Japan, suspicious and preferably avoided.
Some articles report today will be a great day to get married. ABC reports not, but will be a terrific day to have a baby, so long as you want one that “will have a direct link to the mysteries of God and life.”
Ah well, whatever you believe — have a good day, be it a birthday, a holiday, a holy day or a just a day where breakfast, lunch and dinner are delicious.