Radio 4 and the Spirituality of Numbers!
The BBCs devotion to all things spiritual was illustrated by Mark
Tully's 'Something Understood' on Radio 4 on Easter Sunday 2004 on
'the power of 3'. Yes that's right, the power of three, in
which he enlarged on the special significance, the 'spirituality', of
the number 3 in all aspects of life and especially all the great
religions ("with the exception of Islam"!!). Holy! Holy!
Holy! The Trinity, father son and holy ghost! (Ah! so that's where
'three' came from )
Warming to his subject he widened it out to all aspects of life,
past present and future. For the purpose of this talk he imbued
'three' with its special significance for the Christian religion at
Easter, (the spring fertility rite to umpteen fertility goddesses such
as Oestris and Ostara ). Backing up his 'facts' with examples from
all areas of life secular and religious, he found no shortage of
notions and quotations to imply proof from our rich heritage of
On any given subject there are referenced to things in threes, in
language, ideas, astronomy, architecture and engineering, botany and
the rest of the arts and sciences. He she and it, Joseph, Mary, Jesus,
three kings, three magi, heaven and earth, one star, one ark...five
loaves, and two fishes .... er.
Of course there are Christians who do not agree that three is
superior to say two, or seven, or ten or even twelve. Two by Twos,
affirm that two is the special spiritual number. And one has a lot
going for it. After all it is the unit, the building block of life,
the individual, indivisible, except if you want to go into fractions!
~ And who would want more than one front door, one nose or anything
Two has a large following, pairs of things have a special aura,
twins, pillars or people. Two legs and two arms is just perfect,
heaven and earth, two fishes. There are many biblical references to
two in the bible, Noah's animals two by two and many more, fully
researched on http://www.cswnet.com/~duxrow/webdoc3.htm
And of course the rest of the numbers have their supporters for a
place in the spiritual dimension stakes - they all have their biblical
references, or interpretations- four is pretty nondescript but you can
find them if you look under the surface (at the code so to speak), and
in the absence of specific references is taken as meaning 'the
universal principle'! There those who see five a pretty powerful too
there were five loaves, and seven has a lot of backers. One group of
enthusiasts left out five and eleven entirely but did not elaborate.
It is interesting that odd numbers appear generally to be more
significant in all this than even numbers, could that be why they are
called odd numbers I wonder?
Of course the special significance of numbers is not
confined to the religions, holistic healing, Runes, tarot, stichomancy,
witchcraft and of course numerology use the power of numbers. In
alchemy the sacred three quoted by Tully in support of three, were
sulphur, mercury and salt! Of course. So the fact that three is given
some power in all these 'notions' gives further proof if proof were
needed the number 3 is special, as is the number two, four, five and
so on. It is not rocket science, once you get the hang of it!
The cross has two timbers, the vertical and
horizontal, and four ends, a triangle has three sides, three points,
three angles, a quadrilateral has four of everything. Circles are
round as are spheres, and the whole world is a globe. I could go on
but not being brilliant at geometry, (I'm already getting bored) I
will leave you to your own painting of life by numbers.
Isn't it time that humanists put a bit of 'welly' into countering
the promotion of mumbo jumbo on Radio 4. In researching this piece I
have found a rich vein of humour in 'the power of numbers' and there
are many web-sites if you want information or just a good laugh. "Entertain
your brain! - Consider the Bible!" says
the Gospelsmiths web-site
http://www.cswnet.com/~duxrow/No.7.htm - but I would suggest you
turn the sound of your speakers down to zero fairly early in your
visit to the above sites not to be driven to a spiritual frenzy by the
 Pagan Origins of Easter -
The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient
Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian
scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter
was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother
Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similar "Teutonic
dawn goddess of fertility [were] known variously as Ostare, Ostara,
Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos."
Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre."
Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around
the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime e.g. Astarte,
from Phoenicia - Ishtar from Assyria
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