Pythagoras said ” All is number” and yes numbers represent a universal language that can be used to express laws and manifestations in nature.

After a few thousand years of using number and letters we have developed many symbols to express a more advanced language and mathematics. An in the same way as the polymath the old wise philosopher had many skills, those have turned into a lot of new professions or fields of knowledge like; philosophy, mathematics, system theory, dietarian, sports, musician, priest, psychologist and more.

Looking backwards into history the trajectory of diversity goes back to symbols and letters uniting into simple archetypical principles. The early alphabets were mathematical and each letter represented a number. In Hebrew the first letter Aleph is the letter “A” and the number “1” and contains unified conceptualisation of oneness. The letter “B” or Beth is number 2 etc. Aleph means Ox and Beth means House. But they are all of those concepts unified. Read more about the letter here.

(You might also like to read the article *Letters, pictograms and archetypes*)

In the axial age we see a discussion of numbers and elements in many of the old cultures.

They asked:

How many elements exists?

What are they?

In India we get 3 doshas of Ayurveda, derived from 5 elements. In China the discussion is between the 2 (Yin and Yang) or the 5 elements, in Greece the discussion is as strong; is it one, two, three, four or more elements? They end up with four.

These discussions inform the division of the year into 3 season in India, 5 in China, 4 in Greece and the modern world. They also inform the understanding of nature and of health.

The 3 doshas are the most central aspect of Ayurvedic medicine. The 5 elements are at the core of Chinese medicine and the four elements dominated the humoral medicine that has dominated Unani medicine and European medicine longer than any other modality of medicine.

What we can learn from this is that reality is analogical and that quantifying it is a choice. It might not be more right to divide unity in 3, 4, 5 or any other number.

It is like a cake that is cut in 6 pieces and then we get two more guests and recut it into eight pieces. The cake is the same, it is just a choice of how we divide reality.

The last point I want to address here is the concept of holons within holons. You can divide reality in four elements, but if you divide it in 16 each of the four are within each. If you divide in 12 you will have 3 parts with all the four represented within each of the three again. In short each part of any division can again be divided and each of those divisions again. This results in what we call fractals.

On way of seeing fractals in nature is along the coastline, where you see the regularly fjords on the west coast of Norway. If you magnify the picture you will see the same pattern within each fjord and again within each bay etc.

In Kabbalah we have the saying; *One is over three, three is over seven and seven is over twelve and they are all One.*

Kabbalah, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, the teaching of Martinus and other esoteric teachings emphasize the division into seven. The seven rays, the seven days of creation, seven planets, chakras etc etc.

We have seven days a week and 52 weeks. In old Egypt they had 10 days a week and 36 weeks.

The number you choose to filter or quantify reality colors what you perceive.

You might also enjoy the article *Models and systems – vertical & horisonal – holonistic knowledge*