"Key To The Universe" ~ Harriette Augusta Curtiss. Part I - The Origin Of Numerical Systems

"Every cosmogony, from the earliest to the
latest, is based upon, interlinked with, and most
closely related to, numerals and geometrical
figures" ~ The Secret Doctrine, Blavatasky, III, 69.

"So teach us to nuniber our days, that we may
apply our hearts unto wisdom."Psabns, xc, 12.
"God is a Number endowed with motion, 'which
is felt but not demonstrated" ~ Balzac.

Mathematics is the only exact science; the only one whose propositions are capable of conclusive proof and demonstration. All other so-called "exact sciences" are based upon assumptions, deductions and "working hypotheses" which are more or less useful until further investigation and discovery proves them to be but partial 'truths. And in these days of rapid progress, the changes of base in the "exact sciences" are so frequent that the scientific text-books have to be rewritten every few years, so rapidly are the materialistic conceptions of matter and the universe outgrown.

Only 3 centuries ago the "exact science" of the day was unanimous in the opinion that the earth was flat, and opposed the idea of the infinity of the universe and the plurality of worlds to such a degree that its leaders burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for daring to oppose their dictum.

Within a decade or 2 "exact science" ridiculed the possibility of the transmutation of metals, classing it as a mere vagary of unbalanced mystics, yet today we have the transmutation of metals going on in many laboratories as a matter of course. Only a few years ago we were taught that the atom was a particle of matter, but today the same "exact science" asks us to believe that it is not "matter" at all, but the union of 2 units of force called "electrons". The facts as taught by the mystics of all ages remain; modern interpretation of them evolves and expands.

Words are symbols of ideas, but numbers are symbols of divine realities; spiritual verities eternal in the heavens, which express themselves periodically in the worlds of objectivity. If as Pythagoras said: 'The world is built upon the power of numbers,' then numbers must be the key to the understanding of the world". So "They are a key to the ancient views on cosmogony, in its broad sense, including man and beings, and the evolution of the human race, spiritually as well as physically" (from: Isis Unveiled, Blayatsky, II, 407).
"Hence we find numbers and figures used as an expression and a record of thought in every archaic symbolical scripture. They are ever the same, with certain variations only, arising from the first figures" (from: The Secret Doctrins, Blavatsky, I, 341).

Following Prof. Max Muller, it is commonly accepted that our present numerical system was invented by the Arabs, for he tells us that, "The two words cipher and zero, which are but one, are sufficient to prove that our figures are borrowed from the Arabs" (from: Our Figures, Muller). As a matter of fact the system was introduced into Europe by Pythagoras, who found it already fully developed in India. It is true that later the system was widely spread by Arab traders, but they also obtained it from India. Prof. Muller later admits this origin himself when he says elsewhere: "Cipher is the Arabic cipron, which means simply, a translation of the Sanskrit name of nought" (from: Chips. VoL II, 284 (1873)). Among the Hebrews the kabalistic word Sephiroth also corresponds to the word cipher, not in the sense of nothing, but rather in the sense of containing within itself the powers of creation by number and degrees of evolution, altho as yet unmanifested, hence a void.

The Hindus, however, do not claim to have originated the science, for the sages declare that it was revealed to them by the Devas (the Gods). Also, "The Pythagoreans asserted that the doctrine of Numbers, the chief of all in Esotericism, had been revealed to man by the Celestial Deities; that the World had been called forth out of Chaos by Sound or Harmony, and according to the principles of musical proportion" (from: S.Doctrins 1.467).

These are but confirmations of the occult teaching that the science of numbers was not slowly evolved by primitive man learning to count on his fingers - which is deduced as the probable origin by exoteric investigators - but was a fully elaborated system of computation revealed to the priesthood of the early Races by the Elder Brothers and Spiritual Teachers of mankind (a volume might easily be written substantiating this statement. but Its truth is so self-evident to all who have investigated the subject that we do not consider it necessary to present further evidence than is contained in this volume).

"The symbol was the origin of measures, shadowing forth creative law or design. Reflection becomes more involved when it is considered that the power of expression of the law, exactly, by numbers clearly defining a system, was not the accident of the language, but was its very essence, and of its primary organic construction; therefore, neither the language, nor the mathematical system attaching to it, could be of man's invention, unless both were founded upon a prior language which afterwards became obsolete" (from: The Source of Measures, Skinner 204).

No matter how far back into the night of time archeological or other investigations are extended, high stages of civilization are found, each having an elaborate numerical system, where, according to modern scientific theories, only the most primitive conditions might be expected. Even today we find primitive systems existing side by side with the most advanced. They are found, however, only among the sub-races which are not in touch with the highest civilization of their age. Relics of so-called primitive people - the so-called "cave-man" and other degenerate remnants of the earlier sub-races - are no more an index of the stage of development to which mankind as a whole had reached in those bygone days, than the development of the present Bushmen of Australia or the Ainos of Japan are an index to the height to which civilization has reached today. The 2 extremes exist at the same time, if not side by side (for the occult teaching on the origin of Races see the Voice of Isis, Curtiss, Chapter. xii, xv, xvii). The almost incalculable antiquity of elaborate astronomical and numerical systems is sufficiently indicated to sustain the occult teaching by the following quotation:

"Diogenes Laertius carried back the astronomical calculations of the Egyptians to 48,863 years before Alexander the Great. Martianus Capella - corroborates this by telling posterity that the Egyptians had secretly studied Astronomy for over 40,000 years, before they imparted their knowledge of the world. * * * Mr. Proctor shows, in his Myths and Marvels of Astronomy, that the ancient Astronomers had acquired a system of the most accurate Astronomy 2,400 years B.C.; the Hindus date their Kali Yuga from a great periodical conjunction of the Planets thirty-one centuries B.C. * * * Simplicimus, in the sixth century, A. D., writes that he had always heard that the Egyptians had kept astronomical observations and records for a period of 630,000 years. This statement appears to frighten Mr. Gerald Massey, who remarks that: 'If we read this number of years by the month which Euxodus said the Egyptians termed a year, i. e., a course of time, that would still yield the length of two cycles of precession (51,736 years)" (S. Doctrine, I. 712-3).

Herodotus tells us that the Egyptians founded a system of a 12 god theogony. Hence we find in Egypt the duo-decimal system, or method of reckoning by 12, in common use. And it is to the use of that system in the construction of the pyramids, that the origin of the English foot of 12 inches has been traced. Among the early Races the decimal system, or reckoning by 10, was esoteric and known only to the higher Initiates among the priesthood.

"Now, if, on the one hand, the most ancient Indian MSS. show as yet no trace of decimal notation in them, and Max Müller states very clearly that until now he has found but nine letter, the initials of the Sanskrit numerals; on the other hand, we have records as ancient, to supply the wanted proof. We speak of the sculptures and the sacred imagery in the most ancient temples of the Far East" (from: S. Doctrine, I. 386).

The decimal system was held sacred because the priesthood, having received it directly from the Divine Teaahers of mankind and having been taught its sacred significance, understood that in the numbers from 1 to
10 the whole evolution of the Cosmos and of man, the descent of Spirit into matter that matter might be redeemed, together with man's At-one-ment with the Divine, were portrayed and revealed to those who had eyes to see and hearts to understand.

"We know that the decimal system must have been used by mankind of the earliest archaic ares, since the whole astronomical and geometrical portion of the secret sacerdotal language was built upon the number 10 or the combination of the male and female principles. * * * The 10 - being the sacred number of the Universe, was secret and esoteric, both as regards the unit and cipher, or zero, the circle" (Ibidem).

The priesthood knew the dire results of the misuse, perversion, debasement or reversal of any symbol, hence would have saved mankind from all the degradation and suffering which has resulted from the fraudulent manipulation of these sacred symbols by man to acquire personal advance or power at the expense of his fellow men; for example, the acquiring of individual wealth at the expense of the community and mankind in general (i. e., ... the worship of the Beast), in contradistinction to the creation of wealth through agriculture, mining, manufacturing, etc.

We may here mention that one of the most common ways of perverting the potencies of numbers, and perhaps the most insidious and demoralizing in its effects upon mankind, is the use of numbers in games of chance or gambling. It is said that every confirmed gambler has a more or less well developed system which he believes is bound to win. The so-called element of chance as applied to numbers has been demonstrated to be subject to certain laws which bring success for a time, and it is this mysterious property of numbers, which the gambler senses and tries to control, that lures him on to his inevitable ruin. For the law of numbers does not belong to the realm of chance. Numbers are potent factors in the working out of Divine Law, hence no system devised by man for his own aggrandizement or advantage at the expense of others, can ultimately succeed. It may seemingly do so up to a certain point or until the cycle of that particular combination of numbers reverts back to its true rate of vibration or the key-note which belongs to that particular expression of the Divine Law, and fulfills its real mission.

The Law of Numbers, being the law of the progressive manifestation of the Divine Light penetrating Chaos and evolving all manifested things back to ultimate unity, in certain stages may seemingly lend itself to the furtherance of evil, but in the end this will be shown to be but the gathering together of the forces of Chaos (chance) that they may be swept aside, swallowed up and ultimately transmuted into unity.

"Number is, as the great writer (Balzac) thought, an Entity, and, at the same time, a Breath emanating from, what he called God and what we call the ALL, the Breath which alone could organize the physical Cosmos, 'where naught obtains its form but through Diety,' which is an effect of Number" (from S. Doctrine, I. 95.6).

Numbers may be compared to the bones of the body in that they are the framework upon which the superstructure of manifestation is erected. Therefore, even if the study of occult mathematics may seem to some but a study of dry bones, it is as necessary to the occult student as a study of osteology to the medical student. Its study was considered so important by the Greeks, that it, together with physical culture, comprised the entire educational curriculum. Their system of mathematics, however, embraced 4 categories, arithmetic or the laws of numbers; geometry or the laws of plane and solid figures; astronomy, which included astrology, or the laws of both planetary motions and their spiritual and magnetic influences; and, finally, music, under which heading they included harmony, rhythm and poetry, their poetry in turn embracing the history of the world.

In the Bible, from the days of creation to the Apocalypse, great stress is laid upon numbers, especially 3, 4, 7, and 12. In the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, Upanishads, etc., numbers underlie every hymn, and stress is laid upon 1, 3 and 7; the same system upon which Vach or the sacred speech of Zoroaster was built. Hence it is impossible to become an Adept and fully grasp the deep problems of either the Brahmanical, Buddhistic, Zoroastrian or Christian sacred books with out a knowledge of the significance of number.

The power of a mantram or hymn, or a reading from one of the sacred books, varies with the numbers and syllables of the words, the rhythm of the meter and the vibrations of the tones used, in addition to the meaning of the words themselves. This is recognized more or less clearly in all religions, from the chanting of the sacred sentence "Om mani padme hum" of the Hindu and Thibetan monks, the rhythmic reading from Granth Sahib, and the repetition of the sacred name Wahguru of the Sikhs, to the intoning of the service in many branches of the Christian church.

If these various forms of mantra are intoned slowly and with a rhythmic cadence a certain effect is produced; if quickly and sharply quite a different effect results. These effects, being founded upon the laws of vibration, are not imaginary nor merely the result of suggestion upon especially sensitive persons. The nerves are like the strings of a musical instrument and try to respond and adjust themselves to the vibrations playing upon them, and the effects are plainly apparent both upon the mind and the emotions. This is the secret of the soothing and healing power of music, as well as the stimulating effect of martial airs.

Since all things manifest according to the laws of numbers and vibration, everything can be made to respond to these laws. Hence, one who has gained the mastery over his voice, or as the occultist would say, can command the "Army of the Voice" is master over all. This is the only true magic, "Know thyself". Know the key-note of that which you desire, harmonize yourself with it and then sound it.

"God geometrizes"
is an ancient occult axiom which cryptically expresses the fact that all manifestations of God, life, nature, as they come into objectivity from subjectivity, flow along geometrical lines and follow geometrical, laws.

"It is an interesting fact that the superior metals crystallize at the angle or complemental angle of a regular polygon. If they sometimes followed one form and sometimes another we should not recognize them for what they are. We depend for the fidelity of our perceptions upon the integrity of the Great Geometer. * * * If we steadily regard the geometry of Nature in the same patient and sincere manner as did Hipparchus, Ptolemy, Kepler, Tycho, Newton, Kelvin, and others we shall probably come to the conclusion that number, as expressed in geometrical relations, is the most intimate expression of the Soul of things" (from: The Kabala of Numbers, Sepharial, II, 23-7).

Each such expression has its number, rate of vibration or wave-length, its sound, color and form, and its own place in the Grand Plan or scheme of the universe. This is as true of the forces which create a world as of those which create a snow crystal. As we have said elsewhere: "All Nature-shapes can be traced back to and analyzed into simple geometrical figures:▢O just as all musical notes produce characteristic designs when made to pass through sand or other suitable material" (Ibidem).

"Thus the evolution and correlation of the mysteries of Kosmos, of its growth and development - spintual and physical, abstract and concrete - were first recorded in geometrical changes of shape" (from: Voice of Isis, 357).

In view of the above facts, some understanding of the origin and significance of numbers and geometrical forms is necessary to the larger conception of divine manifestation, whether in man, nature or the universe. For numbers are not arbitrary symbols, but constitute a sacred science, its symbols being generated by the manifestation of all nature and the Cosmos itself, as we shall endeavor to show herein.

End of part I

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