Yes, you read that correctly. Resolution, singular. The truth is it’s very difficult to get much work done when the rest of you are on holiday. It’s lazy of me, admittedly, but your leisurely high spirits permeate the atmosphere, afflicting even the most industrious of economics bloggers. So, be warned, if it wasn’t already obvious, that the economic content of this post will be near zero. Step off now if frivolity is not your thing.
Now, it’s undeniable that last year a grueling regime of resolutions was established. In practice, however, few of these resolutions were faithfully observed much beyond mid January. This raises the logical and – let’s pretend – profound question, why bother? Accordingly, this year there is to be one and only one resolution:
To be frivolous on New Year’s Day.
True, there is much turmoil in the world: starvation, child labor, extreme inequality and the impoverishment of many, an ever encroaching police-state apparatus, impending ecological doom. But let’s have the courage to be frivolous. Maybe this will reveal some answers, though perhaps not to the questions we should be posing.
Gematria, when applied to the English language (e.g. The Pythagorean Formula — Pi & the English Alphabet), assigns numerical values to letters of the alphabet. In one variant, the values are as follows:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The rationale, in line three, for stepping up from 1 to 7 and then stepping back down to 1 may be connected to the Book of Genesis in which God “rested” on the seventh day, or maybe it is related to the seven chakras, the first six requiring work to activate whereas the seventh is said to be opened effortlessly.
The values of words can be obtained by adding the numbers assigned to their individual letters. For example, pi can be regarded as embedded in the language because the word “seven” has a value 22 and pi is approximately 22 divided by 7. Note, though, that the value of the word “pi” is 8, whereas it should be 3.14159…. By adding the first three digits of pi, we are somewhat appeased: 3 + 1 + 4 = 8. Evidently approximations in English are only good to two decimal places.
If we wonder why the world is in the state it is, the thought occurs that too many people must be praying to “God”, which has the unlucky value 13. It does not help to substitute “Lord”, which gives the same unlucky 13. To appeal to the “Lord God” would only seem to invite double trouble.
We could substitute “Jesus”, the “Father” or the “Mother”. “Jesus” has a value of 27 (3 cubed), which points to the doctrine of the Trinity, as does the number of books in the protestant New Testament. But to pray to Jesus would seem to go against some biblical instructions, though not others, posing a risk of scriptural misinterpretation and, knowing our luck, eternal damnation. Adding to the confusion, not all scholars are convinced that a person corresponding to the character Jesus actually existed. Perhaps, whether symbolic or really existing, the purpose of Jesus was to show the “way” (value 7) to the “Father”, in which case we might find ourselves missing the point or praying to nothing.
If Gematria is to be trusted, a favorite beverage of many, “coffee”, would appear to serve equally well as a recipient of prayer and daily ritual, considering it shares with Jesus the numerical value 27. This would seem to sidestep any doctrinal confusion nicely. Unfortunately, there would remain the risk of offending the “Father”, whose numerical value 30 (3 x 10) also points to the Trinity (kind of, in a halfhearted way), or the “Mother”, whose numerical value 26 doesn’t seem to point to anything other than double trouble. In other words, we might still end up in hell. Of course, the Mother and Father might not exist either, but then we’d be off scot free and all of the above would be moot.
To avoid unlucky 13 without risking disobedience, it might seem that seeking the God within would be safer:
“Who is God?”
“I am.” (Exodus 3:13-14, abridged)
Since “I am” has value 7, this looks promising. In “I am”, “am” is in the present tense first-person singular, which according to some points to the single “I”, or “single eye”, the pineal gland. (“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Matthew 6:22-23) Sadly, when it is recalled from the ten commandments that we are not to have any god before “me”, which has value 6, the perceived progress turns out to be illusory. The “I am” within “me” is 7 plus 6, and we are once again weighed down by unlucky 13.
But let’s look within anyway. Self obsession is surely a more enjoyable pastime than externalizing. We will just have to take our chances. Accordingly, I will extend three hearty cheers to the person who can come up with the weirdest numerical coincidences (or are they?) in their own lives.
Here are a couple of examples of my own to get you started:
The value for my full name, including middle name, is 77. The value for my birth date, spelled out in words, is also 77. Quite freaky.
Since I favor a “job or income guarantee” and, as far as possible, “voluntary association”, Gematria would seem to suggest political views that align most closely with “libertarian socialism”. Each of these have a value of 70.