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Saturday, June 12, 2010

My New Super-Cool Religion: Numbers!

I want to talk to you today about something very important: numbers. Numbers area everywhere: 8 slices in a pizza, 13 of whatever in a bakers dozen, 12 condoms in a box. Numbers are used in branding a company too: 7-11, Store 24, and the First Bank of any random number of Robber Barons. But do you know who has maximized the marketing potential of numbers? Religion.

Think about it. Regardless of the faith, numbers are thrown around: Twelve Disciples, 5 Pillars of Islam (profession of faith, prayers, fasting, giving to the poor, and travelling to Mecca), and who can forget the Buddha's Four Noble Truths  - Acknowledgement of suffering, Cause of Suffering, Cessation of Suffering, and the Eightfold Path. The Buddhists really kicked ass here. The last of their Four Noble Truths dovetails right into the Eightfold Path. What is the first step of the Eightfold Path? It's the understanding of the Four Noble Truths! Brilliant.

Sure, numbers are catchy but they serve another purpose - they make people feel like they're smart. Scientists have all kinds of numbers and equations like E=mc2; mathematicians have their rational and irrational numbers, but all those numbers pale in comparison to the numbers that the faithful have. The faithful have GOD numbers. Divine numbers kick the crap out of earthly numbers. Maybe you can't send people to the moon with God numbers or figure how to make change at the supermarket (don't worry - the cash register will figure it out) but are those non-God numbers going to get you into the Celestial Candy Mountain that is the afterlife? No!

Not all the faithful fully utilize numbers. There seem to be 3 (Ha! another number) discrete levels of mastery of God Numbers.
  • ACOLYTE - Numbers are simple for example: There is No God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. See? Easy-peezy, there is one god and one Mohammed. Simple. What? You've got problems in your life? You just have to follow The Way or Jesus or some other singular piece of gobbledygook. This is the way they hook you in - make the nonsense sound simple.
  • INTERMEDIATE - Things get a bit more complicated: The Eight Beatitudes, Christianity is monotheistic - yet we have three gods in One, and of course the Ten Commandments. You can still master this level without having some kind of autistic-Rain Man focus on numerology.
  • PRIEST/IMAM/RABBI (otherwise known as bat shit crazy level) - Here you are in deep- way deep. At this point you have numbers coming out of every orifice. In 1756 Rev. Alan Butler counted  1,486 Saints (click here for reference)! If you're a Muslim there are 114 Surah (chapters) in the Koran and some people memorize ALL of them. Angels dancing on the head of the pin, Orders of Angels (7 in Christianity), kinds of Demons and Devils - all of these numbers ensure a complete dedication to whichever Sky Fairy you're into. Divine numbers are like a computer viruses slowly taking over the frontal lobe of your brain and relinquishing it to a warehouse of useless crap.
I'm not sure what my final New Super-Cool Religion is going to be, but I can tell you it's gonna have numbers.

What? You didn't read my first installment of My New Super-Cool Religion? Click here to check it out.

1 comment:

  1. This is not a religion for me. Outside of simple math I suck at numbers.

    ReplyDelete

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