In 1982, when I was living in Los Angeles, I went to bed several hours early one night, at about 9 p.m.
I was sleeping soundly when all of a sudden I awoke and sat upright as if lifted by an invisible giant hand. My head turned to the left, as if it were compelled by some unknown force, until I was staring at my digital clock.
The clock read 11:11.
Whatever had just happened was beyond my comprehension. I stayed up all night trying to make sense of it.
The next morning at work, I was at my desk keying some code into a computer terminal when, for absolutely no reason, I turned around and glanced at the digital clock on the far wall of the office. Once again, it was 11:11.
This 1111 phenomenon has continued with me ever since. Millions of people around the world have had the same "eleven-eleven" encounter. A Google Internet search on this mystical experience will yield 123 million hits.
Psychic Uri Geller is also obsessed with 1111. "I believe that people who have constant contact with the 1111 phenomena have some type of a positive mission to accomplish," he claims on his Web site.
My positive mission for this week is to point out that other numbers have "mystical" significance as well.
Numerology is the practice of converting letters into numbers, reducing them to a single digit and finding meaning in the results. This goes back to Pythagorean concepts in ancient Greece. In the Greek and Hebrew alphabets, letters also represent numbers. Chinese tradition also has a history of numerology.
In the English alphabet, letter a = 1, b = 2, c = 3, etc., starting over at 1 after 9. Thus my name, Bret Lee Burquest, would be 2 + 9 + 5 + 2 + 3 + 5 + 5 + 2 + 3 + 9 + 8 + 3 + 5 + 1 + 2 = 64. But since everything must be reduced to a single digit, 6 + 4 = 10, and 1 + 0 = 1. Therefore, the sum of the letters of my full name equals one.
In classical numerology, the sum of the letters of your full name is your destiny; the sum of the vowels is your subconscious (soul) desire; and the sum of your date of birth is your birth path (lessons to be learned).
My destiny = 1. To become an individualist, originator, pioneer, creator, leader.
My subconscious (soul) desire = 8. Are intellectual and analytical with a desire to be a leader (not a follower).
My birth path (lesson to be learned) = 9. Must learn to be tolerant, sensitive, sympathetic, generous.
In other words, I'm a loner with a desire to rule the world who needs to be more selfless. No doubt about it.
There was a recent movie based on the number 23, starring Jim Carrey, who was born at 2:30 p.m. and named his production company JC23. The recent TV series LOST also had the number 23 as a major theme. The Earth has a 23 degree tilt and it takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate in the body. The Discordian religion, based on the theory that chaos is good, believes that all events are connected to the number 23.
I have a friend in Minnesota who is obsessed with the number 42. According to "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," 42 is the answer to the meaning of everything. The numbers on the TV series LOST were 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. It's also the number of months the Beast in Revelation (13:5) will hold dominion over the earth. But for my friend in Minnesota, who doesn't read very much and has never seen LOST on TV, 42 is probably his IQ.
In the Book of Revelation (13:17-18), 666 is the "number of the Beast," an antagonistic creature within the apocalyptic vision of the end times. Many people believe this refers to Satan. It's also the sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel and the sum of the squares of the first seven prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17).
Seven is believed to be a lucky number. There are seven days in a week, seven wonders of the ancient world, seven hills of Rome, seven virtues, seven deadly sins, seven pillars of wisdom and the seven-year itch.
One is the loneliest number, at least according to the song with the same title. That's why I have a dog and an invisible friend named Earl. But I still get lonely on occasion because my dog plays with Earl more than he plays with me.
Well, it's 11:11 p.m. right now. Time to end this nonsense and take the dog outside. We use the same tree.
Tomorrow, I'll wake up at 11:11 a.m. and wonder why my seven-year itch has turned into a 23-year itch.