What is so magical about the decimal number system? Why is the number ten so important? It must be deeper than the number of fingers on our two hands: there are so many areas of ancient and/or mystical teachings that rely on groupings of the order of ten (the most obvious in my mind being the Kabbalistic Tree of Life). The one of particular interest for this article, however, is a system that arose in the last century. It may be much more ancient, but I have not determined its origins. I am referring to the numerological system of "life purpose" as revealed by Dan Millman in The Life You Were Born to Live (see right).
My roommate introduced me to this book through his personal email journal, and his basic opinion was that it described the struggles he faces in his life with shocking accuracy – based exclusively on his birthday. I am a very skeptical/critical person, and I am not unfamiliar with astrology and numerology and their frequently vague (but potentially useful) insights, but I immediately borrowed the book and read through all the sections pertaining to my birthday, and yet again, it was accurate to the point of being nearly disturbing. Next, my girlfriend read it only to find yet again accurate results. Even the "composite number" for our relationship was surprisingly on-target. There truly is something special about this book.
The purpose of this article, however, is not to boost sales of this remarkable book. The objective is to share some observations about what might make such a system work. This may not make much sense if you have not read the book. However, a willingness to read such a potentially profitable book is a prerequisite for such a level of wisdom in the first place. The basic strategy is as follows, but you cannot possibly benefit in any real way from this summary without having read the book:
To clarify, here is an example of the process:
The book then explains your purpose for finding fulfillment in life from the final number (eleven in the example). For a numeric birthday-based interpretation to work, several presiding conditions/effects accompany:
The base (actually radix) of the number system (arabic ten in this instance) must be 1 more than the number of elements in the base set of character influences. From a trimmed-down perspective, this means that to use the base 10 arabic number system, there must be exactly 9 unique options for personal influence categories, with a total of 10 including an additive identity (zero). I am not saying that 1-9 form the base of the natural number system; I am creating a metaphor where 1-9 form the base of the scope of human existence. Note that Millman's system has 9 such purposes, and the additive identity (zero) is defined as "inner gifts." Any two-digit number produced is a combination of the influences of the component parts.
Christ's birth would have to have occurred at the beginning of one of the 9-year cycles referred to near the end of Millman's book: at the end of a 9th year and the beginning of a 1-year. Obviously through the use of the Gregorian calendar which numbers from the time of Christ's birth, there is no choice but for the first year after Christ to be the first in the cycle of nine. It's quite clear mathematically that no matter what year Christ was born, Millman could just change his labels as long as he preserved the respective order of his yearly entries. However, the individual birth numbers would no long work. You cannot shift the life purposes modulo 9 and just preserve the order, because they are intricately linked due to the digit summation. Mathematically, you cannot preserve just the order because the digit summation is not occurring modulo 9 (or even a multiple of 9) in a base 10 number system.
The density of variance of human experience in general would have to be decreasing, but the overall potential for human experience is increasing. For example, as of A.D. 880, the minimum first number value is 8+8+1+1 = 18 (01/01/880). A number less than 16 is not possible until A.D. 900, producing a minimum of 18/9 (01/01/880) and a maximum of 46/10 (09/29/899), with the spike in the middle of 45/9 (09/29/889). This of course notably limits what human experiences are possible for those born in those 20 years. However, nearly eight thousand years later, once A.D. 8800 arrives, a number less than 16 is not possible for 200 years rather than 20, when A.D. 9000 hits. Note, however, that the actual variance in that range is a bit higher; the maximum first number in those 200 years is 55/10 (09/29/8999), with a spike in the middle of 54/9 (09/29/8999). Again for the millennia A.D. 88000-89000, the minimum is 18/9 (01/01/88000), the maximum is 64/10 (09/29/89999), with the spike in the middle of 63/9 (09/29/88999), and of course other spikes in the years 89899, 89989, and 89998. So for numbers like 84/12 to be reached, many millennia will have to be waited out, and in that time period, as the potential for higher numbers increases, the likelihood of lower numbers decreases.
The capability of your actual day in a year of birth to affect your experience is very gradually decreasing. For example, in the first century A.D., the highest possible number was 39 (09/29/199). Notice that 20 of that sum came from the day and month, giving it just over 50% of the influence in the first number. Down the road a few millennia, in the century A.D. 8800, the year alone constitutes at least 16 of the sum, but the month and day can never contribute more than 20. So as time goes on, more and more of the time will be spent with the years contributing more of the influence in the generation of the number.
No matter how much the overall rates may slow on the grand scheme of things, the general variance within each generation should be constant across generations. Even though the maximum first number could be 98 someday, the minimum number for that century would be about 62. Since the most the actual month and day can vary is 18 (minimum of 2 and maximum of 20), and the most the year can vary in any given century is 18 (0-9 for each digit in a 2-digit number for a century of variance), as long as a concurrent human generation exists for approximately (or less than) 100 years, the general variance remains the same.
Some of these points exist to help put in scope the overall direction of humanity, while others exist to question the origin and nature of this system of numerology. Please leave comments if you have any ideas to share or clarifications/corrections to offer.