New & Forthcoming
Directions & Parking
Shipping & Returns
The Mystery of Numbers (New)
by Schimmel, Annemarie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Book ID: 9780195089196, 0195089197
Please inquire for availability
Why is the number seven lucky--even holy--in almost every culture? Why do we speak of the four corners of the earth? Why do cats have nine lives (except in Iran, where they have seven)? From literature to folklore to private superstitions, numbers play a conspicuous role in our daily lives. But in this fascinating book, Annemarie Schimmel shows that numbers have been filled with mystery and meaning since the earliest times, and across every society.
In The Mystery of Numbers Annemarie Schimmel conducts an illuminating tour of the mysteries attributed to numbers over the centuries. She begins with an informative and often surprising introduction to the origins of number systems: pre-Roman Europeans, for example, may have had one based on twenty, not ten (as suggested by the English word "score" and the French word for 80, quatrevingt --four times twenty), while the Mayans had a system more sophisticated than our own. Schimmel also reveals how our fascination with numbers has led to a rich cross-fertilization of mathematical knowledge: "Arabic" numerals, for instance, were picked up by Europe from the Arabs, who had earlier adopted them from Indian sources ("Algorithm" and "algebra" are corruptions of the Arabic author and title names of a mathematical text prized in medieval Europe). But the heart of the book is an engrossing guide to the symbolism of numbers. Number symbolism, she shows, has deep roots in Western culture, from the philosophy of the Pythagoreans and Platonists, to the religious mysticism of the Cabala and the Islamic Brethren of Purity, to Kepler's belief that the laws of planetary motion should be mathematically elegant, to the unlucky thirteen.
After exploring the sources of number symbolism, Schimmel examines individual numbers ranging from one to ten thousand, discussing the meanings they have had for Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions, with examples from Indian, Chinese, and Native American cultures as well. Two, for instance, has widely been seen as a number of contradiction and polarity, a number of discord and antithesis. And six, according to ancient and neo-platonic thinking, is the most perfect number because it is both the sum and the product of its parts (1+2+3=6 and 1x2x3=6). Using examples ranging from the Bible to the Mayans to Shakespeare, she shows how numbers have been considered feminine and masculine, holy and evil, lucky and unlucky.
A highly respected scholar of Islamic culture, Annemarie Schimmel draws on her vast knowledge to paint a rich, cross-cultural portrait of the many meanings of numbers. Engaging and accessible, her account uncovers the roots of a phenomenon we all feel every Friday the thirteenth.
Deconstructing Gurdjieff: Biography of a Spiritual Magician
Inner Traditions / Bear & Company
In November 1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright announced the death of "the greatest man in the world," yet few knew who he was talking about. Enigmatic, misunderstood, declared a charlatan, and recently dubbed "the Rasputin who inspired Mary Poppins," Gurdjieff's life has become a legend. But who really was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff?
Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences of the real man, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath th...
Gnosis 19: The Trickster. A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions
"As long as we lie to ourselves, the Trickster will be with us.
He'll show up just when we least want him, to embarrass us on a
first date, to prove us fools in front of the learned company
we're trying to impress, to make us miss a power breakfast with
that all-important business contact."
- Richard Smoley, from the introduction
Contents -- Spring 1991
Grimoire of the Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways.
Three Hands Press
As the governor of the Dead and the burial ground, the Baron Samedi is one of the most distinctive and potent loa of Haitian Vodou. An imposing figure in black raiment, he is most often pictured as a corpse. His other magical domains, less discussed in esoteric literature, include disruption, obscenity and -- importantly for the practicing sorcerer -- not only the arts of Magic but the very fabric of which it is made.
Emergent from the spiritual crossroads of traditional Vodou and English w...
The Complete Mystical Records of Dr. John Dee: Transcribed from the 16th-Century Manuscripts Documen
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
A lavishly packaged, two-volume box set containing the most faithful and accurate versions of John Dee's journals ever published. This is a must-have treasure for Dee aficionados and esoteric scholars who absolutely need the most meticulously detailed version of these highly influential works. A labor of love twenty years in the making, these volumes include transcripts of four manuscripts from the British Library and one from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Two of these manuscripts have never b...More