Sunday, October 5, 2014

Numbers 3, 9, and 7

The number three has always been a religious symbol for Christians, and represents many important aspects of the religion, such as the Holy Trinity. Dante Alighieri takes this number and uses it to categorize love in three different locations: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. Furthermore, Dante made nine, a multiple of three, circles of Hell, as if to emphasize the importance of the number and his twisting of it in his Divine Comedy. The number nine itself is also important because it relates to the number of mystery of angels, since there are nine choirs of angels. Considering that Lucifer/Satan/King of Hell/Bad Mama Jama was once an angel himself, and may have been a member of one of those choirs, his domain in the ninth level of Hell and Dante’s use of the number gains significance. At this point in time I would like to point out that the nine levels of Hell are not present in the Bible, they were created by Dante. Dante’s use of the number seven, however, serves the same purpose as in the Bible; it counts the number of sins. I wanted to bring up this number because it is considered the number of perfection yet it is also the number of imperfections in human beings. Interestingly enough, the Book of Revelation mentions the number seven as the number of seals that need to be broken to release Satan, further pointing out the strange line this number walks between the sides of good and evil connotations. Number play a large role in the Bible and Dante’s work so if there are any more that you feel need to be discussed then please post a comment.

P.S. I found a LEGO® representation of the 9 levels of Hell, enjoy. Just a disclaimer: some of these are a little graphic, even though they are LEGOs.


Iris Mire said...

LOL this reminds me of the college essay I have to write for UChicago: "What's so odd about odd numbers?" And seriously, what is so odd about numbers? The numbers three and seven particularly are commonly viewed as "good" numbers, whereas six is often considered the "number of the beast." Why do we hate on odd numbers so much? I personally prefer odd numbers.

Sri Korrapati said...

This reminds me of the importance of the number 2 in The Unbearable Lightness of being. The duality they had. Good and Bad, Light and Dark, Light and Heavy, God and Satan, the Sun and the Moon. Couldn't they all be made into magical threes?
Good, Bad, and Relative?
Light, Dark, and Dim?
God, Satan, and Angels?
The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth?
3 is an amazing number. Some of these are stretches but the point is 3.

Sri Korrapati said...

Oh and to Iris:
EVEN NUMBERS ARE THE BEST. It's theoretically symmetrical.