Heavenly Numbers

Numbers and order are related. This is why mathematics is able to tell us a great deal about the structure of the universe. While in the spiritual world, Swedenborg discovered that numbers contain even more Heavenly mysteries and meaning than words or letters:

I have also seen writings from heaven made up of mere numbers set down in order and in a series, just as in writings made up of letters and words; and I have been taught that this writing is from the inmost heaven, and that their heavenly writing, when the thought from it flows down, is set forth before the angels of the lower heavens in numbers, and that this numerical writing likewise involves arcana, some of which can neither be comprehended by thought nor expressed by words. For all numbers correspond, and have a meaning, the same as words do, in accordance with the correspondence; yet with the difference that in numbers generals are involved, and in words particulars; and as one general involves innumerable particulars, so more arcana are involved in numerical writing than in literal writing. Emanuel Swedenborg [HH 263]

Now, while the domain of mathematics may represent the whole realm of mind and idea, only certain ideas are rational, harmonic or True. Heaven within our mind is organized according to the harmonic proportions or spiritual ratios of Divine Order. Thus, within the whole realm of mind, all those ideas that are not harmonic or rational are in disorder because they subsist outside of the rational order of Heaven.

If the universe is continually involving and evolving according to Divine Order, there should be evidence of this order in the natural world. For example, in the world of plants, it is known that plants grow according to phyllotaxis. Plants and leaves grow and arrange themselves in spirals. This order by which plants grow can also be represented by a mathematical sequence of numbers:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, ….

This is otherwise known as the Fibonacci sequence. This sequence is essentially a fractal obtained from the equation:

Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2

In fact, most everything in the universe is involving and evolving in accordance with Divine Order. We can see that this order can be represented by a mathematical sequence of numbers. On the macrocosmic level, we can also notice a similar order in the shape of spiral galaxies. We can even display the toroidal vortex of Love as a sequence of numbers:

On the level of atoms and molecules, this order is displayed as the double helix of DNA molecules. Our whole human molecular structure is comprised of billions and billions of spirals or vortices of DNA molecules. In fact, the human genome or blueprint of our DNA is also an organized sequence. This sequence is a blueprint of our human organization; it embeds the whole evolution of life on earth, the sinful past of our human ancestors, as well as our own personal history. And since this order or sequence is in correspondence with our mind and will, it can be modified in some way. Through repentance and spiritual temptations, we are able to change the order or organization of our being and, by correspondence, the order of our DNA. This is how we are able to heal.

Now, if we assume that these trillions of helices of DNA that comprise our human structure are in correspondence with Heavenly order and that the human order is the most complex and evolved order in nature then we are able to obtain an even more accurate and concrete idea about the structure of Heaven. Heavenly Order must be synonymous with the human structure or form. This is probably why Swedenborg discovered that Heaven was in the human form. Every healthy organic cell in our biological body is in correspondence with a society of angels in Heaven. In fact, this is why our human body is structured according to the Golden Ratio or Divine Proportion.

To be human is to be loving, rational and useful because human beings are evolving as a reflected image of God (Divine Love, Wisdom and Power). The human spiritual, psychological and physical structure is an image of Heaven or the spiritual body of God.

The perfection of heaven increases according to its numbers, is evident from its form, according to which its associations are disposed in order, and its communications flow, for it is the most perfect of all; and in proportion to the increase of numbers in that most perfect form, there is given a direction and consent of more and more to unity, and therefore a closer and a more unanimous conjunction; the consent and the conjunction derived from it increase from numbers, for everything is there inserted as a mediate relation between two or more, and what is inserted confirms and conjoins. The form of heaven is like the form of the human mind, the perfection of which increases according to the increase of truth and good, from whence are its intelligence and wisdom. The form of the human mind, which is in heavenly wisdom and intelligence, is like the form of heaven, because the mind is the least image of that form; hence it is, that on all sides there is a communication of the thoughts and affections of good and truth in such men, and in angels, with surrounding societies of heaven; and an extension according to the increase of wisdom, and thus according to the plurality of the knowledges of truth implanted in the intellect and according to the abundance of the affections of good implanted in the will; and therefore in the mind, for the mind consists of the intellect and the will. The human and angelic mind is such that it may be infilled to eternity, and as it is infilled, so it is perfected; and this is especially the case, when man is led by the Lord, for he is then introduced into genuine truths, which are implanted in his intellect, and into genuine goods, which are implanted in his will, for the Lord then disposes all things of such a mind into the form of heaven, until at length it is a heaven in the least form. From this comparison, which is a true parallel, it is evident, that the increasing number of the angels perfects heaven. Moreover, every form consists of various parts; a form which does not consist of various parts, is not a form, for it has no quality, and no changes of state; the quality of every form results from the arrangement of various things within it, from their mutual relation, and from their consent to unity, from which every form is considered as one; such a form, in proportion to the multitude of the various things arranged within it, is the more perfect, for every one of them, as was said above, confirms, corroborates, conjoins, and so perfects. Emanuel Swedenborg [LJ 12]

Image credits: M101 galaxy: NASA;
Torus: Marko Rodin