It’s hard to imagine a world without numbers. The square footage of your house, the rent or mortgage payment, the weight you see on your bathroom scale are all examples of lower mathematics, while the GPS that guides your travels, your smartphone, and sending a space probe to Saturn are examples of higher mathematics.
Yet the Pyramids and the Parthenon needed only lower math, little more than a few basic equations and the ability to count.
It seems absurd to call numbers a problem; they are too useful in every aspect of life. But if you aspire to go beyond your present state of consciousness, if you want to be happier, to find love, or to know yourself, mathematics is not only useless, it blocks the way. It traps you in an illusion and deepens the illusion in radical ways.
Believe it or not, anything you can count, weigh, calculate, or measure is part of an all-embracing illusion—to grasp this fact will put you on the threshold to the “real” reality and your place in it.
I mean illusion in the most common sense of the word, the way a dream is an illusion. Imagine that you are dreaming one night, and inside your dream you can use numbers, measure things, and even pursue science. Obviously the ability to do these things would reassure you of the reality of your dream. But once the bubble is burst and you wake up, all the counting, measuring, and doing science would become instantly irrelevant.
Do you think this example doesn’t apply after you wake up? It does. To burst the bubble of numbers and the illusion they create, here are a few facts about the nature of a basic property of Nature, namely, light.
Photons, the elementary particles of light, are invisible and have no brightness whatsoever.
Light has two incompatible states, as a particle and a wave. Both can be measured, but how one state turns into another is a total mystery. We only can observe that it happens.
Color as a perception cannot be explained. Why red is red has nothing to do with its frequency or wavelength, any more than the sweet taste of sugar Is explained by counting the carbon atoms in a sugar molecule.
No one has the slightest idea why light exists in the first place.
The visual images you see in your mind’s eye cannot be explained by examining the brain.
The brain’s visual cortex has no pictures in it; indeed, it is totally dark and devoid of light.
If not shocked, I hope you are at least surprised to read these facts. What ties them together is one thing, a thing that marks the ultimate and total failure of mathematics: consciousness. Your consciousness gives light its brightness and color, creates images in our mind, and experiences the world as a theater of events in time and space.