Twelve …

Sunday, a friend posted a video on Facebook offering Twelve Tough Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit.  To me, it seemed to pretty much summarize how I’d like to live my life.    Here it is, in case you are interested.

Hmm, my Inner Mystic thought as we watched it.  There’s that number again.  Twelve truths.  Twelve Steps.  Twelve apostles.  Twelve days of Christmas.  Twelve months in a year.  I wonder if there’s any numerological significance to the number twelve.

I Googled the number Twelve while my Inner Mathematician muttered, Numerology?  You have to be kidding.  On Wikipedia, I discovered that twelve is a sublime number.  

See? my Inner Mystic said.

Read on, said my Inner Mathematician.  A sublime number is one that has a perfect number of divisors, and the sum of its divisors is also a perfect number, Wikipedia continued.  See, its math not numerology, my Inner Mathematician gloated.

My Inner Mystic, less arrogant than my Inner Mathematician and always interested in learning something asked, So, What’s a perfect number?   

That’s easy, My Inner Mathematician said, sneaking a peek at Wikipedia.  In number theory, a perfect number is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors, that is, the sum of its positive divisors excluding the number itself.   

Huh? said my Inner Mystic.

Let me show you, My Inner Mathematician said, happy to be the expert.  The number 6 has the proper positive divisors 1,2, and 3.  The sum 1+2+3 is 6, so 6 is a perfect number.  Got it?

So far, said my Inner Mystic.

Now, said my Inner Mathematician, 12 has 6 divisors 1,2,3,4,6 and 12 and 1+2+3+4+6+12 = 28.   Since the proper positive divisors of 28 are 1,2,4,7 and 14 and 1+2+4+7+14=28, 28 is also a perfect number.   That’s what makes 12 a sublime number.

OK, said my Inner Mystic, sounding disappointed.  That doesn’t sound sublime to me. 

My Inner Mathematician continued.   This will blow your mind.  There are only 2 known sublime numbers, 12 and 6086555670238378989670371734243169622657830773351885970528324860512791691264.

That’s cool, I admit, said my Inner Mystic, thinking to himself, and rather uselessBut it doesn’t explain why the number 12 shows up in so many important places.  Did you know that the number 12 appears 187 places in the Bible?

No, I didn’t know that, my Inner Mathematician replied.  It’s used 121,230 times in the Orange County Phone Book.  So what?  Are you going to worship the phone company?

Don’t you ever wonder about things? my Inner Mystic said.  About things that can’t be explained?

I wonder what you do around here, my Inner Mathematician said, laughing.  Every day, Oldereyes uses me in his work.

I keep life from being boring, my Inner Mystic said.  I give him a sense of wonder, a sense of awe.  I remind him that there’s more to the world than things.  He uses me every day to find a purpose in life.

My Inner Mathematician scratched his head.  I don’t get it, he said.

That’s OK, my Inner Mystic said.   I didn’t understand all that number stuff either.  But it was interesting talking to you.  See you around.

Yeah, later, my Inner Mathematician answered.  I gotta go solve a differential equation.

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