22 Nov


vardhamana mahāvīra

vardhamana mahāvīra


Don’t be so quick as to think that 2 + 2 = 4.

What did he just say?

He must be a little whack-a-doodle.

“Cuckoo- Cuckoo – Cuckoo”

I said 2 + 2 is not necessarily equal to 4.

Indeed! A bit cracked, zany, outrageous.

Well how about factorials?

5! = 5 X 4 X 3 X 2 X 1 = 120

So what are you going to do

bore us to death with math?

No. Just using pure logic

to disprove pure logic.

Proceed my good man.

Well – – – look at this.

It supposedly represents a numeric series

like the above; each number ‘n’ is multiplied

by all the numbers before it to form ‘n!’.

We already did 5! above. Now lets do 3!.

3 X 2 X 1 = 6       not so hard; was it?

And your point is – – – ?

My point is  – – –  well – – –

just compare the ‘n’ column

with the ‘n!’ column.

See anything strange?

n          n!

0          1

1          1

2          2

3          6

4          24

5          120

– – – and so on and so forth.


Why are 0! and 1! both equal to 1?

You got me. It’s your post.

It is illogical unless there is some other

action taking place that is not obvious.

I believe it is “by definition.”

Please go on.

It is just like 2 + 2.

It has been defined to us.

You are starting to get a little weird.

Sure am. But let me ask you another question.

Feel free.

And I promise this is the last arithmetic one.

Why, IF a circle is so logical,

so symmetrical

and so cyclical

do we have Pi (π)

being an approximate

(and I say ‘approximate’

because there seems to be

no end)

when stated as the decimal 3.14159 – – -?

However,  if we state it

as the fraction 22/7 then it does

seem logical.

Well, it is just natural.

Yes. I believe you have a point.

The decimal version never ends, or at least

no one has ever found the end.

So Pi or π or 3. 14159 leaves us a little uncomfortable.

Yet 22/7 does not because it appears exact.

So π is as natural as the Universe.

Say what?

Yes, the universe has no definite end.

Therefore we could use π to define

the Universe; or at least as a model

of the Universe.

Where are you going with all of this?

What if someone came up with

another system of mathematics?

Well – – – for one – – – we would

have to create millions of

new books with the new definition.

Enough of the math stuff.

OK, Let us ask a ‘Wittgenstein question’.

A what?

Wittgnstein asked the question

“what would 5 o’clock look like

if you were on the sun.”

That makes no sense.

We would be burned to a crisp.

Yes. But let’s suspend that thought

for just a minute.

I’ll humor you.

But you were correct;

it makes no sense.

No sense, because our time

is based on the movement

of the earth around its axis.

Yes, I can see what you are getting at.

So what time would it be

if I looked at my watch and

it was 5 o’clock and

I was on the sun.

Damned if I know, bloke.

Damned if I know either.

Because the logical answer is

that I am on the sun and yet am using

a snapshot of the rotation of the earth to tell time;

my watch is the snapshot.

I said you were wacka-doodle-doo.

But what if we were

not on the sun

but on another planet where the

sun could be used to tell time.

I think I would have to be some

sort of scientist to determine that.

True, my friend. But time would not

match up with our concept

of time on earth.

So we would have to invent

another method for

dividing up the day?

Yes, the day – – – and the night – – –

if there were such a thing as night.

I am beginning to get your drift.


So, as I asked before,

where are we going

with all of this?

Maybe 1 + 1 = 8

And maybe my mother smokes a pipe.

Maybe she does!

HEY! That’s my mother you’re talking about.

You’re the one that brought it up.

Let’s get back to your crazy math.

Well – – – what if we only had eight fingers?

Well – – – what if you had half a brain?

No, I am serious. What if the number ‘1’

did not represent just one item.

Maybe someplace in some specific

time period (long, long ago)

it represented ‘1’ paw?

And what if that paw only had

three digits and one thumb.

So one paw would equal four digits

and two paws would equal eight digits.

VIOLA!   1 + 1 = eight digits

Yes, but you just changed everything.

We don’t live “long, long ago.”

We live in the present.

But that doesn’t make the logic of

1 + 1 = 8 at some point in time


You are starting to make your point.

So anything could be possible at

some place and some point in time;


If you say so.

Did you know that Rsabha

lived for 8,400,000 years?

Hell, you don’t even know

how to spell Reba;

and she surely isn’t that old.

Rsabha is the first establisher/teacher

of the Jainism of India and the first man

to transcend the life/death cycle.

Ooops. My bad.

And Nemi lived for 1000 years

(the twenty-second man to transcend

the life/death cycle)

and Parsva for 100 years

(the twenty-third man to transcend

the life/death cycle).

At least, now, you are using

the base 10 for counting.

and Mahavira for 72 years?

Now that sounds logical.

and that one specific purva encapsulates

70,560,000,000,000 years?


Jains had the most sophisticated mathematics

even during Shri Adinath Prabhu’s time.

In counting, the scriptures of Jainism;

a ‘Purva’ was used.

A scripture tells time?

No. One purva encapsulates a specific time period.

And there are multiple purvas?


So total Jainism time is the number

of purvas times

70,560,000,000,000 years?

No. Each purva only encapsulates

one specific time period.

And how did the first teacher live to be

8,400,000 years old?

Well he had to go through several

life/death cycles before he was eligible

to leave humanity behind and become

a teacher.

So we don’t get very many teachers do we?

The good thing is that each teacher

leaves us instructions. That makes it

easier for the next teacher who also

leaves behind additional instructions

and so on and so forth.

Pretty interesting.

I thought so.

And that means that the time period

that all the purvas encapsulate

could be defined as ∞ (infinity).

But you said π could represent

the universe.

So π or could represent the Universe

or infinity and also be interchangeable.

I suppose so.

And if the Universe always existed

then π could be God?

You’re dragging the question

into an area I feel

uncomfortable with.

You should feel uncomfortable.

Just because we think the way we do

does not make it so.

At least forever.

Times change.

Languages change.

Meanings change.

And those ideas also

make me feel uncomfortable.

But it is true. Sometimes we have to

abandon ideas if a new idea

presents itself out of the blue.

But why take the leap into the unknown?

Well – – – someone has to do it

so why not fill the void?

Or be ridiculed or put in prison?

Risk has its own rewards.

The joy of discovery for one.

Oh joy!

Catch ya later.

So long.

Try to stay out of

the looney bin.

 © Waldo J. Tomosky


One Response to “NOT SO FAST!”

  1. Waldo "Wally" Tomosky November 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on waldotomosky.

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