Home » Letters » Should Buddhists Be Bothered By Numbers?

Question: As a Buddhist, should I be bothered by my house number? Is it right to believe in numerology? I have read a lot about it and it is affecting my thinking.

Answer: The Buddha banned monastics and even lay training Bodhisattvas from fortune-telling – probably because it offers no clear path to enlightenment, while clashing systems each claim to be true. There is a saying that even if one believes in say astrology, the question is which astrologer to believe in! We might as well focus wholeheartedly on learning and practice of the Dharma, which definitely improves our lives.

In the first place, when you picked up on numerology, there was already some thinking that it might make sense. So, the more you read on it, the more you might think it makes sense. Yet, there are DIFFERENT numerology systems, which can be in conflict with one another. This is where your confusion comes in – in trying to make sense of them collectively. However, there is no need for confusion at all, as it simply means they do NOT make sense TOGETHER.

So is there any truth to any particular system of numerology? Scientists have yet to find any strong proof. Even numerologists and its adherents have yet to offer strong proof to scientists for verification. If there is solid proof, it would had made news headlines worldwide already. There has been, after all, thousands of years offered for proving already.

A broad sense of apparent ‘accuracy’ in describing this or that means it is not definitive, which is so for most fortune-telling systems too. For example, though many try to be agreeable with the supposed virtues of their star sign, if they read the virtues of  another star sign, they might seem to apply too. ‘Accurate’ cases tend to be highlighted as case-studies while inaccurate ones swept under the carpet.

However, we do know that ATTACHMENT and AVERSION to this or that number(s) do self-create some sense of attachment and aversion to this or that associated with the number(s) accordingly – to that extent affecting one’s life, by ‘offering’ hope or dread accordingly.

To summarise, there is no proof that numerology works – other than to the extent that one feels it does psychologically, which might in turn affect real life. But why let arbitrary numbers dictate your life’s well-being, when the true culprits of unhappiness remain as the three poisons of attachment, aversion and delusion? These are what we should deal with instead of numbers.

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