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Keith Tse


  • Writer's pictureKeith Tse

Meaning of numbers (19): symmetrical numerical sequences

I mentioned before that success and failure may hang by a thread and it is the fine margins and small differences that ultimately count (annoyingly). Numerically, I have assimilated this to the numerical sequence: 7-8-9 where a propitious number eight 8 is sandwiched between two bad ones (seven 7 and nine 9, at least in Cantonese terms). I have had some nice experiences with this, so I am fully aware of how Odysseus felt when he sailed between Scylla and Charybdis. There is another sequence which seems to be the anti-type of this: 3-4-5 where a bad number four 4 occurs between two neutral numbers (there is no particular reason why three 3 and five 5 should be regarded as favourable, though one might consider the fact that their sum (3+5=8) is, which may validate their ‘membership’ into the ‘good numbers club’). While I have been trying to obtain all things eight 8 by avoiding seven 7 and nine 9, I have been doing the exact opposite with four 4 and have always tried to ‘misfire’ in the lower region and land on three 3 and five 5 instead. One must be aware of the bad technological quirks on devices where two commands take place jerkily (which may indicate that one’s device is losing its former glory and is on its way towards replacement). I hate it when I am doing eight tasks on my laptop and suddenly I get switched back to seven or nine, and I love it when dealing with four tasks I get pulled back to three or five, like a magnetic force pulling me out to safety. 3-4-5 and 7-8-9 are therefore two symmetrical numerical sequences, and it is interesting that they are separated by four 4, an ill-omened numerical unit that may, paradoxically, flip the coin and yield success, like in ancient Graeco-Roman religion where life and death have a mutually complementary and hence cyclic relationship. May we all hit eight 8 and miss four 4 in all our endeavours.

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