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Keith Tse


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Meaning of numbers (7)- a sequence of two halves

I wrote in a previous blog that numerical sequences can be interpreted to have special meaning, namely the sequence seven 7 – eight 8 – nine 9, in which a propitious number (eight 8) is sandwiched between two unpropitious ones (seven 7, nine 9). I described this sequence as a numerical ‘Scylla and Charybdis’, which is not a bad metaphor. In this blog, I would like to point out another interesting sequence, namely eleven 11 – twelve 12 -thirteen 13 – fourteen 14. I have written before that the numbers eleven 11 and fourteen 14 are highly significant in our Chinese numerical superstition, since the former (eleven 11) is homophonous with the Cantonese phrase meaning ‘sure win’, while the latter (fourteen 14) is not, as it means ‘sure death’. In between, there is twelve 12 and thirteen 13, the former of which I have always liked for many reasons while the latter is widely interpreted as ill-fated in western culture for many reasons. All in all, this represents a very interesting sequence, since it starts with two very propitious numbers (eleven 11, twelve 12) and ends with two very bad ones (thirteen 13, fourteen 14). This is a sequence of two halves. Beware.

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