The picture above is just the symbolical relation of number and a personal disease we shall call ‘obsession’.
But, why do numbers?
First, my, let’s call, subjective assumption is this: numbers are among the very first thing we know in verbal, then symbolical, language. When we are about to learn new language, numbers are also on the top list of priority we should messing with before sink ourselves more to other difficult things such as verbs and adverbs etc..
When we were just a baby, probably we don’t remember, but our parents would be extremely happy if after recognizing them as ‘mama’ and ‘papa’, we can show them how ‘smart’ we are by counting ‘one, two, dhree…’. That may be our first contact with numbers, even before we know how the symbolical figure looks like.
Then, in our early education, especially within the influence of Indonesia curriculum, we are stuffed with mathematical things through the number of hours per week we spent on studying them from K, for others pre-K, to 12. Outside of classroom, numbers affect us much more.
In social status measurement, I would say that number is the most important thing. For kids, the amounts of toys, which define in number, determine the level of ‘popularity’ and level of acceptance in a social environment. The one with the highest number of toys or the most miles spent on holidays would set the bar for other’s newly shape obsession in which our parents are also have lots of concerns and the way they involve in contributing to our first obsessions of numbers.
For adults, number of possessions in luxurious items, currency, and experience of years of education are the sole determinant variable to show and prove the world of who they are. Here, I am not trying to falsify the system; instead, I am trying to understand the mechanism that works in our lives. On scholarship applications, numbers of point on your GPA and your language proficiency test will be the ‘cover’ for your whole personality and potential.
More generally, the way we prove argument eminent with numerical figures. If you do not justify your claim in favorable number, it won’t work. Democracy, as the major ideology today, is intimately correlates with numbers, and as an affirmative action, number of seats for women in parliament perceive as the sole variable to determine whether or not the country gender biased or not.
In the end or our lives, the number of years we spent sealed our existence.
By understanding the influence number has in our lives, may be it’s lot easier to perceive that how easy it will affect people when it comes to the psychological disease call obsession.
In the movie starred by Jim Carrey, The Number 23, it shows how easy numbers can ‘hunt’ people just by linking and translating everything in our live by numerical figures. Walter, the character played by Carrey, is obsessed with number 23 by many reasons. He drew linkage and significance of his live under the power of 23. In the movie, 23 related to almost everything by adding numbers taken from letters of his name, his home address, license number, DOB, the room in the hotel he wrote a novel, and the deviant of Earth axis has to do with 23. While watching this movie, I influenced and adding the date of September 11, 2001 and surprisingly it’s 23. (9+11+2+0+0+1=23)
Lesson learn from the movie, number do has effects, a major one, in our lives, and take into consideration the fact, numbers do make people obsess with something (read: wealth, social status, wage)
PS: The word number(s) in this passage is also 23, does it make I am also numerical obsessed?