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Sacred Number

42 43 MyTh, gaMe, and rhyMe numbers we grow up with Some of our earliest experiences with number occur by way of games, rhymes, stories, and cultural myths, many of which are treasure troves of hidden numerical relationships. Ancient forms of language were regularly numberbased, so in poetry we find triplets three lines of verse, quatrains verses of four lines, pentameters lines with five stressed syllables, hexameters lines with six stressed syllables, and haiku a three line poem of seventeen syllables, five, seven, then five. Games, like myths and stories, can store information. The sum of a pack of playing cards, counting jack, queen and king as 11, 12, and 13, is 364, which with the joker produces 365, the number of days in a year. The eighteens and nineteens of the Chinese game of Go echo the cycles of the Sun and the Moon see page 32. These ancient games reflect eternal principles, suggesting larger cosmic games, also with number at their center. Almost all games are dependent upon number for both their structure and rules. Imagine a game of tennis played by people who couldnt count higher than three Below are two examples of knights tours from chess, both of which produce magic squares when numbered in sequence.
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