The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology

Psychophysical Rhythmic Configurations

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
212 Pages
Reviewed on 07/22/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite

Alain Negre has taken on the ambitious challenge of describing and analysing the various conscious and subconscious links which prime numbers have with physics, quantum mechanics, psychology and esoterica. Taking his starting point from the correspondence between psychologist Carl Jung and physicist Wolfgang Pauli, he trawls through historical science and philosophy as far back as the Greek classical era right up to modern astrophysics and quantum mechanics to demonstrate his analysis.

The thoughts of great thinkers - from Plato and Aristotle, to Kepler, Einstein and Planck - are visited and there are many novel and intriguing thoughts and propositions to be found in this deep narrative. Negre seeks to demonstrate, using examples from Eastern philosophy, how the esoteric symbolism of numbers is hardly conceivable in the West as we view numbers as simply denoting quantity. Perhaps one of the more thought provoking opinions presented is that the basis of complex equations already exists in our subconscious - numbers merely give form and identity to the underlying concept.

The title - The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology - gives the prospective reader a clue as to the complex subject matter contained in this book. As a layman, I hope I have done the book proper justice in my review because it is crammed with unique thoughts and ideas that deserve a wide audience. Mr Negre does not share that ease of communicating complex ideas with the likes of Richard Feynman, but I suppose simplified explanations for the concepts discussed would be very difficult to produce. A scholarly work and a worthwhile exploration of the esoteric side of numbers; be prepared, however, and make sure you have a dictionary and encyclopedia at your elbow when you tackle this interesting, thought-provoking book.

Gisela Dixon

The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology: Psychophysical Rhythmic Configurations by Alain Negre is a non-fiction book that takes a fascinating look at the concept of numbers and practically everything related to them. In the book, Alain delves into numbers as fundamental, basic blocks of organization or order which mathematics has developed into an entire science in itself. However, numbers can be more “primitive” than this and almost the foundation of many events in the universe and this is what Alain explores in this book. As a result, he touches on many topics such as metaphysics, spirituality, psychology including the works of Carl Jung, science including quantum physics and the work done by Wolfgang Pauli, the field of cosmology, astrology and its significance and symbolism, delving into the works of Plato and Greek philosophy, Eastern philosophies such as I Ching and the meaning of the Yin Yang symbol, and so much more.

I found The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology to be a fascinating book. In fact, it is a book that can and should be read in pieces in order to absorb everything and I may be going back to reread some of the pages. Alain has clearly put a lot of thought into this and thought deeply about the subject matter, and he has brought knowledge and insight from many different fields into one book. I did wish the formatting was a bit better with a well-organized TOC, etc. but for me that did not take away from the content. I also wish that the importance of numbers in Hindu philosophy and symbolism had been explored. Still, Alain’s writing is clear and lucid and manages to plumb the depths of even difficult subjects with ease. All in all, this is a great book and I think I may be rereading portions of it.

Joel R. Dennstedt

The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology by Alain Negre is so filled with potent, almost mind-blowing declarations, any one of which might keep a thinker thinking indefinitely but infinitely as due to any simple koan offered by a Zen master, only the intellectually intrepid need break its cover. Almost inaccessible to the layman, this supra-intellectual treatise by Mr. Negre is, however, worth every super-human effort made to understand it. For deep within these startling declarations is a cosmological and scientific insight impossible to refute: mathematics and philosophical/psychological realities are so mutually embedded and mutually dependent as to defy all attempts at discrimination.

At least, if I have understood the book correctly. Sample: “However, it was through a step beyond the limits of reason that Jung and Pauli considered the qualitative aspect of number and wished to use it as a basis of representation of all physical and mental processes.”

Sample: “With the existence of undecidable propositions, Gödel was doing nothing more than rediscovering through mathematics that scientific knowledge originates outside its own system of thought in an ‘unknowable,’ other level of reality.”

Two short random samples from The Archetype of the Number and its Reflections in Contemporary Cosmology by Alain Negre, both of which sound radical and revolutionary, even for the casual cosmologist or mathematician of today. Neither of these propositions is what the everyday person signed up for. Math is supposed to be logically self-affirming, and human experience is supposed to transcend numbers. But this incredibly intelligent, incredibly thought-provoking book is a gold mine of much intriguing speculation, revelation, and provocation, even to the extent of pairing contemporary scientific cosmology with ancient esoteric astrological symbolism. Approach cautiously but eagerly, and let your mind be blown.