Being Number One or True Oneness: Bridging Modern and Ancient Understanding of Number

Of all of our numbers, number one seems to carry the most ambivalent messages.
Many of us seek to reach at least oneness within ourselves, whilst many seek it with a partner. The concept of two becoming one is a part of many traditional marriage vows. Then there is the idea of a Oneness with Nature, a Oneness with God and a Oneness with humanity.

If these are our aspirations, then why do few, if any, attain them? Could it have anything to do with the conflicting functions and qualities we collectively ascribe to the number one and to the quality of ‘one-ness?

Aside from the discrete counting function attributed to all numbers, the quality of ‘one’ has a decidedly competitive and self-centred flavour throughout much of our world, where it is used mainly as an indicator of rank. Whether in a sporting context, the business world, academia, or even within a family, the drive for many is to be “number one”.

Being number ‘one’ equates to elevation above others lower down the scale of ranking, to superiority, to winning and to dominance.

There is a tendency to compare ourselves to those who are ‘number one’, often with envy and jealousy; we aspire to their position of prestige, financial reward and security – it is seen as the best place to be in the social rankings. Even in schools, children want to be awarded a ‘number one’ ribbon. No one remembers who takes second place. This highly individualistic version of the number one is totally at odds with our aspirations for genuine unity or oneness.

This competitive quality of one, based as it is upon a selfish individualism, is totally at odds to the quality of Oneness to which so many of us aspire. We have strayed far from the concepts of the ancient cultures of Egypt and of Pythagorean Greece, where number was viewed as having not only a finite, quantifying function, but also “a universal synthesising power.”

These ancient views of Number are of “…names applied to the functions and principles upon which the universe is created and maintained,” where ‘One’ represents the Absolute, God, or unity. (1) Our modern sense of ‘one’ is as a measure, a quantity, or a ranking.

In contrast, the ancient sense of ‘one’ is a part of understanding life and our relationship with ourselves, others and with divinity. There is the intimation that Number, including the number one, is a part of the inherent process of life, not something set to one side as an adjunct and a measure of life, to which it appears completely separate and unrelated. In the ancient understanding, Number’s relationship within life has a sacred quality.

In spite of their intuitive appeal, these ancient concepts of Number seem far removed from our quantitative understanding, and are almost impossible to discern in the midst of the mental constructs imposed on Number by way of the individualistic and social ranking definitions referred to above.

Given that so many of us do have a yearning, or an aspiration, to experience Oneness and Unity, is there a way for us to bridge this gap between the ancient and the modern understanding of Number?

In my search, I have found the teachings of Universal Medicine on Esoteric Numerology to be the only bridging of number from both its modern, individualistic meaning and quantitative functions, to the understanding of Number in its ancient meaning and function.

Esoteric Numerology presents the number one as a new beginning or the start of a new cycle for a person, a group, a business, or a concept. By using and understanding Number in this way, we move away from a purely quantitative use, to an approach that incorporates Number as a part of the unfolding nature of life and of ourselves.

This seems to me to not only circumvent the imposed mental constructs on Number, but also to encourage us to view Number as integral to life, not merely a measure of it.

Considering and applying this understanding of the number one to calendar dates, to relationships, birthdays, events and projects, I have experienced a new relationship with this number and a sense of working with it to order my life within a universally endorsed rhythm. I consider this to be several steps closer to an experience of true Oneness. Certainly sharing my experiences with others relating to the number one in this way has a definite unifying effect upon us, one which is quite different to the competitive experience of striving to be ‘number one’.

What we have to date entertained as modern concepts of ‘one-ness’ have not, and cannot, deliver a life of inner and outer unity, since they separate rather than unify us. The esoteric understanding of Number must surely offer a more solid foundation upon which to base our aspirations of oneness with oneself, with a partner, with God and with Humanity.

With immeasurable appreciation of Serge Benhayon, who has resurrected the true meaning of number, allowing all of us to connect with the absolute and divine meaning.


1. Sacred Geometry, Philosophy and Practice, (pg. 12) Robert Lawlor, Thames and Hudson, 1992
2. Serpent in the Sky, John Anthony West, The Theosophical Publishing House, 1993.

By Coleen 

Further Reading:
The Universal Medicine New Year’s Message for 2013
The History of Sacred Esoteric Healing
Co-Creation – Liberation from Creation

657 thoughts on “Being Number One or True Oneness: Bridging Modern and Ancient Understanding of Number

  1. What if we would walk in life knowing that every number is within ourselves? We could not help but feel the greatness we come from. Each one of us has divine qualities within ourselves to be shared and from this fact any comparison or competition is just ridiculous. By coming back to the oneness we all come from we may feel that anything less than love was a creation, a story based on the individuality of self that no longer serves us.

    Love having access to the Esoteric Numerology for the wisdom and revelations it brings. It feels accessible and simple, like something we once already knew so many times ago…

  2. Understanding how numbers relate to us every day brings a different relationship to everything we do in the most simple ways, as we are also learning that deepening our relationships with numbers expands our awareness of life.

  3. Not considered before the complete bastardisation of the number one – from the unity it calls for to the complete opposite – filled with identification & separatism.

  4. I liked this line about Numbers “to encourage us to view Number as integral to life, not merely a measure of it.” What your blog has reminded me of is that we (and all of life) are part of the universe, and that this has cycles and numbers can share quite precisely what those cycles are, whether it’s personal, for a business, for the whole of humanity, or universal.

  5. There is a vast difference between thinking that the number one is isolated and separated from others and the understanding of oneness that brings all together.

  6. This much so more to life that we are currently willing to see and embrace. For in our surrender to oneness we then begin to understand who we truly are, what life is really all about and understand what our true purpose and responsibility is.

    1. I agree with you Carola we have been lied to, we have no idea what it is to truly live and what our true responsibility is. And when we are given this information the person giving it is often mocked or derided for exposing the rot we live in because we do not want to accept that we have all contributed to the rottenness of life and we do not want to clear the rot up.

      1. Many do not wish to accept that they contribute to the mess in the world, partly because we are then responsible for clearing away this rot, and imprinting the earth with a way of living that is loving, has integrity, and allows us all to live in brotherhood.

  7. Since we all belong to a much greater whole, i.e. the universe, when we don’t live in alignment with that greater rhythm and cycle, which our bodies are naturally attuned to, we feel it in ourselves, and how it affects others.

  8. Thank you Coleen for making the clear distinction between how the individualistic one is viewed in the world and how the true ancient understand of number holds a sacred place in all aspects of our lives, thanks to Serge and the numerology workshops we are given the understanding of how to apply numbers in the true sense.

  9. One is the first in the order of everything. In the awareness of a cycle that breathes forth more ones to follow at each round, it represents inclusiveness, it has space for every one that is absolutely equal. When we ignore the nature of cycle and stay within a lineal perception, one becomes the only one that represents exclusiveness.

  10. Numbers are forever communicating to us, guiding us to what to understand more deeply and asking us to stop and consider, “what does this mean for me?” What Serge Benhayon has presented in Esoteric Numerology is something that can be very practically applied in life to support this.

  11. Understanding numerology and the fact that number 1 gives us a whole fresh brand new start gives a whole new understanding to dates and what each day offers us.

  12. We have been blessed by Serge Benhayon teaching us the ancient art and science of Esoteric Numerology, with numbers we get to understand and uncover so much about life, ourselves and others, supporting us to read situations with greater awareness and clarity.

  13. Thank you Coleen, you have shared so clearly the difference between approaching numbers from an individualistic point of view, and feeling numbers as part of the rhythm and flow of the universe, something that unites us via what they offer in cycles.

  14. Yes we all try to be number one in our lives, conversations, meetings etc. I can really see this in myself and people around us. This does not mean it is our truth but it is a great observation to see how we almost all do this and wonder if this is actually truly how we want to be.

    1. It’s a strong signal isn’t it that when we approach the number one from a place of individualism and competitiveness we don’t know who we are in our true beingness.

  15. I love what is presented in Esoteric Numerology, and how we can connect to the deeper understanding of numbers, it’s changed my understanding of life and of all in it, and it’s so much fun to feel and know more of this ancient science that reminds all of us that everything around us is there to guide us back to who we truly are.

    1. Yes the ancient science being revived and reconnected too, it’s an awakening to something known in our cells.

  16. I find it interesting that when no 1. refers to “I” the individual it stands alone ,’the loneliest number’, and yet when we know ‘One’ and embrace it as who we are it includes all of us, every One. Even as it is written on the page you can feel the expansiveness of the number ‘One’ and where every other number originates.

    1. It says a lot about the differences too between modern life and ancient life. Modern life sees competitiveness and the drive to be number one or first celebrated and presented as the way to be, even in childhood at school if not earlier. Some of our ancient cultures have lived in brotherhood and oneness, living the true meaning of the number one together. They may not have had today’s technology or infrastructure but boy were they advanced. Some of these cultures who lived in oneness, such as the Cathars, were destroyed through genocide by people in the Catholic religion who sought to be number one. That sums it up really.

    2. The absoluteness of the one is what I connect to so much, it’s refreshing and clear, no nonsense which appeals to the one in my essence.

  17. We like to use the word one, to be number one, to have a relationship with the one, yet our drive to be better than everyone else is also the driver that keeps us separated from ourselves and each other, yet at the same time we have a choice to stop the drive to be the best and become harmonious within, which allows us to be equally harmonious and joyful with others.

    1. Sally that is such a key point that the drive to be number one keeps us separated from ourselves. Our drive to be “the best” cannot even come close to reconnecting to the magnificence we are as souls, and living that in oneness with all.

  18. The problem is not the number 1 but the word number itself added to the number at hand. It is very different to say we are one, compared to we are the number one.

  19. Through Esoteric numerology, and the understanding I have gained of numbers, I have experienced the magic of numbers and how much they have to communicate when we know their true meaning.

  20. I can see how our view and use of numbers in a quantitative sense has reinforced the illusion that we and everything we can measure on Earth are separate and individual, whereas the truth is that we are all connected and the same at a soul level.

  21. Serge Benhayon has re-introduced the ancient knowledge of Esoteric Numerology to humanity an art that we have long forgotten. To me numbers connect us to the universe and each other when they are used in their correct intention. But like most things, we have as a society I feel misinterpreted their true meaning.

  22. There’s that saying ‘one is the loneliest number’ but this seems like a serious misunderstanding. For one to be lonely it has to be separated – there has to be something else. One is all inclusive, embracing and far reaching in truth. Perhaps it’s just that it’s a feeling we resist that makes us think we are lost when truly we have found true interconnectedness? Thank you Coleen for one beautiful blog.

  23. Thank you for giving such a clear dichotomy on the number 1 – it seems there are two choices to make – do you want to be number 1? (i.e. the best) or – do you want to be at 1 with the world? (So, an amazing part of something incredibly grand)

  24. The number one like many other words and numbers in our language has been reinterpreted from its original ancient meaning. Thank you Coleen for writing this beautiful blog about a beautiful number that for me means a new first step where I choose to move and live in oneness with the universe and all beings.

    1. That’s so true Andrew, what a bastardisation of the number one we have, a clever shadow and polar opposite of the true meaning of oneness.

  25. Numbers are very precise and accurate when understand from the Ancient Wisdom and they can teach us much about our connection with the oneness we are talking about in this blog.

  26. Since attending Universal Medicine’s Esoteric Numerology workshop, I find this number one is bigger, wholesome and inclusive of all. I now feel numbers have a whole new meaning than before, they tell what’s going on for that person and everything, even to a number plate is appropriate for that person at that time.

  27. Esoteric Numerology, as taught by Serge Benhayon, has opened up a whole new understanding of the beauty of numbers in every aspect of life when we understand how they are supporting us to live in alignment with the rhythms of the Universe and how they interact with each other to show where we are at in our own personal development. The symbology of what each number represents provides a perspective on why certain numbers are in our lives and what we can learn from them. Also, it makes it obvious after getting even a rudimentary understanding of Esoteric Numerology, that the current use of numbers sells humanity way short of what is there on offer to learn from numbers. How can the number One, which stands for complete unity, possibly be considered to be about just one person being better than another?

    1. Sure Michael, we have comfortable changed the meaning of the number one to the completely opposite and turned it 180 degrees around into now meaning the one and only individual in separation while the true meaning is the one unified and united.

    2. There is so much more to life than what we see with our eyes, just look at numbers for example, ‘when we understand how they are supporting us to live in alignment with the rhythms of the Universe and how they interact with each other to show where we are at in our own personal development.’

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