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 Hensey

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

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

  1. We have reduced numbers to something so small to what they do mean. I appreciate how we have reduced the no. 1 is reduced to the one of the individual is reflected in how many of us live – it’s all about No. 1. Whereas actually each one of us holds within connection with the universe of us all as one. Interesting how crafty it is of part of us to reduce ourselves away from the grandness we hold within.

  2. “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.” It’s quite extraordinary really that the modern reinterpretation of one is so divisive and separating and yet its true meaning is unifying. One word having totally opposite meanings!

  3. Oneness is indeed our true defining light, through which we understand that to live who we are in essence, in absoluteness, we must surrender to our interconnectedness and understand that we cannot be out true selves we are unless we are in union with our Soul, as such with God and all.

  4. There is an absoluteness that comes with the number one, which is why there is absoluteness in oneness.

  5. Our greatest aspiration is to be in Oneness, which implies no separation from anything or anyone, yet most we strive to be ‘number one’, which is separation. No wonder there is so much confusion, unrest and unhappiness in the world.

  6. For me number one is a new starting point . Think about it when we count ( in just about ever country ) its 1,2,3, etc. So it makes sense that one is a starting point. Us from the start which is the all in one that we will return to, to live as one.

  7. Thank you Coleen for a great blog on the temporal meaning of One and the true divine meaning of Oneness which is all encompassing of us, God and humanity.

  8. Numbers have always interested me, not in a mathematical way in school but more what there significance might be in way of symbols. I remember noticing the digital clock strike 111 and wondering to myself why I looked up at that moment to see those numbers. Esoteric Numerology has been paramount in me understanding that life is not random but it is a series of events that can actually be read.

    1. Well said Sarah. I also love how the power and magic that numbers hold, reveals to us that there is a deeper level of life, a natural flow that we are all intrinsically part of, and that nothing ever occurs by ‘chance’.

  9. This is a very beautiful sharing- you show the great contrast in how we relate with ‘one’ and how this has been bastardised for self gain when it is in our natural essence to be in the oneness of brotherhood.

  10. I love what is explored here – that we have taken the truth of oneness and turned it into something of self gain and separation. Its pretty crazy to think that we can go lifetimes ignoring the fact that oneness actually means to be at one with the all, and instead focus on being number one as being it.

  11. Ah, but what then also of the teaching as shared by Serge Benhayon, that “we are all ‘the One’ “?
    In this, is the knowing of the absoluteness of divinity that is equally within us all – no being ‘more’, no being ‘the only one’, no being ‘the best one’… and all the notions of individualism in association with the number are put to rest.

  12. Learning about Esoteric Numerology brings a whole new understanding to numbers – and their meaning. Letters too… I guess it could bring a whole new meaning to school maths lessons too!

  13. In the beginning there was only One, until such a time that a group of beings decided to pursue a deviation from this Oneness, and then there were two: the part that stayed (Soul) and the part that separated (spirit). And so it is our karma to live in a realm that reflects to us perpetual dualism; light/dark, day/night, male/female, Heaven/Earth etc. until such a time that we can reunite the piece of us that broke away, back with the whole it broke away from and in this live and breathe once more the true Oneness we are each in essence born from.

  14. It is significant to feel the fire and pranic energy when using numbers eg. within a family when we want to get into a battle with our siblings, the selfish and individual one wanting our parents to look up to us instead of being and feeling equal bringing about harmony within the family. Numbers play a part and when read can assist us on our way.

  15. I love this blog Coleen, particularly reading the ancient meaning of Number.. “…names applied to the functions and principles upon which the universe is created and maintained,” Even your use of the term Number pronounces an other-worldly aspect to the word that we have clearly long since lost in our linear, rational approach to ‘numbers’.

  16. I’m blown away by this blog Coleen. Esoteric Numerology has opened my eyes to the fact that numbers support us all in many ways. They are not just measurements, they are blessings, direct messages from God working in our favour at all times whether we are aware of it or not.

  17. Esoteric Numerology as presented by Serge Benhayon is an incredibly supportive guide through life. It is not something you learn and apply from that knowledge, it is an ever-expanding, deepening practice that has no limits.

  18. I liked very much reading this article, even though it is a discussion about the number one, it feels more to be an expose on how we as a humanity have taken something that was sacred and divine and attributed a falsity to it to create a divide in us as a brotherhood. Bringing it back to its foundation is also bringing us, humanity back to our foundation and is igniting with in many the sense that there is something more to life than what we currently live, essentially initiating “new beginnings” on a global scale.

  19. Striving to be number one versus the oneness we can have with nature and others reminds us that even when we use the same number the way it is expressed and the context it is presented in can bring a totally different meaning. This is also a principle can be applied to all words.

  20. Ah once again the number one has been restored to it’s humble beginning. Esoteric numerology introduced back to me the ancient teachings of what numbers signify and constantly present and support all of us with. How we use numbers now is so limited compared to the magnitude they are available.

  21. Thank you Coleen for presenting the sacredness of numbers and how this can become a supportive part of our lives.

  22. Our understanding of the number one has been completely bastardised becoming all about being better than others and achieving greater recognition whereas if we were to connect back to the true meaning then we would feel how it is all about letting go of the self in order to be in the flow of the universe.

  23. Thank you Coleen for sharing so clearly about the ancient and modern understanding of number and how they relate to everyday life. I love how you highlight our modern day obsession with being the number one, which can play out in various forms such as being the top of the class, the best sports person, the gifted one, etcetera. This is a Big ploy to keep us living as individuals in judgement and in comparison of ourselves pitted against another or others, which is the antithesis of oneness which we all come from and will all return to one day.

  24. There is a very ingrained tendency of being the ‘number one’ in what we do, or to choose something/someone as being our number one whatever. Yet, this way of moving through life precludes us to connect with oneness and feel its beauty and power.

  25. There is so much more to numbers then I thought there was, as you say Coleen. I mainly used them for ranking and in my work for doing calculations but never was aware that there is so much more to numbers as is presented in the Esoteric Numerology. Calculations now become fun because it is always interesting to read the results you get with a wider view than only the number as an outcome of the calculation being right or wrong.

  26. Being the one means knowing oneself to be part of the oneness to begin with and then living in a way that reflects every-one that they are the one equally. When we all are eventually living as the one we will have returned to the oneness we are.

  27. Numbers as in math always have been somehow abstract, but Serge Benhayon presents their depth, wisdom and practical relevance in daily life with a simplicity that is not abstract at all.

  28. Thankyou Coleen, it’s been enlightening to read through your blog again today. I particularly related to this line, that “These ancient views of Number are of “…names applied to the functions and principles upon which the universe is created and maintained,” as it brings the realisation of the totality that numbers can represent universally, and that they are part of a purpose, rhythm and ever expanding universe of which we are a part.

  29. “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……” Since Serge Benhayon presented esoteric numerolgy numbers have meant so much more to me. I love the fact that the numbers cycle from one through to nine and there is always another chance to reimprint past choices. We are all the one….

  30. Thank you Coleen for such an amazing blog and bringing awareness to ‘true oneness’ instead of the very individual and self-centred way many want to be recognised as the number one. Thanks to Serge Benhayon we have a greater understanding of numbers and how they relate to life and the evolution they constantly offer us.

  31. And I am back for more! I have been sitting with your blog since reading it the other day and felt to come back because there was clearly more to understand and bring into my living was. Since reading it I have been much more aware of the individuality in life and the jealousy of one who stands out, stands up, stands regardless of others standing. There is comfort in groups, there is loneliness in one – yet if we live as one then there is no individuality and as one stands we all stand represented by that one.

  32. I am so pleased to have found this blog today, It is groundbreaking and will support us to lose the individuality which is so harming and offer us a new beginning to work as One, as part of the larger One in total equalness for all.

  33. I have always found numbers interesting, I would notice when I would glance a digital clock and it was all ones. As a teenager I wondered what sign that might be giving me. The great thing about Esoteric approach to numbers is that they are never more important than any other thing, they are to be read and felt but not held up or above the person reading them.

    1. Important point Sarah, “….they are to be read and felt but not held up or above the person reading them.” There are far too many things we give our power away to instead of seeing them as signs to remind us of the vastness of what we bring and what we have always known.

  34. Your ability to share number, as we currently do, and to explore the deep honest roots of number is a sharing that supports us all to step up into an integrity and grace, that number divinely offers us.

  35. So one, with a small ‘o’ is individual and setting one against another as a misinterpretation of One, with a capital ‘O’ “where ‘One’ represents the Absolute, God, or unity.” A new beginning of a way to live with numbers.

  36. Wow yes there is a huge difference between wanting to be number one, and being at oneness with ourselves, it’s really interesting to observe how life is set up for us to be individual and we strive to be the best at what we do, always seeking for something, and the oneness with self is really what it is, but we don’t know how to get there. Thank goodness for Universal Medicine who leads the way for us.

  37. Thank you Coleen for great blog on numbers, The two understandings, both temporal and Esoteric are really worlds apart, true oneness incorporates the all of what is and all of us in connection. In the temporal sense it is used to be above another, better than, individual and separate. I love the truth and guidance of the cycles of the numbers 1-9 in Esoteric Numerology.

  38. When we say we are one with ourselves or each other we are talking about a deep connection to ourselves and another that is the beginning of true brotherhood. This is the opposite to the individualism which being number one implies.

  39. I love that numbers signify so much more than their functional uses. Knowing the richness they bring as we cycle from 1-9 again and again, each time with an expanded understanding of the opportunities that are presented is super helpful, and a great tool of communication.

  40. When it’s put like that, there’s no debate a competition for one to be one, and all else to be forgotten, or a opportunity for a new beginning, a new cycle – the later feels full, inclusive and offers a whole new perspective and possibility, while the former fills pinched, to a point and gone quickly. We lose so much in our understanding of numbers when we go for this pinched view, we miss out on the wholeness and the rich symbology they offer, and we miss the understanding that we are part of the all, the oneness.

  41. Have to throw this ‘one’ in… where does zero stand in the pecking order? Is it nothing and the bottom of the heap? Is it the formlessness from which everything derives and therefore everything? It is a key component in the binary language that is the building block for our modern IT and equal to 1 in that. And it’s a perfect circle – spherical in its expression much like life. Not one to forget…

  42. A oneness with others and with God is where we come from so of course to commit to creation we had to bastardise the meaning of one as we have everything else from the divine. Starting to recognise the bastardisation is a key step to breaking down the illusion and for us to return to our true selves.

  43. Beautifully said Coleen – New beginnings apply to everyone equally. Esoteric Numerology has changed my understanding of numbers and made them all a naturally intricate and healing part of Life.

  44. Since doing the Esoteric Numerology workshop, my relationship with numbers has completely changed. Each one number has come alive in it’s own symbolism of life and they have a very unique way of communicating with each other too. I love looking at the date now and feeling what the numbers are bringing to it.

  45. A beautiful sharing on numbers Coleen, both the modern ‘self’ version and the ancient wisdom version; it is not rocket science to decide which version serves humanity. What you have shared about Serge Benhayon and his teachings on The Ageless Wisdom is so absolutely true;
    “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”.

  46. there is such a Majesty and beauty that can be revealed even in something which so many people feel is so mundane… And that is, numbers… Could it be that there is so much more to so many things in this world that we just do not see, feel, and appreciate

  47. Just reading these words brings home a connection to the truth of what truly number one means “” where ‘One’ represents the Absolute, God, or unity.” as I these words I could feel every cell in my body say yes, yes and yes this is the truth of the number one.

  48. Number One is back to basics, starting at the beginning and allowing life to unfold. It brings us back to simple addition 1 plus 1…It returns us to One-ness – being at ease with our self and the greater One-ness that we are of. ‘One Humanity’ is a number that will be amazing to return us to – this may just call for a new beginning of unity and one-truth for all.

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