The mysterious number 137
137 is the most important number in science, and the biggest mystery. It’s baffled and intrigued everyone from Carl Jung to physicist Richard Feynman, who once said you might say the hand of God wrote than number! Famously, Jung and physicist Wolfgang Pauli spent years on a cross-pollination between human consciousness and physics. They believed the bridge was the number 137.
For those of us who aren’t mathematicians or physicists, the idea of a number being a bridge between consciousness and science seems unfathomable. A number? And why this number?
I’m not going to baffle you (or me) with science, but basically 137 is the fine-structure constant, which means it describes the relationship between matter and light. Physicist Laurence Eaves says if the fine structure constant was a different value, “physics, chemistry, biochemistry would be totally different – and we might not be around to talk about it.”
Even beyond that, the number 137 seems to carry some link between relativity and quantum theory. And it’s the numerical value of the word Kaballah (one of the four structural components of Human Design), and appears frequently in the Torah, the book of Jewish mysticism, where it is often linked with the number 33 (1).
So, are you intrigued? Would you like to know what this mysterious number has to do with Human Design?
I was talking to a friend about 137 and she said hey, aren’t there two gates in Human Design – gates 13 and 7 – I have my Sun and Earth there. Could that have anything to do with it?
My head exploded.
Gates 13 and 7 are complementary (in Genekeys they are described as programming partners). Every gate in Human Design is incredibly complex, so I’m not going to describe them in detail, but the one thing that jumps out at me is this.
Gate 13 is about people living harmoniously together. In the Rave I Ching it’s called The Fellowship of Man, universal ideas and values inspiring humanistic cooperation. Hilary Barret says it’s about people finding common ground, coming out from behind the walls in their villages, beyond their familiar boundaries that usually define the limits of people ‘like us’.
Gate 7 is The Army, the need for leadership to guide us into the future. It represents extreme times when the ruler must raise an army, when everything has to revolve around a central objective – secure the borders, keep our people safe!
How do we reconcile these two energies? They are, after all, complementary, one cannot exist without the other. I Ching master Alfred Huang gives a major clue. He explains how in ancient China it was considered unsustainable to keep a standing army, which was a potentially dangerous force. What do you do with all that fighting power?
Our need to be safe shouldn’t be kept bound up in military defence. A hammer looks for a nail. An army looks for an enemy. The ancient Chinese gave their farmers military training in the off-season, and only during (very rare) wartime were they called on to defend their country. The rest of the time they were … well, farming, hanging out with their kids, enjoying the sunsets.
I Ching scholar Margaret Pearson says this about Gate 7 – when there is too much focus on squabbling even apparent victories become losses. When we build healthy communities we can recognise real threats and have the unity and trust to take effective action.
There are obvious implications here about the obscene amounts of money western democracies spend on their military. But it got me thinking about how we allocate our own inner resources. We should not have a permanent standing military, on a national or a personal level. But because of the level of trauma our culture creates, we are constantly on alert, ready to fight off anything that triggers our alarm systems. Our inner resources are not engaged in farming, playing with our kids, enjoying sunsets, but finely tuned to the next call of INCOMING!!
This is a whole new way to exist on the physical plane, not in constant vigilance for survival against dreadful enemies, right down to the cellular level. Instead we can think of health and well-being as a creative exercise in building more and more meaningful connections with the world.
Gates 13 and 7 re-imagine leadership. All hard borders and strong defences do is generate fear and isolation. This, in turn, prevents us sharing openly with each other. We create rules to keep safe from what we imagine may harm us. We learn to keep things secret.
What is, Instead of keeping a standing army, our resources were more available for relationship building? What if we took risks and found common ground, identified allies instead of enemies? What if we realise the trauma of our old wounds has been held secret, buried in rules about how to keep safe, kept busy trying to look okay. And it’s the same for each one of us, because we’ve been living in a very unhealhty society. There’s some common ground, just as a starting point!
Let’s head back over to the quantum realm. Scientists haven’t been able to find the connection between the material world (classical physics) and the quantum world. Both theories work, but they contradict each other! Heres’s Max Plank, originator of quantum theory:
There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.Max Plank, Florence, Italy, 1944
To quote another scientist, creator of the uncertainty principle, Werner Heisenberg, what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. How different is our perception of the world when we have freed ourselves up from defending those old traumatic wounds and come into the realisation of being surrounded by allies with whom we share common ground? How much more imagination can we safely bring to our circumstances? Imagine the energy that would be released if we were working for a common goal? What kind of questions might we ask. Less friend or foe? and more how can we make this better for everyone?
What if, safety was not about being isolated but about the number and quality of our connections? What if prosperity didn’t come from what we could hoard, but what we could share? What if we were able to live in the uncertainty of the quantum world while being open and caring towards everyone and everything? These questions are what is driving evolution right now, and they hold the keys to, well, to the number 137 and the Theory of Everything!
(1) Gate 13 makes a channel with Gate 33!
I'm Kim Gould, founder of Love Your Design. I have been innovating and taking Human Design to the next level since 2003.
Beyond Type and Strategy, beyond the keywords and rigid rules, there are Asteroids, Dwarf Planets, Multidimensional Human Design and Holographic Human Design to explore. Come join me!
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