A look at the power of the number three.
| There are numbers that draw us, whether want to admit it or not. We unconsciously may see these numbers playing a large part in our life. We find ourselves purchasing a set amount of oranges based on these ruling numbers. We find ourselves crossing ourselves when the clock strikes its pendulum upon our number. We are ruled by the complexities of simple mathematical properties.
I am drawn to the number three. I wake up at 3 AM every morning, usually in a cold sweat. I buy things in threes: three fish, three new pairs of pants, and three new movies. The number three is always there compelling me. As I write this, it is 3:09 PM. As I write this, the same song has played three times. As I write this, the phone has rung three times. There is power in three.
It is not something to be ignored. Three is the first odd prime number. And everyone knows that a triangle has three points. The number six is divisible by three. Indecently the number six listed three times is seen as the mark of the beast. The number six is also my life pattern number according to the birthday calculator. In science, the scientific method follows a three-patterned formula. Coincidence, you might say. Then lets delve into the continued attributes of this ruling number.
Our planet Earth is the third planet in our Solar System. The human psyche is divided into three main parts: Ego, Super-ego, and Id. Earth is divided into three parts: Core, Mantle, and Crust. Human DNA and RNA is a string of three particles.
Even history has bowed to the power of three. There were the three ships of Christopher Columbus, Hitler’s Third Reich, and Mussolini’s social movement conveniently called the “3rd Way”. In Mythology, there are three main Greek Gods, the three forms of Odin, and Poseidon’s three-pronged trident.
Three is a number for women: the three hags of Norse Myth who possess immense power, the three-faced goddess known as Hecate, and the three snake-haired sisters found in Greek mythology. There were also three furies in Greek Mythology that would wreak vengeance on mankind. And it takes three women to make a witch’s coven.
Religion yields itself to this influential number as well. There is the Christian trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From his birth to his death, three was a number to be seen in Christ’s life: three wise men, three kings, and the resurrection that took place on the third day. There are three groups of martyrs according to Roman Catholicism. As well as three destinations for the afterlife: heaven, hell, and purgatory. The Muslim religion repeats some of their devotional rites three times. There were three leaders who lead the Jews through their 40 years of wandering in the desert. Wicca’s believe in the rule of three or what some may know as the rule of Karma. “Whatever actions the individual delivers unto others will be redelivered back to them three times.” And there is the witching hour: 3 AM.
In philosophy, Plato split the soul into three parts: the appetitive, the spirited, and the rational. Aristotle created the three unities. Karl Marx developed 3 isms. And Darwin developed three essentials of Evolution.
I think of the various items, cultural ideals, and phrases that utilize the letter three: 3 ring notebooks, Third World country, “on the count of three”, three beats to a measure, Three Mile Island, threesomes, “three strikes, your out”, “third time’s the charm”, three-bean salad, tricycle, and World War III.
I think of all the trilogies that have been created in film: the Indiana Jones saga, the original Star Wars saga, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix saga, the Spiderman Films, Pirates of the Caribbean series, Back to the Future films, The Chronicle’s of Riddick, the Conan films, The Evil Dead films, and the Poltergeist films. The list for film trilogies is endless. It is as if this number drives directors as well.
The number three has also been seen as a lucky number as well as an unlucky number. The Chinese culture considers the number three to be a good number. The Shamrock, believed to be a plant of good luck according to Irish lore, contains three leaves. Bad luck is said to “come in threes”. The Vietnamese believe that it is bad luck to take a photo with three people in it.
And so I will be approaching my third year of teaching. I will be ending my third year of singledom. I have signed my third lease to live a third year in the third house on the block. I will continue to be the middle child of three. I contain three marriage lines on my hand. I will refer to myself in three pronouns: me, myself, and I. I will end this paper on the third page. I will continue to be ruled by three.