50 By the Numbers

I looked first to old wisdom about 50 to attempt to understand more.

I understand that with the passage of time comes new discovery and innovation but after all of the research and trial, today we  sometimes find that the ancients knew much more than their modern counterparts (us) might imagine possible.

The ancient Egyptians, who enslaved thousands to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, knew something about the significance of the sacred Pythagorean 3-4-5 triangle.  It’s a little deep and you can dig for more, but for the benefit of my online family, here’s the quick and easy version.

In a pyramid, the three sides of each triangle face represents the number  3.  The base, a square, represents the number 4 and the four corners and the apex (tip) represent the number…wait for it…5 ! The sum of the squares equal 50.

What ????

Perhaps that’s too obscure.  So I looked to the I-Ching, or as it’s more commonly known, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes.  It is based around the ideas of the balance of opposites and acceptance of the inevitability of change.    In it, the 50th hexagram is Ting: The Cauldron.  The judgment: “Supreme good fortune. Success.”  Now we are getting somewhere with this whole “50” thing.

Another option is to consider an alchemist’s point of view (those intent to discover methods to transmute base metals into gold), one of the seven base metals—tin, has the atomic number 50, composed of 50 protons and 50 electrons.  The number 50…gold..50…gold.  Maybe there’s something to it.

I looked to ancient Israel and found that Pentecost, the Jewish harvest festival commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses, 50 days after the Exodus.   Finally, in more recent history, the Christians celebrate Pentecost, exactly 50 days after Easter Sunday (the Resurrection of Jesus) to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ.

Perhaps it’s because I looked, and maybe it’s pure coincidence.  All of these seem connected in some way in the sense that the number 50 has relevance in a number of different cultures and systems of thought.  I welcome yours.

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