factors and multiples

Of Factors, Multiples and Us

There are an infinite number of stars in this dark, dark space, which, by itself is infinite. While we know that there are an infinite number of stars, why are there so many in the first place? What was the need for the universe to multiply the stars multiple number of times?

We could ask each other the same question regarding the human population that reflects the multiplication of stars, although in a space that is not infinite.

If you asked yourself why you have multiplied yourself, or why have children, what would be your answer? The answer, however detailed would result in a simple – Because I wanted to have a child. Every animal reproduces because it wants to. Reproduction is the result of the succumbing to a feeling, an yield to temptation.

So, if we multiply because we want to, then did the stars multiply simply because they wanted to?!


And rightly so. Because the idea that the rest of universe could be a place that is throbbing with emotion is the most ridiculous theory that could be spun out. This, despite the fact that we, who are throbbing with the same emotions, are a part of this universe. We have always created, protected and destroyed based on our emotions. So why deprive the universe off its emotions when it is doing the same three jobs? The idea that the earth could be a sphere sounded incredulous at one point too.

Since we realized our emotions way before we held the wheel, which itself was created out of a need or want for more comfort. And that is why we multiply. Simply because we want to.

But multiplication can become quite boring

This is on account of it being a repetitive activity, and repetition of the same activity can become very boring indeed. Ask the guy who is handling customer calls every day, day after day. That is why people try to do different tasks, pursue hobbies, go for parties, have a child, etc, etc, etc – to break the monotony of repetition.

What if the universe is feeling the same frustration of boredom? What if the earth is so bored of spinning around on the same path, revolving and rotating over and over again that she decided to step out of her orbit?

Another incredulous thought?!

Maybe not. Stepping out of orbits is not something that has not happened before. There are planets that have moved out of their orbits. So, why not the earth? After all, we, the children of the earth, are constantly stepping out of our own orbits – paths that our parents have drawn for us, breaking the rules that society has laid out for us, rebelling against things that we feel are drowning us in misery. We all step out of our orbits, because stepping out gives us a freedom to do the things that we have always wanted to, but never got to do. If Gautama Siddartha had not stepped out of his own orbit, he would not have become the Buddha. Who was a factor.

At last, we have reached the other side of this post. Simply put, a factor is the opposite of the multiple. If multiples are repetitions, then factors do not get repeated, at least not often enough. Take the Buddha for instance. He is a factor, of whom Buddhists are multiples. Christ was a factor of whom Christians are multiples, and Gandhi is a factor of whom the majority of Indian freedom fighters were multiples. Now look at the Sun. It is a factor too, of which, planets and other heavenly bodies of the solar system are multiples.

Now, we reach the more interesting question.

Why are the factors so less, and so far, in between?

One possible answer to this question is that it takes one to make two. It is the presence of one that makes way for the creation of more of this one. Every Buddhist who follows the teachings of the Buddha is a Buddha himself, someone who is practicing what the teacher used to practice.

Another reason for factors to exist so far in between, is the existence of opposites. It pays to think of the other side. Like how Hitler too was a factor, of whom Nazis are multiples. Osama Bin Laden too was a factor, and his followers exist in hordes. You see, there are always two sides to a coin. So, it does the world good to keep the factors so less, and so far, in between each other.

So where does all of this leave you and I?

You and I, we are both factors and multiples too. In fact, we are also prime numbers. We are all human beings who are multiples of each other, we have unique abilities that make us factors for others including our children to follow, and yet, no two finger prints match each other, which makes us divisible only by ourselves. Just like the one entity that created the universe but has not been able to either multiply or divide itself. Just like zero.

Now, is that not food for thought?

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