Day 108 -The Spiritual and Not So Spiritual Meaning of 108...
My favorite number has been 108 for a long time. I know, kind of old for a favorite number...I also know that it is kind of a weird number to have as a favorite. It has significance though. I love this number first of all because it is an even number, I will avoid odd numbers to an alarming degree. My neurosis goes so far as I will not eat tic tacs in odd numbers, 2 or 4 only please. I know I am a freak...
Anyway, there is a lot of spiritual significance to the number 108, here are a few:
There are 108 stitches in a baseball, beads on a rosary, beads on a mala and beads on a japa.
In baseball, in 2016 the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, ending the longest championship drought in North American professional sports. The Cubs' win came in the 10th inning with 8 runs (108).
In Buddhism it is said that there are 108 worldly desires in mortals. 108 lies humans tell. 108 human delusions. This number is reached by multiplying the senses smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, and consciousness by whether they are painful, pleasant or neutral, and then again by whether these are internally generated or externally occurring, and yet again by past, present and future, finally we get 108 feelings. 6 × 3 × 2 × 3 = 108.
In Japan, a bell is chimed 108 times to signify the end of a year and the beginning of a new year. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.
In yoga, 108 sun salutations are often practiced to signify change.
The distance of Earth from the Sun is about 108 times the diameter of the Sun.
In mathematics, 108 is considered a semi perfect number. Now I have no idea what that means in math terms, but I like the fact that it is only semi-perfect. So fitting!
In Hinduism, there were 108 temples, followers and sacred places.
In martial arts, there are 108 pressure points in the body, where consciousness and flesh intersect to give life to the living being.
In Homer's Odyssey, the number of suitors coveting Penelope, wife of Odysseus is 108.
So I guess I am not so freaky after all. Apparently, 108 has a long and deep history of significance long before I came around.
It is weird, I will notice 108 in my every day life. Places where this somewhat random number will show up: on my valet ticket, dry cleaning receipt, text messages, time. It is seemingly everywhere.
So it seems fitting to honor the 108th day of the Mansbatical. Almost 1/3 of a year. But other than marking the 108th post, I really don’t have anything significant to offer up. I thought about doing 108 things that I learned, but who wants to read that? BORING! And I just gave you 20 last week.
I guess the truly miraculous thing about 108 today is that I am still writing and posting. My habit to start things, talk them up and then wholly abandoned them sometime long before 108.
So today I honor the commitment that has led me to post 108 of the Man Ban. I am pretty sure that I have dated 108 men in my time, not all at once and I certainly haven’t slept with that many, but in my lifetime, I have probably been interested in and dated at least that many...wouldn’t it be great if I only had dated 107, and the next man that I went out with turned out to be The One? He would be 108! I would love that on a whole variety of levels.
However, I do not think that I am going to take the time to review my entire dating history to find out where I am on the dating timeline. I might find that the number is much lower, which would make me somewhat despondent of the idea that I might have to date quite a few more to make it to 108. Also, I might find that I have totally underestimated my dating history and find that the number is more like 208...
In truth, I have dated as many men as I have needed to. To learn the lessons that I am supposed to learn. Perhaps, needing different teachers along the way to move me through my own particular path and evolution. I marvel at the people who have only needed just one teacher. Or under 10. So not my story.
So on this 108th day of the man ban, I find myself curious about what is to come. Who will be my next teacher? What have I learned from the ones that came before? I guess what I have learned is that it is a long damn life. And we fuck it up from time to time. Some of us being able and willing to learn from a few, others of us needing the lesson to be carried en mass. Regardless, relationships are the best life school. Teaching us things that we often didn’t want to know about ourselves and the world about us.
Writing this has left me with this idea that I need to count up the dating tally. Somehow now terrified and hopeful that I am somewhere close to the number 108. Believing that redemption can and will come in this holy number.
I am kidding. I know I am nowhere near 108. And I pray to whatever powers that be that I don’t have to get there...weary as I am from the search. Today, I think I will consciously take 108 breaths. Reminding myself, 108 times, that I am lucky to be here. Lucky to have the life I have. Privileged to be among the living. This is the best use I can think of on this 108th day. 108 affirmations to keep me going. 108 prayers for others to keep going. 108 breaths to mark the participation in a life worth living.