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Hello!

One question that's been on my mind recently...

What is the significance of the number 9 in Taoism?

I have heard it referenced so much in texts and in meditation tutorials, breath cycles appear to go around in 9s (rather than 10s that I've been familiar with in other traditions i.e Zen)

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The number nine(九) is considered to be the highest number in the Chinese number system. 1. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

The odd numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are considered to be Yang.
The even numbers 2, 4, 6, 8 are considered to be Yin.

Since the number 9 is the highest and yangest, the Chinese has very high respect and regards for this number.

Edited by ChiDragon
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As ChiDragon said, but also I think 9 is considered to be a number of completion or of being complete.

Also 36 and 108 are considered special numbers in taoism as well. I am not sure of the full significance beyond these numbers adding up to 9. It would seem there is something of deeper significance with these two numbers.

Also, something interesting I have noticed, is the following. I am not sure what exactly to make of it, but it is interesting. It conjures the image for me of structure within structure.

1 x 9 = 9

2 x 9 = 18, and 1 + 8 = 9

3 x 9 = 27, and 2 + 7 = 9

4 x 9 = 36, and 3 + 6 = 9

5 x 9 = 45, and 4 + 5 = 9

6 x 9 = 54, and 5 + 4 = 9

7 x 9 = 63, and 6 + 3 = 9

8 x 9 = 72, and 7 + 2 = 9

9 x 9 = 81, and 8 + 1 = 9

10 x 9 = 90, and 9 + 0 = 9

11 x 9 = 99, and 9 + 9 = 18, and 1 + 8 = 9

12 x 9 = 108, and 1 + 0 + 8 = 9

13 x 9 = 117, and 1 + 1 + 7 = 9

14 x 9 = 126, and 1 + 2 + 6 = 9

15 x 9 = 135, and 1 + 3 + 5 = 9

16 x 9 = 144, and 1 + 4 + 4 = 9

17 x 9 = 153, and 1 + 5 + 3 = 9

18 x 9 = 162, and 1 + 6 + 2 = 9

19 x 9 = 171, and 1 + 7 + 1 = 9

20 x 9 = 180, and 1 + 8 + 0 = 9

There are other patterns in the above sequences, if you look up and down vertically.

This same sort of patterning continues on and on, for example:

75683 x 9 = 681147, and 6 + 8 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 7 = 27, and 2 + 7 = 9

34578502 x 9 = 311206518, and 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 0 + 6 + 5 + 1 + 8 = 27, and 2 + 7 = 9

What may appear as random or chaotic in this world can and probably does have a hidden structure to it.

We just need to recognize what that structure is.

Taoists were people who knew more than just how to wear funny hats. This message was brought to you by the number 9, and the letters t, a, and o.

Edited by NotVoid
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I was considering this a little further. The number 9, being considered complete or of completion, also may hold the deeper meaning of being complete as in containing all things or containing all pemutations. When considering this, I also just noticed the following:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 = 45, and 4 + 5 = 9

1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8 x 9 = 362880, and 3 + 6 + 2 + 8 + 8 + 0 = 27, and 2 + 7 = 9

Again, it would seem that this is indicating something of significance. I have the sense that this may potentially be pointing towards something much deeper, if we can only recognize it and grasp it ...

Needs much more meditation practice... Edited by NotVoid
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Wow thanks guys! In fact, I seem to remember something like this being explained to me years ago - but only as a Taoist math-trick to learn the 9x table. Evidentally, that is just the foundation.

What may appear as random or chaotic in this world can and probably does have a hidden structure to it.

We just need to recognize what that structure is.

Taoists were people who knew more than just how to wear funny hats. Or maybe completion is or oneness could be just it?

Ever see a TV show called "Touch" with Kiefer Sutherland? Was about an autistic kid that would give the answers to the universe by studying all the numbers/digits around him in everyday life. The show wasn't great but had some good moments!