Eastern theologians long ago began to recognize and utilize numbers for their potential illustration of metaphysical connection and information. 108 is perhaps the ultimate of all such numerical illustrations. Many people believe that those who use numerological symbolism are merely placing value on things in some kind of obsessive compulsive behavior. I have had inner debate on this, as well as discussion of such numerological understandings and have come to the conclusion that such can be obsessive projection, but often it's not. The numerological metaphysical value of 108 is not originally derived from obsessive projection, no matter how many times people have placed it in such a way.
There are some things you simply cannot project or make up. For instance the diameter of the Earth at the equator is 7926 miles. The diameter of the Sun is about 108 times that: about 865,000. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the sun's diameter: 93,020,000 miles. The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 238,800 miles, about 108 times the moons diameter: 2180. The relationship of the Sun, Earth and Moon provide for all life and moreover all consciousness on Earth. And the size and distance between the familiar celestial objects are all in the divine proportion of about 108. Through this astronomical, divine and miraculous positioning, 108 is symbolic for celestial order and perfection, our microcosmic position in the macrocosm.
The long form of most tai chi chuan styles contains 108 movements and one of the first yoga systems to be brought to the west, The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, contains 108 breath coordinated movements when done in the recommended 21 repetitions and including 3 movements of the sixth rite. The celestial orchestration of Earth, the Sun and our moon is based on being in a balance based on ratios of 108 and a reflection of this is utilization of 108 in some of the most celebrated meditative movements. All serious practitioners repeat mantras 108 times often using mala beads with 108 beads. 108 links the micro and macro further in its representation of time, 1 for the present, 0 for the past and 8 for the infinite future.
Among Eastern theology there is said to be 108 emotions, 36 of the present, 36 of the past and 36 of the future. Whether or not there might be more or less emotions than presented is unimportant to the point, that just like our physical bodies can only be well or express disease in so many ways our emotional bodies express ourselves the same. When we are emotionally disturbed we behave in disturbed ways. And when we are not present we are more easily destabilized and tricked into behaving in disturbed ways.
Being emotionally present is extremely difficult the longer one has been emotionally in the past or future. Many people, no matter if they appear to be happy or sad, are simply not emotionally present. In fact much of the mediated entertainment is made to keep one in the past or the future. Television is based on taking one outside oneself, away from being present, into say a story about the past or the potential future combined with commercials that take one away from the present by presenting problems and solutions they sell for the problems, problems one has faced in the past or one will face in the future. Most all entertainment is designed to take us away from the present.
Being emotionally present leads to peaceful stability. Being emotionally caught up in the past or the future, upset by what happened or expectant of what might happen, puts us in a mind state that is easily swayed by nefarious manipulators to operate and perpetuate the war world, based on some idea concerning a past event or some future potential.
One of the best ways to be present is to practice meditation. If you have never meditated or if your ego has convinced you that you cannot meditate simply contemplate 108. The point of meditation is mindlessness, it's mindfulness, but fullness of mind of the present. Think of 1 thing; the breath. Allow the thoughts that arise as distractions from the ego to come and go like traffic. Be mindfully calm of the breath. Mindfulness of breath enables one to relax and be present with each breath and if only for a moment think of nothing. This in turn opens up our consciousness so we are capable of thinking of infinity, 1, 0, 8. Be present and meditate, for, if you're not training, you're being trained. And in the war world if we're not training to be mindful people, we're normally trained for mindless war.
Remember that Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers known believed that all men are tricked to do wrong and consider the following so as to decrease the likelihood of being tricked.
"Great doubt, great awakening. Little doubt, little awakening. No doubt, no awakening." ~Zen saying
For more on 108, meditation and meditative movement check out my ebook 108 Steps to Be in The Zone.