ARE ALL SUBJECTS EQUAL?

LESSONS FROM MARIAH

Mariah is my neighbor of many years.

She is a woman I enjoy talking to because of her deep and analytical intellectual abilities.

Mariah has a unique way of looking at things from a 360 degree perspective without appearing obnoxious or intentionally trying to play devil’s advocate.

She just possesses the ability to look and analyze more deeply and intently, the things most of us take for granted.

I always walk away from Mariah learning something new.

Last week was no different when I ran into her at the mailbox.

She asked me how my kids were coping with academic activity with schools shut down due to the Corvid-19 epidemic.

I barely got my answer out when Mariah interjected with;

“make sure they study mathematics more than any other subject.”

“Why?” I quickly enquired.

“Why do you recommend I have them study more mathematics than any other subject Mariah? Are not all subjects equal?”

I concluded my question.

The ever witty Mariah retorted, “you ask me if all subjects are equal?

Is there truth in all subjects? That is how I understand your question.

Is that correct?”

She asked me.

“That is correct,” I answered her.

“If there is truth in all subjects, why then do you recommend that mathematics be given prominence above all other subjects?”

I probed her.

Mariah looked at me with a deep stare for what appeared like a minute and then she continued;

“consider all subjects to be the branches of a tree.

If that is the case, what would you say is the stem of the tree which ties all the branches together?”

She asked.

“Mathematics?”

I asked Mariah.

“Absolutely.”

Mariah replied.

“Why do you think Mathematics ties all subjects together the same way the stem of a tree ties all the branches together?”

I asked her.

“Because it does.”

Mariah answered me.

She continued, “Mathematics is defined as the study of the relationship between numbers, shapes and space.

Mathematics is all about relationship.

Those relationships become the building blocks based on which other subjects emerge.

That is why all subjects go back to mathematics for validation. No subject is true unless it receives mathematical validation of the relationship it seeks to establish.

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist who came up with the theory of relativity.

He intuitively knew his theory was right but he was unable to make it public until he was able to get the mathematical validation of what he believed was true.

When he finally got the mathematical validation, he published his theory. Does that convince you of the preeminence of Mathematics?”

Mariah asked me.

“It does.” I responded.

“But how do languages, literature, art and the like depend on mathematics for validation?” I asked Mariah.

“All languages depend on numbers for cogent communication without which no language can stand on its own two feet.

Art depends on congruence of shapes. That is all Mathematics.”

Mariah concluded.

“Your argument is valid Mariah,” I muttered.

My mind quickly shifted from subjects as I shifted my mind from the phrase ‘there is truth in all subjects’ to thinking about a similar phrase I have heard many times which says ‘there is truth in all religions’.

I could not help but ask Mariah, “If you have established that mathematics stands apart from all subjects, are you able to do the same with the many religions in the world? Is there a religion that stands apart the same way mathematics does compared to all subjects?”

“Yes!”

Mariah answered emphatically.

She continued. “There is a religion (not really a religion but many people like to call it a religion) which stands apart from all others. The reason I say so is because, just like mathematics, it is the only religion that is based on a real relationship.

A relationship which must validate all others to make them true. Without that validation, no religion is true.”

Mariah concluded without telling me what religion she was referring to. She went on to say,

“seek for yourself.

If you do so diligently, you will sooner or later, arrive at the same answer I have.

Just like Mathematics.

If you have an open mind and your thinking is right, you will always arrive at the same answer.”

I walked away from Mariah determined to find out her answer.

After searching for one week, I think I got the same answer Mariah had.

I started my search with an open mind and love as my starting point.

"May order replace the chaos in our world"