The Most Astounding Fact about mathematics


For me, the most astounding fact about mathematics is its universality.

We all live in each of our own’s little worlds.
We are consistently concerned by meaningless every day worries.
We keep having the same old small complains, which, on a cosmic level, are really insignificant.

When I look at our every day lives,
I feel trapped. I feel confined. I feel disconnected.

I feel smothered by our uncountable artificial social conventions.
I feel locked up within the boundaries of our limited surrounding.
I feel like a hostage to my environment.

But mathematics… Mathematics has this amazing potential to free me from it all.
To free my mind.
By connecting it with some truly universal thoughts.
The kind of thoughts which, in some sense, is even more universal than the whole universe is!
After all, the universe itself has to be constrained by the laws of physics.

But mathematics doesn’t. And that’s what’s mind-blowing with mathematics.

It’s the idea that, if you take any any intelligent life out there,
out of our solar system, or, even, why not, out of our whole universe,
any astute spirit out there

He appreciates a different kind of arts
He learns a different History,
Even his physics may be different…

However, this clever being out there brainstorms about the very same mathematics that I do!
He gets excited by the same mathematical structures that excite me!

In other words, mathematics is the single common denominator to all the thinking minds of the universe and beyond.
And this is why I find mathematics mind-blowing.

I know I sound abstract, so let me be more concrete…

One thing I love is when I get to explain some mathematics to someone else,
the moment this person understands the awesomeness of I’m talking about,
there’s this connection happening between our minds, which is just… brilliant!

And that goes the other way around too!
When someone teaches me something,
the instant I realize just how amazing what I’ve been taught is,
I feel connected to this person…

And this person doesn’t even need to be in front of me,
he may be the author of some paper I’m reading.
He may be the great Euclid, the revolutionary Al-Khwarizmi,
or some mathematician no one has ever heard of,
No matter who he is and where he’s from,
As soon as this person shows me some remarkable mathematical pattern,
I feel connected to this person.

And this is incredible. You know,

When I reflect on the beautiful structures of mathematics,
When I ponder upon algebra, geometry, topology, or any of the other wonderful theories of mathematics,
When I contemplate circles, graphs, fractals, the Gaussian distribution, the Turing machine, the Möbius band, pi,

When I get stunned by the mind-blowing results mathematicians have succeeded in sorting out for centuries,
or when I meditate on the problems that they are currently trying to figure out,

I feel connected.

I feel connected to all the great minds who have themselves been puzzled by the mathematical objects that are puzzling me.
I feel connected to all the great minds who will be fascinated by the mathematical facts that are fascinating me.
I feel connected to all these great minds, with absolutely no thought on
where it is they come from, or on what kind of culture they have,
In fact, they may be living out of our universe.
Even then, I feel connected to all these great minds.

And that’s why mathematics is so awesome. It’s a universal connection. Truly, truly universal.

And the thought that we can make sense of mathematics and its facts,
which are more universal than the universe we are trapped in….
This is big. And it makes me feel special.

And, for me, this is the most astounding fact about mathematics.