An Enigmatic Formula Appears

What follows could be just the inoculation against math-allergy that sufficiently desensitizes any lingering concerns.

If your eyes do not bleed when you see the formula below, we can proceed without trepidation.

(ia +1b) (ia -1b)

Ahhhh, see?  None of those nasty little Greek letter symbols that confound us non-mathematicians!

When this formula appeared, crystal clear upon the chalkboard in my mind one morning, I was actually knocked right out of my meditation.

Why would something so foreign to me arise in blaring insistence?

At that time, I had become used to daily visions of abstract patterns, whose meanings I somehow intuited.  None of my visions, however, had ever been made so starkly clear as this one.

The relatively rare times when a single, adamant directive has come to me, it has been audible, in a deep male voice.  I would know without question what to do.  This time a specific visual communication came, but without any instructions about what to do with it.

Were it not for the plus and minus signs, I would not have recognized it as a mathematical problem, asking to be solved.  Even so, I did not know what to do with it, other than write it down in my notebook.

Some time later, my husband was providing chiropractic services to a man who was a math teacher in a local private high school.  I asked him if he would help me understand what the letters of the enigmatic formula meant, and how it could be interpreted.

In his brief tutorial, the tutor explained three facts relevant to the interpretation of the math problem:

  1. The letter ‘i stood for the word, imaginary.  One can only imagine the √-1, he explained.  Squaring either positive or negative numbers will always produce positive numbers.  There is no number that, when squared, equals -1.
  2. The FOIL method provided the correct sequence of operations, (First, Outer, Inside, Last) when multiplying the terms inside the parentheses.  The solution to the formula turned out to be: -1(a² + b²).
  3. The letters ‘a’ and ‘b’ are called variables.  As the formula stood alone, no numbers were assigned to, or represented by, these variables, so the mystery continued.  Solving for the variables came quite some time later.

What follows is a narrated video, not quite three minutes long, which shows how to address the mathematical problem that arose in my dream-state.

(Keep your cursor off the video screen for unobstructed viewing.)

Before we solve for the variables, the next chapter, Dual Dimensions Seen Simultaneously, prepares us conceptually.