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#3 Bone composition of the human axial & appendicular skeletons
Figure 1. The axial and appendicular human skeletons.
The human skeleton
The entire framework of the human body is known as the skeleton (Fig. 1). It is made up of two primary groups of bones:
1. axial skeleton. This group of bones are the ones that make up the head and actual trunk of the body. It has 80 bones (numbers in boldface are the gematria number values of the Sephiroth in the four Kabbalistic Worlds — see here);
2. appendicular skeleton. This is the group of bones that make up the body’s extremities (arms and legs). It has 126 bones.
The adult human skeleton usually consists of 206 named bones. Babies are born with 270 soft bones — 64 more than an adult. These will fuse together by the age of 20 or 25 into the 206 hard, permanent bones. The 80 bones of the axial skeleton form the vertical axis of the body. They include the bones of the head, vertebral column, ribs and breastbone or sternum. The appendicular skeleton consists of 126 bones and includes the free appendages and their attachments to the axial skeleton. The free appendages are the upper and lower extremities, or limbs, and their attachments, which are called girdles. The two types of skeletons are described below in more detail.
The axial skeleton comprises the skull, hyoid, vertebral column and thoracic cage. The entire group of bones that make up the head is called the skull and it too can be divided into two primary groups:
1. cranium. This is the rounded area that houses and protects the brain. It is comprised of eight distinct bones that are fused together in an adult;
2. facial area. The facial area is made up of fourteen separate bones, which include those that make up the jaws, cheeks and nasal area.
The eight bones that make up the cranium are:
1. frontal bone. The frontal bone is the one that comprises the forehead, the upper orbit of the eye and the forward parts of the cranium. The frontal bone also contains two air spaces that are called sinuses. The frontal bone is fused with the parietal bones at the top, the sphenoid bones, maxilla and nasal bones;
2. parietal bones. There are two parietal bones that form the largest portion of the top and sides of the cranium. They are fused down the middle at the top of the skull. In addition to the frontal bones, the parietal bones are also fused to the sphenoid, temporal and occipital bones;
3. temporal bones. Like the parietal bones, there are two distinct temporal bones. These bones are what form the lower, central sides of the skull. The temporal bones also hold the mastoid sinuses as well as parts of the ears;
4. ethmoid bone. There is only one ethmoid bone and it has a different consistency that the other bones in the head. Where they are hard and dense, the ethmoid bone is a delicate, spongy bone that is located between the eyes. It also forms a part of the frontal floor area of the cranium;
5. sphenoid bone. There are two sphenoid bones and they sit behind the eyes and run back towards the temporal bones;
6. occipital bone. There is only one occipital bone. It forms the back base of the skull.
The 14 facial bones include:
1. mandible. The mandible (lower jaw) is the only moveable bone in the skull;
2. maxillae. There are two maxillae bones. They are what comprise the upper jaw and each one of them contains a large “maxillary” sinus;
3. zygomatic. There are two zygomatic bones and they sit on either side of the skull and comprise the higher area of the cheek;
4. lacrimal bones. There are two small lacrimal bones that sit at the inside corner of each eye;
5. vomer. There is only one vomer bone and it is what forms the lower portion of the nasal septum;
6. nasal bones. The nasal bones are a pair of small, slender bones that support the actual bridge of the nose. They are fused at the top to the frontal bone and to the maxillae at the area that completes the inside orbit of the eye.
In addition to the previous bones, there are six tiny bones (three pairs) called ossicles. They are located in the ears. They are joined in such a way as to amplify the sound waves received by the eardrum (tympanic membrane). The three bones are:
1. malleus. Often called the hammer are the two malleus bones (one in each ear).They are the first bones in the inner ear and appear similar in shape to a hammer. The “handle” part attaches to the tympanic membrane and the “head” portion attaches to the incus;
2. incus. The incus is also called the anvil and it is the middle of the three bones;
3. stapes. The stapes is the innermost bone and it appears very similar to a tiny stirrup. In fact, the stapes is often called the stirrup.
There is one final bone of the human skull. The tongue attaches to a single U-shaped bone called the hyoid bone. The hyoid is located underneath the skull, floating in the throat, and it forms the boundary between the head and neck. It is the only bone unconnected to any other bone.
There are 26 vertebrae in the Vertebral Column:
1. seven cervical vertebrae extend from the head to the thorax;
2. 12 thoracic vertebrae extend from the cervical portion to the lumbar section;
3. five lumbar vertebrae continue from the thoracic vertebrae to the sacrum;
4. the sacrum forms the posterior wall of the pelvis;
5. the coccyx is one mass of four to five (usually four) small coccygeal vertebrae that have fused into one commonly called the “tailbone.”
The 25 bones in the Thoracic Cage consist of:
1. 14 true ribs. There are 7 pairs that reach the anterior body wall. They are connected to the sternum by separate cartilaginous extensions (costal cartilages);
2. 10 false ribs. Three pairs do not attach directly to the sternum. The last two pairs are floating ribs because they have no connection with the sternum;
3. sternum. Although one bone, it has three parts in the adult. The manubrium articulates with the clavicles of the appendicular skeleton and with the cartilages of the first pair of ribs. The body ends at the xiphoid process.
The bone composition of the human body can be
written in the following, succinct way: a group of N bones will be written ‘N.’ If it is made up of n
single bones and m pairs of bones (one on each side of the body), this can be written as:
N = n(1) + m(2),
where the number 1 in brackets denotes a single bone and the number 2 denotes bones present as pairs in the skeleton. Below are listed the compositions of the groups of bones making up the axial skeleton (numbers in brackets are the numbers of each type):
Axial Skeleton (80 bones)
Cranial Bones (8)
· Parietal (2)
· Temporal (2)
· Frontal (1)
· Occipital (1)
· Ethmoid (1)
· Sphenoid (1)
Facial Bones (14)
· Maxilla (2)
· Zygomatic (2)
· Mandible (1)
· Nasal (2)
· Platine (2)
· Inferior nasal concha (2)
· Lacrimal (2)
· Vomer (1)
Auditory Ossicles (6)
· Malleus (2)
· Incus (2)
· Stapes (2) 28 = 6(1) + 11(2)
Vertebral Column (26)
· Cervical vertebrae (7)
· Thoracic vertebrae (12)
· Lumbar vertebrae (5)
· Sacrum (1)
· Coccyx (1) 26 = 26(1)
Thoracic Cage (25)
· Sternum (1)
· Ribs (24) 25 = 1(1) + 12(2)
Adding up the single bones and the pairs of bones in the axial skeleton,
80 = 28 + 1 + 26 + 25
= 34(1) + 23(2),
34(1) = 6(1) + 1 + 26(1) + 1(1)
23(2) = 11(2) + 12(2).
There are 34 single bones (six bones in the skull, the hyoid, 26 vertebrae and the sternum) and 23 pairs of bones, i.e., (34+23=57) types of bones. This is the sum of 26, the number value of YAHWEH, the Godname of Chokmah, and 31, the number value of EL, the Godname of Chesed below Chokmah on the Pillar of Mercy of the Tree of Life. Therefore, there are 26 types of bones in the spinal column and 31 other types of bones, showing how these two Names of God on the Pillar of Mercy prescribe the nature of the axial skeleton. The axial skeleton has 80 bones, where 80 is the number value of Yesod. It is the sum of 31, the number of EL, and 49, the number of EL ChAI, the Godname of Yesod.
The appendicular skeleton
Listed below is the composition of bones in the appendicular skeleton (see Fig. 1):
Pectoral girdle (4)
1. scapula (2) is commonly called the “shoulder blade” and is supported and positioned by the skeletal muscles. It has no bony or ligamentous bonds to the thoracic cage, but is extremely important for muscle attachment;
2. clavicle (2) is commonly called the "collarbone" and articulates with the manubrium of the sternum, and is the only direct connection between the pectoral girdle and the axial skeleton.
Upper Limbs (60)
1. humerus (2) extends from the scapula to the elbow;
2. radius (2) lies along the lateral side (or thumb side) of the forearm;
3. ulna (2) forms the medial support of the forearm;
4. carpals (16) are eight pairs of bones of the wrist and are composed of four proximal bones (scaphoid, lunate, triangular or triquetral, and the pisiform bone) and four distal bones (trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and the hamate bone);
5. metacarpals (10) are five pairs of bones that articulate with the distal carpal bones forming the palm of the hand;
6. phalanges (28) are 14 pairs of “finger” bones. Four fingers contain three phalanges while the pollex (thumb) has only two.
Pelvic girdle (2)
Os coxae (2) is commonly called the “hip bone.” It is formed from a fusion of three bones (ilium, ischium, and pubis).
Lower Limbs (60)
1. femur (2), commonly called the “thigh bone,” is the longest, strongest, and heaviest bone in the body. Distally, it articulates with the tibia at the knee joint. The head (epiphysis) articulates with the pelvis at the acetabulum;
2. tibia (2), commonly called the “shinbone,” is the large medial bone of the leg, attached to the patella by a ligament;
3. fibula (2) parallels the lateral border of the tibia;
4. patella (2) is the “knee cap;”
5. tarsals (14) include seven pairs of bones (talus, calcaneus, navicular, cuboid, and the first, second and third cuneiform bones). Only the talus articulates with the tibia and fibula;
6. metatarsals (10) support the sole of the foot, with the distal ends forming the ball of the foot;
7. phalanges (28) have the same arrangement as with the fingers and thumb only with the toes and great toe (hallux).
Appendicular Skeleton (126 bones)
Pectoral girdles (4)
· Clavicle (2)
· Scapula (2)
Upper Extremity (60)
· Humerus (2)
· Radius (2)
· Ulna (2)
· Carpals (16)
· Metacarpals (10)
· Phalanges (28)
Pelvic Girdle (2)
· Coxal, innominate, or hip bones (2)
Lower Extremity (60)
· Femur (2)
· Tibia (2)
· Fibula (2)
· Patella (2)
· Tarsals (14)
· Metatarsals (10)
126 = 63(2)
The appendicular skeleton has 126 bones grouped in 63 pairs. This is the sum of 50, the number value of ELOHIM, the Godname of Binah, and 76, the number of YAHWEH ELOHIM, the Godname of Tiphareth. Together with the 23 pairs of bones in the axial skeleton, there are 86 pairs in the two skeletons. 86 = 50 + 36, where 36 is the number value of ELOHA, the Godname of Geburah, the Sephirah below Binah on the Pillar of Judgement. This illustrates the formative character of these two Sephiroth, for their Godnames determine how many pairs of bones are in the human body. 86 is also the sum of 21, the number value of EHYEH, the Godname of Kether, and 65, the number value of ADONAI, the Godname of Malkuth. We found earlier that the axial skeleton has 57 types of bones, where 57 = 26 + 31. Both skeletons therefore have (63+57=120) types of bones, where
120 = 22 + 42 + 62 + 82.
This demonstrates how the Tetrad Principle proposed in Article 1 determines the number of types of bones in the human skeleton. As 112 = 121 = 1 + 3 + 5 +… + 21, 120 is the sum of the ten odd integers after 1:
Designed according to the blueprint of the 10-fold Tree of Life, the human body exhibits in its types of bones the perfection of the Decad, called “God,” “Cosmos,” and “All Perfect” by the ancient Pythagoreans. This beautiful property is prescribed by the Divine Name EHYEH with number value 21 because the number 120 is the sum of all the odd integers up to 21, the Pythagoreans not counting the number 1 even as an integer, let alone as an odd one, because they regarded it as the Divine Monad, the source of all number.
Figure 2. The 120 yods lying on the boundaries of the seven enfolded, regular polygons signify the 120 types of bones in the human skeleton.
The number 120 is truly a measure of the perfection of the human skeleton for the following reason: when the 47 sectors of the seven enfolded polygons constituting the inner form of the Tree of Life are turned into tetractyses, there are 120 yods on their 42 sides (Fig. 2 ). Each yod symbolizes a degree of freedom expressing the nature of the holistic system designed according to the Tree of Life. Although (just as the body has more than 120 bones) the 120 yods do not quantify completely the seven polygons, which have 264 yods, they do define their extent. As the number of types of bones, the number 120 likewise quantifies how many different degrees of freedom express the form of the corporal Tree of Life. The 34 corners of the seven polygons outside their shared edge denote the 34 types of single bones in the axial skeleton. The 23 yods on the sides of the dodecagon denote the 23 types of paired bones in the axial skeleton and the 63 remaining yods on the sides of the first six polygons denote the 63 types of bones of the appendicular skeleton.
The 120th even integer is 240. This is the sum of the numbers of the Godnames of the first six Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. It was pointed out in Superstrings as sacred geometry/Tree of Life that E8, the rank-8 Lie group describing the symmetry of the unified force between E8×E8 heterotic superstrings, has 240 roots. As one might expect with such archetypal numbers, these Godname numbers, when paired vertically according to their arrangement at the corners of a Star of David (Fig. 3), exhibit the
Figure 3. The first six Godname numbers and their vertical pairings.
Figure 4. EHYEH prescribes the 126 bones of the appendicular skeleton.
The Godname YAHWEH with number value 26 prescribes the number 126 because it is the arithmetic mean of the first 26 triangular numbers*:
This is an amazing example of how the Divine Names arithmetically determine defining parameters of holistic systems, in this case, the number of bones in the human appendicular skeleton.
As the number of bones in the human skeleton, the number 206 is the sum of the Godname numbers of Binah, Chesed, Tiphareth & Yesod:
206 = 50 + 31 + 76 + 49 = (50 + 76) + (31 + 49) = 126 + 80.
We see that the combination of Godname numbers that add up to 206 naturally divide into the number of bones in the axial skeleton (80) and the appendicular skeleton (126). Given that there are (210−1=1023) combinations of 10 Godname numbers, it is, perhaps, not surprising that at least one of them should add up to 206, so that its existence could be just a matter of chance. However, it is improbable that this particular combination should happen by chance to divide into the numbers 80 and 126 quantifying the bones in the two types of human skeleton. This property also appears in the sum of the four following Godname numbers:
206 = 50 + 15 + 76 + 65 = (50 + 76) + (15 + 65) = 126 + 80.