¨Master, why is one not a prime number?”

“Who told you that, Lanoo?” said the Master.

“I read it in a book on number theory,” replied Lanoo.

“Actually, one is a proto prime number, from which all numbers are derived,” said the Master, “mathematicians don’t know what to do with it as it is a philosophical issue.”

“Let’s do an experiment, Lanoo,” said the Master.

“I’m ready with my notebook, calculator and pen, Master,” said Lanoo.

“Lanoo, start with the number one and add one divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one, divided by one plus one. That should do.”

“Written down, Master, ” said Lanoo.

“Add it all up and you’ll get a special number,” said the Master.

“This is quite difficult,” said Lanoo.

“Keep your tongue straight and it will all work out,” advised the Master.

After a while, Lanoo obtained the final result.

“I’ve got the number, Master,” said Lanoo.

“Very good. We call this number phi.”

Now square the number and subtract the number from its square,” said the Master.

“What do you have left?”

“Why, I have one left,” said an astounded Lanoo.

“You see why the one is so special?” said the Master, “you can do this with no other number.”

“Now, measure the length of your finger tip and multiply it by phi and you will get the length of the next phalange of your finger. If you multiply the next phalange by phi, you will get the length of the third phalange of your finger,” said the Master.

“Correct, and amazing,” said Lanoo.

“You will find that other proportions in your body also reflect phi, also called the Golden Ratio, which gives the most aesthetically pleasing Golden Rectangle,” said the Master.

“Note the following phi ratios: floor to navel/navel to top of head, tip of chin to eyes/tip of chin to tip of nose,” said the Master.

“Thus, the number one is propagated everywhere in Nature as you will see on investigating the proportions of minerals, plants and animals,” said the Master.

“The Golden Ratio represents the esoteric maxim: ‘As above, so below’ – all based on the number one,” said the Master.

“This concept was presented in the *Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus*:

*‘That which is below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.’”*

“Thank you for this valuable lesson on one, Master,” said Lanoo “I will verify these indications.”

“Wishing you further illumination, Lanoo,” said the Master

*Can you work out what the number phi is to four significant digits?*