7.2. THE FASCINATION OF NUMBERS
At first glance, the source of the apocalyptic fascination with the years 1000 and 2000 might be the obscure texts of Revelation 20, where the expression “a thousand years” or “thousands of years” (according to other Bible versions) is used six times. Revelation 20 is the foundation of the entire millennial doctrine, but the text does not refer expressly to the years 1000 or 2000; this is why the “thousand years” was interpreted over time either symbolically or literally, as a specific and practical calendrical unit. In any case, religion cannot explain why the attraction for the year 2000 transcended the cultural and religious barriers; it was not limited to Christian people. And if we ask ourselves what exactly in nature functions according to cycles of 1,000 or 2,000 years, the answer is nothing. This means that the explanation to the problem of the year 1000 or 2000 is not to be found in religion, but in psychology.
The number 1,000 seems mystical, powerful and especially complete for the simple fact that it is a round number. The modern man thinks in the decimal (base 10) system of numeration; he imagines, conceives and organizes his environment though this system of numeration. Money is the best example of the way we apply numbers in the material world: we have money of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 1,000 or 2,000 units. Nowhere in the world is there money of 3,245 units, of 1,415 units or any other numerical values that are difficult to operate with.