In numbers, he found faith

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Numbers and their role in the universe are topics that have fascinated Andalusia’s Michael Cottle for years. In fact, that fascination led him to pen “52!.”

To describe the book, Cottle asks, “What do you see when you look at a deck of playing cards? Do you see the elegant designs that are drawn on the back of the cards? Do you look right through the deck as they clutter the drawer and your mind wanders to other thoughts of the day? Do you think of the last time that you played a friendly game of Poker or Gin Rummy?

New author Michael Cottle of Andalusia and his son, Blaise.                                                   Courtesy photo

New author Michael Cottle of Andalusia and his son, Blaise. Courtesy photo

“Do you ponder questions of life and sometimes simply ‘the reason for it all?’ ” he said. “Then, this book is for you – ‘52!’ is a journey to comprehend numbers that are relative to reality and the universe that we live in.

“It is a mathematical and a spiritual journey to understand the numbers behind life and perhaps more importantly shares my journey to find an axiom of faith,” he said.

So how does one arrive at that point and become ready to share his philosophy with the world? For Cottle, who is employed at Arclin in Andalusia, it was a logical transition.

“I’ve always been interested in numbers, and recently went back and obtained a master’s in math,” he said. “I was really fascinated by just how many unique shuffles there are in a deck of cards. It occurred to me that most people who play cards have no idea how huge this number really is.

“As I began studying ways to understand this number, I realized that I didn’t even know how big this number was,” he said. “While I was looking into more and more ways to explain this kind of magnitude to others, I could see how truly unique we are as individuals. I began to see the small chance of us even being here at all on this earth, and I began to find a peace that I hadn’t ever experienced before in life. This peace was from the faith that I had I found after years of searching. I finally could believe that without any doubt, there was a reason for it all.”

The book is published by Outskirts Press Inc. and is available in hardback or paperback through and The 144-page book will soon be available on Apple iPad, Kindle and Nook.

Cottle and his wife of 23 years, Nita – a Paxton, Fla., school teacher – have one son, 8-year-old Blaise. The family has resided in the Coldwater Community for nearly 41 years.

When not working at Arclin, Cottle spends his time writing music, enjoying his family and woodworking.