It is really hard to know.
Numbers are mysterious objects.
Actually, we should differentiate them
from numerals, which are metaphors,
symbols used to represent numbers.
Counting with the integers 1,2,3, and so on,
in the 10 base number system
is inspired and empowered by the 10 digits
of the ten fingers on our two hands.
Some 25 centuries ago,
that number one was a monad,
an indivisible element of nature,
in which number
was the essence of all things.
Many years later, in the 17th century,
Galileo said that the book of nature
was written with numbers
in the language of mathematics.
In modern times
the Nobel laureate philosopher Bertrand Russell
returned to the Platonic concept of an ideal world,
a cosmos with immaterial, ethereal dimensions
of which our earthly existence
is just an inferior copy and reflection.
In his 1903 volume,
'The Principles of Mathematics', Russell said
that the subject matter of mathematics
involves Platonic essences
that exist in a universe
transcending both mind and matter.