7 Nov 2009, 11:20am
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beauty holds us together

in which science tells our brains what our souls already know.

also in which particle physics is seriously beautiful and looks a lot like a mandala (or many mandalas).

(you all know about ted.com, right?)

he quotes galileo as evidence that “this idea, that nature is described by mathematics, is not at all new”: “nature’s grand book, which stands continually open to our gaze, is written in the language of mathematics…” but, of course, right? and mathematics is also described by nature. there is nothing in us that hasn’t come from the earth. we are all connected:


some more stuff about space-time, from the spell of the sensuous

“…Euclid implied by his various definitions and postulates that space itself could be conceived of as an entirely homogeneous and limitless three-dimensional continuum. The homogeneous character of Euclidean space was indicated, in particular, by his assertion that parallel straight lines, no matter how far they extended in either direction, will never meet. While this postulate holds true for a perfectly flat and featureless ideal space, the experienced world that we bodily inhabit is not so regular. Indeed, we now know that the sphericality of the earth itself–the very surface on which we dwell–confounds Euclid’s parallel postulate: two straightest-possible lines that start out parallel to each other on the curved surface of a sphere will eventually converge and cross, like meridians at the North Pole. That we still commonly envision the curved surface of the earth, with all of its local irregularities (its mountains and river valleys), to be embedded within a three-dimensional space quite lacking any curvature of its own, is exquisite testimony to the lasting influence of Euclidean conceptions. Euclid’s assumptions provided the classical basis for Western, scientific notions of space, from the Renaissance until the work of Albert Einstein, and even today the supposedly ‘commonsense’ experience remains profoundly under the influence of such assumptions.”

“Heidegger uses the term ‘horizon’ as a structural metaphor, a way of expressing the ecstatic nature of time. Just as the power of time seems to ensure that the perceivable moment is always open, always already unfolding beyond itself, so the distant horizon seems to hold open the perceivable landscape, binding it always to that which lies beyond it.
    ”The visible horizon, that is, [is] a kind of gateway or threshold, joining the presence of the surrounding terrain to that which exceeds this open presence, to that which is hidden beyond the horizon. This horizon carries the promise of something more, something other. Here we have made our first discovery: the way that other places–places not explicitly present within the perceived landscape–are nevertheless joined to the present landscape by the visible horizon. And so let us ask: it is possible that the realms we are looking for, the place of the past and that of the future, are precisely beyond the horizon?”

“That which has been and that which is to come are not elsewhere–they are not autonomous dimensions independent of the encompassing present in which we dwell. They are, rather, the very depths of this living place–the hidden depth of its distances and the concealed depth on which we stand.”

“It is evident, however, that when our awareness of time is joined with our awareness of space, space itself is transformed. Space is no longer experienced as a homogeneous void, but reveals itself as this vast and richly textured field in which we are corporeally immersed, this vibrant expanse structured by both a ground and a horizon. It is precisely the ground and the horizon that transform abstract space into space-time. And these characteristics–the ground and the horizon–are granted to us only by the earth. Thus, when we let time and space blend into a unified space-time, we rediscover the enveloping earth.”


(i am not a scientist–yet–just an artist looking for ways to understand.)



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