a sculpting of fragments by
with stickgirl drawings by
Ann Marie Fleming
"We have inherited from our forefathers the longing for a metanarrative which unifies and embraces all knowledge. With mankind's ever expanding depth and breadth of information, we are increasingly reminded of the impossibility of any single mind comprehending more than a limited portion of it.
From time-to-time it is important to make renewed effort to knit together, for the benefit of non-academics and non-scientists, some of the seemingly disparate thoughts, propositions and theories from past and present, albeit with second-hand and incomplete knowledge – and at the risk of making fools of ourselves."
E. Schrödinger ("What is Life?")
This brief work follows the general form taken by L.N.Tolstoy in "A Calendar of Wisdom : Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul", and represents a selective harvesting of insights, conjectures, theorems and scientific principles gifted to us by some of humankind's greatest minds.
All which follows is familiar to each of us and has been expressed, rendered or performed, in some manner, by others before.
The structure consists of three voices. The first voice is represented by the text and is intended to serve as a central note or axis. The glasperlens (trans. 'glass beads') of footnotes, related readings and remarks are offered as a second voice with each reference intended to resonate on their own but arranged to fold back upon one another and to speak to the other voices. The stickgirl drawings are presented as a third voice – mindful of the others, yet free to trip through the words, to jump, and to hold up a mirror as she sees fit – as symbol of playfulness, humour, spontaneity and the wonder of form. The hope is to give space and moment to an unknowable/ undefinable between these 3 voices into which the reader might seek to venture.
“The search for new means of philosophical expression was begun by Nietzsche and must be pursued today in relation to the renewal of certain other arts, such as the theatre or the cinema. [...] It seems to us that the history of philosophy should play a role roughly analogous to that of collage in painting.”
Each woman comes into ... and departs ... life
"[...] like a [...] bird
fluttering above the horrors of an abyss.”
Each man comes into ... and departs ... life
“The cradle rocks above an abyss ...
and our existence is but a brief crack of light
between two eternities of darkness.”
“Silence is the general consecration of the universe."
* * *
"Silence is at once the most harmless and
the most awful thing in all nature.”
That said, contemplate how:
"All things connect - eventually."
Each person/each object,
and the matter from which it is composed,
is made up of
Each resembles a particle of light.
Each bears analogy to the pinnacle of an obelisk
- that archaic symbol of the way in which energy radiates from a single point.
Wonder at the great diversity
in those things both inanimate and also animate
– of what can be the enormity of their physical imperfections.
And, in the case of mankind, wonder at what can be the terrifying depravity
and willing blindness of man alone and when he/she acts in consort with others.
how each thing is so near to perfect – some more, some less.
Marvel how each thing is never exactly the same as any other thing
– how nature never repeats itself.
“Une rose seule, c’est toutes les roses
et celle-ci: l'irremplacable, [...].”
("A single rose is every rose
and this one: irreplaceable, [...].")
Look closely at
the subtle differences between things small, at:
◊ wild mushrooms - puffballs, morels, boletes;
◊ the many types of butterflies – brushfoots, skippers, sulphurs;
◊ wild fruits of the forest and meadow – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries.
Notice, how each is unique.
But consider also how each belongs.
◊ Each wild mushroom belongs to the kingdom of fungi.
◊ Each wild fruit belongs to the kingdom of plantae.
◊ Each butterfly belongs to the kingdom animalia.
Reflect how each has tenuous and intimate connection to that which is Other.
Each mushroom has connection to the soil or to some substrate.
Each butterfly has connection to the nectar which it drinks.
Each berry has connection to the root of some plant.
Life is an adventure:
◊ In foraging for and in seeing differences between things – both animate and also inanimate; and,
◊ In listening to the different oscillations of all things which surround the Self and its interactions.
"In an earlier period of science one distinguished, for instance, as different groups minerals, plants, animals and men. These objects were taken according to their group as of different natures, made of different materials, and determined in their behaviour by different forces. Now we know that it is always the same matter ... also the forces that act between the different parts of matter are ultimately the same in every kind of object. What can be distinguished is the kind of connection which is primarily important in certain phenomenon".
* * *
"The world thus appears as a complicated tissue of events, in which different connections of different kinds alternate or overlap or combine and thereby determine the texture of the whole."
Nobel Prize (Physics)
"No self is of itself alone."
* * *
"A hundred years ago, perhaps, another man sat on this spot; like you he gazed with awe and yearning in his heart at the dying light on the glaciers. // He felt pain and brief joy as you do. Was he someone else? Was it not you yourself? What is this Self of yours? What was the necessary condition for making the thing conceived this time into you, just you and not someone else?"
* * *
"Multiplicity is only apparent."
Nobel Prize (Physics)
"[...] the 'stuff' of all matter and all forces is the same. Each elementary particle is composed of a single string – and all strings are absolutely identical. Differences between the particles arise because their respective strings undergo different resonant vibrational patterns. What appear to be different elementary particles are actually 'notes' on a fundamental string. The universe – being composed of an enormous number of these vibrating strings – is akin to a cosmic symphony. "
theoretical physicist/string theorist (Columbia)
"Lifetime is [...] a game":
◊ Of awakening to affinities;
◊ Of searching for and uncovering patterns and connections;
◊ Of seeking to find and to form some bond with that which is Other.
When the Self encounters and makes connection with that which is Other,
it becomes receptive to experiencing Love, and Suffering, in its many forms.
It becomes bigger.
As it interacts, the Self becomes more open
to the special resonances
of other persons, of other beings – of other notes.
And their special rhythms
as each takes, and then relinquishes, Form in time & space.
It is important to reflect on the deeper meanings of
And to astonish at:
"[...] from all things one and from one thing all."
It is important to awaken and to wonder
interconnectivity of all things
but also to
the contradictory, and often (in humankind's view) negative,
aspect of those forces
which are ever present.
"There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."
Man/woman continually attach themselves
to opinions, to ideologies, to symbols -
and, of course, to persons, to things and to life.
The desire to simply be taken in, to be held in esteem,
to be cared for, to seek explanation, to strive for enlightenment,
or even to seek tranquility,
are in our nature, and can assume many forms,
but each reveal humankind’s predisposition to attachment.
Man/woman must strive to overcome the
which is often associated with letting go
of whatever it is to which he/she may have attached themselves.
RESISTANCE/ TENSION/ SHUDDER
which can often accompany embracing that which is
And, on occasion, his/her perception that
nothing is happening.
It is important to be mindful that
THE SELF EMBODIES ALL
"[...] the self designates the whole range of psychic phenomenon in man [...]. In other words, it encompasses both the experienceable and the inexperienceable, (or not yet experienced)."
C. G Jung
Everything is subject to change.
Movement is continuous [in a large system].
Contradiction is present not only in the far distant -
in the out-there, but also
in the near, in those we love,
and in ourselves.
Existence is a continuous dance
ALL > IS < between
To become bigger
It is necessary to embrace ambiguity.
At any given moment, the Self possesses the capacity:
◊ To question (to reach in), to speak-out (to break the silence) and to approach the cosmos with an open mind;
◊ To reach out/ to turn away/ to strive for perspective;
◊ To nurture the spirit of play;
◊ To ponder the majesty, and the irony, of the consciousness of Self;
◊ To become bigger through connecting - whether by word, sound or through some other deed;
◊ To muster a thin smile in the face of inevitable anguish;
* * *
◊ And, from time-to-time,
to simply wait, to listen, and to be receptive
to that which is invariably reaching-out.
"When something vibrates, it seeks to spread its effect.
When it encounters resonance, it expands.
Vibrating and resonant entities integrate, while they unfold across time, a veil of vibrations and palpitations
modulating each other: they add up and multiply.
In other words, they establish a form of order,
opposed to their fundamental counterparts: antagonism and noise."
* * *
"As a pure manifestation of energy exchange, an animated string is a simile for life emerging spontaneously from noise or from silence."
Imagine if someone, someday, should find some thread which connects:
FREQUENCY RATIO of PERFECT (JUST) FIFTH : FUNDAMENTAL (3:2)
RECIPROCAL of phi ("GOLDEN PROPORTION"): One (1) minus RECIPROCAL of phi
FREQUENCY RATIO of FIRST (CONTRA) OCTAVE (2:1) - C2 (65.4064 Hz) : C1 (32.7032 Hz)
DARK ENERGY: (DARK MATTER+ ORDINARY MATTER) in CMB Planck (published ESA measurements 03/13)
One (1) minus RECIPROCAL of pi (π) : RECIPROCAL OF π
“Difference must leave its cave and cease to be a monster; [...]."
* * *
"Difference must become the element, the ultimate unity; it must therefore refer to other differences [...] Each term of a series , being already a difference, must be put into variable relation with other terms, thereby constituting other series devoid of centre and convergence. [...]
Every object, every thing, must see its own identity swallowed up in difference, each being no more than a difference between differences."* * *"We know that modern art tends to realize these conditions: in this sense it becomes a veritable theatre of metamorphoses and permutations. [ ... ] The work of art leaves the domain of representation in order to become 'experience', [ ... ]."
"Running through the rain without getting wet
is utterly impossible."