November 04th, 2013

Cymatics: Giving Sound a Visual Form

“Consider for a moment that sound does have form. And we’ve seen that it can effect matter and cause form within matter, then take a leap and think of the universe forming. And think of the immense sound of the universe forming.”

— Evan Grant

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June 03rd, 2011

Martha Heyneman on Understanding

“Understanding evolves in the same way as natural systems do. Each new level, whether of being or of knowledge, encompasses all the previous levels and manifests the inauguration of the dominion of a still more powerful — at the same time more concentrated and more comprehensive — unifying principle. It is as if, as the reach of its organizing power encompasses more and more diversity, the unifying principle itself goes deeper and deeper, approaching closer and closer to the center and unifying principle of the Whole.”


“This evolutionary process is not continuous but proceeds, when a system reaches a state far from equilibrium, by sudden leaps, as if by inspiration or revelation. The moment of the leap, from atom to molecule, from molecule to cell, from cell to organism, resembles those moments when, after long and anguished searching, there leaps into the mind of the scientist (from he knows not where) a theory that brings into order a vast realm of formerly unrelated data; or into the awareness of the poet the presentiment of a poem — the almost physical sensation that there is now something inside him that will give him no rest until he succeeds in bringing it to birth and precise articulation, and within whose form all the contradictory experiences of his life up to this time will take their places in harmonious relationship so that, at last, their meaning will be revealed to him.”
– Martha Heyneman from The Breathing Cathedral
Photograph The Boy and the Lion by Elizabeth Sarah.

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May 23rd, 2010

Announcing the Oversoul: Spare and Strange

“The universe is a more amazing puzzle than ever, as you glance along this bewildering series of animated forms—the hazy butterflies, the carved shells, the birds, beasts, fishes, insects, snakes, and the upheaving principle of life everywhere so incipient, in the very rock aping organized forms. Not a form so grotesque, so savage, nor so beautiful but is an expression of some property inherent in man the observer—an occult relation between the very scorpions and man. I feel the centipede in me—cayman, carp, eagle, and fox. I am moved by strange sympathies; I say continually, “I will be a naturalist.”

–R.W. Emerson

Emerson looks upon the universe as a witness, not as a lover. He waits for things to display themselves before him so that he can “yield to the law of their being.” Without being in the least a scientist, he is often impressively disinterested and curious about phenomena. He complained that “Now many are thought not only unexplained but inexplicable; as language, sleep, madness, dreams, beasts, sex.”

Emerson is at his best not when he is announcing the Oversoul to the people or flattering his audience, but when he is idiosyncratic, spare and strange; in those moods of almost sleepy reflection and passive wonder one feels that he is entirely open to his unconscious, that he can get it to speak through him in the same way, to use his own image, as the tree puts itself forth through its leaves and branches. “The secret of the world is the tie between person and event . . . . The soul contains the event that shall befall it, for the event is only the actualization of its thoughts and what we pray to ourselves for is always granted.”

– Alfred Kazin The Atlantic

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