"When any part undertakes more than one function then the overall efficiency of the organisation is enhanced. Elegance is achieved when a variety of roles are accepted by each part, permitting the whole to operate at several levels of awareness, with interweaving functions inflecting one to another in a state of equilibrium and flux. It is then that an organisation can acquire the hypersensitive qualities that we associate with life, as though it's chemistry has condensed space itself into a vibrant cauldron of energy. And when the building process is not revealed it can acquire just a hint of magic."
"Kronos' (Time) siblings names are equally revealing. Metheus means 'thought.' The words 'thesis, 'theory, and 'thinking' are derived from its root. Epi means 'after,' so Epi-metheus means 'after-thought,' that is, thinking about the past. His sister's name, Mnemosyne, is the root of the word 'memory'; every student has used her name to create 'mnemonics' to help memorize long sequences of facts. Mnemosyne was the mother of the Muses, because remembrance makes all the arts possible. Pro-metheus means 'fore-thought,' which is indispensable for anticipating the future. Prometheus is synonymous with 'prediction.' According to myth then King Time (Kronos), along with his brothers After-thought and Fore-thought, and their sister Memory, are the ancestors once-removed of the human race. "
Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"
"But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul; and more strange and more portentous - why, as we have seen, it is at once the most meaning symbol of spiritual things, nay the very veil of the Christian's Deity; and yet should be as it is, the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind. Is it that by it's indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the Milky Way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in wide landscape of snows - a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? When we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues - every stately or lovely emblazoning - the sweet tinges of sunset, skies, and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these subtle deceipts, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within and when we proceed further and consider the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, forever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses with it's own black tinge - pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us like a leper; and like willful travelers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored or coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And all these things the albino whale was the symbol of. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?"
" A certain swordsman in his declining years said the following:
In one's life, there are levels in the pursuit of study. In the lowest level, a person studies but nothing comes of it, and he feels that both he and others are unskillful. At this point he is worthless. In the middle level he is still useless but is aware of his own insufficiencies and can also see the insufficiencies of others. In a higher level he has pride concerning his own ability, rejoices in praise from others, and laments the lack of ability in his fellows. This man has worth. In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing.
There are the levels in general. But there is one transcending level, and this is the most excellent of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks that he has succeeded. He has no thoughts of pride but with self abasement knows the Way to the end. It is said that Master Yagyu once remarked 'I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself.'
Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending."
"To get a good mental image of space-time, let us return to 'Flatland' (a 2 dimensional universe populated by sentient 2D geometric forms from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott). Suppose that A. Square is sitting alone in a field. At noon he sees his father, A. Triangle, approaching from the west. A. Triangle reaches A. Square's side at 12:05, talks to him briefly, and then slides back to where he came from. Now, if we think of time as being a direction perpendicular to space, then we can represent the Flatlanders time as a direction perpendicular to the plane of Flatland. Assuming that 'later in time' and 'higher in the third dimension' are the same thing, we can represent a motionless Flatlander by a vertical worm or trail and a moving Flatlander by a curving worm or trail as we have done in Figure 78 <see below>.
We can think of these 3D space-time worms as existing timelessly. We can use them to produce an animated Flatland by take a 2D plane, moving it upwards (forward in time) and watching the motions of the figures formed by intersections of the worms with the moving plane. Try to imagine a picture like Figure 78 which encompassed the entire space-time of Flatland. A vast tangle of worms of varying thickness! Actually each worm would be a tangle of threads, where a thread would correspond to the trail of an atom. Given the fact that every atom in ones body is replaced every 7 years or so, we can see that there is no single thread that goes through the whole length of one's life. A living individual is a persistent pattern rather than a particular collection of particles.
It is an interesting mental exercise to try to see our world in terms of space-time. Walking through a crowd of people for instance, one can try to see the people as trails in space-time rather than as spatial objects moving forward in space-time. Under this view our world consists of is 'worms' in 4D space-time. The universe at any instant is a particular 3D cross section of this 4D structure."
Lao Tzu, "tao Te Ching"
"Thirty spokes share one hub. Adapt the nothingness therein to the purpose at hand and you will have use of the cart. Knead clay in order to make a vessel. Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose at hand, and you will have use of the vessel. Cut out doors and windows in order to make a room. Adapt the nothing therein to the purpose at hand and you will have use of the room. Thus what we gain is something, yet it is by virtue of nothing that this can be put to use."
"On the basis of elementary abstractions, mathematics creates others which are even more remote from anything real. Negative numbers, equations involving unknowns, formulas, and other concepts we shall encounter are abstractions built upon abstractions. Fortunately every abstraction is ultimately derived from and therefore understandable in terms of, intuitively meaningful objects or phenomena. The mind does play its part in the creation of mathematical concepts, but the mind does not function independently of the outside world. Indeed the mathematician who treats concepts that have no physically real or intuitive origins is almost surely talking nonsense. The intimate connection between mathematics and objects and events in the real world is reassuring, for it means that we can not only hope to understand the mathematics proper, but also expect physically meaningful and valuable conclusions."
"... historically the fourth dimension has been considered a mere curiosity by physicists. No evidence has ever been found for higher dimensions. This began to change in 1919 when physicists Theodor Kaluza wrote a highly controversial paper that hinted at the presence of higher dimensions. He started with Einsteins theory of general relativity, but placed it in five dimensions (one dimension of time & four dimensions of space; since time is the fourth space-time dimension, physicists now refer to the fourth spatial dimension as the fifth dimension). If the fifth dimension were made smaller and smaller, the equations magically split into two pieces. One piece describes Einsteins standard theory of relativity, but the other becomes Maxwells theory of light.
This was a stunning revelation, perhaps the secret of light lives in the fifth dimension! Einstein himself was shocked by the solution, which seemed to provide an elegant unification of light and gravity. (Einstein was so shaken by Kaluza's proposal that he mulled it over for two years before finally agreeing to have this paper published.) Eisntein wrote to Kaluza, "The idea of achieving [ a unified theory] by means of a five dimensional cylinder would never have dawned on me... at first glance, I like your idea enormously... the formal unity of your theory is startling."
For years physicists had asked the question: if light is a wave, then what is having? Light can pass through billions of light-years of empty space, but empty space is a vacuum, devoid of any material. So what is waving in the vacuum? With Kaluza's theory we had a concrete proposal to answer this problem: light is ripples in the fifth dimension. Maxwell's equations, which accurately describe all the properties of light, emerge simply as the equations for waves traveling in the fifth dimension."
"One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
one need not be a house;
the brain has corridors surpassing
Far safer, of a midnight meeting
than an interior confronting
that whiter host.
Far safer through an abbey gallop,
the stones achase,
than, moonless, one's own self encounter
in lonesome place.
Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
should startle most:
assassin, hid in our apartment,
be horrors least.
The prudent carries a revolver,
he bolts the door,
o'erlooking a superior spectre
"In haiku, then, there is an attempt to 'say something without saying it.' That which remains unsaid tells more than the words and yet is unclear without them. Words are used like the few lines of ink in Japanese and Chinese landscapes that emphasize the vastness of the scene. Whatever the seasonal image of a haiku, there is something in it of a wintry landscape and we cannot discern it's features if an occasional point does not stand out against the snow, a point of color that puts the white view in relief. It is at this point that the haiku stands, though it's significance, like that of the point in the drawing, lies in the grandeur of the surrounding scene."