Yesterday, I started collecting questions I would ask of an ideal group of scientists and natural philosophers at an ideal university that merged art, science, philosophy and ethics into a unified field of enquiry.
Scotch Thistles, Quite at Home in the Ideal University
Even if the wind and rain have blown them over into a gravel pit. Notice the incredible balance of energies in their forms. That’s the energy of the universe you’re looking at.
Today, I’m continuing with those questions. They all have to do with the nature of the earth, as the third planet from the Sun, heavy with iron yet draped with water that has come from the edges of the solar system and is held here by gravity. It shouldn’t be here, but it is! On earth, the outer and inner realms of the solar system are united.
Sailboat, Sailing on a Comet One Hour Ago…
… in wind created by the gravity of the sun and the spinning earth. How cool is that?
This is not just a planet of water. Given that it’s a largely iron planet, sprinkled with water and surrounded with very corrosive oxygen, it is the planet of rust. Rust is fire.
The Earth, on Fire
Grass Demonstrating Its Nature as a Space Creature in Okanagan Landing. Note that life is fire as well. We are all burning up. In fact, we are this burning. How cool is that!
Yesterday, I provided images of grass gone to seed, with questions about light and the use of the human body as the most accurate of devices for measuring its effects. In this, I’m following the poet-scientist Goethe’s remark that to use technical devices (and the dissections of logic that go along with them), as Newton did in his experiments on light and colour, is to produce the effects that devices (and dissection) can produce. The human body, he noted, is, however, the most accurate of measuring devices. To that, I might add that if that is so, what the human body measures is quite a different thing than that which devices measure. The potential within Goethe’s observation is as large as the universe and all of human interactions with it, especially when coupled with the equally powerful physical observations of technical science. And with that thought, let’s begin. Today, I’d like to look at gravity and water. Here they are, doing their thing:
Both at once. That’s the point.
1. If it were possible to use the human body as the most accurate of measuring devices, one which enabled scientific observation to be part of the observation, would it be possible to aid physicists in their work of looking to the edges of the universe and the very beginnings of matter, space and time by observing the earth closely?
2. If that were art, would that matter? I mean, if the observations were accurate and gave real insights into the nature of the universe? And if they were confirmable, by further study, using the precise logical tools of traditional science?
3. Would that not be an ideal university?
It’s called a semi-arid region, yet there’s water within the soil.
Notice how in the above image the taught energies of earth’s gravity are primary, as they work themselves out according to the physical properties and resistances of various elements and processes, including the reactions of light on atmosphere and water in the very shape and nature of aerial creatures (that we call grass), which are anchored to the soil but not of it (and not made of it). The recognition of these shapes is what human tradition calls art. Ah, and then the questions.
1. What if it is not art? What if it is actually a precise measurement by a precise device?
More of that Precise Measurement
In the way in which the thistles respond to gravity and light, so responds as well the observing human eye — from within the moment, not from outside it.
This device might not only be the human eye and mind, and the ways in which it projects its image of the human body upon the earth and all things around it. It might also be a camera, and the manner in which a human can learn to use that camera and its predominantly human characteristics in an artful way. (“Artful” does not mean “art”, but an internalized process, incorporating a process or a tool into human self-awareness of space.) And so…
2. What is the relationship between the human observer, the observed world, and the human-styled device (which we call a camera), which the human observer reacts with artfully to extend its capabilities in entirely new, refined directions?
3. Is that not as precise as the most refined mathematics?
Thunderstorm on a Gravel Road, Bella Vista
Such meditations and observations lead me in philosophical directions. For one, ethics:
1. If technically-derived science (Newtonian science) denies the precise knowledge of the human observer in favour of logical and deconstructive knowledge, is it not denying the worth of human perception? Before we answer that, we might consider this:
2. Does the formation of the concept of art as a means of making a space for human perception and body knowledge (artfulness) outside of science further the development of human capability, or does it sideline it into directions which do not interfere with the trained, scientifically elite? Before we answer that, we might consider this:
3. Does that accord with society’s inherent or professed social goals? And:
4. Is a divergence from these goals, or a ranking of human knowledge that accords priority to one method of inquiry over others ethical?
Why then is human patterning and colour response, made in response to visual stimuli, called art, when it is as much of the world as this?
Does that not create a division between humans and the earth that the arts are then tasked to heal?
How is the Patterning of this Arrow-leafed Balsam Root Seedhead Different from the Patterning Observed by a Human Observer?
How can the arts heal a division that is artificially created, without denying the division?
Tomorrow, we will look again at water. I would like to talk about how the energies of the earth’s transit around the sun power the flow of water down through my grassland hills.