I love the world that scientific method has uncovered, but I also know that there is a way of mapping the world that does not include scientific descriptions of the flow of energy. Science, for instance, can’t map this.
Yes, it can give mathematical models for the energy patterns in the water, and a separate set for the particulate load of the water (cedar root), and another for the light energy entering the water, plus a model for the pebble mass and wave energy that has laid the beach floor at the mouth of this tidal creek, but the whole picture is too complex. Science has no model for putting it all together. It can’t, for instance, point out that this tidal flat is the same.
Willow Point, Vancouver Island
I think we could adjust the scientific model, to make this possible. In another example, there is a relationship between the yellow in the pebbles in the first image above and the yellow in the flowers on the elf hill below in Laugar, Iceland.
Science would point out that this connection is unmeasurable, and thus outside of scientific discussion. I agree that it is unmeasurable, using scientific techniques. I agree that it is outside of scientific discussion, too. At that point, I would like to add, however, that this observation speaks to a lack within science, rather than a lack within the complexity and dynamic unity of the world. But don’t misunderstand, please. I’m not criticizing science’s achievements. It is an amazing tool. I’m only pointing out that the project is incomplete. Here’s that yellow again, for instance.
Photo, Anassa Rhenisch
In these cases, scientific culture would point out that these relationships are the business of art. Indeed, they are, but more than that, they are the visions of humans. There is, in other words, a measuring device that notices these yellows, as well as the precise placement of that yellow leaf with the geese in Chelsea above.The device is human. We, the humans in this paradigm, have a point of view that extends past the empirical data at hand. It shows up in everything we observe. Even here…
Ponderosa Pine, Okanagan Valley
Now, that empirical data is vital to science, of course, and is its great strength, and science goes to great lengths to eliminate human observation from its data, but there are some problems with that. First, it’s troubling that the world that applied science has created is becoming increasingly hostile to humans. I suspect that there is a correlation here. Secondly, a science that ignores the human point of view passes up the ability to be as large as the world. I think that’s an opportunity for growth. For instance, the yellow I pointed out in the images above is also present in this image of oregon grape, although it is active behind the greens of the leaves, as a hidden or catalytic energy …
… with their memory of this …
They too are the same thing. Science has neither language, method nor concepts to frame these discussions, so reverts to its founding principle, the concept of the focussed individual observation, limited by intellect to what is in front of it. Over three centuries, this lack has been adjusted by the invention of a science of human psychology, which is able to discuss the issues of human observation, within certain social codes. It, too, is an amazing science, with many powerful discoveries, but it, too, misses the big picture. These observations are on the same level of empirical truth as Newton’s Third Law Of Motion:
(When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.) Source
To get some perspective on this discussion, here’s some pre-Newtonian technology, still working after all these years (1100, actually).
There’s a lot of technology here. The cross, for instance, the path, the elderberry to bar entrance to witches, the pasture, the walls made of the earth, the windows made of texts illuminated by light … these are all symbolic technologies. They manipulate the mind, so that the man (or woman) manipulates the world in a certain way. That’s something that science doesn’t do, although it excels at figuring out components of how that works. Even so, what begins as art, or artfulness, or creation, ends as artlessness, technique, and manipulation. Sometimes this happens in subtle ways. In this salsify, for instance, science can explain a lot, but not the balance between petal and leaf obvious to any human observer. It would relegate that to mathematics, and then walk away. But look at it…
… there’s more at play here than just mathematics, or, if we want to be artful about it, music. That relationship between leaf and petal is the foundation of a new science. Such patterns abound. Entire sciences could be built out of each one of them. For instance, in the wet season we have entered in the last week, last year’s hips are finally ripened by cold and fermentation …
There is a mathematical order to them that scientific method can approach, but the culture of scientific enquiry cannot. It figures out the math, and then moves on, as if it has approached the rose hips.
It hasn’t. It has relegated that to art. In fact, this delegation to art of important observational material that lies outside of a current logical paradigm is the impulse that created art in the first place. Before that, art was science and science was art. Perhaps that split was unnecessary. For instance, this year’s willows are kindling now (or quickening, hence catkin… nothing to do with cats, or pussy willows, sorry) and have already taken off their helmets (after an Irish king called Cat-kin, who did just that) in preparation for the, ahem (blush), thrust.
Hip and catkin are the same power. Sure, they are two sides, the proverbial male-female split, in sacred terms the goddess and the god, but they are both the expressions of one force, and in that they are one. What that force is that appears so profoundly differently in each, and yet which is linked, that is the force that will lead to a new science. Here is another image of it…
Last Fall’s Cottonwood Leaves
Still gathering light.
In the science we have, that evolved splendidly out of alchemical experiments and logical extensions of ancient Egyptian and Assyrian theological abstractions of magic, this ability is random, and only a shadow effect of the real purpose of the leaf: photosynthesis. It is a profound vision, but what if the ability of those leaves to capture and hold light is not random? What if it is this?
This all-encompassing science would lead to technological developments of its own. In them, the nest below is not just a space in which last year’s birds raised their young, as amazing as that is.
It has life that extends beyond that. It has life. That might be a clue to what this technology looks like. The following image speaks to it, too, imaged at the rising of the dark out of the day, from my blog www.earthwords.net.
Between: the state of being in two states at the same time, without yet settling on one. It doesn’t describe a physical location but a condition of attachment.
Cedar Waxwing Between Perches
There’s something about energy in such language reborn out of its physical roots. For 200 years that has been the space of poetry. A great space, sure, but look at the technology that newtonian science brings to the earth now.
Simplistic, mechanistic stuff!
Bella Vista Orchard, Vernon, British Columbia
So much energy …
… chained — and chained with technologies that miss most of it. Most of it is simply invisible, without the rigour of entering it completely.
This is the same energy:
Turtle Point, Okanagan Lake, January 27, 2015
It is not exactly the sun. Current science calls it Nature, and devises devices to manipulate it with, in small ways.
Howard’s Tractor at Dusk
But it is huge, and we are within it. And this is too…
We are inside the future.