Next: Science is now so complex that we can no longer ask What? We can now only wonder Why?

This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Death! Thy Fearful lack of Symmetry!

Each morning I glide into a well honed and privileged ritual of taking a large Tea Mug emblazoned with Mr Obama's smile and a multitude of stars and stripes and my Netbook onto the verhanda perched amongst the evergrowing trees of our personal jungle. There's a morning patch of sunlight that warms my heart to noble endeavour. To this purpose I continue each day writing a chapter of a summary I am making of a book on Cosmology and Particle Physics. If this sounds a wee complex, it is...but, being an area of fascination to me I decided that the best way to get to grips and up to date with the subject is to rewrite it in my own words.

I find wonder and awe in Grand Science. My soul dances in the almost infinite space between the very huge and the teeny weeny tiny and often when I am grappling with a physical concept or mathematical process, I find myself being led down some unexpected creative lane of wonders.

So it was today. I was trying to get my head around the mathematical concepts of Symmetry and Invariance, when it occurred to me that there are metaphors a plenty in the weave of Life and Death. I have been pondering such over the last days and considering how to finding balance and inspiration in the midst of Life & Death.

Invariance and symmetry...symmetry and invariance.....the 2 are linked conceptually.

In Physics, the Symmetry of a system is the aspect of that system that remains unchanged (observed or intrinsic) when the system undergoes change.
This can be seen in a musical score which has an underlying motif that is built on, yet never changes.

My mind wondered next to a favourite word play I love.....From the Artist's Way we get 'The Art of Sway'. Again, the words change, but the underlying meaning does not.

From there I considered how 'the Art of Sway' can be related to our experience of Life and Death.

I closed my eyes and saw a tightrope walker balanced and then a circus acrobat swaying on an inverted cone. That's it! If I turn the cone to sit on its solid base I get a safe, secure and broadbased life that inexorably narrows to a pinnacle, where Life and opportunity slowly eke away.

What about inverting our lives so we start in a tiny naked singularity, a point with endless potential and risk? Then after a life of exploring and living that potential, maybe our passing can happen as part of an ongoing process of choice?

Pen and paper in hand I played around with these ideas and came up with 2 graphics of what Life can be. Then, I stuck them together and there it was! A bit of magic that came out of a patch of sunshine and a mug of tea!

Attached find my drawings....carefully re-rendered on the netbook. They look surprizingly like the story of the expanding universe...Also the magical moment of the Obama mug, bought as some kind of sypathetic magic and to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday in Washington DC.

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