SHUDDERING BEFORE THE DEVIANT MIND
There is stunning beauty in individual creation and discovery of nature’s depth and laws. It appears as a new birth. Beauty shines especially when the unexpected occurs or you find universal significance in things that are common and available.*
VISUAL ART: Widespread beauty occurs in the visual arts and it is difficult to choose from those that draw our attention. There are two by Michelangelo that should be on any list, his statue of David and the centerpiece of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
NATURE: The pursuit of science has often been compared to the scaling of mountains, high and not so high. But who amongst us can hope, even in imagination, to scale the Everest and reach its summit when the sky is blue and the air is still, and in the stillness of the air survey the entire Himalayan range in the dazzling white of the snow stretching to infinity? None of us can hope for a comparable vision of nature and of the universe around us. But there is nothing mean or lowly in standing in the valley below and awaiting the sun to rise over Kanchenjunga.
S. Chandrasekhar *
DISCOVERY: If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty – by forms, I am referring to coherent systems of hypothesis, axioms, etc. – to forms that no one has previously encountered, we cannot help thinking that they are “true,” that they reveal a genuine feature of nature . . . You must have felt this too: the almost frightening simplicity and wholeness of the relationships which nature suddenly spreads out before us and for which none of us was in the least prepared
Heisenberg to Einstein: S. Chandrasekhar *
HISTORY: The soul is awestricken and shudders at the sight of the beautiful, for it feels that something is evoked in it that was not imparted to it from without by the senses, but has always been already laid down there in the deeply unconscious region.
Expressed by Plato in Phaedrus, According to Heisenberg
ART IN ABSTRACT:
You study, you learn, but you guard the original naïveté. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.
RELIGION: Rayonnant rose window in Notre-Dame de Paris. Light is considered the most beautiful revelation of God, made possible in Gothic architecture.
HUMAN DESIRE: When I do count the clock that tells the time And see the brave day sunk in hideous night, When I behold the violet past prime And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white, When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard – Then of thy beauty do I question make That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake And die as fast as they see others grow, And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defense Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
MUSIC: Finale repeats the words:
Seid umsechungen, Millionen! Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Brüder, über’m Sternenzelt
Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
Freude, schöner Götterfunken.
Be embraced, you millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, beyond the star-canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
This kiss for the whole world!
Joy, beautiful spark of divinity.
Fateful and beautiful words from Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy
from final movement, arising from a poem
written by Friedrich Schiller.
BIOLOGY: Now to the very heart of wonder. Because species diversity was created prior to humanity, and because we evolved within it, we have never fathomed its limits. As a consequence, the living world is the natural domain of the most restless and paradoxical part of the human spirit. Our sense of wonder grows exponentially: the greater the knowledge, the deeper the mystery and the more we seek knowledge to create new mystery. This catalytic reaction, seemingly an inborn human trait, draws us perpetually forward in a search for new places and new life. Nature is to be mastered, but (we hope) never completely. A quiet passion burns, not for total control but for the sensation of constant advance.
E.O. Wilson, Biophilia (p10)
COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGY: Beauty runs through our progenitor species – the spider with its aesthetic appreciation of its orbital web, with female baboons that select males for mates based on male strength, aggression, and physical adornment, with avian and mammalian species that build designs into their habitats, and even paint on canvass with vivid colors. My dog Archer shows his Euclidian nature by distributing stuffed toys in stunning geometric figures (untrained and not reinforced).*
Beauty is the blush of truth in nature and the stimulus of incredulity and faith in life. It may rest on surges of dopamine, but leaves us awestruck when we see it raw.
*See Thiessen, Psychopaths Rising: Unholy Links with Civilization and Destruction, 2014 for an extension of the discussion on beauty.
Del Wolf Thiessen, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin, May 2, 2014.
Purchase from Amazon.com
Psychopathy and the Explosion of Old Age
NEW FREE REPORT TO READ AND SAVE, AND PONDER
In the U.S. and 97 % of other Western and Asian nations, populations are rapidly decreasing in young males and females and people are becoming old. The good news is that psychopaths will decrease in frequency. The bad news is that the world will lose most of its wealth, influence, and military capabilities. Why is this happening? Is sex and reproduction becoming Less interesting? How can we help?
For more on this report, return to HOME PAGE