Bon appétit -
I hope you will be satisfied
The Menu is not the Meal
We are so locked into the comfortable, into the things we have been taught. And of course we need them. That is to say, we need a ground upon which to stand. And if we stand firmly enough, we can break out of it, whatever 'it' may be. Some great ones have paid a heavy price for breaking out, but I don't believe they had a choice. Some things you just have to do.
We have to come to accept the 4th dimension
Thanks to Albert, we have come to accept a 4th dimension, but the 3 familiar and the additional 4th are whole numbers. What to think of this guy Hausdorff *), who comes along with broken dimensions. Sounds to us like burning ice or dry water. Still it is a valid description of a very interesting way to describe non-euclidian forms (forms that are not circles, rectangles, etc.). We could not describe things in nature without this new kind of geometry, fractal geometry, or in short fractals.
The photo above is a representation of Broken Dimensions. It's corn in a field and has a high degree of self similarity, which is also one of the aspects of Jackson Pollock's work.
The confusion was considerable one day in the group 6 school class when I showed the kids an image of a horse and asked "what can you do with this horse?"
"You can feed it" , "brush it!" and of course "ride on it" were the enthusiastic answers from the young mouths and brains. The aforementioned confusion hit when I invited one of the kids to climb onto the horse and we'd take a little stroll. Protests and bewildered eyes. "You can't ride this, this is a just picture."
"But you all just said that this is a horse, and now you are telling me that we can't ride it? I took it all the way on a leash to school and now there is something strange going on, it seems." A silence fell in. "So there is a difference between a horse and a picture of a horse" I jokingly asked. When I looked at the faces of the different boys & girls, I got an eyeopener myself. Some of the youngsters seemed to have been hit by an insight and others turned completely blank eyes and some seemed to have even left this world for a while. I had not realized that the difference was that big already at this young age.
This all sound very obvious and most of us will say "oh, but that is clear, easy and a waste of time to point this out." Not so, in my experience. I hit upon mistakes of this sort very, very often, also with intelligent people. The principle that the name of a thing is not the thing itself, or as in the 1930's coined by Alfred Korzybski as 'The map is not the territory', is fundamental and often wrongly applied. How many people actually know how to use 'single quotes' in the correct manner? And that's just a mild example.
The more I think about it, the deeper consequences it seems to have. It is difficult stuff, but highly interesting. better understanding of it, makes you a more capable thinker.
Smoke this pipe
It' s already quite some years ago, that Magritte's 'Pipe' has been offered to me. As a non smoker, I could easily take this pipe. And of course, it was not literally, but figuratively and there was not even the mentioning of a pipe. I felt however the importance of this principle. The funny thing is, that the person who taught me this, himself only had half of a grasp on the subject. But I am very grateful he pointed it out to me and headed me in the right direction, f.i. by mentioning Gregory Bateson. I cherish my pipe and think about it daily. It's a principle, that never is understood fully, it's just too complex and has limitless layers. But if there were two principles that I value most (besides moral principles), it would be this one, understanding Logical Levels and Thinking for Myself.
Smoke that pipe
This principle, that the name of something is not the thing itself, also has the effect, that through language or symbols, we can never experience reality directly. There is maybe another way. People are talking about it. And sometimes I feel a glimpse of a direct experience of 'reality', a feeling there is no layer between the experience and the experienced. Do you know that feeling? When you are totally absorbed in something, a concert that really rocks, a sports match you're involved in, but also ultimate pain or an extremely profound fear.
“In theory, reality and theory are the same.
In reality, they’re not.”