You Can Make or You Can Sing

"Torre de Babel," Plaza San Martín

I said yesterday something that I thought was quite pithy if not something assured or useful: the brain is a kind of quantum reckoning, always and forever eluding investigation; the body seems rather to adhere to the larger sphere of the Newtonian.

We are divided but these two must be related in some measure.

Perhaps in a similar manner we might consider language.  If language is not precisely our way of knowing, it is at least our way of finding things out.

Galileo is reported to have said that mathematics is the language through which God wrote the universe.  That seems first a tremendous presumption if you believe in God, but I suspect Galileo believed in Math rather or equated the mathematical understanding with the idea of God.

The good book tells us it was the Word that Was God and was with God.  But as “Logos” is variously translatable we might think of it as “equation” though I’ll confess to liking “Conversation.”

I’m sure you know or have heard it said (from folks like Bertrand Russell) that math and poetry share access to a well of deep profundity and beauty, but I think we have the division here again.

It seems instructive to me that math or the equations used to describe and predict the forces of nature–the forces that make things “as they appear”–are “machine-ready.”

While poetry is not available to machines at least as far as I am aware.  (You might assert some beauty or poetry expressed in the form of machines and even the product of machines, but as this is a poetic reception of mind, I’m inclined to call it a corruption.)

How can we think about this?

If one were a believer and affirms in his understanding that God writes in mathematics then, continuing with the above, I would believe that God’s is the mind of Machines and not the mind of the Poet.

And from that, Man is Satan if he does not strive to be the Poet.  The Questioner seeks answers, solutions to X.  The Poet feels and breathes out the mystery.

In this way I honor the Jesus of Mark.  “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  The whole world being X and the soul being the mystery.

But in any case, my point, I think, is that the mind of poetry and mind of calculation may share “structural” similarities but, it seems to me, one describes while one makes.

It is clear that the creative in the divinity was poetic and artistic, the word made flesh, clay inspired into being, and so on.  But it is further clear that humans believe that making is god-like…though I would not say “sacred.”  God responded against this, I suppose, at Babel.

You can “make” or you can “sing.”

One darts toward destruction the other aims at the ineffable.

You may label both a kind of beauty though you will not survive the expression of the makers and their creations.

photo credit: Nicolás Giorçgetti

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  1. Pingback: Eliminating Randomness | Common Errant

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