Thursday, May 10, 2012
Unified Perceptions and Illusions
L. Edgar Otto 10 May, 2012
There is a lot of speculation on the origin of the fylfot as with other ancient symbols. I post such symbols as a matter of the study of symmetry and not for a political statement or a religious one for that matter. This is not the place to discuss the origins of its use which now seems so artificial for a nationalist emblem that it looks out of place in old movies or posters of national flags. We know forms of it was used by diverse cultures, including some patterns on Jewish churches if we are to believe Mitchner (the Source) who does extensive research before he puts his art on paper. But before all this what the symbol means to me is the spinng of the big dipper both in daily cycles and in the changes of the season. Humans in a sense have an intimate relation to the earths spin and the idea of extended scales and eras of time as if clock counting, and the idea of zero as moving or a place holder as in the yin and yang that in relation to higher hidden things some do not change direction by some flip into higher space.
I do not hold that some of the illusions, such as Escher's water flowing up hill is because of our physical and mental structures alone- but how we have evolved to so interpret them as a part of the natural structure and dynamics of space. If in a plane or brane two three dimensional spaces can be superimposed how does nature "know" which direction water is flowing or some object with a roto-center spinning, on say a fundamental physics level with all the sense of vertigo in our environment or observing and the feedback of self-correction perhaps gone off the scale to some heavenly loxidrome toward the poles in which in the alignment of the sky and count of the growing pyramids as if in time itself tangible and growing souls can enter the shadows of some after world?
Of course symbols are among the most persistent things in man's world but they are not immortal say Mr. Yuck or the skull and crossbones for poison may not outlive the half life of plutonium so serve us as a sign of warning. But such an illusion of spin of asymmetric things on the flatness of the Euclidean plane cannot be explained by the subtle orientation of repeated patterns of sub-parts in a drawing. It is more likely that on the level of numbers, integers and especially the primes and their ubiquity as a relative unity in space, as in shared languages the longevity of number words (and then comes words for trees, there are laws of counting at each point of growth for branching things as they grow or in the totality of the count equivalent of zeros and ones, motion and rest at the level of the canopy of end points- not to mention that some tress grow top down like the palm or in the tallest trees only so far at the top is the tree alive.)
But what is interesting also in those who in old forgotten books have pondered such things is that the flyflot seemed to also be a symbol for our ear. To receive some sound as if lightning as in the hammer of Thor (yesterday I saw something fall from space fast from the corner of my eye and my friend said he saw a meteor. I thought it was like lightning only there was no sound of thunder.)
Just as we feel the gravity in still reaction against the ground and know to some extent by what is inside us, the subparts such as the location of our hearts or the handedness of helices we feel the touch of space and quite imagine feeling the motion and the whispering wind of the stars. The poetic ideas have inspired much of the worlds first philosophy and science. So while I found the interpretation of the symbol as an ear as improbable, I read now that touch and hearing share the same pathways in our brains as any other distinguished sense that at the foundations in synchronicity and synaethesia may not always be so discerned. We tweak our genes and cultures as surely as we tend to tweak our theories and notations, symbols. But all is not Wittgenstein who invented the happy face but his a part of the bigger picture.
It seems to me to be offended at mere symbols to repeat a vaguely scientific or popular meme that in the glorification of the super hero is the reverse psychology that shows the glorification of evil. Our symbols can change and mean something quite neutral or different. Up North the rebel flag seems to evoke strong emotional response- yet in the South I recall the children of the sons of slaves flying it from their Daddy's pickup truck playing the Dukes of Hazard. I find it hard to imagine why the flag of Georgia is thought a better one now that it goes back to the old stars and bars Prussian design of the old Cotton and Slavery regime. I suppose the objection is who changed the design and for what motive.
I recall, having an interest early on in the signal flags being it a naval town of my birth two relevant flags on the walls of the fishermen relatives. One was South Korea and its symbols speaks volumes- being the war of the time I think it was there, but Old Glory showed me it was easier to multiply in the grid of stars 6 by 8 than to just count them one by one. But the other flag I thought beautiful was the Rebel flag and counting them diagonally I got 14 and not 13 until it was pointed out- this is another way of counting things- and it tells us for example in the odd dimensions there are as if two stars at the intersection of two rows of them.
But it has at time seemed like time travel when, as if walking out of the bar everything seems backward that the direction of the fylfot can change and it is hard to see - I mean when did the big dipper point to the north star the other way and why does no one else see this? Or a little later (I do not understand why people drink, I can take it or leave it and have done so a long time now not that I tell grown people what to do- I sort of feel I need all my brain cells) with more understanding of the physics and its math, I notice that the big dipper can reverse yet all the other constellations stay the same. For those of us who recall the shifting of a single letter even on the wearing gravestones or in old moldy books as if the only thing (assuming we are not drugged and are sane) spelling can be quite a chore even while the language and tradition of such connexions are find their centre as if it could be found exact and not a humorous attempt to find its nuance in some native tongue. But in the mystery of time and existence anyway is not such time travel possible in the flesh if not in our dreams? If not then why?
As a footnote if we work the analogs in space of such fylfots and look thru the diagonal that so divides the spin of a cube we get the intersection of triangles, that sort of mystery that suggests something between heaven and earth, or close to the shield of David.
But what are the colors of the alters or the pyramids that echo or divide together into symbols- the red white and blue of the allies or the Iron white and Blood of the axis powers of the time?
As poets we create words much as said the word, rhea was spoken that brought the world into existence or in the logos or word we frame the world in the count of our very hairs as numbered... throw together some colors so to distinguish causes, or the white and stainless banner confused with the symbols of surrender so without much order or sense of proportions append the blood earned vertical bar at the end. Yet in the final version the proportions are most beautiful as the powers of the golden ratios of which I tend to see in that flag a beauty now and not the crayon drawing the change was then- but my point is not political- I mean as beautiful the equations and sense of scale and space and proportion that is not enough to ground us in the why of this world where it is open for wider freedoms and understanding- order and appeal to order alone cannot save us although we touch the spin of it each of us a meteor from unknown skies that sometimes cannot do more than try to hear.
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