This familiar symbol is attributed to Flammarion. It is the ‘aha’ experience representing the ever-curious youth, grounded in the world of Nature, penetrating through the boundaries of materiality into the larger domain of the Abstract. Here he sees the magnificent glories of geometry, the field of ideals, and Ezekiel’s ‘wheels within wheels’ – the world of eternal realities.
That which was concealed will eventually be revealed.
Distinguish the following – look – see – watch – behold – witness – gaze – stare – contemplate – peruse – scan – glance. Do they mean the same thing? Perhaps, coarsely spoken. But they have different subtle connotations. They form a family connoting different depths of perception. They describe different degrees of intention and cognition.
Blake, in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, says “a fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” Elsewhere he goes even more deeply into perception –
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour”
Since the progression toward Truth is always incomplete, how can we know that we are on the right path? Assurance comes from the hallmark of beauty – we know that we are on the right track if the revelation is progressively more beautiful.
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”
– Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn
There is a useful concept from Greek – metanoia – that describes an experience that we have all had at one time or another. The feeling is both pleasant and profound.
A metanoia is a breakthrough in your perception where you flash on the deep meaning of a word or an event – an ‘aha’ experience. No amount of wishful thinking or logic or persuasion can bring you to this ‘aha.’ It just comes when it comes, and it brings with it certainty. Sometimes it comes after a heart attack or a moment of great crisis. Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his later years studied this phenomenon in detail in his book entitled On Certainty.
Moses had a revelation of this sort when he encountered the burning bush on Mount Horeb. Everything was different for him (and the rest of us for that matter!) after that.
An event equivalent to that in mathematics occurred to Leonard Euler in 1737 when he found the relationship e(exp(I*pi))=-1. This has sometimes been called the most beautiful expression in mathematics.
A similar revelation occurred to the genius Ramanujan in 1913 when he perceived that e(exp(pi(exp(root(163))))) is an integer. It was proven sixty-six years later by a mega-computer.
Many of the great masterpieces of art and literature were felt by the artist to have been ‘dictated’ by a higher agency. Thus, we ‘woo the muse’ when we feel that we are in need of inspiration.
These ideas carry over into science in an interesting way. How do we recognize an oak tree when we observe it? There are surely no two oaks alike. If they are all different then which one is the right one?
Go to the library and get a monograph on the oaks. Your oak in hand will not precisely correspond to any of those described or pictured. Perhaps it is of another species! Yet, without sufficient logical assurance, an expert can still, in fact, identify it as, say, Quercus lobata. Knowing categories is another kind of revelation. There is no other way to know a category.
Some kinds of facts will never be revealed. The testimony of several people who witness a car wreck will all be different – sometimes in very substantial ways. Who is right? There will never be complete agreement among them, no matter how much new data is collected.
The witnesses all experience the event from different standpoints and perspectives, different goals and temperaments. Which makes it all the more miraculous that we can agree on some things with certainty!
Blake said – “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
Revelation comes through grace and grace alone. Listen to the words of the ever-popular hymn –
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now can see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d,
How precious did that grace appear
That hour I first believ’d!
Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come,
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.”
– John Newton
|Cosmic Law Home Page|
|How This Book Came to Be||III The Law of Concealment||VII The Law of Dissolution|
|Introduction||IV The Law of Revelation||VIII The Law of Return|
|I The Law of Nothingness||V The Law of Emanation||Epistemology|
|II The Law of the Progression of Contraries||VI The Law of Sustenance||Bibliography|
Cosmic Law is not copyrighted and has been placed in the public domain by the authors on May 4, 2003.
Cosmic Law is available freely to anyone to reprint, post on the Internet, or otherwise distribute in any medium, providing this notice is included.
Website and PDF files produced and contributed by Larry MacDonald, MacDonald Ventures.