endless forms most beautiful
On the home page of my website rests half of Seneca’s famous quote, “Throughout the whole of life, one must continue to learn to live…”. Being a self-proclaimed, pathological optimist I couldn’t bring myself to display the other half of Seneca’s thoughts….”and what will amaze you even more, throughout life, one must learn to die”.
This is not only the essence of life. It is the essence of the universe. One of the earliest references to this concept was presented around 700 BCE, most appropriately, in “The Book of Changes”. It was the theory of Yin and Yang (pronounced yawng). The symbols name literally translates as Supreme Ultimate. If you study this theory, you will find it embraces the true scientific epiphanies of our time including Newton’s three laws of motion.* Even a graph of Newton’s second law follows the non-linear, center line of the yin-yang symbol showing that when mass is very large, acceleration is very small and visa versa.
The theory’s true profundity lies in the concept that yin and yang represent a continuum between two extremes. Yin representing the densest form (matter) and Yang representing the lightest form (energy). Einstein couldn’t have surmised it better. About 2500 years after its appearance Darwin came to understand another aspect of this (not yet proclaimed) universal law. In the final paragraph of his book, “On the Origin of Species” Darwin wrote:
“Thus, from the war of Nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
In honor of James Lee Byar’s quote “Answer is the betrayal of the open spirit of question”, I leave the interpretion of Darwin’s last paragraph to the reader. As I’ve moved through my life, my understanding of this quote has been like rose opening. I can’t believe the depth that it holds. It makes me wonder if the Catholic church so vehemently demonized Darwin, not because his realizations were blasphemy, but because they offered a more profound concept of God than the church could ever provide.
This brings us to our next subject…the origin of matter and thus the origin of creation…death.by