the Ultimate Origin of Form

That title is meant to sound cool, nothing more. Ultimately, there can’t really be any kind of set definition and mode of interpretation for what form itself actually is, because form is is. If we take a look at the Druidic belief (among countless others) in the Three Realms, in which every aspect of reality is said to exist simultaneously in a physical, mental, and spiritual state, we might find a satisfactory explanation.

Quantum physicists and crazed mathematicians are slowly coming to realize the possibility, and even the probability of a literally infinite universe. If we were to imagine an entirely aphysical state of existence, in which there is nothing to perceive, only perception itself, and nothing to manifest, only pure kinetic energy, we would likely have achieved the ultimate state of existence that the Druids, Brahmans, and Shamans always refer to in one way or another as enlightenment. Quantum theory, in fact, comes dangerously close to describing what some might call heaven.

In his final book, The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot offered a theory based on the work of specialists from various fields, such as Dr. Stanislav Grof, a pioneering psychiatrist, physicist David Bohm, and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram. Talbot theorized from their discoveries that our “physical” reality is actually an elaborate hologram. In other words, it is a projection of quantum energy: a means of manifestation for potential energy.

According to Talbot, Dr. Pribram came to believe from his pioneering work on the structure of the brain that “our perception of the world occurs as a result of a complex reading and transforming of information at a different level of reality.” (Talbot, xv) Outside of “this” reality is nothing but potential.

The state of pure existence is probably where you go when you leave this universe, and also what people describe when they have a Near-Death-Experience (NDE). Talbot: “What do NDEers look like when they have not constructed a hologramlike body for themselves? Many say that they were not aware of any form and were simply ‘themselves’ or ‘their mind.’ Others have more specific impressions and describe themselves as “a cloud of colors,’ ‘a mist,’ ‘an energy pattern,’ or ‘an energy field,’ terms that again suggest that we are all ultimately just frequency phenomena, patterns of some unknown vibratory energy enfolded in the greater matrix of the frequency domain. Some NDEers assert that in addition to being composed of colored frequencies of light, we are also constituted out of sound…” (Talbot, 247-8, emphasis mine)

“It is all a matter of vibrations–a matter of response to vibrations. In no other way than through vibrations do we get anything…We are all made–plants and fish and cats and elephants and men–of organisms built of tissue that is built of cells. The life force in the cells–protoplasm–made up of almost everything in the universe in infinitely minute particles. Now, because that protoplasm…is made up of almost everything in Nature, it responds to almost everything in Nature. Protoplasm is the sensitized film on our bodily and intellectual plates; vibrations from about us strike it and gradually they make a dent.”        –Luther Burbank (Cited in Buhner, 53)

When you strike a pitch fork or a guitar string, it doesn’t resonate at just one frequency. Every note is an aggregate of frequencies oscillating and harmonizing together. Certain intervals of notes are naturally consonant, others dissonant. Certain notes, when sung on the guitar, will cause other strings to vibrate in unison. Similarly, a pitchfork of the same frequency as the first one will, if reasonably close to the original, will harmonize with it without being struck itself. It’s a simple  philosophy in Druidry: Like forces (not necessarily identical) attract.

The great wordworker Robert Bringhurst devoted a great deal of time in chapter 8 of his Elements of Typographic Style to the hidden geometrical patterns found within different forms, from page shapes to musical intervals. The measurements of common page sizes are directly proportional to certain mathematical ratios corresponding to various geometric patterns–pentagons, hexagons, etc. Now, these same proportions also correspond with the ratios of notes in the diatonic music scale, e.g. perfectly square pages represent a ratio of 1:1, which is identical to the frequency ratio of a unison in musical terminology, meaning two perfectly identical notes played together. An octave, the same note at different pitches, has a frequency ratio of 1:2, the same as the proportions of the most common of ISO standard paper sizes.

A common ratio found in science and the arts (according to Wikipedia), and occuring everywhere in the Natural World (in reality), is the golden ratio (φ), in the words of Bringhurst, “two numbers, shapes or elements embody the golden section when the smaller is to the larger as the larger is to the sum.” (Bringhurst 1, 155, emphasis mine)

Bringhurst explains the essence of the natural flowing of a story in The Tree of Meaning: “Broadly speaking, the eternal patterns of metrical verse are associated with song, and with speech under the influence of song,” while more internal, branching, and fractal structures are associated with story, and with speech under the influence of story–speech propelled by some kind of narrative impulse.”

The styles of poetry and storytelling of oral (indigenous) cultures follow this flowing pattern, where certain segments of the whole story fit in to a perfect proportion to the rest. They are propelled by an instinctive impulse–the Illumination of the Bard. It is meaning that just fits naturally–fractally–within the whole story. It’s an intangible energy that is perceived not through any one specific element of a story being told, but a charge that is evident in every aspect of the story or song or poem.

Form reflects aesthetic; form is aesthetic. “as above, so below; as within, so without.” form is how the story manifests on the physical level, communicating the intangible, living charge of meaning. Everything manifests according to the charge that drives it. So, like everything else with Nature, it just circles back into itself: form is manifestation is propelled by kinetic energy is a charge that has accumulated or has been accumulated is meaning, is semantics, which is inherent in aesthetic and reflects itself in…form.

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