Log24

Saturday, July 5, 2003

Saturday July 5, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:21 PM

Elementary,
My Dear Gropius

“What is space, how can it be understood and given a form?”
— Walter Gropius

Stoicheia:

Stoicheia,” Elements, is the title of
Euclid’s treatise on geometry.

Stoicheia is apparently also related to a Greek verb meaning “march” or “walk.”

According to a website on St. Paul’s phrase ta stoicheia tou kosmou,” which might be translated

The Elements of the Cosmos,

“… the verbal form of the root stoicheo was used to mean, ‘to be in a line,’ ‘to march in rank and file.’ … The general meaning of the noun form (stoicheion) was ‘what belongs to a series.’ “

As noted in my previous entry, St. Paul used a form of stoicheo to say “let us also walk (stoichomen) by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) The lunatic ravings* of Saul of Tarsus aside, the concepts of walking, of a spirit, and of elements may be combined if we imagine the ghost of Gropius strolling with the ghosts of Plato, Aristotle, and Euclid, and posing his question about space.  Their reply might be along the following lines:

Combining stoicheia with a peripatetic peripateia (i.e., Aristotelian plot twist), we have the following diagram of Aristotle’s four stoicheia (elements),

which in turn is related, by the “Plato’s diamond” figure in the monograph Diamond Theory, to the Stoicheia, or Elements, of Euclid.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

* A phrase in memory of the Paulist Norman J. O’Connor, the “jazz priest” who died on St. Peter’s day, Sunday, June 29, 2003.  Paulists are not, of course, entirely mad; the classic The Other Side of Silence: A Guide to Christian Meditation, by the Episcopal priest Morton Kelsey, was published by the Paulist Press.

Its cover (above), a different version of the four-elements theme, emphasizes the important Jungian concept of quaternity.  Jung is perhaps the best guide to the bizarre world of Christian symbolism.  It is perhaps ironic, although just, that the Paulist Fathers should distribute a picture of “ta stoicheia tou kosmou,” the concept that St. Paul himself railed against.

The above book by Kelsey should not be confused with another The Other Side of Silence, a work on gay history, although confusion would be understandable in light of recent ecclesiastical revelations.

Let us pray that if there is a heaven, Father O’Connor encounters there his fellow music enthusiast Cole Porter rather than the obnoxious Saul of Tarsus.

2 Comments

  1. I read your comment on Sarah’s site (Misfit). Happened to me too.  Although I am very persona non grata among a lot of the Great Writers of Xanga, so there you go.

    Comment by SavonDuJour — Sunday, July 6, 2003 @ 11:02 AM

  2. Oh.

    Well.  ~makes mental note to email Petra~
    And in other news, thumbs up to sodomy!  Yeah Texas! (regarding the Other Other side of Silence).

    Comment by oOMisfitOo — Sunday, July 6, 2003 @ 11:12 PM

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