Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Wednesday November 12, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:58 AM

The Silver Table

“And suddenly all was changed.  I saw a great assembly of gigantic forms all motionless, all in deepest silence, standing forever about a little silver table and looking upon it.  And on the table there were little figures like chessmen who went to and fro doing this and that.  And I knew that each chessman was the idolum or puppet representative of some one of the great presences that stood by.  And the acts and motions of each chessman were a moving portrait, a mimicry or pantomine, which delineated the inmost nature of his giant master.  And these chessmen are men and women as they appear to themselves and to one another in this world.  And the silver table is Time.  And those who stand and watch are the immortal souls of those same men and women.  Then vertigo and terror seized me and, clutching at my Teacher, I said, ‘Is that the truth?….’ ”

— C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, final chapter

Follow-up to the previous four entries:

St. Art Carney, whom we may imagine to be a passenger on the heavenly bus in The Great Divorce, died on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2003.

The entry for that date (Weyl’s birthday) asks for the order of the automorphism group of a 4×4 array.  For a generalization to an 8×8 array — i.e., a chessboard — see

Geometry of the I Ching.

Audrey Meadows, said to have been the youngest daughter of her family, was born in Wuchang, China.

Tui: The Youngest Daughter

“Tui means to ‘give joy.’  Tui leads the common folk and with joy they forget their toil and even their fear of death. She is sometimes also called a sorceress because of her association with the gathering yin energy of approaching winter.  She is a symbol of the West and autumn, the place and time of death.”

Paraphrase of Book III, Commentaries of Wilhelm/Baynes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Tuesday November 11, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:25 PM

Divine Comedy

Michael Joseph Gross:

“The Great Divorce is C.S. Lewis’s Divine Comedy: the narrator bears strong resemblance to Lewis (by way of Dante); his Virgil is the fantasy writer George MacDonald; and upon boarding a bus in a nondescript neighborhood, the narrator is taken to Heaven….”

Tuesday November 11, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 AM


“Why do we remember the past
but not the future?”

— Stephen Hawking,
A Brief History of Time,
Ch. 9, “The Arrow of Time”

For another look at
the arrow of time, see

Time Fold.

Imaginary Time: The Concept

The flow of imaginary time is at right angles to that of ordinary time.“Imaginary time is a relatively simple concept that is rather difficult to visualize or conceptualize. In essence, it is another direction of time moving at right angles to ordinary time. In the image at right, the light gray lines represent ordinary time flowing from left to right – past to future. The dark gray lines depict imaginary time, moving at right angles to ordinary time.”

Is Time Quantized?



We don’t really know.

Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that time is in fact quantized and two-dimensional.  Then the following picture,

from Time Fold, of “four quartets” time, of use in the study of poetry and myth, might, in fact, be of use also in theoretical physics.

In this event, last Sunday’s entry, on the symmetry group of a generic 4×4 array, might also have some physical significance.

At any rate, the Hawking quotation above suggests the following remarks from T. S. Eliot’s own brief history of time, Four Quartets:

“It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern,
and ceases to be a mere sequence….

I sometimes wonder if that is
what Krishna meant—
Among other things—or one way
of putting the same thing:
That the future is a faded song,
a Royal Rose or a lavender spray
Of wistful regret for those who are
not yet here to regret,
Pressed between yellow leaves
of a book that has never been opened.
And the way up is the way down,
the way forward is the way back.”

Related reading:

The Wisdom of Old Age and

Poetry, Language, Thought.

Tuesday November 11, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM


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