The prevailing paradigm for what is considered a complete description of reality has changed many times in human history. The deep, even desperate, need for meaning in our lives has impelled us to erect great conceptual superstructures to explain the true nature of the ground beneath our feet, the air that fills our lungs, and the entire celestial panoply from atoms and quarks to gods and galaxies.
The contemporary metaphors we use to map the territory of the ineffable are mathematical and digital. Our scientific world view is like earlier metaphysical paradigms, in that from a relatively small amount of data, we hypothesize an entire cosmology, which is as much a system of belief as it is a description of actual events.
And this is the essence of the entire enterprise, I think. From the moment the clear blue sky entered human eyes and we were moved to describe the terrifying and marvelous experience of being alive in the universe, what we have revealed most truly is the inner landscape of our hearts and minds. And what is reflected in the finely polished mirrors of the great space telescopes is the vastness of our innerness enlivened by countless sparks of creative intelligence.
Image – “The World is a Pattern of Intelligence” By Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011.