Others suggest that any behaviour or symbol that has meaning to a receiver should be regarded as communication. On this basis, all natural things that we experience communicate in some fashion, and it seems that a plant mostly communicates through its flowers. This word com- munication needs the broadest meaning, since we are not necessarily confining it to words and logic or even to the senses of sound or touch.
Communication, in our current usage, means communicating aspects of awareness or consciousness. The transmission of colour in itself is a sufficient mystery. We can talk of colour as wavelengths of light which are absorbed by, and emanate from, the surface we see as coloured — but what the experience of colour does for us is quite above and beyond physics. What a flower transmits to a human being can only be accurately described as multivalent or profoundly deep and broad. This face is usually turned towards the light — particularly the sun — but in some cases the flower faces downward like the snowdrop or fuchsia or pulsatilla, no doubt protecting its delicate interior.
Yet even this simple explanation is unlikely to be totally sufficient.
Hidden Geometry of Flowers | Banyen Books & Sound
Flowers that raise their faces towards the light are those that com- municate most directly with us also the fragrances are most easily experienced when the flower faces upward. This enables us to recognize the symmetry, patterns and colouring of the petals, and their intrinsic geometrical proportions although these are taken in, like most pro- portioning values, subconsciously or instinctively in the first instance.
Only the trained eye will pick up immediately such qualities as the exact symmetry. Geometry is an essential condition of existence and so has the value of connecting flowers to all other natural objects — representing as it does the universal order of space. This unfolds inevitably from a point to a line to a solid; as we will often repeat.
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Behold my beauty, witness of me in every man, Like the water flowing through The sap branches. One water drink they, yet they flower In many hues. Ali Ash-Shushtari To view a flower only as a mechanical response to a series of environmen- tal factors represents a poverty of sensibility. The fact that contemporary mechanical materialist science cannot explain what life is, only what it does, serves as a warning to the present author.
We should be extremely wary of adopting any mechanical or so-called functional theory to cover our ignorance when considering as important a phenomenon as life itself. From a reductionist perspective, life is neither fully explainable nor analysable. Its permanent mystery has always been the prime motiva- tion for human scientific endeavour of any kind. It is good to remember that all scientific investigation relies on mystery, something to be solved, something to be researched.
The Hidden Geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms, Form and Number
Life on our mother planet is dramatically, even gloriously, prolific in form, scale, number, type, aspect and, most importantly, interrelatedness. Essentially life is one, however much some like to focus on the aspect of local conflict within the overall biosphere. Life also nourishes life. What is most distressing is that without a definition for life, and without a traditional reverence for life, the contemporary scientistic community gains so much of its knowledge of living creatures by killing them.
This is not said with any dramatic intent, rather as a cold and sobering truth. Life is a motive force within, and is equally a whole. It was Fritz Schumacher 6 who described the ascent of life and con- sciousness as a ladder of miracles when he reminded us that the trans- formation from a mineral to a plant is a miraculous step.
This is followed by an equally miraculous step from a plant to an animal. This means the added dimension of language, culture and, we have to add, revelation. Schumacher was particularly sensitive to the fact that each of these transformations is unquestionably miraculous, in the correct meaning of the term.
In fact, the almost elementary emphasis in current usage of the term evolution, which is based solely on changes in physical characteristics, has virtually no value in comparison with the truly miraculous evolution from mineral to plant, plant to animal, and animal to human, nor can the movement or evolving of life explain it. Each and all of these transformations remain mutually sustaining in principle and in fact. Life flows through them all, drawing them up to the light. To conclude this observation we would like to recommend A New Science of Life by Rupert Sheldrake as the best contemporary scientific summary of the subject.
Nor is evolution readily observable in the present. Even on a timescale measured in millions of years, the origin of new species is rare and the origin of genera, families and orders rarer still.
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The quality of that life after it has been saved is another consid- eration. We cannot but show our extreme gratitude to modern medical science, from blood analysis to dentistry, from the relief of pain to immu- nization and immunity support.
However, the deeper issues that emerge are those that affect the quality, morality and purpose of life as a whole — not just momentary pain relief. It is very often the case that the shock and pain of an illness can deeply awaken a person to reconsider what his or her life is, or ought to be about. Thus there are always two sides to every new remedy'. Pain has also been called an important teacher. The word science' and its use is what is most important here. There was traditionally only one essential meaning before mind was divided from matter, and soul from bodily investigation — and that was the sci- ence of the soul' or the art of life as a whole.
There was an acceptance that bodily, psychological, cultural and inspirational health were inseparable. They were all seen as the comprehensive unity of a useful and purposeful life. This author's long-standing friend Nicholas Woodward- Smith was in charge of the family unit of each patient suffering from cancer at one of London's largest hospitals.
He helped the counselling fraternity realize that it was the whole family that had been and may continue to suffer — so all needed consideration and help.
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This could be called wise common sense. An essential realization of wholeness. The amazing thing being that such subjects could ever have been 'off the agenda'. This was an approach that was inspired by Goethe yet it is as ancient as wisdom itself. In a discussion about science it is important to ask the question: what is an exact science, after all? Since the advent of what is currently called quantum physics can we confidently measure with accuracy?
A beautiful specimen flower.
The power of colour, pattern and symmetry. Yeats and Shree Purohit Swami. One of the most successful collaborations in translating sacred Vedic Hindu scriptures. Maybe the solution lies in our approach to exactitude. This discussion or debate between the absolute , the relative and the conjunctive which Plato called the soul is not new. Plato inherited his wisdom tradition via the Pythagoreans who are especially relevant to the problems of our own times. We have the concept of the absolute, without which we have no standard to measure anything that we call relative.
Then there is the domain of bodily experience which Socrates called the sensible' realm and which is now the sole basis of modern empirical science. Neglecting the sensible means drifting in the clouds.
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Neglecting the intelligible means only indulging the senses. There can only be an approximation to any conclusions that arise out of measurements by mechanical instruments that take sensory impressions as their standard. The changing can only measure the changing and cannot itself arrive at certainty. Thus Plato introduces in his works the mediating importance of soul' or that part of our make-up that not only bears life but is the bridge between the sensible and the intelligible. Soul is a clear third factor that is a bridge between the domain of absolutes and relatives, such as the car- dinal numbers on the one hand, and the domain of sensible experience of the numbered on the other hand.
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There can be no such fact as uncertainty unless there is certainty to measure it by. And the Soul is a proportional harmony. The opening discussion of Plato's dialogue the Timaeus puts forward two vitally important concepts. Firstly, that of extending ourselves to the utmost to find truth, and secondly, the acknowledgement of likeli- hoods rather than finalities in our seeking of the truth. The closer the likelihood or likeness, the nearer we approach to certainty — all the while knowing that our bodily experience can only approach' certainty.
The soul is given the unique role of bringing about a marriage between likeness or likelihood and certainty. This is expressed as the key to the meaning of harmony, actuality being poised between certainty and likelihoods. Or if you prefer; stereometry the unchang- ing order of space. We began this section by questioning the nature of science and scien- tific method. It is undoubtedly a deep and broad field in which to specu- late.
This does not answer its relationship to mind or the deeper issue of its relationship to consciousness; but it is a reminder that we have inherited via the Latin translation of the Greek epistemonikos what we now call epistemology — the theory of knowledge. The human mind takes apart with its analytic habits of rea- soning but the human heart puts things together because it loves them; as the traditional saying goes. Evaluation being superior to judgment. The Pythagorean ethos of the necessity of a simultaneous pursuit of the True; the Beautiful and the Good was profoundly and integrally transmitted in the words of Plato and becomes a reminder; when dwelt upon; that there are at least three fundamental aspects of our nature that require nourishment.
Thus there is an insistence upon simultane- ous concern for all three values to ensure a balanced diet.