Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Law of Shapes and Fixed Properties of Time
Shapes are all around us. They control much of our lives. Everything has a shape except for nothing. The world all around us is dictated by shapes. Shapes have attributes but are fixed values such as the shape of my bowl, coffee mug, refrigerator, desk, bed, lamp and chair. Some are odd shapes with obtuse angles, some are even shapes such as a square or a circle, and some are inordinate shapes that we see in sculpture museums. What is the significance of shapes? The earth is a shape; it is round. Trees have shapes, leaves and even a blade of grass resembles a shape. My carpet is a square, which I can stand on, sit or walk across. It can be oval, circular but it is a square. Shapes help us to define our lives such as containers that hold contents like milk or water. The shape is nothing by itself but its shape. The shape of a glass often defines the quantity of the water it can hold, but a gallon is always a gallon and the size of a gallon will always be the same no matter what shape of container we use. But a gallon will look different in a cone-shaped bottle than an ordinary supermarket container. The mathematical values of all shapes are almost always definite. A ring of a specific shape can wrap around my finger or anyone else's finger if their finger is the same size. When we look at time, we learn that shapes are immortalized by their definite values, such as a square or a circle of a specific perimeter or circumference. If I can conceive a shape of a definite mathematical value, it is an immortal aspect of my being and non-being. Shapeless matter often requires form to give it a definite shape. Matter is shapeless but shapeful, mortal but immortalized through its determination of shapes. Life is ultimately meaningful but what gives shape and bestows shape to a formless being. Is it an eternal, shapeless power that comes to being through natural forces to give shape to the world or vice versa. No matter the source, the interconnectedness of such powers that give and take away shape, is consistent with our discussion on fixed properties of time.