Dark Cloud Country: Relationship Two, Bounds
"We live in what appears to be a world overcome with infinite growth outside of this community and its context. Our world consumes beauty and churns out money. It is completely unchecked by limits."
This is the second section or “Relationship” of my newest book, Dark Cloud Country: The Four Relationships of Regeneration. You can buy the book here.
Relationship Two: Bounds
As its campfire grows against the accumulating darkness, every mind has a story to tell. Some are of gods and the splendid morning’s birth or even of ghosts and souls past, and other stories are housed in thoughts contained too deeply to find the keys for, and so they sit there in silence. Eyes, their yellowed and secret stories reflect against the darkness. That is why fires often crack and pop and burst, you know. Energy loathes silence, and often its yellow-blue and lurid and loud pyre of stories is not enough to carry the night.
An origin story of its own, calculus is the story of birth and its continuous change. Mathematics in many ways is the mystical study of stories and their campfires, of cosmic dramas and their drama of the cosmos. Geometry is the story of space and algebra is the story of symbols and structures, but calculus is the story of the world as told by herself, an autobiography of Mother Earth and her celestial supporters. In its simplest terms, calculus is concerned with change in position, a change that takes place along the spatial axis of a coordinate system—that is, a community of beings. This change in some thing is coordinated to a change in some time. Calculus is the evolutionary marriage of community with time.
Thierry of Chartres, the twelfth-century Paris philosopher whose work Hexaemeron examines the evolutionary origins of life in light of Genesis, argues, “The creation of numbers” is “the creation of things.” Numbers endow life with spirit, with divinely harmonic breath. The harmonic frequencies of the notes in the Solfège—do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do—appear to ascend in equal steps. But this appearance is a delusion, for their resonance rises in multiples, that is, logarithmically. Logarithms take large quantities and compress them. They squeeze cosmic magnitudes into manageable forms, and they are the incommensurable foundations of the divine harmonics and the vibrational visions of the heavens, the solfège. This is the spirit of numbers. No ceremonies or medicines or payments required.
Numbers also endow life with identity and story, names friends made intimate. Walk with me into a forest and speak to giants—plural and at the same time singular, for numbers make them so. Hello, my friend, you, the white oak, your timeless story that we are just relearning; hello, my friend, you, the grandmother beech, your ageless chlorophyl made eternal through the seasons. Hello, my friends, you, the plural—the forest. Walk with me in the undulating meadows of wildflowers and weeds and sing with the bees—a plural harmony and at the same time singular, for numbers make them so.