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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
Table of Contents
Genesis Vision
Learning Planet
Organic Universe
Earth Life Emerge
Genesis Future
Recent Additions

II. Pedia Sapiens: A Planetary Progeny Comes to Her/His Own Actual Factual Knowledge

2. Perennial Wisdome: An AnthropoCosmic Code

Kruse, T. Wholeness and Part, Cosmos and Man in 16th and 17th Century Natural Philosophy and in Modern Holism. Andersen, Peter, et al, eds. Downward Causation.. Arrhus, Denmark: Arrhus University Press, 2000. On the pervasive medieval witness of a gradated, analogical creation whereof human microcosm reflects Divine macrocosm. But this is lost to our “atomized” mentality. A recent recovery is physicist David Bohm’s theory of an organic wholeness with implicate and explicate realms.

Lilley, Keith. Mapping Cosmopolis: Moral Topologies of the Medieval City. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 22/5, 2004. Both persons and communities have traditionally been appreciated as a microcosmic embodiment of a cosmic design. Geographers would do well today to recover this iconic concept.

Cosmopolis is a concept that has a long history in many cultures around the globe. It is a mirroring of the ‘social’ and ‘natural’ worlds, such that in one is seen the order and the structures of the other – a mutual ‘mapping.’ (681)

Loemker, Leroy. Struggle for Synthesis. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972. An erudite study of the accord of microcosm and macrocosm, a natural scripture and the two kingdoms of grace and earth. The book draws much on philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) who codified this identity in his monadology whence every entity, especially the human as a miniature universe, contains and reflects each other.

Magee, Glenn Alexander. Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001. Many various works cover such topics. We cite this volume because via extensive research it traces the roots that 18th century philosophy must have had in its encompassing Renaissance milieu. Hermeticism here represents an ancient, copious tradition from alchemy to Boehme, Bruno, esotericism, Ficino, Kabbalah, Paracelsus, Rosicrucian, to Zoroaster, and everything man and school in between. And they can each and all be viewed from our late vantage as attempts to reflect and describe the same numinous, albeit encrypted, reality.

Mahoney, Jack, SJ. Evolution, Altruism, and the Image of God. Theological Studies. 71/3, 2010. With Eunsoon Kim and Carly Crouch herein, once again an affirmation that our ultimate hope is a “humanity being created in the image of God.” Since a Divine altruism is self-evident, then life’s evolution ought to manifest the same selfless sharing amongst creatures. Fr. Mahoney, an emeritus University of London theologian, contends that just such a cooperative essence is revealed by the latest behavioral studies and theories.

Milovanovic, Milos and Bojan Tomic. Fractality and Self-Organization in the Orthodox Iconography. Complexity. Online July, 2015. From our global retrospective, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and University of Belgrade scholars find the precious, revered icons to be similarly graced by this mathematical, creative universality. See Ornes below for a companion finding about fine art paintings.

The authors consider the Orthodox iconography of Byzantine style aimed at examining the existence of complex behavior and fractal patterns. It has been demonstrated that fractality in icons is manifested as two types—descending and ascending, where the former one corresponds to the apparent information and the latter one to the hidden causal information defining the spatiality of icon. Self-organization, recognized as the increase of the causal information in temporal domain, corresponds to contextualization of the observer's personage position. The results presented in the forms of plots and tables confirm the adequacy of the model being the completion of visual perception. (Abstract)

Murata, Sachiko, et al. The Sage Learning of Liu Zhu: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009. The authors Sachiko Murata and William Chittick, SUNY Stony Brook, and Tu Weiming, Harvard, with a Foreword by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, are leading scholars for this fertile synthesis of historic cultures about a numinous creative source, a natural genesis cosmos, and an iconic human presence. Another example would be MAAT: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt (2004) by Maulana Karenga, whose World Philosophy review contains several quotes. From our 21st century and third millennium vantage, a composite, bicameral humanity can be seen to achieve a grand retrospective and appreciation. By this vista, from an original Asia, Arabia, Africa, Amazonia, or Australia, onto Greece and Rome, the magnum opus great work of discerning a common, perennial, encoded essence from these many visions and voices might reach a novel fulfillment, which we glimpse in the Karenga review.

Liu Zhi (ca. 1670–1724) was one of the most important scholars of Islam in traditional China. His Tianfang xingli (Nature and Principle in Islam), the Chinese-language text translated here, focuses on the roots or principles of Islam. It was heavily influenced by several classic texts in the Sufi tradition. Liu’s approach, however, is distinguished from that of other Muslim scholars in that he addressed the basic articles of Islamic thought with Neo-Confucian terminology and categories. Besides its innate metaphysical and philosophical value, the text is invaluable for understanding how the masters of Chinese Islam straddled religious and civilizational frontiers and created harmony between two different intellectual worlds.

Both philosophers and Sufis discussed the cosmos as having two basic realms, the unseen and the visible, and two basic orientations, originating and returning. They also spoke about the cosmos in terms of the “large world” (macrocosm) and the “small world” (microcosm). The large world is the cosmos as a whole, with its spiritual and corporeal realms and its movements. The small world is the human individual, who also has invisible and visible realms and who also comes and goes. (38) Basically, just as God created the microcosm in his own form, so he also created the macrocosm in his own form. (38) If the macrocosm is infinitely dispersed, the microcosm is unimaginably compressed. Infinity is found in a dewdrop. All reality is focused in this one human individual. (39)

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993. Nasr, a renowned scholar with a science degree from MIT, taught for many years at Teheran University in Iran and is now at George Washington University. This work among his numerous writings is a luminous evocation of the prism of Islam as it reflects rays from the One perennial source.

All the principles and concepts which have been explained thus far are integrated by the Ikhwan into the closely related ideas of the analogy of the microcosm and macrocosm and the chain, or hierarchy, of being. Both of these ideas are universal and far from being limited to Greek, Islamic, or Christian cosmologies, have their exact counterparts in China, India and elsewhere.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. The Male and Female in the Islamic Perspective. Studies in Comparative Religion. 80/1-2, 1980. A traditional example of gender complementarity as the iconic secret.

To speak of creation or manifestation is to speak of polarization, of the manifold, of multiplicity whose first stage is that primordial polarization between the two contending and complementary principles, which are seen throughout cosmic manifestation and which in human life appear as the male and female sexes. (67)

Needleman, Jacob. A Sense of the Cosmos: The Encounter of Modern Science and Ancient Truth. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975. There is a repository of perennial truth that microcosm reflects microcosm in a scale of being, which is now at odds with the flat, sterile, contingent universe of science. One of them is wrong or incomplete and it’s not ancient wisdom. A revisioning is much in order for modernity to accord with and be informed by our common heritage. This book remains one of the clearest statements and three decades later its project may finally be possible.

…this idea in one or another form resides at the core of all traditions. In Judaism Christianity and Islam, we are most familiar with its expression in the teaching that man is made in the image of God - God the Creator and Preserver of the Universal Wholeness in all its gradations and levels. The traditions of India speak of the Divine, Cosmic Man whose dispersal into fragments constituted the creation of the world and whose re-collection is the sole essential task of human life. In Buddhism we find the doctrine that all the levels of being, from mineral up through the gods, are contained in Man…One could go on with this listing - through the teachings of Egypt, black Africa, the American Indians; in Plato and in the Stoic philosophers, throughout the great tapestry of alchemy in all lands. (22-23) Yet for all the force that this idea still contains, and despite the record of its presence in all cultures and times, it is obvious that the key to our understanding is missing and needs to be rediscovered in our own experience. (23)

Nicolescu, Basarab. Science, Meaning and Evolution. New York: Parabola Books, 1991. A French physicist offers a meditation on and selections from the 16th century mystic Jacob Boehme to evoke a medieval realm composed of polarities and trinities akin to the principles of complexity. As spirit ascends these wheels within wheels from darkness to light: “…evil is anything which opposes the birth of God.”

Ornes, Stephen. Science and Culture: Charting the History of Western Art with Math. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112/7619, 2015. A review of a novel project by Korean physicists to discern a continuum of geometric forms that consistently appear in and distinguish fine paintings. Their work is reported in Nature Scientific Reports (Daniel Kim 4/7370) as Large-Scale Quantitative Analysis of Painting Arts.

To measure color use, the physicists used “chromo-spectrometry,” treating colors in paintings like words in a book by counting the occurrence of different colors. They used an algorithm to distinguish tens of thousands of different shades in different proportions. So, to quantify the variety of colors used, the physicists borrowed approaches from statistical physics often used to measure the dimensions of self-similar patterns, known as fractals. The fractal dimension of a geometric figure can be translated as a measure of its complexity. As applied to the new study, lower fractal dimension described a painting with a narrower palette. Again, the physicists saw results in line with art historians’ observations. For example, paintings created during the medieval period (roughly the 5th to the 15th century A.D.) are known to generally use fewer colors than paintings from later periods; they used pure pigments and avoided mixing. In the new analysis, medieval paintings had the lowest fractal dimension of all periods studied. By the Renaissance period, though, artists used oil paints and mixed colors, an uptick in color variety that showed up in the study as larger fractal dimensions. (7619)

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