Defining the perception of zero

9 07 2010

David – I’ve just finished reading the section in your book ‘XQ Solution‘ (pp 34-36).

As I am getting to grips with your ideas, I am also comparing and contrasting them to other ideas of number and its relation to thought – in particular R A Schwaller de Lubicz’s Symbolist ideas of Ancient Egyptian thought.

I was surprised to find (and on the conscious realisation of that surprise, it immediately struck me as not really being surprising) that you have found a way to reconcile 2 very different number systems … in your approach.

You contrast 2 to negative-2.

Schwaller contrasts 2 (actually 2/1) to 1/2.

You place zero at the centre of your number line.

Schwaller places 1/1 – an expression of unity made manifest in a dualistic world – at the fulcrum of the Ancient Egyptian number line.

In contemplating that central point, that fulcrum between two points of a dualistic scale, you avoid the trap of dualist thinking – of either going into nihilism or intellectualisation of unity.

Where you meet is in a wonderful phrase you penned as if in passing ‘whatever is in our heads, is to be ignored.’ And you end up in exactly the same place through contemplating an irreducible unity made manifest within you as Schwaller talks of in his contemplation of that point.

You seem to have found a modern way, an original way, of expressing what Schwaller calls ‘the intelligence of the heart’ – to explore the irrational, beyond reason – internalise it, recognise it, celebrate it, live it.

I’m surprised I’ve ceased to be surprised at how rare a quality this is to find and I’m not surprised I’m not surprised at just how wonderful it is when you do find it.

The amazing thing is … it’s out there, within us all … if we care to access it.

The nearest equivalents in the world of rhetoric I can think of are paradox, oxymoron, and improvised connective storytelling – perhaps along the lines of the kind of thing I’ve done with Touchwaves.




2 responses

19 07 2012
25 07 2012
Leon Conrad

David – since posting this originally, I’ve added to my sphere of awareness. One significant addition which is relevant to your response, I think is a distinction that Cicero makes in his 16 logical topics of invention – a framework I teach when I tutor, along with Aristotle’s 10 categories of being, both powerful ways of coming to terms with the workings of thought – between contraditories (black/white or 2 and -2) and contraries (black/non-black or 2 and everything that is not 2). I can’t embrace your abstraction of number in this context. For me, 2 is duality, antithesis, contradiction, debate; 2/1 is duality as a manifestation of unity. Negative numbers don’t come into it. Another addition that has left a deep impression on me is reading Mieke Mossmuller’s Seek The Light that Rises in the West ( – there is a primal energy, a distinctive pattern in the 2 graphics you gave the links to – they are to do with relationships, with ratio. What I’m trying to work out is the qualitative difference between those patterns and the generative patterns of sequences like the gnomic spirals, root 2 progressions, that I’m familiar with through works on sacred geometry.

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