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His(David Bohm) passion for truth carried him wherever it might possibly find nourishment, and his theories consequently reflect tremendous breadth and depth in accounting for a wide range truth that stems from a diverse spectrum of epistemologies.

The 3Ps blog is dedicated to exploring cosmology, quantum physics, and the domains of the very small and the very large with poetic expression of science concepts, philosophy, and history of ideas at the emergent consciousness level by using the "words of science."

Out from here
near the edge of the universe
clear of culture clutter
it's syllables my dear
wandering where
cosmic attractions
search for...the rest
The hologram universe

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Inner Secret Discovery

Going deep to find the gold—
An Alchemist’s ultimate
Secret Omphalos retold . . .
Solar transmutations make

Far below skies that blind us
Aided by an old mine frame
And probing human genius—
Old Sol, of Helios fame,

Particles writ graffiti
In Nobel Prize casinos.
Infinitesimal... moving... speedy...
Physicists said, “Neutrinos!”

Experimental poetry: that would be some kind of cut-and-try discovery process— putting a good try out there to be experimented on, studied, pondered on for deeper meanings. In the spirit of the experiments that inspired this poem— a tribute to Raymond Davis who received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for his detection of the solar neutrino in a laboratory located nearly two miles below the surface in the Homestake Gold Mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota... I started with an idea on an inauspicious day, April 1, and after study and reflection decided that this piece went beyond "initiation" to the "discovery" of shamanistic connections between earth and sky. The physicists playing the role of shaman employing the tree-of-life symbolism for the modern age. I don't know yet what the post-modern interpretation will be, but the work is not complete as experiments rarely are.

A brief description of the symbolism by the author:

Inner Secret Discovery is about the human quest for the deeper meaning of the universe and human role therein. It is of the western cultural myth form and guided by those peculiar aspects that I know of to some degree, but also aspects that lie deep within a cultural psyche that I am not even aware. Thus it emerged to a large extent through no effort of my own and became apparent to me only through analysis. The tree of life is central structure of this poem.

Line 1, refers to the underworld and need to go there on a quest for the unknown (Later the actual physical location in a gold mine is revealed).

Line 2, portrays the magical qualities of searching for meaning by methods of alchemy (some unknown order present in matter but not known), Roger Bacon (1214-1294) and Sir Issac Newton (1624-1727) are two exemplars that would be important here as the work of the Royal Society promulgated the use of science as the an investigation protocol. However both were alchemists looking for ways to turn base elements into “gold.” Newton also advanced the theory of heliocentrism. Bacon who lived in the 13th century advanced the use of empiricism and scientific methods to understand the world.

Line 3, introduces the idea of omphalus or earth’s navel and the connection of the heavens to the earth and the underworld through the tree of life a mythology that reaches to very earlier cosmology and reflects upon the meaning and purpose of Stonehenge, one of which is the role as a solar observatory, but also as a keeper of secrets like the most famous Delphi of Greek mythology (the connection is made later in the poem).

Lines 4-9, refers to the nuclear reactions in the sun that produces light (that must be ignored) and particles (line 4), the location of the experimental apparatus of a water tank in the gold mine used as a detector (line 6), the scientist who makes sacrifices to determine the truth (line 7). Old Sol is the Roman name used for the sun and it is an acronym for “speed of light,” and makes the connection of the present science to the origin of western science that developed among the Greeks plus the connection to the Delphi omphalus from line 3. “Old Sol particles writ graffiti” is the tracks that are left in the detector when a neutrino passes through it.

Line 10, is a reference to the improbability that a mortal becomes a mythical hero, the idea of the modern scientist’s role as a shaman who explains the exotic, the synthetic reality of the casino implies the need for luck, faith, and madness to make a discovery about the direct connection of the sun to the earth made by actual particles that cannot be detected except through the efforts of modern science. Nobel prize also is northern European recognition that has only recently recognized other than white males, but so consistent with the long tradition of choosing a personage for the hero.

Lines 11-12, is the epiphany of discovery of what is going on. The physicist, the new shaman, proclaims the answer to the deep search for meaning by the naming of the particle, neutrinos, i.e. the inner secret discovery.

I recommend, The Quest for Merlin by Nicolai Tolstoy, Little, Brown and Company, 1985, for an excellent treatment of western myth as it continued in the far reaches of the Roman/Christianity advancement.


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