January 28, 2009

Humanity, cosmology and the texture of the garments

In probing the "cosmological texture" of the garments of skin, we could say that the scientific quest, unavoidably bound to the "domain" of the post-lapsarian cosmos, is - albeit indirectly - about humanity. That is why it is not surprising to find out some of the features exhibited by this texture that seem to point towards theologically-charged nuclei of meaning inexorably linked to the fundamental core of "hard problems" of humanity such as "free will" [1]. While this "pointing towards"... is not theological in itself, nor an act of theology, it can be "metaphysically" explained through the "shape of the garments" offering glimpses - or imperfect (as in pertaining to the fallen nature) echoes of the "body" they cover (note that we use terms such as "cover", "shape"... while being aware of the inherent limitations of the language in matters such as this one) - a body beyond the domain of the scientific quest, which can be contemplated-forward as the "age to come" - through true theology - in the eastern orthodox understanding of theoria, which is the pure "theological act", through dispassion and theosis, through the noetic "eye of the soul", in the Church and through the Holy Mysteries of the Church. We shouldn't forget, though, that offering revealing echoes/glimpses (albeit imperfect) of the body covered by the "cosmological texture" of the garments of skin is inseparable from the complementary trait of "concealing the body" (as in "randomization") covered by the same "cosmological texture". Theoria goes, through "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" that is Christ - beyond the "echoes/glimpses" term (pertaining to the architecture of regularities/laws exhibited by the garments' texture - an architecture that those involved in western tradition of "natural theology"/"design" arguments enjoy pointing at) of the above mentioned complementary pair, and indeed transcends the garments of skin's interplay between the "revealing/echoing" and "concealing" (or between "design" and "chance").

[1] John H. Conway and Simon Kochen. The Strong FreeWill Theorem.
Notices of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 56, no. 2, February 2009, 226-232.

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This article belongs to a series of blog entries attempting to understand, explore and elaborate on Fr. Ghelasie Gheorghe's views on the distinction between the "big bang" of the Creation and the "big bang" of the fall (with the latter signaling the unfolding of the "garments" of the "post-lapsarian cosmos", and identifiable with the "big bang" limit singularity queried in contemporary physical cosmology).

January 25, 2009

A Hymn by St. Gregory the Theologian



O Thou, the One Supreme,
O thou, the deathless King,
Be Thou my only theme:
Grant me Thyself to sing.
To Thee the hymn, to Thee the praise,
Celestial choirs for ever raise.

For Thee the ages run
In order as was given;
For Thee shines forth the sun,
The day-born eye of heaven:
For Thee the moon, and grand array
Of stars, hold on their nightly way.











With reasonable soul
For Thee learns favoured man
His passions to control,
And the Divine to scan;
For Thou of all Creator art,
Thou madst the whole and every part.

All march in ordered band:
O'er all Thou hold'st the reins:
All creatures of Thy hand
Thy Providence sustains.
For Thou the word didst speak--'twas done--
That Word of Thine is God the Son.

For of same honour He,
Thine own begotten Son,
In form and quality
With Thee the Father one:
Who placed all things in harmony,
That over all He King might be.

And all Thy works infolding
In bonds of love and truth,
The Spirit all-upholding,
Renews creation's youth
Foreseeing, He for all provides,
And Guardian over all presides.

Thee, Thee, the Triune King,
The One Eternal Lord,
Thee evermore I'll sing,
By earth and heaven adored,
The Three in One, the One in Three,
The ever-living Trinity.

Immovable of mind,
Of ways past mortal ken,
The boundless, undefined,
Wisdom's deep origin,
Upholder of the heavenly towers,
Ruler of all created powers.

Beginning none, nor end:
The self-sprung Light art Thou:
We cannot comprehend,
But to Thy Brightness bow,
Whose eye, repelling mortal gaze,
All things above, below, surveys.

Unseen, yet ever near,
Father, propitious be:
This my petition hear,
This boon accord to me:
That Light to serve through endless day,
And have my sins all washed away;

That I, with conscience clear
From every evil thought,
May love with filial fear,
And worship as I ought,
Pure holy hands and heart upraising,
And Christ the Lord for ever praising.

To Thee I bend the knee;
When He shall come, grant me,
That I His glory see,
That I His servant be:
When He shall come--shall come again;
When He shall come--shall come to reign.

Father, propitious be!
On me Thy mercy show!
Bow down Thine ear to me,
On me Thy grace bestow;
For Thine the glory, Thine the grace,
While countless ages run their race.


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Source: St. Gregory Nazianzen, Hymn to Christ
in Songs and Hymns of the Earliest Greek Christian Poets
Chatfield, Allen W. (1808-1896) (Translator)
Icon: St. Gregory Nazianzen, Andrei Rublev - 1408

January 12, 2009

Copacul pâinii

Din Revista Sinapsa Nr. 3 (2008):

Copacul pâinii.

- de Lidia Stăniloae


Copacul pâinii creşte în inima furtunii,
Neprihănită salbă de linişti fruntea-i poartă.
Cu ferăstraie aşteaptă la umbra lui nebunii
rânjindu-şi nerăbdarea ca pe-o poveste moartă,

născută fără vârstă de-o minte deşirată.
Mai albe flori pe ramuri decât o-nchipuire
de alb primesc solia luminii fără pată
pentru-mplinirea nunţii când Soarele e mire.

Mai încărcat de roadă decât de bucurie
nădejdea copleşeşte, când sub a ei povară
mai drept priveşti în urmă, spre cele ce-or să vie.
Copacul se înalţă şi din ţărâna-amară

ridică spre-mplinire dulceţi neîntinate
şi ramurile-braţe, spre cei fierbinţi, chemare
de frunze-nlăcrămate. Iar inima lui bate
în inima furtunii, mai tare, tot mai tare.

Netemător rodeşte căci soarta-i legendară
pe culmea dintre ceruri şi negura nebună
l-a aşezat de-a pururi să crească şi să moară.
Acolo-i e menirea, în noapte şi furtună.

January 11, 2009

Mathematics and beauty...

Just a few results that definitely qualify for the category "beauty"
in the eyes of a mathematician:

Euler's Pentagonal Number Theorem:







Quadratic Reciprocity:






Euler's Identity:





Cantor's Theorem:





"The fear of infinity is a form of myopia that destroys the possibility of seeing the actual infinite, even though it in its highest form has created and sustains us, and in its secondary transfinite forms occurs all around us and even inhabits our minds." (Georg Cantor, as quoted in Rudy Rucker's "Mind Tools: The Five Levels of Mathematical Reality").

"I confine myself to the salutary effects of our Saviour’s mission, without presuming to dive into the mysteries of the work of our redemption, which infinitely transcends the powers of human understanding." (Leonhard Euler - Letters to a German Princess, as quoted in Dale L. McIntyre, "The God-Fearing Life of Leonhard Euler", Journal of the ACMS, 2006)

January 8, 2009

Parintele Razvan Ionescu: "Ce poate si ce nu poate fi apologetica ortodoxa"

Tot de pe pagina de YouTube "ORTHODOX THEOLOGY AND SCIENCE"a Parintelui Razvan Ionescu din Paris - despre apologetica ortodoxa. Cu totii trebuie sa ne (re)gasim drumul catre o apologetica autentica, in particular cei ce zabovesc in domeniul de interfata a dialogului dintre teologia ortodoxa si stiinta.



January 7, 2009

Parintele Razvan Ionescu: "Teologie ortodoxa si stiinta - de ce"

Preluate de pe pagina de YouTube "ORTHODOX THEOLOGY AND SCIENCE"a Parintelui Razvan Ionescu din Paris. Foarte importanta mi se pare observatia ca dintr-o viziune ecleziala, dialogul teologie-stiinta nu poate fi structurat in afara nevoilor Bisericii si nu poate ignora trairea in Biserica si cautarea Harului lui Dumnezeu, acest dialog fiind parte integranta a raspunsului dat de Biserica nevoii de mantuire a omului.







Botezul Domnului - sarbatoarea stralucitei noastre luminari



Cantare noua sa-Ti cante Tie, Hristoase, toata faptura, ca din Fecioara Te-ai nascut si in Iordan Te-ai botezat. Oamenii duhovniceste sa se veseleasca, proslavind sarbatoarea stralucitei noastre luminari si, impreuna cu Dumnezeiescul Grigore, sa cantam zicand: "Este timpul innoirii, - sa ne innoim de sus, ziua rezidirii - sa ne imbracam in Noul Adam, ziua luminarii - sa ne luminam Dumnezeieste", ca intru innoirea duhului sa incepem a umbla si cu intotdeauna sa cantam cantarea cereasca: Aliluia.
(Acatistul Botezului Domnului, Condacul al 11-lea; in imagine: Icoana a Teofaniei, Pskov sec. XIII-XIV).

January 5, 2009

Revista Sinapsa la numărul 3

A apărut numarul 3 al revistei Sinapsa publicată de Editura Platytera din Bucureşti. De pe blogul revistei:
Florin Caragiu şi Mihai Caragiu ne vorbesc despre “problema medierii în raportul creat-necreat” şi „insuficienţa medierii prin scheme inteligibile”. Suntem introduşi în câmpul foarte dezbătut în actualitate al teoriilor de unificare din fizica contemporană. Autorii articolului se apleacă în special asupra contribuţiilor lui Michal Heller, laureatul Premiului Templeton pe 2008 (modele de geometrie necomutativă în cosmologie), subliniind anumite implicaţii teologice. Este de asemeni menţionat demersul recuperator al lui Alexei Nesteruk relativ la ideile lui Hawking, înţelegere pe care autorii articolului o extind şi la ideile lui Heller. În final sunt confruntate „logica structurilor şi mistica chipurilor”.
Sora noastra publică seria a II-a din studiul asupra Jurnalului Beethoven:
Urmează a doua parte din studiul asupra Jurnalului inedit al lui Beethoven întreprins de Carmen Caragiu-Lasswell, cu bogate extrase traduse în premieră din cugetările marelui muzician german. Eseul este dezvoltat pe marginea însemnărilor spirituale ale lui Beethoven. Textele citate au fost preluate prin mijlocirea lui Manolo Laswell şi traduse de Camen Caragiu Laswell din: "Beethoven. Schriften zur Aesthetik und Theologie. Einleitende Betrachtungen uber eine kunstliche Ergrundung der Weltgesetze. zu der Konsequenzen einer Christlichen Eschatologie", Verlag E. Skinner in Gesamtausgabe 27, 1998.
Cam atât despre noi, cei trei "siblings" Caragiu :-) Bineînţeles, toate articolele adunate în cele 230 de pagini ale revistei sunt foarte interesante. Amintim aici lucrarea părintelui Răzvan Ionescu de la Paris - cunoscut cititorilor acestui blog (Despre model în fizică şi în teologia ortodoxă, Un eveniment editorial: "Teologie Ortodoxă şi Ştiinţă - Repere pentru dialog") despre "Paradigma ecumenică a Ortodoxiei: Cincizecimea", ca şi articole semnate de Pr. Ghelasie Gheorghe, Pr. Dumitru Stăniloae, Pr. Neofit Linte, Dan Puric şi mulţi alţii. Detalii se pot afla de la blogul revistei Sinapsa.

January 4, 2009

Sihaştri din România

Video preluat de pe Father Stephen's blog - "Living Saints in Romania". Scurta descriere pe YouTube mentioneaza "Late '90s recordings on our times desert dwellers"... Impresionant!

Featured are two well known Romanian father confessors - archimandrite Ilie Cleopa (1912-1998) who lived himself in the wilderness for a number of years (while chased by the communist secret service) and archimandrite Ioanichie Balan (1930-1997) - together with a rare glimpse into the wisdom of the desert as shared in a short interview by an elder anchorite hesychast living a life of prayer and repentance in the remote wilderness of the Tarcau Mountains.