Why Us?

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“Why humanity? Not whence we nor whither we, but why we?” asks the back cover of The Harmonics of Unity, a new book by Harold Terry Lindahl.  The volume deploys a complexity of words, schematics, and creative images to explain the interactions of art, science, and religion, based on insights from Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff.

There might be no better time for an attempt at understanding the why of humanity, as society struggles under the weight of a cascade of just-in-time true or false information bits and the destruction, or reconstruction, of cultural cohesion. According to Lindahl, self-examination and the quest to comprehend larger meanings have been overwhelmed by a technological examination of phenomena. “Nowadays, self-knowledge has been reduced to knowing what I like and don’t like, red or blue, Chevy or Ford,” Lindahl said.

The Harmonics of Unity posits that the “…haunting resonance of the Gnostic question Whence We Why and Whither We, has recently become tractable.  The record is clear, the universe is functioning just as it must, and humanity, through its probative instincts, is scanning geo-bio-cosmic realms for information, just as it must.”  Its observations are based, in part, on the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the universe is a “closed system” subject to entropy, or the increased loss of energy or vibration rate.  As Erwin Schrodinger stated in 1944, “Life feeds on a flow of negentropy,” and negentropy results from the processes of life.

The book’s artwork – which has the feel of a mashup between math, biology, and an inside look at the cosmos – is meant to convey the dynamics of the human condition.  Whether or not they are effective as communication devices, the images are beautiful in their diversity of shapes, textures, and depths. 

The Harmonics of Unity is available at Christopher’s Books, Farley’s, and online booksellers.  Workshops, free and open to the public, exploring its themes will be held on March 13, 20 and 27 at 7:30 pm, 312 Connecticut street.