π

Here’s how my dyslexic ass understands pi: A circle is a shape without edges therefore it is impossible to finitely measure its circumference or diameter, hence the irrationality that occurs when we try to determine the ratio between the two (circles are infinitely curvy). Before I go any further I must say: This post is in no way a geometry lesson. I am more interested in exploring the nature and theory of roundness than ‘hard math.’ If you are a numbers purist you might find this post a bit aggravating so I suggest you not waste your time and go check this out instead. For those of you interested in pi as interpretive dance come on in. I would love to have ya.

Cue the music.

Around the clock…
Time is a dynamic way of ‘measuring’ constantly fluctuating relationships. Damn, if that ain’t a cumbersome-ass sentence. Let me see if I can explain it in a way that actually makes sense: things do not happen over time, they happen in time. Real time to be exact. The following is from an older post…

Everything happens in real time. Not tick-tock time, but REAL time. Like right here, right now. Stars are born in real time. A tree grows in real time. Its fruits ripen in real time. We consume said fruits in real time. Milliseconds, inches, days, nor years can contain real time…units of measurement merely share the space of the infinite moment. It’s all happening right now…doesn’t matter if it happened way back then or has yet to be…it has, is and will always happen right now…right here…right everywhere. The infinite moment surrounds us. The infinite moment is within us. We are part of it and it is part of us.

A few weeks ago while visiting the lovely pacific northwest I stopped by Seattle’s Key Arena to check out the hometown Storm (Temeka Johnson! Ashley Robinson!) take on the visiting Los Angeles Sparks. Before the game began I looked around the arena and wondered what it would have been like to witness Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp playing there in their primes. I was thinking of a bygone time, but I should have been thinking of a bygone point…in space. Key Arena resided somewhere else when The Reign Man and The Glove were doing their respective things due to the fact that our planet is spinning around the sun within a solar system that moves around the center of a galaxy that is moving about space. So, considering that, where were we when Kemp did this? At what point in space did our planet reside then? Well, actually, we were both somewhere and nowhere.

Every particle of matter, from us to the bits that make us up (and the bits that make up those bits and so on and so forth) resides smack dab in the center of the universe; all around us is an ‘equal amount’ of infinite space. In order to pinpoint specific locations we would need points of reference, relative anchors in space we could use to determine where we are/were/will be. Yes, I know I said we were in a different place and now I’m saying that we were someplace and no place at the same time. But that’s the nature of this absurd universe. It infinitely is and isn’t at the same time.

I bet you’re probably feeling like Neo during the ‘Construct’ scene in the first Matrix film…

“No, this cannot be. Time is real. Very real. Matter of fact, as I read this I’m waiting for a bus that is supposed to arrive at 3:14 which is ten minutes away. Ten REAL minutes! If everything happens ‘now’ then the bus would be here now, I would be at work now, I would be on my lunch break now, eating a Reuben now, home with my obligatory post-work glass of wine now, in bed now, dreaming now. Hell, I would even be dead now!”

Those events are all changes which seem to occur at relatively different rates, but those rates are just relativity tricks. They are relative fragments of the infinite now (just as we are fragments of the infinite now). Think of them as pieces of a ‘whole’ thing. ‘3:14’ and ‘ten minutes’ are just pieces of this ‘whole.’ Yes, I’m repeating myself and yes, it still doesn’t make any sense. But don’t worry, just stick with me, it’ll all come around.

Oh, before we move on to the next segment here’s a curious little tidbit about dreams: Isn’t it trippy how we have dreams that span several different locations and ‘times’ while we’re only asleep for mere hours (sometimes even minutes!)? How is this even possible? It seems our subconscious is exposing the absurd, irrational ‘truth’ of the infinite moment. Dreams deliver ‘nows’ like they’re going out of style. Memories work the same way…think back to a so-called ‘moment in time.’ What registers more: The nature of the time or the nature of the moment?

Moving around…
Without contrasting relative elements we would have a helluva time trying to perceive the movement of objects from one point to another. Imagine walking on a planet whose surface was smooth, whose atmosphere was a solid color; and both the surface and atmosphere were uniformly lit with no discernible light source. Although you would be moving about its surface it would seem as if you were walking on a treadmill. You could jog along the surface, you could even sprint along the surface, but you would never get a sense of relative speed. You would seem ‘stuck.’ Now to make this thought experiment a little more interesting, let’s say that the only thing that changed was you (you get older, your body breaks down). How would you determine how old you were? Remember, you are on a planet devoid of relative distinctions—there are no other ‘things’ in your environment to ‘relate’ your changing body to; no sun, no moon, no other people, no other species, no plants. Maybe you could create your own relative things…

“I clapped my hands 3,014 times and now I’m tired.”

“I have fallen asleep 300,000,000,014 times and now my vision is blurry.”

“I have taken 300,000,000,000,014 steps and now I have a beard.”

By quantifying your actions you create a new layer of relativity (essentially you’ve created time). A point of ‘contrast.’ I know, I know, too abstract. Let’s put it in more practical terms…

Los Angeles is here and New York is there. If I am in Los Angeles and want to travel to New York I will have to traverse miles of diverse terrain…I will come across many different land masses, bodies of water and cut through many different cities full of diversely relative people, places and things. But here’s the rub: I’m traveling around a sphere which is spinning (along with other spheres) around a ‘great’ sphere within a galaxy that (along with a cluster of other galaxies) is falling through relativity-defying infinite space. In other words I’m not really going anywhere. It’s that damn tricky relativity (titular line!) that’s tricking me into believing I am somewhere going someplace.

Yeah, I know, STILL too abstract. Well, try this on for size: You, me, planets, stars, galaxies, peas and trees represent relative points in space. Lines can be drawn that link all of these points. For example, a line can be drawn linking you to a planet in a far-flung galaxy three-hundred-fourteen-septobakrillion light-years away and no matter how much you and the planet move about space the line will remain perfectly straight—there’s no up, down, left or right in space. But up, down, left and right mean something to us. A whole lotta something to be exact. Due to gravity (our most influential ‘point of contrast’) we perceive our surface as below and our atmosphere as above, but when we step back and look at the bigger picture we see that there is no direction, just roundness. The force of gravity, which keeps us literally grounded also keeps us figuratively grounded, as a result we are at the mercy of relative angles. Relative angles distort our perception: squares become trapezoids, circles become ovals—nothing is immune to the warping forces of relative angles. These angles also allow us to perform some pretty amazing tricks, like holding the entire sun in the palm of our hand.

Evolving all around…
I like to think of evolution as a phenomenon we cannot see, touch, hear, smell or taste…yet we CAN see, touch, hear, smell and taste its infinite relative manifestations; and even though we cannot see the force of evolution it still is a thing, but where is this thing? Does it only exist within matter? And if so is the me that is trapped in this fleshy body matter? When I die will this metaphysical me evolve? Will it go somewhere or will it go nowhere? Or…perhaps it will go nowhere and somewhere at the same time. Or…is the me underneath all my layers of relativity no different than the you underneath all your layers of relativity? In other words: is there a purity that resides at the core of all things? How could such a thing exist considering the fact that absolute purity is an illusion? No thing is absolutely what it appears to be (all things are in constant flux)…so…if I am essentially you and you are essentially me that would mean this shared essence is immune to the warping forces of evolution. It hasn’t been anywhere, nor will it ever go anywhere. Because it is nowhere, I mean it really is nowhere! It always is because it always was. It is the source. The thing that links all things. The infinite, little/big, expansive/contractive, progressive/regressive all around us, all within us no-thing…

Once again I started talking about one thing and ended up talking about space. What in the hell does space have to do with pi? Well, when you think about it, space has everything do with pi because pi is space! In other non-words: π = ________________ x ∞

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