Angles

GEB

The cover of Godel, Escher, Bach is a shape which shows three different letters from three different axis. It’s a visual metaphor for a cardinal point of the book: truth can be viewed from different angles without each one contradicting the others. The shapes exists in a solid form but viewing it necessarily flattens it (whether shadows, or printing it to a cover or viewing it from your 2D optical nerve). We know the flattening happens so we shouldn’t ignore the differing perspectives but combine them into a greater image.

Reality itself is the same but to the nth degree. There are countless dimensions to see the shape of the universe, not just 3.

I came across an instance of this recently when reading a book on human society. It defined religions as a system of human norms & values combined with a belief in superhuman order. Non-theistic/Pan-theistic Buddhism is then a religion, as are modern political ideologies. Contrast that with the definition you’ll get in a basic philosophy of religion class; that it’s belief/worship in a superhuman power. It would reject (some of) Buddhism because it lacks gods or other supernatural powers. Both definitions have merit depending on what you want to discuss. This new (to me) view is very helpful when talking about the social usage of religion. It provides a useful contrast when analyzing the evolution of dominant memetic structures. The power, control, and divisiveness of modern politics is sensible when compared to early Christianity. The political left has been as schismatic as early catholicism. 

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