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“The reason for the creation; the world as a living being, modeled on a unique, perfect and eternal living being” (Plato 20). The chapter called “The Work of Reason” begins with this statement, and then the whole text becomes a tool to prove this statement to be true. Timaeus makes such statements like facts to be accepted without questioning, and then tries to prove these statements true with logic. For example he believes that God brought universe to order form disorder, under his own image, so he assumes how he went with his plan. By the end of the previous section, Timaeus says that we should accept “the likely myth” and should not question any further about how the universe came to be. However is accepting something as true without further questioning right?

Through the text, Timaeus then states that work of intelligence is more beautiful than without intelligence. He further mentions that “it is impossible for something to gain intelligence without a soul”. The first statement can be proven right easily, however thinking about our era, the second statement seems too bold. Nowadays there is artificial intelligence and robots like Asimo, which can be coded to act like a human being, even though they don’t have “a soul”. Thus perhaps it is not a good idea to make such bold statements as facts can change over time with new discoveries. Facts are facts till proven wrong, just like in science.

After seeing world as “a single living being” that contains “living beings of the same natural order”, Timaeus goes on to question the existence of one universe or multiverses (plural or infinite). He says that there is one universe, as beings cannot have a double. However is this enough proof to accept this as a fact? Perhaps there are parallel universes that we’re not aware of, as they coexist in reality. It would be difficult to prove that as a fact, yet the chance of them existing cannot be so easily denied without any further questioning. Perhaps with every decision that we make, we create other parallel dimensions, just like a tree branch growing out and getting divided into other smaller branches. Considering the question of having an origin, perhaps the universe started as one and got multiplied in time, as also we are thinking of it as “living”. This can sound outrageous, yet could there be a chance?

At the same time, in Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s book “Hello, the Roses” space, time and energy are also mentioned. On page 87, it is said “You could be a person or you could be immortal, a wave in the environment. / How to describe energy without matter, without dimension or gods? / Through space, the world has passed; a year has gone by. / The word for earth, world is year, which moves in time like water in water, it does not pass. / Their word for cosmos is year”. I perceived “energy without matter” as soul wondering in space, as soul can exist without a body or form. Going back to Timaeus, God created the universe by “implanting intelligence in soul and soul in body” and made it the best as possible. Thus perhaps it is possible to describe such energy without a form or a space. Perhaps soul can be of intelligence, even when it doesn’t have a body.

Moreover, this quote shows that the understanding of time is subjective. In space it may feel like a year has passed on earth, but perhaps time passes on a larger scale. Even when it feels like it doesn’t pass, perhaps time feels different in different scales. This may be because of the amount of happenings in time. Most probably more things would come to be in a larger scale than in smaller scale, which would change the understanding of time passing. Also Berssenbrugge mentions the relativity of time, re-emphasizing the subjectivity of the passage of time: “Time rushes forth with the appearance of any new thing. / It makes an orientation in four directions and above and below, marking clouds’ movement and potential for rain, the sky with morning star in winter, when time proceeded so slowly” (Berssenbrugge 88). According to her, time can pass quickly when there is something new, and slows down around wintertime. When we can accept the subjectivity of time, as it is a part of our own individual experience, how can we deny the possibility of multiverses?

Berssenbrugge’s poetry is a lot about perception and experiencing, whereas Timaeus keeps making statements and tries to prove them right with logic. Perhaps combining experience with logic is a better way of proving things right, as solely experience and perception can also be misleading. However making a statement to be accepted as fact without proving other possibilities wrong cannot be the right way to go. It only creates more questions and possibilities.

(PS. sorry for writing way too long)

~ Melis

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