Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Squaring up

The photo was taken some years ago from the top of the Mole Antonelliana in Turin and it hid in my files for that time! Frankly I can't recall taking it! Because the building is mostly squares it reminded me of this rhyme. "A graduate student at Trinity.Computed the square of infinity.But it gave him the fidgets.To put down the digits, So he dropped maths - and took up divinity." For Jung, a square is a “quaternity”and such a symbol might be “in the form of a cross, a star, a square, an octagon". Jung famously conceived of the human personality as having four sides and sought balance in each. The square is a  symbol of wholeness and when it appears in dreams, it could be about self realisation. When the circle is squared it becomes a mandala, a symbol of the transcendental. Yet even though there are many squares I couldn't imagine anything spiritual about what looks like a battery farm. Why should we want to live or work in little cubes? They are strong of course. Would you rather stand on a chair with with four legs or a stool with three? It's a fundamentally stable structure and everything holds everything else up. If you could remove a single cube from this structure it's unlikely it would collapse. Functional yet boring - something a lot of people seem to strive for. But we are more than four sides. We need to square up to being multi-dimensional.