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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Have you heard of Christopher Alexander? I’ve written about him before (1, 2, 3).

I’m fascinated by his ideas and have yet to read a single book he’s written. But his interests in the human response to patterns and space seem to be narrowly applied. They could explode beyond architecture. These ideas seem to count for anything where the decisions of one determine the environment for many — whether that’s physical, emotional, or mental space. In particular, Alexander’s ideas on wholeness have captured my attention.

I’ll say it now: I’m a suspicious guy. It’s something I try to keep tamped down but, honestly, I’d love to be a conspiracy theorist. I just think there’s way more to life than we acknowledge … aliens … not so much … but deeper levels of sensation and mental capacity … oh yeah.

So I’ll publically throw in a vote on this: wholeness. I keep wondering if all the things we’ve got, can buy, or are given are just fragments of thier whole. A bit metaphysical, maybe. It’s a lot like the prime discussed by Plato/Aristotle.

Are we only getting fragments of perfection? Is all this just a broken off piece of something spectacularly beautiful? And to be really whacky … I think it pushes on Nelson Mandela’s proposition that “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate … our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Anyway … All that to say,  Kenneth Baker’s review of “The Nature of Order” series got my attention.  The paragraph that spurred on this post is below.

“Every critic of the arts learns to discern wholeness or the lack of it in artworks, even in the temporal media of musical performance, theater and film. And all of us discern the wholeness of situations and things and respond to them, as when we spontaneously delight in the unfussy warmth of a well-used room or effortlessly recognize a person’s face despite its never-ending fluctuations of expression, age and well-being.”

Oh man, I think this is fun stuff.

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