In The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Leonard Shlain, the distinguished and recently deceased author and surgeon, described a coming shift he called the iconic revolution. A shift from five millennia of domination by the written word and patriarchal left-hemispheric values that “conquered right brain values, and, with them, the Goddess” — a “triumphant march of literacy” of which “patriarchy and misogyny have been the inevitable result;” Shlain proposed the iconic image is now returning, and together with an increasing reliance on holistic image information will, he predicts, move culture toward a new equilibrium between left and right hemispheres, masculine and feminine, word and image.
“Surfing along on electronic waves,” Shlain expects this iconic revolution “will ultimately crest any man-made obstacle” and introduce “a new Golden Age,” He doesn’t, however, identify an image he believes has the potency to trigger this shift.. Thus I write to tell about an icon that in fact possesses such a potency. Existing in the revolutionary geometrical synthesis that’s emerging between relativity and quantum physics, its iconic image is even now making electronic waves both through graphic depictions and discussions of its unifying dynamics among physicists and mathematicians throughout the internet.
It also emerged dramatically and mysteriously in an experience I had in the seventies in an artists live/work enclave in San Francisco. A radically reconstructive moment that completely changed my life, it ultimately caused me to abandon painting, conceive a trans-art movement that unifies art, science and life, form the
G2 Institute for Integral Aesthetics and produce a lecture series I call ‘Aesthetic Phase Shift’ to usher it in.
This icon, the torus or vortex sphere, is ancient, but revived recently in math and physics is providing the cosmic metapattern for what’s being called ‘loop guantum
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