07
Oct
07

Truth & Beauty ?

Once again I return to my gentle obsession of exploring deep relationship between truth and beauty or Beauty and Truth.

Essentially, Einstein rounded out three centuries of the questioning of Nature when he equated energy and mass in a single equation of E=Mc2 which arguably is the most widely quoted, used, misused, however least understood equation existing. By the same token, what intrigues me is its underlying connection to these lines of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ which also are the most discussed lines in all of Keats’s poetry –

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“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

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The exact meaning of those lines is disputed by everyone; no less a critic than TS Eliot considered them a blight upon an otherwise beautiful poem. Scholars have been unable to agree to whom the last thirteen lines of the poem are addressed. Arguments can be made for any of the four most obvious possibilities, -poet to reader, urn to reader, poet to urn, poet to figures on the urn.

But the likeness is more important than the difference. The likeness is more helpful in making us understand that the concepts of science are like the concepts of value, monuments to our sense of unity in nature.

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