Why study the abstract?

Mind organises. In everyday life, mind shapes our sense impressions to give meaning to what we perceive. Mind also enables us to organise impressions into rational systems of association and emotional meaning.

Mind strives for simplicity. It transforms our complex experience into simpler but perhaps less tangible mental images, thoughts and feelings.

At its deeper levels, beyond the rational and verbal levels, mind works with symbols and archetypes. Rich with meaning and significance, these archetypes are in some sense the pillars of mind, the building blocks of meaning.

Beyond even this, the mind works with the pure abstract - number and pattern.

An example of these levels would be how we see other people. One of the first things we do when we meet someone new is to label them by sex. Is this a man or a woman? Once we've organised them into this system, it conditions our dealings with them. At a deeper level, we have archetypal images of what a man is and what a woman is. Still deeper is the pattern of duality, the abstract two-ness that men and women represent.

We study the abstract in order to comprehend mind, to develop levels of simplicity in ourselves, to find a high point within from which we can survey complexity.

Its fun too!

This page, and all contents, are Copyright (C) 1995 by Saros. The material may be used freely providing the source is acknowledged.