From my own studies I have long seen a kind of relationship between music and math. For example, the current 12-Tone scale was developed in the 15th Century using the Pythagorean theorem. Clearly music and geometry come together since the length of a string or a pipe determines the pitch of the sound made. Thus, geometry and sound DO relate.
More artistically I have always relished the mathematical precision of Baroque music, especially of the Bach fugue, which amounts to a kind of mathematical progression on a musical theme.
But all my linking of math and music was something I thought of as largely a manner of thinking, an intellectual connection if you will. But the video below shows that there more than intellectual abstraction going on. The connection between sound and geometry is also physical. As each tone is produced, the geometry is produced and visible to the eye. As the tone changes, so does the picture created.
Frankly: Wowza! It is a wonder and awe moment!
And why shouldn’t there be a clear relationship? At the end of the day, all things are one, and connected because the one God who is simple and and one, produced them all. We see his fingerprints in everything he has made. In the video, God’s fingerprints are beautifully displayed.
Most people don’t connect sound and geometry. But since they both come from God, they are connected, and it merely falls to us to discover the relationship.
For years now scientists have sought to find a unifying and simple theory that explains everything. Some decades ago it was called the “Grand-unified Theory.” More recently the media coined the term “God-particle.” Whatever you want to call is, the hunt is one for the one thing that explains everything.
Theologians have known the answer for thousands of years, and expressed it in our own terms. The grand unified theory, the one thing that explains everything is Love. God is love, and He who IS love explains everything. Why is there something as opposed to nothing? Love. Why is the universe so big and so diverse, why such extravagance? Love. Why is there justice, why is there beauty, why is there order, why is there desire? Love!
Love is not merely something God does, it is not a mere attribute. God IS love. And as love, he has done all things. Love explains everything. God is Love and Love loves, that’s what love does, it loves. Why are sound and geometry ultimately one? Because the same Love made them both and resonates in them both. The same Love sustains them.
Do not misinterpret this. Distinctions are important, at least for us humans. We need to distinguish and must distinguish. It is the basis of thought for us, who are contingent and limited beings. But at the end of the day, what we distinguish as more in common that it has in distinction. Why? Because God who is Love made and sustains everything. We ought never forget, as we distinguish, (for we must), that there is a deeper and mystical union to all things.
Perhaps I can end with a “Desert Father” story which I do not recall as to its origin, but I recite it from memory:
One day, a disciple came to the Abbot and asked, “What am I to do about the distance I experience with God?” The Abbot replied, “Understand that it isn’t there.” “Does that mean that God and I are one?” said the monk? Father Abbot said, “No one….not two.” “How can that be?” said the perplexed monk. The Abbot looked at him and said, “The ocean and its wave, the singer and his song, the candle flame and its light…..not one, not two.”
And the point is that all our little categories and distinctions fall short as we draw near to God. Even the simply defined 2 versus 1. As humans, in our experience we must distinguish. For as limited beings we can only see pieces at a time. But our distinctions are ultimately a sort of analogy. Things also have a unity we cannot deny. Why? God is love, and Love made and infuses all things.
A chair, a monkey, a water molecule, sound, light, and geometry, ultimately have more in common than they have apart. Distinctions for us are a kind of necessary evil. But we ought remember, at the end of the day, that Christ hold all creation together in himself. And that at the end, there will be, in the words of St. Augustine: Unus Christus, amans seipsum. (One Christ, loving himself).
This is not pantheism. For God transcends all he has made. He is bigger than all this. But he unites all this. The Grand unified theory is simply this: God is love. Love is the answer to the ultimate why and how of all things.
Now the video. Behold the fingerprints of God’s love.