Saturday, 15 March 2008

Too clever...

A square has sides of equal length and 4 points where the edges meet. A cube is similar to a square but exists in 3 dimensions, it has 8 points where its edges meet. Mathematically there is no reason why you can't extend this pattern to higher dimensions as a simple formula will tell you the relationship between the dimensions of the object and the number of points (where the edges meet), the formula for the number of points is 2 to the power n where n is the dimension of the object.

The square is 2D and has 2 to the power 2 points (that's 4 points). A cube is a 3D square and has 2 to the power 3 points (that's 8 points). Make a cube out of paper and unfold it to make it 2D again, you can make the shape of a cross out of the paper.

A hypercube exists in higher dimensions, in 4D it will have 2 to the power 4 points. "Unfold" it and you get a shape in 3D called a tesseract.

The painting below by Salvador Dali has Christ crucified on a tesseract. It is a very, very clever painting.

Here is Christ crucified till the ends of the Earth, outside the simple time and place of Calvary 2000 or so years ago. There are no nails and no wounds, but there is pain, look at His hands. Forget about those who literally crucified Christ, He forgave them from the cross for they knew not what they were doing. Christ's pain, in this depiction, is in His heart, it is for our sins that separate us from Him. Our sins, here and now.

We must act. See how the Virgin at his fees raises herself above the 2D chessboard of ordinary reality buy her total devotion to Christ. We must do the same and prepare to plunge ourselves into the depths of His Passion.

Dali could never depict the Passion, not even the nail wounds in Christ's flesh. I like that honesty, and to me it demonstrates a very human and God fearing side to this most exuberant and deliberately enigmatic of artists.


Mac McLernon said...

Sorry - I loathe this sort of painting. I was interested to read your post, but nothing will make me like looking at this... or find it useful in prayer.

Tom in Vegas said...


This is BEAUTIFUL!! Magnificent! I see Cosmic Christ all over this. I must do a post about this sometime.

Absolutely ingenious!

Rita said...

Good job we are all different!

To me, appreciating what Tom calls the "Cosmic Christ" is essential before we immerse ourselves in the Passion over Holy Week. It prevents any danger of sentimentality....but that's just me.

Tom in Vegas said...


When I think of the Cosmic Christ I think of the spirituality of Teilhard de Chardin. I find many of the things he wrote quite beautiful and thought provoking. The idea the Jesus Christ is calling all of Creation to Himself (Omega Point) is something that gives me goose bumps. And now with this painting is implied that the Crucifiction - or at least the afterclap - extends beyond Calvary, beyond the time it took place in, beyond Earth, and beyond our universe, if the multi-verse theory some scientists expound has any legitimacy.

I do have to be careful with the treatment of the term Cosmic Christ, it's a favorite of new-agers. But here I use it in the strictest Chardinian sense. Hope I make sense.