Consider the possibility of viewing all living centers as beings

The I, as discussed already, is a huge thing, of enormous significance. It is everywhere. Whenever a thing takes on life, this thing is connected, in some measure, with the I. It is the connection with the I which endows things with life, which constitutes their life. But the I is a vastness, a something in the universe, as large as the universe itself, from which living structure draws its life.

A being is a small thing. It is a name for a center which is connected to the I. It is not a new kind of entity at all, merely another way of talking about living things and living centers, because they are connected to the I. It is just another word for a living center. But, unlike the phrase “living center”, or “living structure”, the word “being” draws attention to the nearly animate quality that appears when something is connected to the I.

In Book 1, we saw that strong centers are built up recursively from other centers. We saw the effect of the recursion. We saw that as centers are built up, toughened, strengthened, then gradually the centers which appear as geometrical configurations of other centers become deeper, tougher in the artistic sense, and more profound; they reach deeper, somehow they penetrate a realm in which “something” happens. We saw how this recursion applies to many kinds of structures: buildings, paintings, living systems, even to living groups of human beings. And we saw it even more clearly in the simple geometric examples from the realm of ancient carpets and ornaments — interesting because they are so abstract that there are no distractions.

In that sense isn’t source code even more abstract and has even less distractions?

If we reexamine these examples from the point of view I have proposed, we begin to see that the recursion may be said, then, to create a being-like connection to the I. Each living center is, to some extent, an I-like picture of the self. As centers are built, strengthened, and toughened, the larger structures which contain them then, too, become more I-like. In short, the recursion, which allows us to build living structure in the world, not only makes living centers more and more strong. It also causes the appearance, somehow, of pictures of the self, throughout every nook and cranny of a region of space.

How is a modern person to interpret, within normal and reasonable cognitive categories, the idea — in nature or in architecture — that as the build-up of centers proceeds recursively, space becomes filled, gradually, with I-like stuff, with living structure made of thousands of pictures of the living self? Within our present picture of the world, it is hard — one might say, nearly impossible — even to consider such a phenomenon. How then, are we to react to it?

Should we regard it as nonsense? I do not think so. I believe this model will help us to cement the rift in our world-picture, come to a graspable and sensible account of how architecture works, yet retain the physical world-picture we presently have without too much damage. If so, we may reasonably say then that it is a step toward an understanding of how things actually are.

(Pages 74-75)

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