The Test of a Poet

Albert Einstein believed that the creative principle itself resides in mathematics and in his “Essays in Science” he says, “In a certain sense, therefore, I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.”


Preston Harold asks:

If the pure thought of an ancient led him to realize that there is but a single reality – all manifestation of matter, mind, and energy but different aspects of it – and if he grasped the nature and significance of its supreme law so that he must state the entropy concept as it relates to time, as it works within the universe, how would the ancient have done it? He could speak as a poet, using simple words fully…

From what we read of Jesus in the gospels (especially the synoptics), he certainly knew how to use simple words to their maximum effect, distilling the principles he was espousing with breath-taking economy. Within Jesus’ simple words, though, we find infinite meaning if we have the ears to hear.


Many of the passages reporting Jesus’ teaching are as profoundly beautiful as a poem and as complex as the equation concerning the generation of waves by wind that Eddington presents. Others, such as “The kingdom of God is within you,” are as profoundly simple as Einstein’s famous E=mc squared. Can a poet express truly, albeit symbolically, abstract concepts such as are enfolded in a mathematical formula?… Jesus must meet the most severe test of a poet in describing the many aspects of the second law of thermodynamics and its significance. A poetic statement indicating that energy operates always in changing arrangement resulting in increased measure is found in two of Jesus’ enigmatic remarks about the working of God.

It is these two remarks of Jesus we will look at in our next installment. Until then, peace.

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