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Meditation after a Sengai Painting


by Raymond Gibson


Solipsism is a lie. Here we have the three primal elements: a circle, a triangle, and a square. The circle recalls Parmenides' monad, but the infinite sphere is a spinning illusion. This is cycles, time, change. The triangle recalls the most durable yet obscene structure: the Great Pyramid of Egypt. This stands for the heap, hierarchy, and power. And the square? A door, a boundary, a map: it is alterity. There is always someone or something else beyond one's own will. Change, power, and alterity comprise the universe.

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