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.