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The Secrets of Symmetry

★★★ This is the 500th post of this blog... and is still counting ★★★
Discover the glaring shapes and patterns that mark the visual perception, in our daily life

Look around your room and see the symmetry in some corners or elsewhere. There is some delight in some particular objects within our eyesight. The same is true when we listen to a beautiful song, when we come across a breathtaking landscape. We always notice the regular and orderly perceptual structure first; if not, then in the most cracked and damped objects. There is also a midway but that is grossly found in the tedious things of our everyday lives.   

What do you think about symmetry? Some mystery, as in the enigma of natural creation, is quite apparent in the orderly objects and patterns that are in states of equilibrium. The slightest change makes them look out of place; else everything is so easy on our eyes. It is amazing how the concept changes from different perspectives, yet, no angle would disrupt the balance. We can see it and subsequent alteration in several areas from architecture to music, from our homes to the streets — so many objects are lined in a seemingly isotropic existence. 

Power of balance
The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Symmetry is so common that it is just like any other thing that we usually take for granted. We never know how we hear, for example, until we meet a person with hearing impairments. Another characteristics is its presence in arts and sciences, in dream and reality, in equal depths. When we talk about it in art, the first thing that we can cite is Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (right).

We can consider the windows, the doors, the ventilators, the hallways, the staircases. All the elements have a sense of proportion that makes them look what they are. Any deviation is always noticeable to our naked eyes. Lately, I have seen in medieval forts and monuments that the kings who built them does not matter, and it does not even matter how many footfalls it receive daily, weekly or monthly. But the nicely completed architectural and design elements marked by the aesthetics of symmetry are so unmistakable. For instance, the Taj Mahal has a bilateral symmetry with one plane separating the monument into two halves of its reflected duplication. This is a shared quality of the countless tombs, memorials and other buildings of importance.

Taj Mahal has a bilateral symmetry
Source: Wikipedia Commons
We can find balance and proportion, and their study in every field of study, ranging from biology to physics. We can see it in the most obvious materials lying around us. We can indulge it in the various artworks from paintings to sculptures. We can describe it in the most alien equations of abstract algebra. We could do almost anything but ignore it.  

This phenomenon is quite conspicuous in music as well, as in its cent per cent balance of repetition, variation or grouping, unless it is broken discreetly. Music theory spells out the six symmetries of music. However, this does not mean the whole world is conspiring to build a symmetry together, but rather we have a condition which is just a little better than unflagging chaos and mess. For the sake of argument, where can you find the pattern of Indian democracy in the filthy Imphal town? (The Capitol Complex and Babupura, of course!) Besides, an excessive amount of anything does more bad than good. Unsurprisingly the manifestation of over-symmetry can be quite tedious as much as less.

No matter what, the universe has an innate quality for maintaining the balance. From the tiniest atoms to the galaxies, there lies a grand uniformity. By nature it changes, grows, develops on one hand, and then mitigates, lessens and gets reduced on the other; however, our action tends to break it, at times either ways. Global warming is one such case. The duality of our existence can only explain what lies further in things, within and beyond our depressingly limited knowledge of the universe. In the midst of these tales, we can take delight in the symmetry that surround us.



   500th post of this blog...and still counting   


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