Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hydrogen, the saectum saectorum

Balder started an IPS thread on matarealism. Yes, that is how he spelled it, to reflect the mata of matter and realism. Therein he used the term saeculum with reference to Pannikar, indicative of how the secular can become sacralized. The word led to some ruminations on my part, following from that discussion.

Ah yes, my alma mat(t)er. But I prefer to (de-re)phrase it the saectum saectorum (from sanctum sanctorum), given my atheist bent, meaning the most common of the common. (In real terms this would be hydrogen.) Not to be confused with the rectum santorum.

Balder: I like saectum saectorum -- though given common connotations of 'common,' it has the danger of presenting 'matter' as 'all summed up,' fully known, nothing 'withdrawn' about it.

I don't like rectum santorum.  That's just nasty!!  :-0

me: Pannikar's use of saeculum is interesting referring to mystery. That's why I chose my de-re Latin phrase based on that usage, as intoning resonantly in that language creates a mysterious aura about it (as in Church). It is not just the common usage of common but that which is most common, like the most holy. Hydrogen is the most common and prevalent element in the universe, the very foundation of All but particularly stars. It's the fuel of cosmic combustion and yet the most mysterious phenomenon of All.

On a practical level, this is why hydrogen fuel-cell tech is on the forefront of clean, efficient energy. And no surprise that Rifkin plans to store energy as hydrogen once generated from his smart buildings. Hydrogen, the saectum saectorum, is the key to our sustainable future. It is quite literally hot stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Something occurred to me today after my last post, a point I brought up briefly in previous discussion with Tom about light. We might assume that light is a (or the) metaphysical Source, given its immaterial nature. But that never sat right with me, as it seems much more an affect of matter, almost a waste product. Like the sun, which has to burn hydrogen to emit light; matter is the Source and light a by-product. Even the big bang, according to some scientific creation myths, came about from very condensed dark matter, which got so hot it exploded and with it light.

    I hear another voice in my head saying: But to be integral we must assume light and matter as co-creatively enacting. But I'm not so sure, at least scientifically, which came first. I know from some metaphysical traditions light came first, then involved into matter. Just wondering.


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