Crystal and Dragon: The Cosmic Dance of Symmetry and Chaos in Nature, Art and Consciousness

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Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, May 1, 1993 - Art - 287 pages
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We live in a universe of apparent dualities: light and darkness, reason and romance, order and chaos. Exploring the interplay of form and energy, David Wade takes the reader on a journey through the world of successive ages--from Plato's conception of the ideal form and the ancient Chinese philosophy of change to the modern scientific view of structure and indeterminacy as embodied in the laws of physics.
The author shows us how perceptions about the nature of the universe are reflected in the art of of a given period. He details the form and fluidity of prehistoric art, the crystalline order of Islamic patterns, and the subtlety and vitality of Chinese landscapes and calligraphy.
 

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Contents

Things and processes
13
The Two Forces of Nature
33
Snakes and ladders
55
The Crystalline imperative
89
Symmetry and beyond
115
Flux and complication
155
Formalism and vitalism in art
189
Crystalline form in the art of Islam
223
Vitality and fluidity in Taoist art
245
Afterword
275
One Two Many
277
Select Bibliography
283
Index
285
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Crystal and Dragon
The Cosmic Dance of Symmetry and Chaos in Nature, Art and
Consciousness

Preface
Introduction by John Mitchell
Part 1: The Individual and Society
1.  Things and Processes
2.  'The Two Forces of Nature
3.  Snakes and Ladders
Part 2: Science and Nature
4.  The Crystalline Imperative
5.  Symmetry and Beyond
6.  Flux and Complication
Part 3: Art and Aesthetics
7.  Formalism and Vitalism in Art
8.  'Crystalline' Form in the Art of Islam
9.  Vitality and Fluidity in Taoist Art
Afterword Glossary: One. Two, Many...
Select Bibliography
Index

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