Universal Order?Cosmology & Cosmetics
Both ?cosmology? and ?cosmetics? come from the Greek word cosmos, which means, ?order,? particularly ?beautiful order.? In Greek antiquity, this might involve having all your soldiers in perfect battle formation or having every hair on your head in place. Cosmetic arrangements are organized arrangements?even tidy arrangements?but this tidiness does not exclude the opulent grandeur of Napoleon?s bedchambers.
The cosmologist is a make-up artist of sorts. In order to see what ?makes up? the universe, he must make it ?down? to a primer. And what does he find? He finds at its core not a nun, but a dandy.
The cosmos can only be an aesthetic phenomenon. It is shrouded in an indelible ?make up? that the harshest astringent cannot remove. This is because if we wish to know what the cosmos is, we must perceive it. Yet, to perceive it is to see it as if it were not random.
Chaotic things could not appear to us, since they wouldn?t be unified in a way that would allow us to focus. Our eyes would spin off in different directions, unable to comprehend a system without principles. This does not mean that we see what we want to see, but rather that the structure of the universe harbors the ghost of our own self-reflection.
Gargantuan planets look like marble eggs; the incinerating fire of stars imitates the flashing of swords; and the unfathomable sunset mocks the closing of the eyelids. What is far away seems small to us, because it is dwarfed by the myopia through which we view it.
On the other hand, it is precisely this myopic dwarfing that is required in order to see order in things. That we can meditate on our own prejudice is strange. When we look in the mirror to ?make our selves up? or ?fashion ourselves,? this requires thinking of our selves from a perspective beyond our selves?a perspective fashioned by us, to be sure, but in such a way as to hope to reveal something about our core.
What we put on the surface of our faces has less to do with showing off the surface and more to do with exposing the foundation of our identities. So, painted-on blush illustrates the vulnerability of a more invisible chagrin. False eyelashes aren?t, of course, supposed to show false beauty, but rather true beauty (yes, even if such beauty is too exaggerated to be real). And how we style or don?t style our hair is an immediate indicator of our personalities.
We want the world to see who we are with a big bang. This applies to cosmologists, too. Perhaps it is not accidental that some of them look randomly ?put together.? This may be especially true of those who think that the styling of the cosmos is random. But to seek to know the universe requires that its randomness be non-randomly random.
There must be an order, even if it is one defined by a lack of order. In like fashion, to seek to know our selves requires that we treat our selves cosmetically. That is to say, when we put on lipstick or comb our hair we are battling with the order we see in ourselves and in things?a complex revelation of a deeply superficial truth.
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