September 9, 2008

Poetic Time

For decades the world has been taught that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is a set of extremely unfathomable complex mathematical concepts. The Theory of Relativity ― a superb orchestration of strokes of genius based upon Riemann’s geometric ideas which overthrew the Euclid’s 2300 year-old domination ― has become a sacred area of thought where those who are not brilliant in physics should not even think to lift a finger.

This novel by Alan Lightman, MIT professor in physics and director of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, is enchanting because it transforms Einstein’s quest for the nature of time from pure mathematical abstractions into concrete human experiences. Time presented is the pulsing time inside every human being, constituting one as a true human. Instead of presenting a theoretical description about a very complex and subtle cosmic phenomenon that exist independent of human beings, Lightman offers a literary work to intensify the awareness of time that resides in every human’s heart and body. He illustrates the abstract concept of time through lenses of the pain of longing and the joy of passion, and in our aspiration to seek out our destiny and freedom.

Read the rest of this entry »