Monday, September 20, 2010
Magic square puzzles, aka Sudoku, date back 4,120 years and occur as talismans in a wide range of cultures. Maybe I should take them up. Maybe by doing these, as this woman on the F train was, we bring the world, or the small clump of earth we call "I", a fragment closer to balance. According to Chinese legend, the square was brought to the people by a turtle emerging from the sea after a huge flood in the Lo River. Perhaps the puzzle programs the subconscious to know and to seek balance, and to avoid flooding. Who knows what numerical qualities make possible. As physicist Heinrich Hertz put it, "We cannot help but think that mathematical formulae have a life of their own, that they know more than their discoverers do and that they return more to us than we have invested in them."