Conversation with Nature I

In response to my question: "Oh Nature! I wonder what you are and what language you speak?", mathematician and physicist, Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen sent this letter on behalf of Nature, illustrated with his watercolour painting:


A water colour painted in 1991. It is called a "Detail of Nature" (En natur detalje in Danish). When I painted it I was standing under a big tree and following the shadows cast on the paper by the leaves and branches.

"Of course in reality this is a bit self-indulgent; namely nature conversing with itself. You are part of nature. Are there any entities in the universe which are not part of nature? Aren’t your thoughts or mind waves simply a special example of the dynamics of nature. 

What is nature? The totality of space and time and matter and fields and energies constituting the universe. If our contemplation about nature isn't part of nature what is it then? Are the dynamics of the energy carrying the thought about and the mathematical description of a quantum particle less part of nature than the particle?

Maybe the human mind's contemplation is at one level parallel to waves rolling up against the beach or branches swinging in the wind. At least one common aspect is that matter and energy is in dynamical upheaval. Maybe the main difference is the coordination and imprint. When the mind is contemplating, it involves the part of nature consisting of zillions of neurons that manage to represent and extract patterns of generality. These consist in relationships of some generality between nature’s constituents. Relations or patterns (say the relation between the distance travelled by the descending apple since it was released) are the branch of mind dynamics called mathematics.  Hence one of nature’s dialects is math.

But, as often pointed out by nature herself by use of the vehicle consisting of the minds of, say Zen Buddhists: contemplation and descriptions are parables, never identical to the specific motion and excitations they describe.

Nevertheless, when the part of me called humans muse about myself, we tend to use the language called math. 

What am I? To the part of me called humans, I will in the end always remain restricted to the totality of what dynamical patterns (often known as mind) can be manifested in the part of me called brain."