Nature's Three Voices
Nature's Patterns Invite The Aesthetic, The Spiritual, and The Analytical
"In my view, the fundamental reality in the world is not stuff, but patterns"
-- Ray Kurzweil

Good News !!

You are viewing a draft of the book entitled "Patterns – The Art, Soul, and Science of Beholding Nature". The final version of this book has now being published as an Amazon Kindle eBook.

There are some significant changes in the eBook that are not in this draft. You may purchase the eBook here

Some of the ideas in the eBook are contained in posts at my Patterns In Nature Blog. You are encouraged to visit this blog site. If you press the "Like" button shown below, your Facebook page will provide you with short notifications and summaries of new blog posts as they become available.

I spend a lot of time immersed in nature. Whether walking, sitting, or slowly driving my camper, I absorb the ambiance and character of a landscape, an animal, or a small detail while experiencing conflicting impulses. One side of me wants to be absorbed in the spirituality and the beauty of the moment. The other side of me wants to know the why and the how. It is as if Nature is speaking to me with three interdependent voices, a spiritual voice, an aesthetic voice, and an analytical voice.

As I approach a spider web glistening in the morning sun, my first response is one of awe at its beauty. Then I exclaim: "Gosh, I'm amazed that the spider could build such a thing. How was it done ?". But, the minute I raise my camera to compose and capture the image, my artistic nature is given the nod to go to work. Perhaps I flip back to my left brain momentarily to adjust the camera settings. But, then I'm back to my brain's right side as I behold the beauty of the light reflected from the web and commit the image to the camera's memory.

The process of encountering, recording, and wondering about any natural pattern involves me moving several times between my aesthetic self, my spiritual Being, and my analytical left brain. So, is pattern cognition aesthetic? Is it spiritual? Or, is it science? Clearly to me, it is all three. And, these three modes of perception are inseparable.

There is the aesthetic as we absorb the wonder and awe of the color, the form, and the pattern. Then there is the Now of the spiritual experience that takes place as we sense the timelessness of the moment. And there is the feeling of context as we try to analyze and understand the relationship of our object with its surroundings. The awe of knowing that everything somehow fits together.

This is a book of praise and celebration of our relationship with nature. It is a book about exploring, discovering and beholding patterns in our natural surroundings. It is a book that talks about our aesthetic appreciation of nature, our spiritual connection with nature, and our analytical understanding of nature. Connection between our spiritual self and our environment by engaging nature at a spiritual level. Aesthetic appreciation of nature's great beauty through art, photography, and writing. And, achieving an understanding of nature's patterns using analysis and synthesis so that we might see how we fit into nature's order. Forms of aesthetic expression help in the struggle to make order out of an infinitely varying patterns of nature. The spiritual is important because it focuses our attention on nature's connectedness with all things. And the analytical provides tools and models that permit us to understand the physical structure of and processes within patterns in nature.

This book differs from most other books about patterns in nature by emphasizing the holistic -- the aesthetic, the spiritual, and the analytical. As these three aspects interact, new (and sometimes unexpected) properties emerge. The effect is synergistic (two plus two equals five). The emerging system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone.

While an appreciation of patterns in nature can involve the spiritual, art, and science, some of us are perfectly happy with enjoying the aesthetics and spirituality of nature while leaving the science alone. And, there are some of us who cannot take that hike into the woods or along the beach without absorbing the beauty of the moment and then searching for some new understanding about why things happen as they do.

This book is dedicated to both kinds of people.

Consistent with the three underlying themes, the book's contents are presented as follows:


Table Of Contents