The Grand Envelope

For no apparent reason I was thinking about “grand concepts”. The obvious ones were “space” and “time”. Were there any other candidates? I put a call into the Smart-Friend-Space that is (sometimes) Twitter and was rewarded.


First, spacetime. Second, mass-energy. Third? Someone suggested “life”. Posited as a duality similar to the previous two, it could be framed as “being-non-being”.

Now, because I am someone unaccustomed to highly abstract pontification this in itself was interesting. But it did raise a further question: How do these three dualities relate? The answer was surprisingly forthcoming. Having just read Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth I was prodded into thinking of the Universe as a great system of Russian dolls, with one system nestling inside another all the way from the grandest scale down to the most minute. Thus, the answer was that they envelope one another. Specifically:

Spacetime encompasses mass-energy, which enables being-non-being.

I suspect I’m lacking the capacity to extol the virtues of this Grand Envelope or to pick apart its defects, so I won’t try. I just thought it was a sufficiently interesting model for inclusion here, similar to how you might find a rock with a curious pattern in it. It’s intriguing, so you take it home with you and there it remains, receiving no especially vigorous attention. This model, like that, remains in the cabinet of curiosities that is my mind. Feel free to tell me more about its banalities and wonders.