Thursday, 26 November 2009

‘Nature Unveiling Herself Before Science’ – Louis-Ernest Barrias


Here’s a sculpture for all the scientists at CERN’s Hadron Collider, who are about to further undress nature’s body very, very shortly.

Louis Barrias’ sculpture, described and illustrated at the Shaving Leviathan blog, has the thrilling erotic charge that the pursuit of truth should have, and that few human beings get to fully experience.

If you don’t get a charge from what they’re doing in that 27km tunnel, in which they’re accelerating heavy atomic particles to very near the speed of light in order to break them apart for the first time in history just to see what happens – just to lift the veil on nature’s modesty -- then you might as well be dead.



  1. Superb detail. Think I'll update my post. Where did you get it? Based on the angle, I'm guessing it's a different version from the one in the Musee d'Orsay. (There are several.)

  2. On why death is good.

    From Plato's Apology.

    We should reflect that there is much reason to hope for a good result on other grounds as well.

    Death is one of two things.

    Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from this place to another.

    Now if there is no consciousness but only a dreamless sleep, death must be a marvelous gain.

    I suppose that if anyone were told to pick out the night on which he slept so soundly as not even to dream, and then to compare it with all the other nights and days of his life, and then were told to say, after due consideration, how many better and happier days and nights than this he had spent in the course of his life - well, I think that the Great King himself, (refer note) to say nothing of any private person, would find these days and nights easy to count in comparison with the rest.

    If death is like this, then, I call it gain; because the whole of time, if you look at it in this way, can be regarded as no more than one single night.

    If on the other hand death is a removal from here to some other place, and if what we are told is true, that all the dead are there, what greater blessing could there be than this, gentlemen of the jury?

    If on arrival in the other world, beyond the reach of these so-called jurors here, one will find there the true jurors who are said to preside in those courts, Minos and Rhadamanthys and Aeacus and Triptolemus and all those other demi-gods who were upright in their earthly life, would that be an unrewarding place to settle?

    Put it in this way: how much would one of you give to meet Orpheus and Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer?

    I am willing to die ten times over if this account is true.

    For me at least, it would be a wonderful personal experience to join them there, to meet Palamedes and Ajax the son of Telamon and any other heroes of the old days who met their death through an unjust trial, and to compare my fortunes with theirs - it would be rather amusing, I think - and above all I should like to spend my time there, as here, in examining and searching people's minds, to find out who is really wise among them, and who only thinks that he is.

    What would one not give, gentlemen, to be able to scrutinize the leader of that great host against Troy, or Odysseus, or Sisyphus, or the thousands of other men and women whom one could mention?

    Their company and conversation - like the chance to examine them - would be unimaginable happiness.

    At any rate I presume that they do not put one to death there for such conduct; because apart from the other happiness in which their world surpasses ours, they are now immortal for the rest of time, if what we are told is true.

    Note: the Great King himself: The King of Persia was seen by the Greeks as a paradigm of worldly happiness.

    Copied from: Plato: The Last Days of Socrates -pp 69-70. Penguin Classics.

  3. Rock hard. The statue, that is.


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