It would seem to most people that love and mathematics have nothing to do with each other. But scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, who had a great passion for mathematics as a lawful tool to understand the mind of God, saw that these two concepts were profoundly connected—especially by the potent axiom of calculus that boldly states our universe (God’s creation) can be rationally understood and described by numbers.
In differential and integral calculus, speed and area are intimately related. Each term supports and sustains the other. How? They correspond! Action describes an area of space and duration in time. Speed therefore “packages” and gives discernible structure to spacetime. The resulting structure or form “houses” the action. Action or motion is the means by which the dynamical universe clothes herself with real form and puts on real discernable limits.
Another way to envision this is that change (displacement of location) forms the principle or function that binds together relationships that add up to a measureable and coherent area of space. Geometrically speaking, nothing offers action or change more flexibility than curvature does. Mathematician Georg Riemann (and later Einstein) showed that the physical properties of space could be effectively expressed through the features of its curvature, bending and warping.
Swedenborg took this wonderful discovery even further – into spiritual principles.
In his theological writings he claimed that physical space is a derivative of love and time is a derivative of truth (as active information). In other words, love is fundamental agency and the carrier of a real-valued function in the endeavor to adapt form (information) and structure to its disposition. So love and truth (information about the value and quality of love’s endeavor) sustain each other just as speed and area do in their dynamical relationships within calculus.
We can confirm this correspondence between love and information with speed and space from our own subjective experience of consciousness. Our thoughts give form to the trajectory of our intentions and affections (loves). Therefore, love finds its first form and limit within our thoughts and ideas. This, then, is perfectly correlated with the action of the physical body in spacetime. The physical action of the body is the final or ultimate form of the original function or disposition of the human heart and will.
All action therefore finds its form in usefulness. This is why the universe is not simply mechanical but profoundly fruitful (such as the evolution of life and intelligent beings). Usefulness is God’s goodness and love finding expression in the spatio-temporal arena and ultimately in the lives of men and women on earth.
Finally, it did not go unnoticed by Swedenborg that in the calculus, the action taking place at any particular point (differential) within a whole event (integral) leads to a paradox whereby no possible finite ratio could exist between the two concepts. From this intimate yet paradoxical union Swedenborg began to see seductive clues as to how God’s Infinite qualities could create and find relationship within a finite world!
I explore these seductive clues throughout my book, Proving God.