A new way to experience water --
"Water is a fluid; that is to say, it flows - it has no stable form of its own. And yet when the wind blows over the water, or if the water flows over rocks, then forms arise - ripples, waves, whirlpools, meanders. Schwenk regards these forms as revealing the inner nature of the water itself rather than the nature of the disturbance acting on the water. He supports the view by making many striking comparisons between the water-forms and the forms of living organisms. The latter are drawn from a wide field: the shapes of shells and fish, of growing leaves and gnarled bark, of anatomical strictures and embryological development. In each case there is an obvious similarity to a wave or a vortex, an unfolding jet-stream or a pattern of ripples.
"The pictures make an immediate appeal to the eye, but the senses cannot penetrate the superficial resemblance; to grasp what forces underlie the similarity of form requires the use of the perceptive eye of thinking. Schwenk's thinking leads him to believe that water is itself a living organism, sensitive to the forces acting upon it in the same way that a plant or an animal is. He believes that the high degree of sensitivity found in some of the most delicate forms in moving water could be developed to give regular indications of the most subtle influences and forces, even to the extent of demonstrating the effects of the heavenly constellations on earthly matter.
"I must admit that I am thrilled, aesthetically and intellectually, by the wonderful examples given here - not only in the pictures but in the descriptive text as well - and I believe it is a very good thing to have laid such a thorough basis for the development of a more imaginative science of water" (from a review of the book, by Ralph Brocklebank).
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Why does water always take a winding course? Do common principles and rhythms underlie the movement of water, whether in the sea, in a plant, or in the blood of a human being?
The laws revealed in the subtle patterns of water in movement are shown in this thought-provoking work to be the same as those perceptible in the formation of bones, muscles, and a myriad of other forms in nature. Lavishly illustrated, this book shows the unifying forces behind all living things, and it observes phenomena such as the blight of birds, the movement of fish, the formation of internal organs, air patterns made by musical instruments, mountain formation, river deltas, and much more.
"Theodor Schwenk's book 'Sensitive Chaos' is extraordinary. As an ecological designer, I find meaning and inspiration on every page. He provides a portal into the workings of nature that can benefit all of us. This book fills a major void in the design arts and sciences." - John Todd, Ph.D., president of the Center for Restoration of Waters
"From space the Earth is seen as a water planet, less than 30 percent is land. Our sister planets Mars and Venus were made of the same stuff when they started, but are now drier than any conceivable desert on Earth. We know that without water there can be no life, but also it is true that without life there can be no water. In 'Sensitive Chaos,' Theodor Schwenk teaches us about this wonderful connection between water and life. So movingly and well told is his tale that you will not want to put the book down until the end." - James Lovelock, scientist and author of "Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth"