Chapter 4— Giacometti's Walking Man

    It was around 1978 when I read Plato's Timaeus (360 BC), his cosmology treatise, edited by Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns, Plato: The Collected Dialogues, Bollingen Series LXXI, (Princeton University Press, 1961). Benjamin Jowett's translation Timaeus, 35b—
“Now God did not make the soul after the body, although we are speaking of them in this order; for having brought them together he would never have allowed that the elder should be ruled by the younger... First of all, he took away one part of the whole [1], and then he separated a second part which was double the first [2], and then he took away a third part which was half as much again as the second and three times as much as the first [3], and then he took a fourth part which was twice as much as the second [4], and a fifth part which was three times the third [9], and a sixth part which was eight times the first [8], and a seventh part which was twenty-seven times the first [27]. After this he filled up the double intervals [i.e. between 1, 2, 4, 8] and the triple [i.e. between 1, 3, 9, 27] cutting off yet other portions from the mixture and placing them in the intervals.”
The Platonic Lambda, the Soul of the Universe,
is the sum of the two series (Timaeus 35b):
Sum of the double interval series (powers of 2) =
20 + 21 + 22 + 23 = 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15
Sum of the triple interval series (powers of 3) =
30 + 31 + 32 + 33 = 1 + 3 + 9 + 27 = 40
Sum of the double & triple interval series (Timaeus) = 15 + 40 = 55
F.M. Cornford, Plato's Cosmology, 1937, pp. 66-67. See also
Number 55; Dante's 55 & Platonic Lambda; Dante & Marilyn.

Giacometti's Walking Man
The above description of Platonic Lambda Λ as "Soul of the Universe" appears quite abstract. All that changed on Wednesday, February 3, 2010, at London Sotheby's auction, Giacometti's Walking Man I sold for $104.3 million (£65).
Previous record was $104.1 million, paid for a 1905 Pablo Picasso's Boy With a Pipe, at Sotheby's in New York (2004). L'Homme Qui March I or Walking Man I by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) was executed in 1960 and cast in bronze in a numbered edition of 6 plus 4 artist's proofs. The present work was cast in 1961 and is a life-size cast. The wiry human figure stands 6 feet tall
(72 inches, 183 centimeters), and represents the pinnacle of Giacometti's experimentation with the human form. It was formerly in the collection of Dresdner Bank AG, Frankfurt since 1980. Giacometti's Walking Man appears
on the reverse of the 100 Swiss Francs banknote issued in 1996.
[Image: Alberto Giacometti, Walking Man I (1961)]
While our body is visible and tangible, our soul is invisible and intangible. The Platonic Lambda Λ which Plato described in Timaeus 35b as "soul of the universe" seemed quite abstract. When I noticed the man's legs walking by Giacometti's Walking Man at Sotheby's Auction, it suddenly struck me that the soul's shape or form (upside "V" or Greek letter Λ) is right before our eyes manifesting itself whenever we are walking or alive! According to Genesis 2.7: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." William Blake's Ancient of Days (1794) shows God creating the world with a compass shaped like the Greek letter Λ, similar to Plato's creation account of the universe. See "Speculations on the Soul" (Notes) and "Soul Weight" (Notes). [Image: Man walking by London Sotheby's that sold Giacometti's Walking Man I for $104.3 million. Photo by Carl de Souza (AFP, Getty Images)]
    "Giacometti's Walking Man" is a poem written on February 3, 2010, after the Sotheby auction and the revelation of the Soul manifesting in our body when we're walking (Notes to Poem, 4-4-2010). The frenzied bidding that broke the record for an artwork was $104.3 million. Those wealthy bidders had no idea that Giacometti's Walking Man's stride shows the soul in action— something that's priceless.
    "Every Step You Make" is a poem written on February 5, 2010, inspired by Giacometti's Walking Man. That the soul's form (Λ) supports our torso (body) when we walk is like the invisible root that's the foundation of trees. I pondered on other invisible forces that support our visible world. Thus, the birth of this poem ending with Sting's hit 1983 song "Every Step You Take" (Notes to Poem, 4-8-2010).

    — Peter Y. Chou
        Mountain View, 10-23-2018