The Storm is one of the most recognizable symbols in Primary scenes. It's dark marine blue color and shade, suggest something a bit dark and severe. It's spiraling graphical representation, is meant to evoke a powerful inward pull,
that can swallow anything nearby.
These are some of the more obvious and accessible meanings of the Storm, but in reality, there is much beyond these surface level interpretations, that is worth understanding.
Here, in this short piece, we will delve a bit deeper into the Storm of Primary scenes, to find out how it was inspired by nature, and what it suggests about the human experience.
Storms in Nature, and in the Human Experience
Notice that both suggestively, and literally, the Storm at sea, is spiraling, grasping, and burning tremendous amounts of energy, while destroying the surrounding peace. We can learn a lot from the storms of the natural world, once we know what to look for.
Storms of the Natural world
Storms are a part of the natural world, whether we love them or loathe them. We normally view storms as a mere inconvenience, a nuisance that delays our flights, postpones our beach plans, and prompts us to binge-watch our favorite shows. Occasionally, the storms in nature, come to represent tragedies, like those that have devastated fortunes, and even killed whole families.
Form from the Formless
One of the most important aspects of any storm in nature, often goes unnoticed. Paradoxically, these beasts we know as storms, seem to appear out of nowhere, and consist of nothing solid.
What we encounter when we observe a storm, is a rare occasion. We witness form emerging from the formless.
If you can think back to when you were a small child, or perhaps if you now have your own, you may notice a fascination that many children have with whirlpools. I remember that as a little kid, I would frequently enjoy plugging the sink in my grandmother’s bathroom, filing it to the brim with water, and then pulling the plug out to watch this fantastic whirlpool develop.
It is a bit strange when you think about it because all you have is a sink full of ordinary water just sitting there. Then suddenly, you pull the plug, and a form appears right there in the middle of the sink (if the sink is deep enough). It seems we could imagine living in a world where this did not happen, and yet it does happen.
So, whirlpools in our grandmother’s sinks, can actually teach us a lot about storms that ravage coastlines.
What starts off as a formless collection of water, has form imposed on it, by the constraints of the sink and the drain, along with the gravitational potential, that the water follows.
So, we can see that vortices, whirlpools, and even massive storms, emerge from constraints, impinging upon the natural motion of formless substances.
Currents and Constraints
It is easy enough to imagine a whirlpool in a bathroom sink, but where would such a sink be, in the great expanse of sky and ocean, where our grandest storms hold court.
When it comes to thinking about storms in nature, it helps to think about currents and constraints.
Currents create asymmetries in the air and water. Currents can be caused by any kind of gradient that creates a difference between one part and another. Often these currents are due to differences in temperature. Hot air and water will tend to move upwards, while colder sections will tend to move downwards. Seemingly small differences like these, can add up over large volumes and distances, to create massive forces.
Constraints come into play when the natural motion of molecules is altered by external forces. Currents themselves are actually a kind of constraint, but here we will focus on those constraints which are more solid in nature. The geography and topography in a region of space, is typically one of the chief constraints contributing to the formation of storms, and other atmospheric phenomena. Air and water can get trapped when it crashes against some kind of barrier. Inversely, a region under pressure may suddenly accelerate towards a region with less constraint.
So, these combinations of currents and constraints, can be a very volatile mixture in the right circumstances. They can give us whirlpools in the sink, and hurricanes on the coastline.
Turbulence is something we have all experienced viscerally, if we have taken any cross-country or trans continental flights. One moment it’s smooth sailing, then suddenly the next moment your seat is shaking and rocking, and you start thinking that, now would be a great time to have already purchased life insurance, from that friendly British gecko.
Turbulence in nature, is caused by concentrations of kinetic energy, that overcome the viscosity of the fluid, and its damping effect.
Though we can have some idea when and where turbulence will occur, we can not, in practice (and perhaps not even in principle), predict it precisely.
Computer simulations of turbulence are among the most resource intensive, and no large volume of turbulent fluid, can be precisely modeled on a one-to-one basis, as far as I know, at the time of writing this.
There is nothing quite like the destructive power of a storm. It can seem almost supernatural, that the same water and air, that provides little to no resistance in normal circumstances, can come together and lay waste to whole regions of the earth.
This flow of energy, we discussed in prior sections, is quite deceiving when it comes to storms. We expect that a charging elephant will deliver a massive impact because we can see and feel its momentum and mass. There is something solid there that we can get our heads around. Yet when we see footage of a hurricane or typhoon ripping through a costal region, one wonders how on earth all that energy and force ended up right there, unleashed at that time.
The kinetic energy that is contained in the oceans and in the skies, doesn’t look like anything to us most of the time. It has no form as we mentioned earlier, until constraints force it to take on a form, that is maximally efficient at dissipating the energy. The irony is that the most destructive storms, which emerge as forms from the formless, are ultimately not there to destroy the world around them. Storms, paradoxically, exist, specifically to destroy themselves.
Storms in nature can be terrifying and destructive, but ultimately, they are all just dissipative systems. What this means is that they exist only as long as there is a flow of energy running through the system. Due to the constraints of the system, this source of energy can be dissipated most efficiently, by the emergent form of the storm. This applies to whirlpools in the sink, as well as category 5 hurricanes. They are neither good nor evil, instead they are only dissipating the energy, that was put into them.
In this article, we disused storms as they occur in the natural world. We learned about the emergence of forms as a result of energy flow and constraints. We looked at the unpredictable nature of turbulence. Furthermore, we also got a glimpse of the destructive power that storms in the natural world posses, and how in many ways they are similar to the whirlpools little kids play with in old sinks, at their grandmother’s house.
In the next part on this topic, we will look at how the storms of the natural world, can shed light on the storms that occur within the mind, the body, and the greater human experience.