Saturday, September 25, 2010

"The God and The Universe Conversations". Week Three.

"If there be light, then there is darkness; if cold, heat;
if height, depth; if solid, fluid;

if hard, soft; if rough, smooth; if calm, tempest;
if prosperity, adversity; if life, death."


The God and The Universe Conversations. Week Three.

“Space Boy, Aghast” (Detail) 2006

Interactive Mural by Artists Tom Schulz and Isaac Schulz

“God?”, asked The Universe. “Yes, The Universe?”, God answered. “Do you ever get afraid?”, The Universe asked quietly. “Why yes”, replied God, “yes, God gets afraid from time to time”. “What would God possibly be afraid of!”, exclaimed The Universe.

“Oh, mostly irresponsible behavior”, said God.

“Re-aligned Realities”

The Universe said to God, “check this out. “Everything is so fragile, and so glorious. He closed his eyes. Here it comes…here’s the future…and here it is again…”

“That’s from “Her Fearful Symmetry”, by Audrey Niffenegger.”

“I like that”, said God………………. “Me too”, said The Universe.


“I don’t know”, mused The Universe, “but a lot of things seem out of whack lately. Pluto’s a planet, then its not, time folding back on itself, systems collapsing. I’m just one Universe, I don’t even know if my efforts to set things to right amounts to much of anything. And I don’t think I’m the only thing that feels that way.”

God figured it was time for a bit of en/courage/ment.

The Universe said to God, “Don’t take this personally, but I find that whole separation of Lightness and Darkness rather divisive.” And God replied, ” Yeah, well I’m into contrasts. It creates a tension that I consider balanced.”

“Gosh”, said The Universe, “That just makes good sense”.

“How Einstein Was Wrong”

The Universe said to God, “I heard it through the grapevine that you don’t gamble.” And God replied, “Have you been talking to Al again? Cause he’s supposed to be pure energy by now.” The Universe got kind of quiet. “But God”, The Universe asked, “If you know everything, then isn’t everything, well, um, determined?” God mumbled something about The Universe and randomness and perceived chaos and uttered one word:


"In the ultimate stillness
Light penetrates the whole realm;
In the still illumination,
There pervades pure emptiness.
When I look back on the
Phenomenal world,
Everything is just
Like a dream. "

Han-shan Te-Ch'ing

This concludes Week Three of
"The God and The Universe Conversations".

All art and writing by Tom Schulz unless otherwise noted, or unless it is so cool
he will try to get away with claiming it as his own.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"The God and The Universe Conversations". Week Two.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
William James

God and The Universe Conversations. Week Two.

“The Eleventh Commandment”

The Universe said to God, “I’m down with all the begatting and the whole Lillies of the Field thing, and the Thou Shalt not Covet stuff. You know - I get it - I’m an ever expanding Universe.” God knew where this conversation was going, but get’s bored being all Omniscient and all, so God says, “And?” And The Universe said, “Can’t you come up with a sign that gives folks some kind of heads up?” So God did.


So God and The Universe were hanging around and God mused, “This whole autonomous individual thing we have going on over yonder on Earth has turned into a real bee in my nebulae”. And The Universe got all excited and said, “What if we created them in Pods??? Then they could learn from each other and help each other and stuff!” “Brilliant!”, said God. “Work me up a prototype!” And so that’s just what the Universe did.

“Room for Expansion” (Detail, 1990)

Sometimes The Universe is so busy, The Universe forgets to stop and ponder. Evidently, as the story goes, there is supposed to be a Time of Pondering. But The Universe thinks it can’t afford to use that Time for Pondering, especially since there is so much stuff to make and unmake. “Silly Universe”, thinks God. But softly, and to God’s Self.

“(Frank) God’s Gonna Sit This One Out” (From The Brilliant Notebook©)

There have been times when God has allowed The Universe to create things without God’s input. God figures, “How else is The Universe going to learn?” The Universe has a tendency (still) to rush headlong into creating things without really understanding or contemplating the ramifications. God seems pretty cool with that. After all, as God tells The Universe, “Things will work out. If not Now, then in a Billion Years.”

Exerpt from The Shawshank Redemption, written and directed by Frank Darabot, 1994

“God, The Universe, and Andy Dufresne”

Occasionally, God and The Universe utilize agents and/or agencies to implement scenarios that illustrate the sublime. While it is highly likely that you are currently involved in any multitude of these scenarios, it is essential to remember that you are not locked into a scripted response or reaction.

"The language that best describes desirable characteristics of experience is derived more from aesthetics. That does not mean that it is about objective works of art. But it is about the art of life and the beauty of experience. What makes one experience superior to another is more like what makes one painting superior to another than what makes one action more moral than another."

Process Theology, John B. Cobb, Jr.

Read entire article here. Fascinating!

Shall we pause for a moment and contemplate our level of participation in The Conversation? It surrounds us and calls to us in each moment.

This concludes Week Two of the God and The Universe Conversations.

All art and writing by Tom Schulz unless otherwise noted, or unless it is so cool he will try to get away with claiming it as his own.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Minutea, Patterns, and 911 - Taking Back my Birthday"


For years, I have studied contemporary culture and its impact on formats of thinking.
I have come to the conclusion that while we long to have original thoughts, we seek (most often) to capture those thoughts, rather than coax them into actuality. It takes effort to recognize that no moment is entirely isolated. Moments unfold from the compost we call the past and catch hold of the trajectory we refer to as the future.
"It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."

Excerpt from "The Gremlins" by Roald Dahl, 1943
Read complete text here. Fascinating!

As an RAF pilot during World War II, Roald Dahl suffered a plane crash near Alexandria, Egypt. This is where the greatest library of ancient times was "accidentally" burned by Julius Caesar. Performance artist Laurie Anderson wrote in her song "World Without End", that "when her father died, it was like an entire library burned down". Roald Dahl married actress Patricia Neal. She had a stroke. My father had a series of strokes. Roald Dahl wrote a children's book for Disney called, "The Gremlins". Many pilots blamed Gremlins for damage to their aircraft.
Dahl is associated with the OSS, as were many of the initial officers of MOMA .
The OSS was the precursor to the CIA.

Still Image from "Russian Rhapsody" 1944
Notice Gremlins in the upper right hand corner.
Watch entire cartoon here: fascinating!

When I was a kid, I watched an episode of "Twilight Zone". It involved a Troubled Man. I knew that Troubled Man. Years later, his Library would burn to the ground. Then, I watched the television show in the "Den" that the Troubled Man had constructed. It was the same room where the Shadowed Adults gathered to witness reports of the burning to the ground of the library that was President John Kennedy. That was the Thanksgiving that occurred in a Parallel Universe. Rumors had it that there were Gremlins at work.

Abridged version of "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"
(Directed by Richard Donner, 1963)

I was haunted by this imagery, and had nightmares about the sudden appearance of horrific things. This never changed, as my perceived future shot forth into this time that I call now. I was only able to rid myself of the bad dreams by summoning my friends into my unconscious state. Together we could roll the Gremlin into a ball and bounce him around and laugh. That strategy has held me in good stead over the years.
Yet, still, I refused to heed the Warning.

Golden Earring 1982 Twilight Zone

"My beacon's been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go
Now that I've gone too far"

Time Tripping: I was teaching my first class of the semester on my birthday - September 11, 2001. Critical Thinking. I was so prepared. For the One Thing and not The Other. The Administrator pulled me aside and told me of the one plane. Less than an hour later, I was pulled aside again and told of the second plane. Then the third and the fourth. Class dismissed. Thousands of Libraries burned to the ground. Gremlins at work.

a.) Behold the Wood / 2.) And the Fire 2006 ©
water media on paper

On September 11, 2001 at 8 O'clock in the morning, My sister (Mary de Wit) registered the domain name of Empathinc. Right before the shit hit the fan.
Beyond my imagination, this made Empathinc. REAL. Empathy Incorporated,
Today, September 11, 2010, I - Tom Schulz - take back my birthday
from the Gremlins.
Today, Empathinc. secures its stand to act in compassion, to not respond to hate with hate. To pause when confronted, and consider what is really going on. Today, Empathinc. will avail itself to the power of acultural thinking. We will consider, ponder, consult. We will imagine and create and even act the Fool. We will follow the trails that you have blazed, and not expect an overarching agency to fulfill our needs.
We will pray when necessary, and dialogue constantly.
And while Libraries shall continue to burn to the ground,
we. We will not have matches in hand.

World without end.


I love you too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"The God and The Universe Conversations". Week One.

Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

The Sayings of Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan

Frank Herbert, Dune

The God and The Universe Conversations. Week One.

“Small Important Things”

In order to create a Universe, the initial ingredients might be overlooked if the grandiose concept of the end result leaves significant minutiae unrecognized. But that observation is most likely appropriate to any Conversation.


So God said to the Universe, “Let’s work together to make a situation where you reflect all that I am and I imbue the reflection with all that you are.” And the Universe (being young and old all at the same time) replied, “Won’t that be overly complicated for the inhabitants?” And then God and the Universe laughed at the same time (as often happens) and said in unison, “We’ll call that The Great Mystery, and let them sort it out!”

“Sun Dog”© 2010

Photo by Isaac Schulz

So the Universe said to God, “Do you think I’m showing off? You know - the cloud formations, autumn foliage, comets and what not?” God had to ponder, cause why rush into anything when you have infinity squared? Then God responded to the Universe, “Heck no! Shine away! Make a spectacle of yourself.” The Universe took that as a type of permission and did just that.


So basically then, it seems that every conversation is (of course) a conversation between God and The Universe. This vignette stars Sparkly Pegasus playing the roll of Sparkly Pegasus. No Unicorns were washed or dried during the making of this video.

It is as true to say that God transcends the World, as that the World transcends God. It is as true to say that God creates the World, as that the World creates God.

Alfred North Whitehead

All art and writing by Tom Schulz unless otherwise noted, or unless it is so cool he will try to get away with claiming it as his own.