Friday, October 29, 2010

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

“The poet is the priest of the invisible.”

Wallace Stevens

The God and The Universe Conversations. Week Seven.

“The Perilous Nature of Objects” ("Still, Life Project"©)

“The Universe kind of has an itch The Universe can't scratch", said The Universe. "Seems like The Universe has to keep up this incredible level of energy just to keep things from collapsing in on themselves and then no matter how hard The Universe tries, they collapse anyway! Is that something that should concern The Universe?"
"Only if The Universe refuses to recognize that nothing disappears - it responds and transforms.", replied God.
"Is God ever transformed in the collapsing?”, queried The Universe.
"Constantly", replied God. "God is even transformed if a single entity attempts to concretize God."

"That's gotta hurt", allowed The Universe.

“Warblers, Ex Nihilo”
(Detail, "The Mechanics of Crepe Myrtle Series"©, 2010)

The Universe began, “It seems to The Universe that everything The Universe creates is created with something or out of something. But what of the creation of The Universe? Was The Universe created out of the remnants of Another Universe? Is there concurrent creation going on even in this moment with other actualized Possibilities of The Universe? The Universe is pretty sure that Nothing cannot create Something!"
"Well", mulled God, "perhaps The Universe might choose to consider that Nothing is actually Something".

"Inconceivable!", barked the Universe.

"God", asked The Universe, "how does The Universe express a "feeling" without objectifying the entity that is the subject of that feeling?"
God thought for a while. The a while seemed like forever to The Universe (such is the Nature of God's Supratime). Finally, God replied, "A defined mutual expression is very satisfying."

"Cool", responded The Universe. "The Universe will attempt that strategy."

“Everything Must Be Somewhere” Video Sketch 2010

“Let The Universe see if The Universe has this straight", said The Universe. "An entity is a Being presiding over the immediacy of the entity's Becoming? And each entity includes The Universe just in the entity's attitude towards every element of the Universe?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah", chimed back a very enthusiastic God. "God considers it Synthetic Unity - an endless linkage of potentialities."

"Sweet", said The Universe.

Bioinformatics From "The Brilliant Notebook Project"©

“The Universe was in a contemplative mood, consumed (as it were) with considerations of Dark Matter. Addressing God, The Universe asked, "With all this communication vis a vis Process, then is The Universe merely a sketch? Some underlying cartoon in preparation for the Finished Painting?"
"Oh, the Finished Painting question", sighed God. "God actually prefers the cumulative acquisition of novelty to the Completed Piece".

"Thanks", said The Universe. "The Universe finds that oddly hopeful."

There is a sphere where there is neither earth nor water nor heat nor air, for it is beyond the field of matter; nor is it the sphere of infinite space, or consciousness, for it is beyond the field of mind. There is not the condition of nothingness, neither is there the state of this world or another world, nor sun nor moon. This is the uncreated. This condition I call neither arising nor passing away, neither dying nor being born. It is without form and without change. It is the eternal, which never originates and never passes away. To find it is the end of sorrow.

Udana Sutta
From "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000

This concludes Week Seven 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, October 23, 2010

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

“To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.”
José Ortega y Gasset

The God and The Universe Conversations. Week Six.

Complex Unity (Delno Ennis)

“It would appear", started up The Universe, "that Abstractions are useless to The Universe. Maybe The Universe is an either/or proposition. Everything is either real (or maybe even hyper-real), or it cannot yet exist. So it doesn't Matter if something is unreal."
"Yeah, but that is the flaw in Absolute Binaries", retorted God. "They leave out the Mediating Agencies!"
"Do what?", replied the beleaguered The Universe.
God responded, "Them furrows don't get plowed without somebody leading the mules."

"Got it", chuckled The Universe.

Pondering Woman” (detail)

“Y'know what God?, muttered The Universe, "The Universe doesn't know if God has noticed, but The Universe gets pretty caught up in all this Creation business, and sometimes gets a little carried away."
"(A little?)", thought God to God's self.
"But isn't that what The Universe is supposed to do - bring things into Being?"

"Actually", replied God in all kindness, "God is just as interested in the Becoming."

“So let me see if The Universe can get this straight", fumed an exasperated The Universe. Does God mean that the process is as important as the results?"
"Not as important", explained God, "but rather inseparable. Any entity as it currently exists is an element in the process of all becoming. For example, The Universe may experience a shift in identity as it is impacted by any series of becomings."
"Oh God! That sounds so complicated!”, cried out The Universe.

"Well, it ain't exactly rocket science", laughed God.

Dry Land and Streets”© 2010 Video Sketch

“The Universe is believing that The Universe is catching on", said The Universe. "Becoming and Being aren't in conflict. Becoming and Being are aspects of a total process".
"Something like that", replied God with a noncommittal tone.
The Universe jumped in, "Let's just say that like, in the Beginning there was this Godness and the Godness created all the isness and then turned it over to The Universe and stuff started Becoming out of that partnership and then Entities began all their Becoming. Does God control all of this?"

"God prefers not to micro-manage", God answered.

“There is that sphere of being where there is no earth, no water, no fire, nor wind; no experience of infinity of space, of infinity of consciousness, of no-thingness, or even of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; there is neither this world nor another world, neither moon nor sun; this sphere of being I call neither a coming nor a going nor a staying still, neither a dying nor a reappearance; it has no basis, no evolution, and no support: it is the end of suffering.”
Udāna Sutta 8.1

Special Bonus Feature:
"Participating in the Conversation"

Installation View, Town Outpost - North Carolina Educational Center, New Bern, NC.

Photo by Daniel de Wit

As an artist, I spend a lot of time on my knees. And concentrating on the task at hand. Often, there is an intrusive bedlam as projects are being completed all around me. I find myself entering into a separate zone of being. But not separated - for I still must remain cognizant of my surroundings. So I actualize within one particular reality without disappearing from the other. It is in this osmotic state of exchange that I most clearly participate in The God and The Universe Conversations.

This concludes Week Six 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.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

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

"In an age when our single-issue mentalities threaten to destroy any possibility of broad community, ambiguity is a gift that the arts offer toward formation of healthy, inclusive communities.
The ambiguity in fine arts helps us see flaws in our heroes
and redeeming qualities in our enemies..."

Doug Adams

The God and The Universe Conversations. Week Five.

Joseph Rodriguez/News & Record/AP

“But I’ll Be Seeing You”

“The Universe doesn’t mind admitting it”, sighed The Universe. “But sometimes it is tough being comprised of so much material that is beyond The Universe’s comprehension. Multiple dimensions, realities that shift upon observation, dark matter. You know everything, God - what do you call all that?”

“Love”, whispered God. “God calls that Love. And it is in never ending supplies and it is the unifying thread woven through everything.”

“That’s good to know”, breathed The Universe.

“A World With Walls”

The Universe was puzzled. “The Universe appears to require boundaries, but is full of indefinable matter and infinities. What of finality?”, asked The Universe.

“The issue is not about finality”, replied God, “but of process. Ambitious schemes must not frame previous experiences as being the total definition of the Nature of Things.”

“Gosh”, mused The Universe, “what if I can’t handle that Truth?”

“I Lacked Oversight”

“I overheard somewhere that you shouldn’t spoil a good story for lack of a few facts,” offered The Universe.

“Funny thing”, responded God, “is that every fact requires a system of descriptions that supports that fact, but still doesn’t contain the entirety of the system.”

“Language is thoroughly indeterminate, now ain’t it God?”

“Word”, said God.

“Mechanics of Crepe Myrtle #1”

“Y’know, the more certain The Universe is about the logical progression of things, the more The Universe becomes haunted by the limitations of the Absolute”, sighed The Universe.

“Yeah”, replied God (though an answer was not really necessary). “In that regard pretty much every premise in any conjecture is under suspicion.”

“You Haul”

“Please pardon my incessant badgering,” started The Universe, “but you know how pragmatic I can be what with twin particles, cause and effect, and all. So when presented with a concept like ‘Heaven’, I just gotta ask, God - where would such a place like that be? Is it an energy field? Some kind of actualized paradise? Is it the same for all creatures and beings?” “Well,” said God to The Universe, “for those beings unencumbered by expectations, it is a most marvelous and individualized otherness - hard to verbalize. For those who require a bit more tangible security - there’s Mom’s Attic. It’s a good system.”

"A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us.
To live is to be slowly born."

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This concludes Week Five 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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

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

Hope grows with the ability to respond;
despair grows with the self-chosen
closing in of horizons.

John B. Cobb, and David Griffin
Process Theology:an Introductory Exposition

The God and The Universe Conversations. Week Four.

“Star Power”

Often The Universe was unnecessarily brusque. “Who created the stars?”, The Universe asked God. “Me? Or God?” “Does it matter,The Universe?”, asked God right back. “It does to me!”, exclaimed The Universe.

“You created the stars, then.”, God whispered.

“Always Time to be the Fool”
Video Sketch 2010©

“Hey, God what’s with the determination to always be direct and to the point?”

“You must be seeing something, I can’t (which of course is unlikely)”, replied God. “All I’m saying is look at wormholes, politicians and labyrinths”.

“Touche”, said The Universe.

“Knowing the Difference”

Photo by Kathy Richards

“Does God actually grant serenity?”, asked The Universe of God.

“It doesn’t actually need to be granted”, replied God. “It’s there for the taking.”

“Or the discovering?”, queried the Universe.


“Who is responsible for creating chaos, God? God or The Universe?”, asked The Universe. “Oh, God thinks both God and The Universe are totally involved in chaos”, God surmised. “But doesn’t all that havoc cause pain and suffering?”, retorted The Universe. “Well”, said God, “it most often appears that way in the moment. But sometimes the way needs to be cleared in preparation for the new”.

“Harsh”, said The Universe.

“Blendered Family”

“So then, speaking of chaos”, pondered The Universe, “What about things that get all in an uproar, y’know, like sunspots, and all this energy is emitted out into the aether, and certainly The Universe doesn’t know what it all adds up to. Is that chaos, God?”

“It depends”, returned God. “Sometimes God prefers to refer to it as Absolute Beauty.”

From "Hymn to Matter":

"Blessed be you, universal matter, immeasurable time, boundless ether, triple abyss of stars and atoms and generations: you who by overflowing and dissolving our narrow standards or measurement reveal to us the dimensions of God. Blessed be you, impenetrable matter: you who, interposed between our minds and the world of essences, cause us to languish with the desire to pierce through the seamless veil of phenomena."

Teilhard de Chardin Hymn of the Universe

This concludes Week Four 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.