Friday, February 25, 2011

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

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, not knowing what is next and not concerned with what was or what may be next, a new mind is operating that is not connected with the conditioned past and yet perceives and understands the whole mechanism of conditioning. It is the unmasking of the self that is nothing but masks — images, memories of past experiences, fears, hopes, and the ceaseless demand to be something or become somebody. This new mind that is no-mind is

free of duality — there is no doer in it and nothing to be done.

Toni Packer

"I-77, Exit 30 / Dust Landscapes"© (detail) 2010
Watercolor on Paper
Autumn Missed Subset

14.) And finally: Use all your oil. This of course refers to the parable of ‘The Wise and Foolish Maidens. The idea is that the maidens that burned their oil in preparation for the coming of the Prince were perhaps optimistic, but should not be used as a foible for the other maidens (as if waiting around and shining no light would be the better action). We thought it might be just right somehow to ‘use all your oil’. Since then Tom has been thinking about the idea of the ‘fool’. And thinks that this level of foolishness –this enthusiasm if you will - may be illustrating not an opposite but an equal and perhaps viable ‘way’. After all it is the wise AND the foolish. The and here may be seen as an equivalency. After all, if we are exhorted to fully participate in life why sit around in the dark. Also, did not the wise maidens allow themselves the free illumination in the light of others?"

from "THE PORCH TRANSCRIPTS - CONVERSATIONS IN THE DARK WITH MY BABY" Compiled 10/23/03. Note: these recordings were originally written on a Harper’s Magazine in ballpoint pen. Conversants include Sheila Ennis in her current position of Goddess, and her adoring husband (Tom Schulz) working in his capacity of SAA (Supreme Administrative Assistant).

"Serenade" (detail). From "The Mockingbird Triptych"© 2011
watercolor and gouache on paper


“In terms of an Entities personal life-history, where does Desire become a motivating initiative?” asked The Universe of God. “Is Desire an aspect of the Creative Process?”
“Oh”, that’s tricky for an Entity - desire”, responded God. “An Entity can be consumed by a Desire to create and fall under the thrall of the Desire. Maybe it would better serve if the Entity were to discover the underlying novelty of a situation or set of circumstances and match the novelty of the surrounding environment.”

“Like that Autumn thing we got going on the planet Earth!” declared an enthusiastic The Universe.

“Process and Reality - The Interview”©
Video Sketch 2010

Both God and The Universe liked this:

“It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of the intoxicating existence we’ve been endowed with.

But what’s life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours-arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don’t. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment’s additions existence. Life, in short just wants to be.”

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Black Swan, 2003

In a Stolen Boat,
push off what seemed safe: The fishing dock,
pitch pines, children glazed to sheen
by ruthless summers. Past

the jetty, past the past, to open sea—
all violet and green, that choppy path between doom and luck—
Put your back into it, and row.
April Bernard, "Romanticism" 2009

This concludes Week Sixteen 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."The God and The Universe Conversations" are based on Tom's protracted reading of Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

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

We need to get out of our heads to understand ourselves.
For we are not brains in vats of skull, we are animals, dynamically entangled with the world around us. Where do you stop
and where does the world around you begin?
Not at the skull, and not even at the limits of the body.”


"Spider Labyrinth - 1 / Dust Landscapes"© (detail) 2010
Watercolor on Paper

Autumn Missed Subset

From the Editor:
Fairly fresh out of High School and oddly reticent to continue attending college, I left Academia with the intention of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail with two chums. We were heading South to Springer Mountain and hitched a ride in the family Circus Wagon that was conveniently going in the same direction. Arriving at our destination, I piled out with my pack and high spirits: ready (yet ill prepared) for Adventure. We all said our brave goodbyes. I stole a glance back and saw the most abject look of loss, pain and worry on my Mother's face. I had never seen that look before. As I turned and headed into the Draw, I swore that if I had kids, I would never let them see that face on me. So much for plans and intentions. I walked the entire Trail alright. But not the one I planned. And not the one I intended. No. It has been ever more marvelous and mysterious than anything I could have Imagined.

"Trouble in Space"© 2008
Acrylic Gouache, Metallic Spray Paint on Paper
From the "Spidey Hole Series"

Trouble in Space

“Let The Universe just suppose”, supposed The Universe, “that a Structured Society, You know, Society like a group of Entities, has reached a State of Satisfaction. Then is it complete? If it isn’t complete, then what does that Society do - get more complex? Where is the stability?”
“God considers that the Satisfaction of a Society, especially a Diverse and therefore Healthy Society, can only be as Satisfied on the whole as the Smallest subset is satisfied”, replied God. This allows for the Process of Complexity to avoid the Extremes of Complication.”

“Yeah, cause there’d sure be trouble in space, then. Wouldn’t there, God?”

"Angel Oak Study #11" © 2011
Polymer Stains on Canvas
From the "Revisiting My Nature Series"

Extensive Connections

“OK, let’s see if The Universe has this straight”, erupted The Universe. “Physicality is a type of relatedness that is at once measurable and discernible, given certain properties and assumptions regarding extensive connections. So, taking a family of straight lines, we can express a system of congruent society. Presto! Order!” Oh, The Universe was pleased to the point of smugness.
“Lovely logic, The Universe”, said God. “But what of competing families of loci with equal claim to a societal system? One set of realities tumbling into another set of possibilities?”

“Well, The Universe will spend some time considering that likelihood”, grunted a disgruntled The Universe.

"The Wind Whispered My Name"© 2011
Video Sketch

Talk as much philosophy as you like,
worship as many gods as you please,
observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns,
but liberation will never come,
even after a hundred aeons,

without realizing the Oneness.

Sankara, from "The Wisdom of the Hindu Gurus", edited by Timothy Freke

This concludes Week Fifteen 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."The God and The Universe Conversations" are based on Tom's protracted reading of Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

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

"Come to the edge," he said.
"No, we will fall," they replied.
They came to the edge.
He pushed them . . . and they flew.


"The Mechanics of Crepe Myrtle"© (detail) 2011
From the "Revisiting My Nature" Series

From the Editor:
What holds us back? What stops us from moving, caring not the direction (or even the dimension for the adventurous)? Many of us might cite fear as a primary barricade impeding us from living into some perceived freedom. But fear of what? The unknown? Try making a list of what is known to you and what is unknown to you and get back to us on that. We must not let our dreams calcify. As Flannery O'Connor wrote in her 1953 short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find", "She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Whose hand is holding the gun to your head, Friend?

"Societies of Entities"© 2011
Digital Photograph

From the "Revisiting My Nature" Series

Our Cosmic Epoch

“The Universe hates to be obtuse," began The Universe, “but The Universe is still tripping on this idea of Disorder. If there are intertwining Societies of Entities, like planetary systems or galaxies, then wouldn’t their most effective form of existence require only Order? Wouldn’t that be the Prevailing nature of that Order?”
“Well.” God said, “Well, a prevailing Order can create Chaos through Dominance. But Dominance is not a creative action, except only in the sense that it can create Disorder by not respecting Harmony.”
“Oh, and that is Dissonance?” asked The Universe.

“No”, replied God slowly, “Dissonance is part of the balance. Dominance just shows a lack of key understanding.”

"Spiritus"© (detail) 2008
Latex Housepaint, Gesso, Silver Leaf on Paper

From the "Prayer Painting" Series

Geometrical Order of Nature

“Abstractly speaking, God, does God require that The Universe believe in God in order for God to exist?” questioned The Universe.
A belief system certainly has its intrinsic flaws”, opined God. “Suffice it to say that God is fulfilled by a considerate and involved relationship with The Universe as God currently exists in connection to The Universe.”
“That sounds like a lot of responsibility on the part of The Universe”, whined The Universe.

“Or just good livin’”, responded God

"Air on the Dirac Strings"

“There comes a time when the bubble of ego is popped and you can’t get the ground back for an extended period of time. Those times, when you absolutely cannot get it back together, are the most rich and powerful times in our lives.”
Pema Chödrön

This concludes Week Fourteen 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.
"The God and The Universe Conversations" are based on Tom's protracted reading of
Process and Reality
, by Alfred North Whitehead.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

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

“To be an abstraction does not mean that an entity is nothing.

It merely means that its existence is only a factor of
a more concrete element of nature.”
Alfred North Whitehead

"Abstract" 2006
Cast Concrete, Bottle Lid, Polymer Stain on Concrete

From the Editor: Boundaries establish a binary conundrum - one is either inside the demarcation or outside the demarcation. Which reminds me of my favorite joke when I was a kid. "Two horses. One is running the range, and one is in the corral. Which horse sings Don't Fence Me In? The Answer? Well neither, silly. Horses can't sing." But in the unimagined land, horses can sing, and fences can come down. Entire Sciences are embraced and renounced and then held dear. The forgotten are re-membered, borders are crossed and erased and reconfigured. In the unimagined land reside my thoughts and dreams and aspirations til they percolate through my permeable walls and are set free in action. As Ken Wilber says, "The boundary between self and not-self is the first one we draw and the last one we erase.”
Imagine that.

"Moments in History - The Fall of the Berlin Wall"
Carston Cumbrowski 2008


“Would it be prudent for The Universe to recognize that as an Entity, The Universe is best defined by its boundaries?” wondered The Universe.
God chewed on this question for a bit, and responded thusly: “
a boundary can exist as a matter of necessity as an extension beyond that which is not included within the boundary.”
“Once again, The Universe hears God speaking in circles”, replied a confused The Universe. “The Universe is regarding the interiority that is The Universe.”

“Yes”, answered God, “and God intuits that The Universe’s concerns are justified. And those concerns are the vectors discerning what is there and transforms it to what is here.”

"Angel Oak Study #10" 2011
Polymer Stains on Canvas
From the "Revisiting My Nature Series"

Closure Operators

“Back to order”, commenced The Universe, chuckling at the unintended double-entendre. “Isn’t there indeed an order in Nature? And if so, can it be formed?”
“There are sequential elements in the interactions of Entities that create societies of intertwining Orders. But these societies are not isolated. Take for example a language that is first acquired and takes an historic route in its developed usage. Over time, this language may come into disuse as overlapping societies of Entities implement new prevailing languages. This is a type of Natural Order”, intoned God.

“Sounds like Greek to me”, retorted The Universe.

“When traveling is made too easy and comfortable, its spiritual meaning is lost. This may be called sentimentalism, but a certain sense of loneliness engendered by traveling leads one to reflect upon
the meaning of life, for life is after all a traveling
from one unknown to another unknown.”

Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki
On Restructuring Habit.
On The New Land.
This concludes Week Thirteen 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."The God and The Universe Conversations" are based on Tom's protracted reading of Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.