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.


Spencer said...

Hiking the Appalachian Trail? Do you have an Argentinian girlfriend?

donna said...

the wind whispering your name video was very powerful and helped me feel a sense of connection - thanks Tom - I needed just that!

Cathy said...

All is one, all is one. A beautiful, dangerous stance towards a complex universe.

I was reminded of wisdom offered to me years ago: "don't get too far out in front of your troops: they will identify you as the enemy and start shooting at you." Robert Kegan has written two brilliant works describing levels of "social maturity." He designates as the fourth order consciousness a cooresponding self state he calls "internindividuality", where one can be aware in decision making of the core and profound connections between all that lives. However Kegan himself thinks the achievement of InterIndividual social maturity, what might be considered "post-maturity", as a dubious thing. In an interview published by "What is Enlightenment Magazine " and available online here, (along with more about Kegan) ", Kegan comments on the danger that this state poses:
"... you have to think about what it means to actually be more complex than what your culture is currently demanding. You have to have a name for that, too. It's almost something beyond maturity, and it's usually a very risky state to be in. I mean, we loved Jesus, Socrates, and Gandhi—after we murdered them. While they were alive, they were a tremendous pain in the ass. Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr.—these people died relatively young. You don't often live a long life being too far out ahead of your culture."
Thanks, Tom, for your invitations. I threw all my windows open at your invitation yesterday, and enjoyed the day more for the effort.