Is the universe conscious? What is the relationship between art and consciousness?
We live in a universe made of inert elements that combine in various ways to form all we can see and touch. Right?
That’s the prevailing view of science. Yet here we are, fully conscious and self aware. How is this possible? How could it be that the lifeless raw materials of the universe could somehow give rise to beings that can experience, dream, feel and think?
A Walk Through the Thought Gallery
That is the fundamental question that has stumped traditional science. With it’s reliance on observation of form and the establishment of objective fact, standard materialistic scientific thought has not been able to account for the phenomenon of consciousness. Which presents a unique problem, since consciousness is a fundamental requirement in order to observe or perceive anything. No consciousness, no perception. It doesn’t get much more fundamental than that!
Perhaps we need to consider a different view. Perhaps reality itself is a function of consciousness. Perhaps the only thing that actually DOES exist is consciousness.
Art and Consciousness
The implications of a conscious universe are huge. For one thing, ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ boundaries are blurred, opposites are given a unifying context and things like instinct and other natural processes are seen to be expressions of an underlying field of intelligence rather than mechanistic, automatic actions.
A conscious universe also implies that being conscious is, simultaneously, the act of observing and participating in the creative forces that permeate all that is. ‘We’ become individual points of view in a virtually limitless field of consciousness, actively participating in a creative unfolding of reality that is virtually limitless with possibility.
Artistically speaking, that pretty much sums up my current direction. My main goal is to ‘get out of my own way’ as much as possible, to get beyond the realm of concepts and ideas, to discover how thoughts, dreams, memories and events flow together in unexpected ways to create reality.
The other 50%…
All that aside, art is meant to be a conversation, not a monologue. What I’ve written above only speaks to my inner process; what the viewer brings to the experience – as an observer AND participant – is fully half of the equation.