The notion of “portals”, suggested by this composition, opens up a vast body of thought and science, particularly around the intersections of religion, philosophy and physics. How do we perceive what exists beyond our conventional notion of 3 dimensions? The ideas around this question are substantial. But here’s a quick summary of what I found along with some thoughts from my study on the subject.
In Hinduism, all matter is an illusion know as Maya, where our narrow perception of physical and mental reality blinds us from knowing the “one truth”. Conversely, Brahman as a metaphysical concept, is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe. Maya is destroyed when we perceive Brahman with transcendental knowledge.
In philosophy, there is the dualist view of “mind separate from matter” (i.e. Descartes), and the monism view of a singleness to everything. While proponents of materialism and physicalism debate the metaphysic questions of “ultimately, what is there?” and “what is it like”, the science of theoretical physics seeks to describe a scientific understanding of our universe.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity and the 20 century evolution of quantum mechanics has led to a compelling, but sometimes contradictory view of the universe. At a string theory conference in 1995 M-theory immerged as the unifying “Theory of Everything” (ToE); its simplicity and mathematically elegant formula could fit on a t-shirt. An intriguing component of string theory is the existence of a multi-dimensional universe.
To me, experiencing art is a more monist perception of the type of artistic medium and its inherent physical attributes, along with the conscious attributes of feeling and interpretive understanding. For example, my composition above as seen in an art gallery, the viewer could perceive the physical aspects of the framed work along with physical aspects of the photographic subject – the stone textures, shapes, lighting and depth. Hopefully, they would also perceive possibilities of what the implied space means, and the associated feelings. Does the shadow imply the existence of a person within the space at a particular point in time?
I like the view of Max Planck, the father of quantum theory. He said, “There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”