"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man."
- Albert Einstein, The World As I See It
|10 x 8 in|
Oil on Yupo Panel
Since I first thought to put a satellite dish in the subjects hair in a painting several years ago, I've enjoyed the rich implied meaning in it. It seems to express a willingness to listen, a curiosity for what's out there. It could imply the search for extraterrestrial life, which in some ways is about finding out who we are. Through listening, it implies humility and a willingness to set aside our desires in favor of observation, so central to science. By pairing it with the Einstein quote above, it becomes about being open to the enchanting mystery of universe and the "spirituality" to be found there. Described well by this quote from Sagan I recently rediscovered:
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark