O#o van Nieuwenhuijze
The Artist-Scientist seems to be a dying breed. Yet, it is the most essential species of scientists.
In spite of what many were led believe, science is not about knowing how to predict, repeat, reproduce, experiments; or ‘reality’. Reality is based on our Realisation. And Science is the art of knowing the Unknown. Discovery.
This skill is being lost; because scientists no longer learn to think. They are given knowledge, but lack the skill of Knowing: they do not know what they know. They do not know how they come to know. The art of learning Knowing is lost.
This has severe consequences: scientists who only know what they know, but not how they know, do not understand the limits of their knowing. Nor do they know the origins of their knowledge. This makes scientists, and science, irresponsible. This is reflected more and more in the increasingly sorry state of Earth; as a consequence of ‘science’.
Science is not about knowledge, but about Knowing.
Our knowledge stems from our knowing.
Whatever science ‘knows’, all what is passed off and on as Knowledge, in education of science, is no more that ‘footprints in the sand’. True science is not the chronicling of the findings of the Past; the passing on of established knowledge. This was a habit of Churches: passing on of the Old Tradition. Science is about our journey into the Future, into the unKnown. It is not the administration of tracing the steps of our ‘progress’. It is about the art of learning to Walk. On Earth. As creators.
Yes, science is at one level only a social instrument for collective Fear Reduction. A psychological coping strategy and collective mental technique. Science has been reduced in many cases to the role of an Archiver; as was the role assumed by the churches. This has happened to the extent that ‘objective’ science has forgotten that it is based on subjective scientists. Scientists often believe that they study Reality; and forget its basis in our Realisation. What has been lost is the Art. Art is the classical word, in Latin, for the Hinge: the connection with the world around us. With our ‘world within us’: the link between our ‘reality’ and our realisation.
This sorry state of affairs is to a large extent its own doing: science needed to convince society of the need of its studies. So it told society about its finding: the properties of matter; and how these can be understood and used; by some of its predictable traits. In doing so, science started to believe what it said, and started to shift its perspective: the quest of science was reduced to the establishing of facts. This has reached the extent where grants for science will be given only, so it seems, if the results can be predicted beforehand.
Science however is the art of knowing the unknown. The so-called fact of science is an artefact, always: as quantum theory shows: it is the consequence of our observing. In our observing of ‘reality’ something crucial happens: the collapse of the wave function. Our observations are the result of the interaction between the Observed and the Observer. Observing our Observing is thus the essence: what is the state of mind by which scientists come to ‘see’ the unseen? The structure of Benzene rings, and the DNA molecule, were not the result of observations in nature, but of a mental image – an imagination – which reflected a fundamental structure in Nature.
- How can scientists discover, know the unknown, if they do not learn how to think.
- How can scientists explore the hidden, if they do not know the hidden aspects of their own mind?
Sciencing is not the administration of facts. Without the understanding of the role of our mind in their creation (‘the collapse of the wave functions’) they are artefacts: there is no way to prove that what we perceive is not an illusion. To many this has even become unthinkable: that Reality is not but a Realisation. Especially scientists have become hypnotised by the believe that reality is Material; which by its own findings it is not. (Subatomic physics is not based on matter.) Quantum theory makes clear that reality is but a realisation.
Sciencing is the understanding of our understanding. As long as science does not understand the role of consciousness, and especially the subconscious and unconsciousness in thinking, it will not understand how our hidden fears and desires shape the reality that we live in. This is an established fact in the understanding of our psyche. What many ignore is that this is the case not only in the case of the individual, but at the collective level also. Even more so.
The ‘progress’ of science is in many respects a mass-psychological regression into our past. The collective fears determine the social beliefs, that fixate the ethics of judgement. As a result, science has often become a political instrument for the management and administration of those fears; alas not in a therapeutic sense but as a political issue.
Science itself has been reduced to an archive, a bureaucracy; instead of the art of free thinking. Discovery is possible only is the mind is not caged, but free. Yes, this will mean that science will peer into all niches and crannies. Yes, science will overturn all stones, and turds, to peer into the nature of Nature. Indeed, science will overthrow beliefs and taboos. And discover that the Hammer of Thor is “electricity”, that can be used in all households. But can also create pathological radio waves; and is at some level best left ‘entrusted in the hands of the gods’.
But science is not afraid to question the gods; and ask questions, fundamental questions, as to their nature. And the nature of Nature. Yes, that does mean that science wants to know the unknown. Yes, that does mean that science will disregard all taboos, specifically to regard them and understand their foundations. And maybe thereby come to profoundly respect (instead of suspect) them. However: this does require free thought.
It also requires free minds. Not conditioned minds. To some extent science has become a parody of religion. No longer do scientists realise how their ‘education’ is an indoctrination; in which they are led to believe and thinks in the same way. They no longer question that some things are no longer being questioned. Science to some extent now has died. The miracle of the unpredictable has been replaced by the triviality of the predictable. Many Scientists do not realise how – by their ‘professional mind set’ – their thinking has become contorted like a guided bonsai tree or a circus poodle leaping through hoops (of exams): they have become conditioned to look at reality in a specific way: body stooped, neck crooked, eyes peering: to all look through the keyhole in the same way; and thereby – as some kind of Voyeurism; the ‘Observer’ – all regard nature in the same way. Most scientist don’t even see that, how, and how much this is the case. They conform to peer judgements, in order to preserve their job. And the art of science is lost.
Science is only one mode of thinking: it is the contemplation of the World in our Head. We never perceive Reality; we only realise our Realisation. This is based on the nature of our body; and the process of sensation. Sensory inputs are taken in as stimuli of sensory cells, guided by nerves, to nerve plexus, that interconnect in the brain. All that we ‘perceive’ in the brain, is a composite of these sense perceptions, in and at the edge of our body. For the brain, ‘there is no reality out there’. The ‘reality that we perceive is but a mental construct; an imagination. It is not real. Many things can go wring in the integration of these sensorial stimuli in sensory cells, before they are integrated in our brain into a composite image. Which, by the nature of its holographic composition, appears to be very life like. Yet, it is a virtual reality only, no more than a projection on a cinema screen as Plato noted in his parable of the Cave. The reality of science is no more than that: a perception of a projection. In which many things can go wrong in this process of realisation.
This is why science is incomplete: it we look at the resulting Image, without understanding how it comes to exist, then we have not only limited knowledge: that knowledge is also fragile, and risky, and potentially pathologic. Which in many cases it is. What is needed is the Art in Science: understanding how the image that we hold to be true, of reality, is only a realisation. What is needed is the study, not of that image (reality) but its making (realisation). This requires a different kind of peering: not at the result, but of its creation. Which brings us to Art.
In Art, it is not the result that matters; but its making. Artists do not only have a different life style than scientists: they operate a different mind set. (Except those that are best: the scientist artist and the artist-scientists share the same mind set; the difference lies in their representation of what they perceive. What they convey is the same, they merely used different forms of cultural language. Which often corresponds with the level of abstraction and integration that they deal with.)
- Scientists are said to Think Objectively. They do not: all they think is based on he subjective interests and hidden fears of the scientists.
- Artists address these issues: they explore different perspectives.
- Journeymen or traders, the travellers, do the same in a more general sense: they operate within different contexts.
- Mystics take this one level deeper: they realise that what we perceive, within us, is the inside-out version of the universe around us; of which we form part and from which we emerged.
The ideal scientists comprises each of these four aspects. Artists-Scientist-Discoverer-Mystic. Someone who is as embedded in nature as in culture; and in whom the inner nature and outer being reflect each other always.
- This is not a steady state of being: this is an art of learning.
This means that is base – as in learning to walk – on trial and error: linking the unknown with the known. One leg on the ground, the known, one leg up in the air, towards the unknown. Science simply walks through nature, as does the artist, the traveller and the mystic.
These types of ‘profession’ reflect states of mind because the reflect nervous patterns in our body; and corresponding states of consciousness of our mind. These levels of mind can be understood and studied. They can be applied and explored. But hardly describe or taught.
The scientist can convey the insight as Knowledge; the Artists can convey it as Experience only; the Traveller can only convey it in Participation; the Mystic can not convey it: it is in the nature of Being. The nervous system explains why this is the case. There is a logic that describes how this relates to being an insider or outsider (observer) in Nature. What matters for the preservation of the dying rare breed of the Scientist-Artist, is the preservation of the understanding that all we know is base on our being, participation, experience, and thereby insight. It is a process of learning.
- We need to understand how we know,
in order to understand what we know.
For this purpose it is necessary to have experience with ‘our knowing’ as process. Not as objective object, or reality; but as subjective realisation: a process of creation.
- Students of science need to learn this.
They need to see, that there is a complement to what they see in peering through a microscope: that is how the image is formed in their mind.
This they can best learn by drawing: starting with a blank sheet of paper, seeing the process of the image forming itself, until at last it is complete.
Only at that moment is the process ended and the image formed. At no way during the process is the finding complete, relevant, material or significant. It is simply a still ongoing process, of changing our realisation. Coming to insight.
Sometimes this can be seen in drawing a picture. Sometimes this can only be felt such as in sculpting with clay. There are moments that this can be experience only in a dance involving the whole body. Or even by not involving the body at all, by experiencing the mind alone in its doing; as in taking the engine out of the car, as experienced in forms of medication.
The scientists which wants to understand how our understanding links to nature, must understand also our nature: the nature of our own mind, and mind sets. This is no objective knowledge, this is subjective knowing.
Science is to some extent already an initiation, conditioning a group of young people into a collective consensus by systematic indoctrination.
What is needed is de-dogmatisation; showing that reality is a realisation. And that objective science is subjective art.
By training scientists in the art of Art, their mental faculties are unfettered; they perceive – by direct experience – that and how their own involvement matters (and what responsibilities that offers). As a result of which they are not only more free to think; but also more grounded in what they are doing.
This can be easily attained: by making our schooling more academic. Less focused on disciplines, by removing the constraints of disciplination, by involving the person: by exposing the students to art; in the context of what they are learning. Not as separate faculties on a campus, but as combination of faculties of our body and being.
- The Artist-Scientists is a program that is not a luxury but essential.
Without the Artist Scientist, science will be irresponsible, because disconnected from our own involvement. Science will also be cripples because it is not allowed to be really free; to really discover and learn; by trial and error. Students need to learn about the errors they make, and how they make them. They must understand their inner nature, in studying nature. They need to realise that reality is but a realisation. And that their being and involvement makes all the difference in what science is and can offer. Science is based on scientists; who all offer different perspectives.
Art explores the role and meaning of perspective; as a result of which different views can complement and supplement each other, leading to a synergy which without that cannot exist. Science is not a homogenous sausage of replaceable scientists: science is a living body of unique living cells: scientists who are but like robots compose a stupid body of science; a vital body of knowledge that is vibrant is composed of creative living beings: the Artist-Scientist has become scorned and shunned, and often unfunded. But they are the only ones left and daring to explore the unknown. By taking a different stance that the uniformity of their colleagues. By training scientist in the art of being artist; what they find will not only be more relevant to living beings, but also more connected to the nature of nature. And more healthy for Earth.