Art and Science Are One and the Same.
Both art and science seek to understand and express what it is to be human by exploring, defining, and redefining our relationships with everything around us, be it people or space.
A painting expresses our attitudes, feelings and ideas, whereas a formula expresses the laws of nature. Both are forms of expression, yet we treat art and science as opposites; one emotional and one logical, one expressive and one factual.
When humans set boundaries it’s an expression of our will, our autonomy, our wants and needs. We learn those boundaries by being in relationships with people, by experimenting and experiencing life together, hopefully with mutual respect and love.
Aren’t we in a relationship with the world around us? We’re constantly interacting with our surroundings, collecting things that we “own” as extensions of (and expressions of) ourselves that we seek to impose our will over. Why shouldn’t we consider physics to be an expression of the will, autonomy, wants, and needs, and boundaries of a personal Universe, that which some call G-d?
Empathy, Objects, and Us
For example, the water bottle that I use is metal and expresses my will to be eco-friendly; it says “BE KIND.” on it, and it keeps my water cool for hours without wasting plastic. I like having it around, so it goes wherever I want it to go. I control it.
It was made to store and give water, and does it’s job wonderfully, so I take good care of it. I make sure it’s clean and try not to let it get dinged and scratched up, and I hope that, if it had a will then, it would be happy under my care. It was made with a purpose, and is fulfilling that purpose wonderfully!
But why? Why do I care whether or not the water bottle would be happy? Because, as I stated earlier, we’re in a relationship! No, not a romantic relationship. Any time we interact with anything that isn’t ourselves, we engage in a relationship with a perceived “other.”
We know that people and living beings can be objectified, controlled, and abused. And indeed, just like objects, living beings exist outside of ourselves, as a perceived other. If I got in the habit of abusing and disrespecting all of the objects around me, who’s to say that controlling attitude won’t eventually affect my relationships with all perceived “others”?
The reverse is also true; when we make kindness a habit while interacting with objects which don’t seem to have a will of their own we’re practicing being in a respectful relationship with others who do have a will of their own.
After all, despite all our differences, the Laws of Physics affect us all equally. What harm can come from being empathetic towards that and taking notes?
Art, Physics, and Boundaries
When we create art, we’re expressing our thoughts, feelings, and ideas about our relationship with the world outside ourselves as our own personal truths; assertions of who we are and what we want to be, as well as what we think of the world is and how we want to change it.
Physics, on the other hand, is an expression of universal truth. It tells us how the world works, and what we can and cannot do. Sure, we may move about freely and communicate as we please, but we’re just water bottles in the eyes of physics.
One could say that to be spiritual is to recognize that we’re in a relationship with the whole universe. We all have our own personal truths, and it can only make our relationship with the world around us better if we pursue those truths wholeheartedly. If I can give the water bottle respect enough to recognize that it was made with a purpose, then why is it so hard to believe that I, and everyone and everything else for that matter, were also made for a purpose?
Exploring and Understanding Relationships
Our personal truths are just that, personal. They’re subjective and often emotional, but they’re still truths to us nonetheless. To explore art is to explore our own personal truths as well as the personal truths of others.
Though the exploration of this personal truth is often branded as emotional, spontaneous strokes of genius, creating art involves just as much as a process as solving a math problem. It can be, and often is, formulaic. Artists search for a process, a formula, that best expresses their own personal truths. Then they follow that formula, tweaking and experimenting as they learn and grow. Just like science.
We are the painting. The world, the whole Universe is a painting that follows a formula, an expression of uniqueness, of autonomy. Artists seek to discover their own formulas of expression while physicists seek the Universe’s expressive formulas. This search for understanding Universal formulas, in my eyes, is the same as getting to know who wrote those formulas in the first place!
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