There is a tacit assumption or consideration that underlies much of what I write here.  Occasionally, I’m not subtle about this belief.  The idea is that art and science can be closely allied.  Perhaps they often are closely allied, except at present science seems rather obsessed with the idea that theory formation should be engaged in with the same obsession with detail as is necessary in the proof of theory.  That tends to keep artist/blogger/theorists writing for nonscientists.

Artists are just as obsessed as scientists, except their focus is usually on internal experience and the translation of that internal experience in a way that provides visitors something new.  Often, artists are exploring what it is like to be human, tasting and evaluating consciousness as the artists produce varying treats from the particular kitchen that is their medium.  Sometimes the artists attempt to put the concoction into words.  Some artists specialize in words.  For many artists, part of being an artist is having a unique experience without having to use words.

I am an artist, trained in watercolor and pen and ink, who now works in the medium of storytelling, collecting patterns from different science disciplines and showing how the different patterns can congregate to describe how humans came to be.  I am using my imagination to tell a story that describes how humans acquired imagination.  Like the scientist, I display obsession with detail, except I am relatively unconcerned by peer review.  As an artist, I find that convention is only useful insofar as the communication of my experience requires my overlapping with the experience of my audience.  For a scientist, allegiance to convention is integral to both being provided an opportunity to share ideas (getting an advanced degree) and presenting ideas that ally with at least some of the scientist’s colleagues’ thoughts.

As an artist producing evolutionary theory, I find myself over time producing no small number of products, at least as compared to the published work of scientists.  In the kitchen of my medium, I concoct many pies, cakes, roasts, casseroles, appetizers and sides.  I receive emails and comments alerting me to whether the flavors are satisfying to my visitors.  I get mixed reviews.  Nevertheless, from what I can tell with scientists’ productions, either they are spending less time in the kitchen, they are cooking but not sharing the results in peer-reviewed contexts or they are cooking but just producing far fewer, but more sophisticated (deeply researched and cited), products.

The point I am very slowly getting around to making is that as an artist I can explore consciousness as integral to my productions without having to strain myself.  An academic seems to need to make believe that understanding, experiencing or at least defining consciousness is not necessary to what a scientist produces.  A scientist is a member of a community of peers that believe that an advanced degree makes it possible for holders of that degree to have something to lose if they don’t behave in a trustworthy fashion.  Those folks that spend the time and money to get a Ph.D. receive an audience in part because everyone knows that if they screw up, they are out that time and money.  Not so the artists.  Artists are evaluated by what comes out of their kitchen.

A scientist has something to lose.  This is good insofar as society can trust a scientist’s evaluation or proof will hold up across conventional reality.  An artist has little to lose.  This is good insofar as an artist needs to cross boundaries, breaking culture barriers, to explore identity and consciousness, providing insight into where we come from and what it is like to be a human being.

So, we have two classes of humans, both engaging in obsession or deep ongoing focus of attention on some particular, one class committed to convention, the other to the boundaries of convention.  Scientists tend to stay away from understanding how consciousness may influence their particular focus (physicists and biologists, for example), while artists are seeking, at least to some degree, to understand consciousness.

It seems to me that there is potential for synergy, a science of consciousness or art of evolution.  Spiritual disciplines have mostly scoped out this area up to now, often accompanying their discoveries with mythologies obfuscating insights with maps confused with territories.  In the previous piece, I played with the presupposition or theory that humans evidence two forms of consciousness–primary process and split consciousness–and that unions or integrations of the two consciousnesses can offer beautiful (artist frame) or useful (scientist frame) results.

A place to begin might be to encourage scientists to behave more like artists by imagining that they have access to alternative, primary process states of consciousness that offer both beautiful and useful information.  We might also encourage artists to explore and communicate using evolutionary paradigms, allowing the extrapolation of their personal experiences to larger contexts.

Integration of primary process and split consciousness is not just a personal choice, but a societal imperative.  Experiencing our selves on multiple identity levels creates an opportunity to feel whole.  Observing what science and art have in common, what the scientist and artist share, is necessary if our society is to give up the mythologies of religion.


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