Wednesday Jan 28, 2004

Fundamental Funhouse

Language is one of humanity’s supreme inventions. With words we can describe our experiences, our memories, and our thoughts to others. On this level language works with functional elegance. While it’s true that not all experience can be put into words, or images for that matter, we accept this minor limitation for the greater aspect that language bestows upon its users.

But, what happens when we run into transcendental experiences that defy words and exist beyond thinking? Of course, I am referring to art from the soul in this context.

The limitation of language that cannot adequately describe the metaphysical is analogous to what has been haunting physicists for what will soon be a century. The issue is between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Both theories work beautifully individually, but calculations do not add up when they try to work together within a unified formula.

Quantum physics, the universe of the ultramicroscopic and almost unimaginably small, had been attempting for many decades to integrate Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, the universe of the vast, of planets, solar systems, and billions of galaxies to the far reaches of the known universe itself. There does now seem to be an answer that brings Einstein into harmony with quantum mechanics in what is called Superstring Theory, or String Theory, which holds that all matter is composed of extremely small vibrating strings that compose all that there is. Some theorist surmise that strings are fundamental—meaning there is nothing smaller or beyond strings themselves. Strings may well be the indivisible building block of the universe.

This is a phenomenal conclusion, which physicists may ultimately prove to be true.

The point of all this is that what one language or equation can express lucidly in one realm may fail in attempting to describe some thing outside its border of understanding. There is a direct relationship then between string theory and art from the soul—transcendental essences by nature. Both string theory and art involve that which is fundamental. This knowledge has great liberating power for the physicist, the artist, and the true independent patron—who can feel the beauty of creation without having to rely on critics.» 

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