Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Behind the Eyes

"Scientific positivists, pencil and paper in hand, peer through shatterproof, UV-protected glasses at a world of animals, vegetables, and minerals. But genuine scientists—true seekers of knowledge—are not afraid to let the sunlight dazzle them, not afraid to seek and imagine what our myopic reason calls absurd.

Impossible, irrational, delusionary, absurd, untrustworthy, fictitious, imaginary: It is always easier to approach—or rather, ignore—mysteries of math by dismissing them as false or unintelligible. And how much more for mysteries of faith. So is God like an imaginary number, waiting to be discovered and accepted in a renaissance of faith? The simile is ridiculous, on its face. But, in a curious way, the ramblings of scientific history remind those who strive for reason just how vast reality is. The realization is at once unsettling and exhilarating: Truth is far richer than our minds—always confined by the here and now—can prove or even imagine".

Amanda Shaw - First Things Journal.

It's strange being short-sighted. These days, without the lenses that commonly sit on the end of my nose, the world quickly becomes hazy beyond a few feet and I begin to think I'm heading into an impressionist painting! It's so important, especially as a photographer, to have clarity about what's around me, and the same is true concerning what we term 'reality'.

I recall watching a programme some years back in which a whole series of visual illusions were employed to trick the eye - some were pretty amusing and a few were downright disturbing, but the presenter said something that's always stayed with me - within a fixed image or object, the reason that the eye and mind is confused is because you have several realities at once - ways of seeing and defining the information that are all equally valid.

Science has long informed us that the world we take for granted is far more sophisticated and complex than we usually consider, but unlocking that depth has often taken bold steps in using imagination to try and 'see' what is really there. Leading Physicists like Einstein and Bohm talked about the 'theatre of the mind' - using our gifts and resources creatively to engage with and unwrap the truth of our world. When we begin to take such steps, we begin to realize that the truths which science and theology are seeking to disclose concerning who and what we are are not as distant as is often conveyed in the more popularist version of 'what science has discovered'.

No comments: