Further Inside

Following on from the post Inwardness, there is the possibility of something out of nothing, which one might call inspiration or genius. These terms embarrass us today, but there is nothing mystical or romantic about them. Science has shown that in the quantum realm there is always something coming out of nothing, and there has even been speculation that quantum effects can be registered in consciousness. This I doubt, but there is not necessarily anything imaginary or political or ideological about “creation,” or even creation ex nihilo. The computer engineers don’t like the idea because it is their dream that consciousness can be duplicated, so there can be no mysteries, every thought must have an origin. Art world skepticism about creativity then lines up perfectly with the machinations of the digital industries. For an artist it doesn’t matter if every thought has an origin or not, what counts is that we can’t tell either way. The ability to allow a new idea to pop into existence, or a new sensation or a new art, is probably owing to a weak character or incompletely developed ego or some kind of infantilism. It doesn’t come from within us, but from outside, and certain people are more suggestible than average or simply don’t have strong defenses. Nature does the work, and so we can take encouragement from science, which tells us about the emergent properties of complex systems and quantum fluctuation.


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