Issue 17 October 2015

On ‘The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art’

The history of modern art has generally been understood as a grand leap away from tradition, religion, and conventional norms, yielding decidedly secular art. Yet a majority of the prominent modern artists in every period had strong interests in the spiritual dimension of life. In this exclusive interview, Charlene Spretnak discusses her latest book, ‘The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art’, which draws on direct statements by scores of leading artists to demonstrate that spirituality, far from being inconsequential in the terrain of modern art, is generative.

Holism and Reductionism in the Entwined History of Light and Mind

“Quantum holism demonstrates to us the essential holism that pervades our world….But quantum holism only gets us half way to true holism. It does not speak to the holism of human experience. For this we need a new method…” says Arthur Zajonc, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Amherst College and President of the Mind & Life Institute, in this stimulating article.

Zara Houshmand

Zara Houshmand is an Iranian-American writer. Her work has ranged from modern Iranian theater to traditional Balinese puppetry, from virtual reality as an art form to literary translation. She has worked with the Mind and Life Institute for almost twenty years as an editor for books representing its dialogues between scientists and the Dalai Lama. In this exclusive interview she discusses her work as a poet, writer and editor.

On being Person Centred

“From my own point of view, the most important thing about modern spirituality, as opposed to traditional faith communities or what you might call ‘old spirituality’, is that it’s ‘person centred’. By that I mean looking to see what works for every individual.” William Bloom is one of Britain’s leading authors and educators in modern spirituality and a holistic approach to individual and community wellbeing. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas and work, and it means to be ‘person centred’.

Coherence in Art, Science and Life

For many years, Andrew Stone (Lord Stone of Blackheath) has been both personally involved in exploring the interconnections of art, science and spirituality. In this exclusive interview, he discusses both his own personal journey and his work with people and organisations, that involves a way of looking and understanding the world, which combines the perspectives of art, science and spirituality.

We are Beings of Light

Arjun Rathi is the principal of the self-named multidisciplinary design practice operating from Mumbai, India. Established in 2011, the work has gained national recognition for its exploratory approach towards design processes. Through the disciplines of Architecture, Landscape, Interior Design, and evolved concepts of ‘Psyche-tectural’ theory, the practice aims to create innovative spatial forms that actively engage, enhance and influence the body, constantly challenging its relationship to the built environment. ‘We are Beings of Light’ is a fine example.

Schwarz Flaneur

Pogus Caesar’s photographs unravel the simplicity of the ordinary and the mundane giving us a glimpse into the lives of people he has encountered on his travels. ‘Schwarz Flaneur ‘ is named after the unguarded moments that Caesar so strives to capture. These images are signature to much of Caesar’s work and his dedication to Ilford HP5 black and white film and a vintage 1983 Canon Sure Shot camera. “Photographic essays allow much more freedom of expression and the ultimate surprise.”