Art for Non-Artists: Gemstones

Today’s doodle features my first gemstone.  Gemstones are a fun addition to Zen Doodling (or tangling). And so I thought I’d give it a try.

There are many fine tutorials on the internet on how to make gemstones (with traditional materials). Here’s one of them:

Continue reading “Art for Non-Artists: Gemstones”

The Cosmic Flower of Faith

 

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Is there a transcendent reality to our existence? Is belief in such a reality an illusion?

We live in an age where people find it difficult to discuss the supernatural at all. One of the reasons for this is that our words are changing. Definitions are being shorn of their supernatural meanings.

Take, for example, the word “cosmic“. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (online) gives us the following:

Definition of cosmic
1 a :  of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestrial vastness, or the universe in contrast to the earth alone  – cosmic radiation
b :  of, relating to, or concerned with abstract spiritual or metaphysical ideas – cosmic wisdom
2 :  characterized by greatness especially in extent, intensity, or comprehensiveness – a cosmic thinker – a book of cosmic significance

However, the Bing (search engine) gives us this:

cos·mic
[ˈkäzmik]
ADJECTIVE
of or relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth:
“cosmic matter”

synonyms: extraterrestrial · in space · from space

inconceivably vast:
“the song is a masterpiece of cosmic proportions”

Notice the supernatural meaning is stripped from the definition. And it’s happening in other words, too. Some people think “soul” is now a person’s personality or character. The word “mind” is preferred over “psyche” as people accept that there is nothing more inside us than a mechanical brain that responds to external stimuli due to evolutionary conditioning.

For many people there is no God, no heaven or hell, no angels, no spirits at all – just the mud of the earth we are made of. When we die we decay into lifeless molecules and are absorbed back into that same Earth. It’s no wonder that the atomizing of society follows this philosophy of the atomizing of the individual. What point is there to family, religion, community if it all ends in dust? Why should we adhere to bonds between souls when the soul is a figment of the human imagination?

There is no proof we can offer that we will exist beyond death or that there is more to us than our physical bodies. However, there are arguments that point to something beyond this material universe. And this is what we call “faith.”  But, it is difficult to hold onto that faith. We may study the best arguments of humanity’s finest philosophers, but the dominate culture of this age rejects these arguments summarily.  And yet, isn’t the possibility of life after death appealing? Should it be rejected simply because it can’t be put to scientific analysis?

Faith is fragile – even for those who feel certain that God exists. First, it is hard to maintain faith in a vacuum.  Secondly, it may be that whether one believes or not in the supernatural depends on one’s personality and circumstances.

But my point is that whether one is a believer or not, the transcendent is worth spending some time studying and discussing. All references to  this (potential) aspect of our existence should not be wiped out of our vocabulary.  The difficult truth is that we will not know the truth of our existence until the moment of death. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, we will not know whether the fragile flower of faith is based on reality or not until that moment. It will be the most critical moment of our existence.

So, isn’t it worth spending a little time, while we’re alive, contemplating what our flower looks like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Writing Life is a category on this website where I muse about life in general and writing in particular. You can find this group of posts here.

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Zen Doodle…AFNA: Less is (Sometimes) More

Today’s doodle.

This design is called “Creator Leaf.”  I think it’s very pretty all by itself – as if it’s floating in the sea.

CreatorLeafps.jpg

That’s all for today – it’s been a very long week.

 

For more information on what a ZenTangle is, go HERE.

For more on posts on Art for Non Artists (AFNA), go HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s ZenTangle Update

I should have been getting some work done, but instead I played around some more with this same design I posted earlier today.

The face added to the design below is a stencil I created some time ago in Art Rage and this is the second time I’ve used it for pictures on this website.

Stencils are wonderful for non-artists because, on the rare occasion I create something that looks good, I can save it and use it anytime I wish.

I plan to do a Art For Non Artists post about stencils in the near future.

 

girlunderwater

For more posts on Art For Non Artists, go HERE.

 

 

Today’s ZenTangle

 

Today’s doodle – plus color variations.  🙂

Noise gradient…

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Light blue fill…

ZD081417a

Inverse…

 

ZD081417inverse

Deep sea…

ZD081417adeepsea

For more information on what a ZenTangle is, go HERE.