By Vijay Phanshikar :
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” - Albert Einstein
AMONG the multiple definitions stemming from spontaneous considerations of great personages, this one can be rated as the most precise statement of the origin of both, art and science. Of course, Professor Albert Einstein’s capacity to make formula-like statements has been legendary -- for their aptness and for their brevity. But as he made this statement combining the two seemingly diverse -- or disparate -- elements, Prof. Einstein reaches supreme height of comprehension about the origin of the processes of art and science -- to explore the mysterious, which he describes as “beautiful”. That is how a genuine explorer thinks and works.
The mysterious often beckons him -- or her. He -- or she -- is a courageous person, unafraid of the unknown. That is the reason why he is all the time engaged in search of the unknown or the hypothetical. For, the abstractness of the search does not deter him. The uncertainty in the endeavour does not demolish his will-power. Those who have thought deeply about both, art and science, realise that Prof. Einstein has come very, very, very close to the common truth -- that art helps man to explore the mysterious within, while science leads to the unraveling the mysterious without. Let us delve a little into art -- for the purpose of comprehending what it means in simple, commonplace terms. When an artist paints or sculpts or sings or plays an instrument, for example, he -- or she -- is actually delving within, in search of some fathomable meaning of his -- or her -- emotions, cognitions and actions, inspirations and aspirations, apprehensions and appreciations ...!
There are dark -- even dirty -- as well as enlightened corners in one’s inner being, and from those often emerge thoughts and ideas and expressions that belong only to that person. All those find a reflection in art. The whole process is, of course, mysterious, and is engaged in search of the metaphor of the mysterious within. The pursuer of art realises often the power of his inquiry into self as an endeavour of pure joy -- beyond words. In its own way, the process of scientific enquiry, too, is more or less similar. There are mysteries that beckon man, that mock at him -- or her, that dare him and dart around beyond his -- or her -- easy grasp. But the inquirer does not mind that dodging, that dancing about what may be an elusive, terribly hypothetical idea. For, what emerges in the end is knowledge -- beyond material gains. Both these processes, as we can easily see, generally happen in the realm of imagination. Therefore, both are beautiful, very beautiful. It is in that beauty that the person of art or person of science basks and gets glorified and finally sublimated. In a way, thus, both the explorations lead one to truth -- of diverging definitions, but a converging import.