Of inspiration of art and science
   Date :11-Jun-2024

Of inspiration  
By Vijay Phanshikar
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” - Prof. Albert Einstein, in ‘The World As I See It’.
THERE may not be available in such simple words the common quintessence of true art and true science. And Prof. Albert Einstein could verbalise it because he was a pursuer of both, art and science in their truest forms. The world knows him as a great scientist, all right. But Prof. Einstein was also an artist to the core, a musician in his own right. He played the violin like a maestro, and regaled great audiences at major venues. His awareness of the sound of music, its nuances of lilt and tilt were matters of social legend in his times. And the world has always recognised him as the father of modern physical sciences -- having given the human race a far better understanding of the conduct of the whole universe. He never worked in laboratories, but as a theoretical physicist, Prof. Einstein gave modern science a direction that it lacked previously. And the quote: The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science, explains the silent point from where Prof. Einstein found motivation and inspiration to pursue pure art and pure science.
The attraction of the mysterious ! -- something that is unknown, or beyond the known sphere, or hidden from human awareness, or concealed by the darkness of ignorance. ...! Efforts to have that mysterious revealed go through the domains of both, art and science. In both cases -- pursuits of art and science -- what dominates the human thought and action is the urge to know the unknown or the unknowable. Through art, this search follows a different trajectory -- with the help of tools of art, like vocal or instrumental music, dance, sculpture, painting, wood-work, writing of prose or poetry, even calligraphy, so to say ! In science, the path is different -- but all the dimensions of explorations are the same. And both the searches are known to lead to only one point -- a better understanding of self. In various ‘Science and Spirituality’ conferences, top scientists and artists and spiritual leaders share their experiences in respective pursuits -- and arrive at the same inference, that when a human soul is deep in search of exploration of any actual or imagined destination, the pursuit ends up in a finer, deeper and higher understanding of self -- Atma-Dnyaan ! With the awareness of such a glorious possibility, we then understand what Prof. Einstein means to say when he talks of the search of the mysterious as the point of inspiration for true art and true science.
This is true for every inquiry the humans make into different mysterious or hitherto known areas of universe -- material or mental. ‘Just as every drop of water falling from the skies ends up in the ocean, every prayer to any god ends up into the prayer of Lord Vishnu’, says a very old Sanskrit verse: Akashatpatitam Toyam Yatha Gacchhati Sagaram/ Sarvadeva Namaskram Keshavah Pratigacchhati// The pursuit of both, true art and true, science, also leads to only one destination -- a better awareness of self. That is the reason why artists and scientists of the purist kind realise that through their different paths, they arrive only at one point -- deep within themselves. That is the feeling of Aham Brahmasmi -- I am the Brahman!