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Passions in Poetry

Is God Art?

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Essorant
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0 posted 10-26-2008 11:33 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Is God art?  If there were no myths, bibles, very artistic and imaginative ways of expression, would we perceive or interpret anyone or anything as a "God"?  

Stephanos
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1 posted 10-27-2008 07:51 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

If God is merely art, then God is not God.

That's not to say that God cannot be expressed through art, just as someone's love can be expressed through art.  But in the Christian faith, God has also acted in history (and this can be considered and experienced as separate from artistry).  For example, the gospel narratives about Jesus are about something that happened ... so to those people who wrote them, there was something actual that the art served only to describe.

So in summary, God is not dependent upon art, unless he were only an imaginitive contrivance (which is true of many examples of art).  The fact that human experience of God gives rise to artistic expression is only a reminder that we are expressive and artistic beings, by nature.

    
Stephen
Essorant
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2 posted 10-30-2008 02:25 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos

quote:
If God is merely art, then God is not God.


I think in any case "God" is not merely art.  I will tell you why.  All art is also connected and based on other things.  We have an artistic expression and concept of "God", and that is based on a being/beings or a thing/things.

But our artistic representation of something is often very different from what it is representing.  Take for example an arrow on a weather map that may represent wind.  The arrow represents wind, but the actual wind is not an arrow.  

But a more relevant example for this discussion would be the wind represented by even more than just an arrow, more than just an object, even more than just a living being, but as a god, such as Boreas.

If you take away the art of representing the wind with an arrow and representing the wind with a god, then you have the actual wind itself, the wind instead of the arrow or the god

Is not "God" likewise, despite the uncertainty of what exactly is/are the basis/bases that the manner of expressing "God" evolved from, probably not because we could not name a few, but because it is complex enough that include many more than just a few beings and things? If we took away the artistic representations of "God", then what would be the actuality?  Since the arrow and Boreas apparently end up being "wind", would not "God" as well end up being something otherwise or various things confused and personified?  


quote:
That's not to say that God cannot be expressed through art, just as someone's love can be expressed through art.


Indeed, but that is not to say both are not exaggerated and blown out of proportions and that the exaggeration is about as large as the actuality may be small and much different, and that for well nigh every mote of nature there are mountainous results of imagination.          

quote:
For example, the gospel narratives about Jesus are about something that happened ... so to those people who wrote them, there was something actual that the art served only to describe.


I agree.  The Iliad is another example of artistry describing an actuality.   The Trojan war, or at least a war, or at least something, something that inspired singers to sing and wake the harpstring and share the tale, happened.  But if we could not go beyond actuality, and imagine much more, would either Zeus or God still be part of these histories/tales/myths?  

quote:
So in summary, God is not dependent upon art, unless he were only an imaginitive contrivance (which is true of many examples of art).


But again even if God is based on something that is not a "God", it is yet based on something from which the imagination was inspired.  That is more than just being an "imaginative contrivance".  It would still be an expression of actuality, but in an imaginative and artistic way.  

quote:
The fact that human experience of God gives rise to artistic expression is only a reminder that we are expressive and artistic beings, by nature.


I agree.  I would only further that to say the experience of almost anything gives rise to artistic expression.  

serenity blaze
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3 posted 10-30-2008 04:46 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay...

I'm just gonna go with my first instinctive reply--

Discard the "myths, bibles, very artistic and imaginative ways of expression" and then be still, and you might then, know "God". Convincing others that you do might require those "myths, bibles, very artistic and imaginative ways of expression," however.

Tricky stuff, huh?



Earl Robertson
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4 posted 11-06-2008 06:11 PM       View Profile for Earl Robertson   Email Earl Robertson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Earl Robertson

Did WW2 happen?
Of corse it did! Strip away all historys all novels all movies any record of it at all and it still would have occured.

We would still live in a world that was shaped by that historacal event. The same is true of all events and the same is true of God.
The only difference is what we call prophets, men on earth, called of God to explain his word, his will, and his love to the people.
Art which springs from this is art, and inheratly uses imperfect symbols to explain the things of God as seen by the artist.
That is not to say that symbols are bad (read the Bible) but that they are human and imperfect.

God is not Art, no more than love is music.

OH SHUT UP SHUT UP AND GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A CHANCE!!!!

latearrival
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5 posted 12-04-2008 07:00 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

"If there were no myths, bibles, very artistic and imaginative ways of expression, would we perceive or interpret anyone or anything as a "God"?  

As I am not well educated as you men whom I respect lot for your knowledge:  this is just a question.

      The  Dogons  of  the Amazon

  Was it this tribe that I once heard about who became airplane worshipers because one once flew over their land area and dropped something, maybe in the form of food?  So they kept going to that place to watch for the plane and became plane worshipers. Would that answer the question, "Can anything  become a god to someone" who saw something strange and mysterious in it. "late".
Blood.Wolf
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6 posted 02-24-2009 08:40 PM       View Profile for Blood.Wolf   Email Blood.Wolf   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Blood.Wolf

Sorry if I offend anyone here:

"If there were no myths, bibles, very artistic and imaginative ways of expression, would we perceive or interpret anyone or anything as a 'God'?"  

Well, probably.  I mean, other creatures do not have "Gods" or "God".  They simply live life as is.  We HUMANS, on the other hand, tend to overcomplicate things and end up slaughtering truth.  God is probably (imo) just a human creation.  That's not to say he/she/they can't exist, but it's not completely necessary to our well-beings.  I think that the belief in "God" has been stretched far enough.  So yes, God is probably just an extremely expressive belief (referring to all the wars over religion).

Hehe--that said, I'll flee before someone attacks me...


VERY late.
Bob K
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7 posted 02-25-2009 07:59 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Essorant,

1)          The Venn Diagram is a method of graphically presenting propositions that is sometimes useful.  This problem, being a problem of set theory, I think, should yield to a presentation in terms of Venn Diagrams.

     God, as commonly represented, would include a set representing all sets and would still be in some fashion incomplete.  Art, being an activity within those sets yet not all of them, would be smaller than the set representing God.  Therefore Art does not equal God.

     In fact the Set called God would have to exist on an entirely different level of abstraction than the set called God, always at least one level above it, because at least in the western tradition, God is Nameless and art is not.

2)    
quote:


If you take away the art of representing the wind with an arrow and representing the wind with a god, then you have the actual wind itself, the wind instead of the arrow or the god





"The map is not the territory."
                                     Alfred Korzybski  

     A quick review of General Semantics might prove interesting.  The arrow is not the wind,  the wind is not the god, the god is not the arrow.  The wind is the wind.  The other two are attempts to fashion representations and to exercise control.  James Hillman does have some interesting material about the presence of the divine in the everyday, the god in the ashtray, for example, and he may well be going over the material you're trying to get at here.  I've always had a bit of sympathy for his particular point of view, though I can't say that I'm able to articulate it well after twenty-five years or so away from it.

     If you have the time or inclination to check it out, maybe you could let me know?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
turtle
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8 posted 02-26-2009 12:29 AM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

"Is God art?"


In the sense that god is something perceived in the minds eye.

And the sense that Art is something perceived in the minds eye.

Then God is Art


But in this premise and only in this premise is God Art.

    
Bob K
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9 posted 02-26-2009 03:03 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Jean-Luc Goddard?
Essorant
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10 posted 02-26-2009 07:13 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
"other creatures do not have "Gods" or "God".

That is a good point.  Other animals have a nature less interrupted by art.  They just experience nature mostly as it is, without much art delaying and warping their instincts.  Therefore when they acknowledge things around them, they acknowledge them as they naturally are.  Humans on the other hand are notorious for exaggerating things beyond what they are.  Since their beginning days, almost everything in nature had a turn at one time or another being called a "god" or "gods".  The sun, the moon, day, night, earth, trees, rivers, animals, special objects, ancestors, heroes etc.  It seems almost every important thing to nature or life at one point or another took a turn at being called "god" by the human race.

Essorant
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11 posted 02-26-2009 08:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bob,


quote:
The wind is the wind.  



That is the important point, Bob.  Calling the wind "god" is an exaggeration.  Therefore I am asking you where or how the use of "god" anywhere isn't also such an exaggeration.  How do you know that when you say "god" it isn't an exaggeration and confusion of being(s)/things(s) into something much beyond what it/they are?


Essorant
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12 posted 02-26-2009 08:58 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Turtle

quote:
In the sense that god is something perceived in the minds eye.


I partially agree with you.  But I think that kind of perception or imagining is always a bit like fire coming out of flint.  It is not able to come out of itself on its own, but always from itself being in contact with other things in the world around it.  


turtle
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13 posted 02-26-2009 09:39 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Quote:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I partially agree with you. But I think that kind of perception or imagining is always a bit like fire
coming out of flint. It is not able to come out of itself on its own, but always from itself being
in contact with other things in the world around it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Essy, I'm a little confused here and I think we are saying the same thing.
This may be because we need to look a little beyond  what I'm saying to consider the implications.

When I say:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"In the sense that god is something perceived in the minds eye.

And the sense that Art is something perceived in the minds eye.

Then God is Art"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Then I am only considering one implication

If I say God is an unseen entity that exists
and Art is something perceived in the minds eye.

Then God is not art.

If I say art is the interpretation of something tangible
and god is only something perceived in the minds eye.

Then God is not art.


So in essence I'm saying it depends on how one perceives God and as you suggest.
How this perception is related (like flint to fire) to reality.

Turtle      


[This message has been edited by turtle (02-26-2009 10:44 PM).]

Bob K
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14 posted 02-27-2009 02:40 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Essorant,

          No, it's not an exaggeration.  An exaggeration is an overstatement, more of something of the same kind.  No matter how much wind you gather together, two or more Bobs in the same place, a hundred or a thousand Bobs, an infinity of Bobs do not a single deity make.  Only vasty amounts of hot air.  There is a difference in kind.

quote:


That is the important point, Bob.  Calling the wind "god" is an exaggeration.  Therefore I am asking you where or how the use of "god" anywhere isn't also such an exaggeration.  How do you know that when you say "god" it isn't an exaggeration and confusion of being(s)/things(s) into something much beyond what it/they are?




     One uses the word "god" when one is talking about a "god," a Baal or a Ganesh.  This is not a confusion.  There are perfectly interesting things about both gods to be said.  Hermes as well I'm very fond of Norman O. Brown's book on the subject, Hermes The Thief.  There is neither confusion nor exaggeration involved here.  When using the word "God," with the capital, you will get differences between speakers, and ambiguities on the matter concerning the existence of God, but the concept is reasonably clear to most native speakers of English.

     If you want to suggest that 1) "god"; or 2)"God" is an subject exaggerated and confused beyond what it should be, you've got a discussion about theology on your hands.  You could well take either side.  The discussion is one that will in the end rest upon belief.

     But, short of turning the question into a discussion on theology, if you take care to talk about god when the subject is god, and God when the subject is God, one with the capital and the other without, it's not a question of exaggeration, is it?  What would you be exaggerating?  Wind?  Grass?  Onions?

     Additionally, these would be not only confusions of size, but confusions of kind as well, a confusion of the part for the whole, at least when one is, presumably, talking about The Nameless.  In other words, I believe that one would have to work fairly hard to fail to distinguish God from cantaloupe, Bromo Seltzer or, Ta-Da!, Art.

A few recent thoughts on the matter, at any rate.

All my best, Bob Kaven

ziad
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15 posted 05-23-2009 10:49 PM       View Profile for ziad   Email ziad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ziad

Shouldn't one be asking the question... what is art?

Art, after all, is subjective and thus anything can be art; which means there is art in everything. If God were to exist, surely God would be everything, or at least the source to it all... thus God is art.

If God does not exist then God is art because God is fiction...

Fiction is a human creation, thus God is art.

It all depends on how you look at it, and how one can define art to merely a few things. Don't you think this question is void purely because one cannot define art as a single thing and one cannot define God to a single thing.
Stephanos
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16 posted 05-23-2009 11:13 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ziad, Hi and welcome to philosophy.

quote:
If God were to exist, surely God would be everything, or at least the source to it all... thus God is art.

Isn't there quite a difference between being the source of something and being that something?  The first premise would say that God is art, the second that God is artistic ... big difference.  One may say that he is "in" his creation, as a painter is "in" his paintings.  But burn the paintings, the artist still is.


And you are right in saying that if God were the product of human artifice, then he wound not exist (as he is presented in Monotheistic religion, an an independent transcendent personal being who is the source of all things).  For if we are the source of God, how can it be thought that he were also the source of all things?  So practically speaking, God as art is the premise of atheism.  

Stephen
Essorant
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17 posted 05-24-2009 03:38 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bob,

quote:
But, short of turning the question into a discussion on theology, if you take care to talk about god when the subject is god, and God when the subject is God, one with the capital and the other without, it's not a question of exaggeration, is it?  


But you seem to be pretending that artistic representations are usually recognizable mirrors or maps of what they are based on.  But that is often not true.  A peice of art may be based on something/things very familiar to us, and yet yet be very altered in the artistic representation and look very different and unfamiliar from what it is based on.  Take for example a smurf.  The first or vaguest basis that the smurf would be based on, is a living being and the basis of its behaviour in artistic representation more specifically based on human behaviour.  But the looks, appearance, size, etc are much different and don't parallel any natural occuring being we know of.  The smurf is not based on a natural occuring smurf.  It is based on life, humans behaviour, the colour blue, smallness, etc, artistically presented as one in the artistic representation we call a "smurf".  If this happened for the smurf on a smaller scale, is there not a great likelihood that we did the same for God on a larger scale?  
 
Essorant
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18 posted 05-26-2009 02:44 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
One may say that he is "in" his creation, as a painter is "in" his paintings.  But burn the paintings, the artist still is.


That is artistic metaphor and analogies though, Stephanos.  We could change it to a superior "spider" and "web" too, couldn't we?  What would be the difference?   It is humans using art that makes up those things.

quote:
And you are right in saying that if God were the product of human artifice, then he wound not exist (as he is presented in Monotheistic religion, an an independent transcendent personal being who is the source of all things).


What is wrong with that?  That wouldn't mean he didn't exist, but it would mean he would exist as something we may actually know we find: art.

If one looks for art he may find it and know it.  But if one looks for an omniscient and omnipotent being, does he find it and know it?  Or does he look at the wide fathom of the universe and complexity of life and artistically make such things out as if they are a reference to such a being?  But do we have more than things made out as if they are reference to such a being?  What can we actually point out and say "That is an omniscient and omnipotent being" as certainly as we may point at a loved one and say "That is my son" "that is my wife", "that is my brother" etc.?  The closest thing I may say is a work or representation of art. But beyond art, where is such a being?  
 

Stephanos
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19 posted 05-26-2009 10:12 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ess:
quote:
That is artistic metaphor and analogies though, Stephanos.  We could change it to a superior "spider" and "web" too, couldn't we?  What would be the difference?   It is humans using art that makes up those things.


Ess, I never said that analogies do not involve "art".  But analogies describe something else.  And in Christian Theology it would be no different.  God's relation to his created universe would be in some ways like a painter to his painting, especially in the sense that he is not dependent upon the painting, though it is his joy.

quote:
Me: you are right in saying that if God were the product of human artifice, then he wound not exist (as he is presented in Monotheistic religion, an an independent transcendent personal being who is the source of all things).


Ess: What is wrong with that?  That wouldn't mean he didn't exist, but it would mean he would exist as something we may actually know we find: art.


I'll leave it to you to answer "what is wrong with that".  But I am merely saying that such a god would not be the Biblical God ... or the God of any of the monotheistic religions for that matter.  And it would make a big difference.  Such an artificial god could not be the source and director of all things, but only a human invention.  Such a god could not be believed in as the personal redeemer of humanity (for how can art love?), or the guarantor of everlasting life (how can art have any connection with metaphysical reality?).

I am not here to debate our valuation of such a "god" (though, to me the value difference should be obvious).  But I am trying to point out that for a Christian, this is the very same thing as saying "God does not exist".  

quote:
If one looks for art he may find it and know it.  But if one looks for an omniscient and omnipotent being, does he find it and know it?  Or does he look at the wide fathom of the universe and complexity of life and artistically make such things out as if they are a reference to such a being?  But do we have more than things made out as if they are reference to such a being?  What can we actually point out and say "That is an omniscient and omnipotent being" as certainly as we may point at a loved one and say "That is my son" "that is my wife", "that is my brother" etc.?  The closest thing I may say is a work or representation of art. But beyond art, where is such a being?


Yes art may represent God ... in beauty, in profundity, in depth and imagination.  And yes nature is a kind of art that represents God in the same (and at the same time is a proof of God himself- since we did not and could not create the complexities and beauties of nature).  But there are other ways to see and apprehend God.  In the Christian faith, the supreme manifestation of God was in the historical person of Christ, and in the Holy Spirit.  People experience God personally today through various ways.  The supreme presence of God is through the experience of love from those who are themselves influenced by God.  

So in conclusion, art cannot be left out of the equation ... but if it is "all there is" then what we have is a human contrivance, and not anything to do with the Creator of the Universe.


Stephen
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20 posted 07-15-2009 02:53 AM       View Profile for th1nktw1ce   Email th1nktw1ce   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for th1nktw1ce

"Is God Art?"

Is God love?

Is Art love?

Is god an expression of love?

Is art an expression of love?

What is art. (insert you definition here)

What is god.(insert your definition here)

What is love. (insert your definition here)

Three pieces to the (your) puzzle.

In my opinion God and love are the same thing. God is Love. God created everything. God gave us the ability to create and gave us imagination. The day science can go beyond the current outermost reaches of Quantum Physics are broken through enough to get "more" perspective on the fabric of all life, people might say with less debate the God is the Perfect artist.

Did I really just say that.


Falling rain
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21 posted 03-14-2010 10:30 AM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

If God is Art then are Artist's godly?

No. You'd be surprised how far the mind can stretch and create myth's and stories.

Religion is just an inspiration to create certain pictures.

(I'm an artist so I should have an inkling on this matter. )
Stephanos
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But there may be a distinction between religion and God, much in the same way there is a difference between climatology and wind waves and sun.

If religion's goal is only to create certain pictures, we are led back to the question of why certain pictures are considered sacred and others not; why certain pictures have moral beauty above others; why certain themes seem universal cropping up again and again.  So to say that religion is a picture doesn't explain it away, but leads us only back to a religious question ...  what is the picture of, and why does it speak to us the way it does?

Stephen
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23 posted 03-17-2010 01:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

True, a picture of a unicorn is not just a picture of a "unicorn" in that sense either.  It is a picture derived from truth: there really are horses and horns out there in nature. But the imaginative part of the picture is the "confusion" of the two as one, that we call a "unicorn".   This is the same kind of thing we do for all imaginary things, except that it often becomes much more complex, and involves too manifold confusions to seperate "parts" as clearly as we can with "horse" and "horn" for the unicorn.   But we still can do it to some extent with almost any imaginary thing.  Gods, for example, involve confusions of many traits of human nature and many powers of nature in general.   We use parts we find in nature and merge them imaginatively into "wholes" that we don't find.  When we do that, but imagine an imaginary "whole" as a being, it may soon become a god, if we find it artistically worthy enough to be called thus.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (03-17-2010 02:12 PM).]

Ron
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And from what parts, Essorant, have we imagined you?
 
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