Monday, September 20, 2010

Where Science meets Religion

I stare dumbly at the frescoes in The Vatican Museum. Millions of man-hours went into creating these infinitely awesome works of art. All I see are people killing each other.

Standing before Michelangelo's David the first thought that popped in my mind was not "My, what a wonderful work of art! Michelangelo is a genius!" and shedding a tear. No, instead I thought to myself, "The dude's hands are disproportionately large for his body..."

I am a complete retard in a museum. Any museum. Fine works of art are wasted on me. I don't gaze and wonder anything fantastical, instead I analyze the content and wonder why the people on the canvass are so mean to each other.

A total retard.

But I think that's this photography thing works for me.

When I say that I don't think I'm a very creative person, I'm not being modest... rather I'm being completely honest. I don't get colorful ideas about doing this or that. Or not usually at least. For me photography is a fine balance between something that I can explain (science) and something that I can't explain (religion).

Coming back from Europe I thought about the things that inspired me and how they affect my work. As a prime example, I discovered I like architecture, geometry, lines, and shapes. I like them because they're based on mathematics where there's only one right answer. You see this in my use of walls, lines, gradients, boxes, stairs. Simple. Scientific even.

On that note, science is really behind much of what I do. I like the scientific method. I like being able to repeat my results. I like having standardized methods and procedures for what I do. Most of all, I like being able to explain what I do.

But I like trying stuff. Stuff that I can't explain. I like liking things I can't necessarily explain. There's a certain amount of controlled chaos in my pictures. There are elements of surprise that I fall in love with and seek to methodologically repeat. Of course those elements sometimes still elude me. Actually a lot of things elude me. Perhaps that's the religious part of this entire experience. I'm chasing something I can't explain. I'm in love with something I can't put my finger on. I want something that is not at my beck and call. It upsets me and yet makes me happy at the same time. It's frustrating, often very discouraging, and yet there's a beauty behind it and every now and then I get a glimpse of that beauty and then it's gone.

Gone. Hopefully temporarily?

Science is behind much of what I do. I can teach everything I know but unlike actual religion, I can not share with you the inexplicable parts of what I do. Yes, I realize I just stated the obvious. You can't share something that you don't possess. Hopefully you have your own epiphanies about this photography thing and ultimately your own enlightenments. Chances are that your enlightenments are different from mine. This "thing" means something a little different to each of us.

For me, there's just the right balance between "science" and "religion" in this photography thing. Just enough to make me crazy while being totally sane.


  1. Yes! Well put! I always thought photography was a perfect art medium for the scientist and the painter. Same tool, used in different ways can achieve fantastic results.

  2. Is it any wonder that most photographers are men? Is it the draw of beautiful women? Is it the visual-stimulation that we like? Is it the gadgetry? Is it the logic/science behind the mayhem?

    LOL! :)

  3. Anirudh Kumar SatsangiSeptember 23, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Religion and Science have identical goal i.e. Realization of the Ultimate.

    Now I give Radhasoami Faith view of Creation Theory. In Sar Bachan (Poetry) composed by His Holiness Soamiji Maharaj the August Founder of Radhasoami Faith the details of creation and dissolution has been described very scientifically. It is written in this Holy Book: Only He Himself (Supreme Father)and none else was there. There issued forth a great current of spirituality, love and grace (In scientific terminology we may call this current as gravitational wave). This is called His Mauj (Divine Ordainment). This was the first manifestation of Supreme Being. This Divine Ordainment brought into being three regions, viz., Agam, Alakh, and Satnam of eternal bliss. Then a current emerged with a powerful sound. It brought forth the creation of seven Surats or currents of various shades and colours (in scientific terminology we may call it electromagnetic waves). Here the true Jaman or coagulant was given (in scientific terminology this coagulant may be called as weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force). Surats, among themselves, brought the creation into being.

    These currents descended down further and brought the whole universe/multi verse into being i.e. black holes, galaxies etc. were born.