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gnostic science Science, from the Latin scienzia, means knowledge; through it, we are perpetually discovering, developing and rewriting our own cosmogony. With an elegant method that tests its hypotheses, Science remains under pressure to prove itself empirically. This creates a secular and dynamic environment of exchange and growth that unites man across borders to all things and deepens and enriches our understanding of ourselves, our environment and our origins. Gnosis also means knowledge in unanglified Greek and differs principally from its sister, Science, in that it is spiritual knowledge or insight. It is the intimate and personal experience of gleaning something unknowable, mysterious and other behind the fabric of reality. Gnosis, when directly perceived, is often unspeakable, and when and where it is spoken, it is always tied to the tradition of storytelling and the magic of our earliest creation myths. These two seemingly conflicting knowledges have set the stage of battle within the body between the mind and spirit. Science is coolly rational, logical, objective and centered in the head and Gnosis is heatedly irrational, faith-based, subjective and centered in the heart. However, what we perceive as an opposition between the great exterior discipline and the great interior discipline is, in fact, inseparable correlatives. They are two sides of the same coin, leading us to greater insights and awe. There is no doubt that Science has trumped Gnosis through its exponential growth in understanding, endless revisionism and technological inventiveness. It has developed our most plausible creation myth by parting the very fabric of matter and space to peer deep into our past to find our origin in an explosive singularity. It has shown our cosmic smallness while simultaneously connecting us to totality. Through it, we have overthrown our geo- and anthropocentrism and have learned of our spectacular and felicitous place in the far corner of our universe. The pursuit of knowledge, of Science, frees us from the trap of tradition and allows us to enter into the fluid realm of rebirth and change. Liberated from our past, we can concentrate on our future and continue to expand our fundamental understanding of ourselves. But while the mind is nurtured, so too must the spirit be. The loss of the heart ultimately means the loss of the head.

It is here where we must inevitably talk in metaphor, in poetry and abstractions because we have reached the borders of that indefinable otherness, that mysterious substance which defies our logic and playfully skirts our undertanding. This is the wellspring of inspiration and dreams, the fount of wisdom, the inexhaustible and intuitive well of our collective experience. It is here where the mystery of beauty and art can be found. The knowledge of beauty and art move the spirit to dance with its music. To be moved thus, is to be moved within, transported, lifted up through the soul of language, color, form and sound. It is our human voice telling our human story, connecting us back to the urvoice of our collected unconciousness when we were apes, reptiles, trees, rocks and stars. It is the myth and magic of an intelligent biped struggling to understand itself and its origins in the dawn of self-awareness. It was the goal of many of the early Abstract Expressionists to recreate this mythology with paint. They wanted to bring us back to the unspoken realms through color and form. Standing before many of their canvases one can feel that they are approaching the very threshold of that hidden world. It is in their spirit that I approached these paintings.

Conflicting Cosmologies  

Paintings & Essays by Jason Blasso

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