The Cosmological Vision of Sophia-Art

By the Prof. Antonio Mercurio,

with an introduction and commentary (in italics)

Conference presented at the 1° National Symposium of Personalistic Anthropology and Sophia-art, Frascati (RM), 8 december 1988. Subsequently in French and in Italian, in video projection, at  II° International Congress of the  S.U.R. in Parigi, in July of 1989. Video recording by Roberto Culcasi and transcription by Silvio de Sanctis.

Before I start reading my paper I would like to make a brief introduction. I have very much admired the comments you made yesterday evening and this morning, both in the small groups and in the big one. Allow me, after having expressed my admiration for all of your thoughts, to share with everyone what Giorgio brought up. Last night, he said that ever since the horse has been domesticated humanity has been divided into two categories: those that get into the horse’s saddle and become horsemen and those who instead remain stall boys. It takes courage to go from working in the stalls to becoming a horseman, and Giorgio pointed out that I was asking you to be courageous, with a capital ‘C’. So. If you want to follow me in my reading of the paper I am about to present to you, I will have to ask you to be even more courageous; I have to ask you to be courageous with capitals on all the letters, not just the ‘C’. To help you better understand what type of courage I am asking you to have, let me use a historical example

In a few years, in 1992, the whole world will celebrate Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. But we all know perfectly well that it was not Christopher Columbus’ intention to discover America. In his mind there was the profound conviction that the earth was round, not flat like everyone else thought, everyone except for a few scientists. Since he was absolutely convinced that the earth was round and not flat, he had thought up a very arduous and ambitious project: to get to the Indies by crossing the ocean instead of  by land.

Columbus presented his idea first to the King of Portugal, then to the King of Spain, and neither one of them listened to him. Don’t be surprised by this, because in those days everyone was convinced that the earth was flat, and to think of the earth as being round was considered madness. The only person who listened to him, ten years after he had first presented his project, was queen Isabella. So, with her help, Christopher Columbus was able to equip three caravels and leave Porto, sailing towards the realization of his dream. It was very, very difficult, during the trip, to keep his crew’s faith up so they could get to their destination. And when they finally came to land, Christopher Columbus had not found the Indies, but a new continent.

I believe that since that day not only a new continent, America, has begun to be explored, but from that day on the unification of the East with the West began in a vast, global way. Another Italian, Marco Polo, had already begun this unification some years before.

I believe that Christopher Columbus’ enterprise had, among many others,  the purpose of unifying the whole earth into a single organism, and this goal is being reached every day a bit more.

I mentioned Marco Polo, who created the first connection between West and East; I mentioned Christopher Columbus; I also want to mention Marconi, because if today we can communicate from one end of the globe to the other, it is again possible thanks to another Italian, Guglielmo Marconi.

You all know how all of our ways of communicating via radio, via television, via telephone etc. are also thanks to another Italian genius. I  think that if you can try to imagine the gigantic effort that the earth is making through us human beings to become one unified organism, if you can see this project of the earth’s as an organism, then what I want to present to you today contains an even greater project.

I want to propose the unification between human beings and the universe, the unification of the entire universe. I realize that what I am saying is very difficult to accept. You will have to be very patient in following me during each step.

Let’s go back to the idea of courage, so that it is clear to you what kind of courage I am asking you to have. On one hand I am asking you to set  off on a journey with our three caravels, the Institute of Analytical Psychotherapy, the Institute of Existential Personalistic Anthropology and the CERVOA {Center for Research on Life as a Work of Art}, towards the discovery of a new continent, but on the other I am asking you to set off towards the project of unifying the human universe with the universe itself and the entire universe in all of its parts, so as to create a whole.

Do you realize how much courage such an enterprise requires?

I do have the courage to ask you to have this courage.

The cosmologies that we are familiar with so far in our history are of four types: mythological, religious, philosophical and scientific. Generally these cosmologies were created independently from one another. Sophia-Art poses the question of whether it is possible to create a new one, and blend together elements that pertain to religion, philosophy, science and art.

Let’s take this affirmation as a basic assumption: “just as ontogenesis mirrors phylogenesis, the microcosm mirrors the macrocosm, so by understanding the microcosm we can reach knowledge of the macrocosm”.

By macrocosm we here mean the universe. By microcosm here we are referring to the human being, because it seems that we can say with sufficient certainty the human being represents the most complete microcosm in comparison to all the other microcosms that exist in nature.

We also have much more knowledge about this microcosm than we do about any other microcosm. In fact, while we do have inner knowledge of the human experience, no one will ever be able to give us inner knowledge of other living organisms.

Does following such criteria mean that we are building an anthropomorphic cosmology?

It’s obvious that we run such a risk and we must continuously check ourselves so it doesn’t happen. The best way we can avoid this from happening is to base our research, as mentioned above, on the ability to unite the essence of this subject as explained by religion, philosophy, science and art, where each explanation both corrects the others and integrates them.For example, it’s obvious that a cosmological vision that doesn’t take the data offered by physics and astrophysics into account would have absolutely no value. But by the same token, it would not be of much value if only these scientific approaches were utilized and others were ignored.

Here we want to affirm that every world view that is created by looking only at one type of data, be it religious or philosophical or scientific, produces a view that is fallible. This is true because it would be a view that is both true and false at the same time, it would always be incomplete and reductionist, and it could never explain the complexity of the universe all by itself.

The point of view expressed in Sophia-Art makes sense in that it allows us to:

  1. a) proceed in a dialectical manner;

Our way of thinking cannot be only linear, where things are seen as being either in black or white. It must be, instead, dialectical, and not only dialectical but circular. Thus we must adopt a linear way of thinking, a dialectical thought process of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, and then a circular way of thinking that integrates both linear and dialectical thinking.

  1. b) blend together the contributions from other points of view into a unified one by either purifying them of their falsehoods and keeping their truths, or by concentrating their contributions through a synthesis of opposites, thus reaching a concentration of truths that will never be linear but will always be complex;
  2. c) maintain the complexity of the human phenomenon as a constant reference point, and thus have a guide that is based on fact and not on unverifiable fantasies.

Let’s look for a moment here what I mean by Cosmoanthropic principle.

The formulation of this principle was created in my mind as a development of my reflections on the anthropic principle created by a group of American scientists.

Anyone who would like to know more about the anthropic principle can read Stephen Hawking’s book “A Brief History of Time”, and the book “God and the New Physics” by Paul Davies.

My own Cosmoanthropic principle is the formulation of a principle whose roots lie  in the anthropic principle but then detaches from it completely.


The Cosmoanthropic Principle 

  “ To every question that we ask about the universe and that at this time does not have an answer we will ask an equal one regarding humanity. The answer we consider as being valid for humanity we will consider it as being valid for the universe as well”. We will not assume a definitive and acritical position towards the answers we find. Analogies are precious tools but they must be used heuristically, as an invitation to formulate daring new hypotheses and as dialectical departure points, not givens.

This means that if I make affirmations on the basis of the cosmoanthropic principle, these are to be considered not definitive truths but rather as points of departure for research.

Humanity contains within itself all the truths of the cosmos. By asking ourselves the right questions we will continually find new answers that will complete this truth. What are the questions we can ask ourselves?

What follows are some examples, such as :

how was the universe created?

This is a fundamental question. Science does not know how to answer this question, rather, for now it has formulated a hypothesis that affirms the creation of the universe through the explosion of the Big Bang. Science up until now has been able to explain what happened starting from one second after the Big Bang. Scientists are working to try to understand what happened during the first second, but, as Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest contemporary scientists, affirms, science tells us that we will never be able to know what happened before the first second. In a moment I will confute this affirmation and I will explain how and why

Where does the universe come from?

I could add another question: where does the universe come from? If science is not yet able to answer this question, but I want an answer to it, what can I do? If I follow the Cosmoanthropic principle, I turn towards humanity and I ask: where do human beings come from? How was the human being created?

Therefore, for all the questions that we ask about the universe that science has not yet answered, we can formulate the same question regarding human beings, regarding their essence and their existence.

We will ask what the answer is that we get regarding human beings and, according to the answers we get, we can then make the leap from the microcosm of the human being to the macrocosm of the universe.

Now I will give you some simplifications of this idea and some various ways of looking at it. This principle has numerous possible ways it can be used and you will become aware of this with time.

Scientific discoveries are the fruit of hypotheses and of research that confirms these hypotheses, or of theories built upon constant observations.

What does this mean? When Einstein created his theory of relativity, first of all special relativity and then general relativity, he started out from a hypothesis. He worked around this hypothesis using mathematics. Einstein could not offer experimental proof of his hypothesis! He could offer no proof. Proof was found later on by other scientists who embraced Einstein’s hypothesis and worked so as to verify if this hypothesis was true or false. His theory was confirmed later on, not by Einstein, remember, but by other scientists. Therefore, one starts out with a hypothesis and then goes on to look for an experimental confirmation of the hypothesis; if such a confirmation comes, then the hypothesis is considered to have either a partial or a complete truth to it. The general theory of relativity is a partial truth, it is not a complete truth.

Why is that? Because in the meantime quantum mechanics was developed and there is no agreement between quantum physics and general relativity, even though scientists are working to try to find one. This means that Einstein’s theory is a partial truth, just as Max Planck’s is, who discovered quantum physics. We still need yet another scientist or another set of scientists who can complete these two partial facets of the truth. Therefore, scientific discoveries are the result of hypotheses,  of research to confirm hypotheses or of constant observations on which theories are developed.

The first scientist who worked in this manner was Aristotle. Aristotle observed the world of nature with infinite patience; he observed and observed and he then started building his theories on what he had observed. Many of his theories were very important ones, whereas many others were damaging. There is one which was particularly damaging and which I will try to confute in just a minute.

 We must use this same approach when we are utilizing the cosmoanthropic principle.

Therefore, the integration we must make is clear: if on one hand we make an affirmation that comes from the cosmoanthropic principle, on the other we can say that this affirmation can make sense if it integrates the scientific method, which takes a hypothesis and then attempts to verify its truth, or if one begins making a series of observations and then builds a theory based on these observations. Newton, who worked in the following manner, is a good example of this second method: he observed what happened with solids and he later formulated the law of universal gravity.

  1. d) question a truth that has been taken as valid, every time that humanity dismantles one of its illusions or false perceptions so as a new, more complete vision of truth can be reached, that beforehand was unthinkable. This is what happened, for example, with Galileo Galilei.

What do we perceive? That the earth stays still and that the sun goes around it. Only with the help of Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo were we able to convince ourselves – and still not everyone is convinced, sometimes polls are made where large numbers of people are randomly asked when walking down the street whether they know if the earth orbits the sun or if instead it stays still or if the sun orbits the earth or if it stays still, and there is still a large percentage of people who are convinced that the sun is in orbit and the earth stands still. This is true as of 1988, and not in Europe but also in America, of all places.

Therefore, since we are convinced by our sensory perceptions, we say that the sun goes around the earth and the earth stands still; only by using  reason do we realize that this perception is false and that reality is completely different from what we perceive it to be.

Now,  throughout human history we have made many of these types of conquests that have allowed us to realize that many of our perceptions are one hundred percent true, and many others are only partially true, so we must modify them. The same thing is true for what I am proposing to you. What I am telling you is the result of all of human experience up until now, as far as I know, but humanity will continue to progress in the future. How many other things will change in our way of thinking, in how we perceive things, in how we reason? We will have to again integrate all of the elements from the past with what is emerging in the present, and go forward from there.

Here is a recent example to illustrate this point. Nuclear physics affirms that it knows with certainty what has happened in the universe starting from one second after the Big Bang, and it is working ardently at trying to understand what happened during the first second. It also affirms, quite uncautiously, that it will never be possible to know what happened before that, since time began existing only during the first second and not before that.

And what if one day all this should end up being revealed as false, just as the idea that the sun orbited the Earth was revealed as false, or that it was not possible to divide the atom into smaller parts was discovered as being false? Who can keep us from thinking (and here the Cosmoanthropic principle comes into play) that perhaps one day we will be able to demonstrate that in the beginning the universe was like a female ovum, and that if it is like it is today, this happened because something similar to the sperm of a man fecundated it and made it explode into the Big Bang?

Today there is no proof of this but one day there could be (just as it happened with Galileo’s telescope) and we could see that just as billions of humans exist billions of universes exist, and just as a man unites with a woman to give birth to another human being, it could very well happen that one universe unites with another and gives birth to another universe.

But for us to be able to proceed in this way, that is undoubtedly quite dizzying, we must first overcome the authoritarianism of philosophy, which inevitably supports the authoritarianism of theology. Such purification is necessary if we want to free science and art and allow them to move beyond the columns of Hercules that philosophy and theology impose.

The philosophy of Aristotle affirms:

  1. a) that the principle of causality cannot be put aside;
  2. b) that it is impossible to proceed infinitely from one cause to another but that at some point we must come to an uncaused cause, a primum movens that is moved by none other except God, or the Absolute, an Ens a se and not ab alio, to the uncaused Being, without beginning or time, that is, though, the cause of every beginning and every time.

Let’s stop and look for a moment at these ideas.

           God=Ens a se: the necessary being that depends on nothing else.

Let’s clarify this first concept.

Ens a se. This is a Latin phrase that translates Aristotle’s Greek ideas. “Ens a se” means that it is a being that is derived from itself and from no other being.

“Ens ab alio” is a being that necessarily comes from another being and, while the ens a se is the necessary being, the ens ab alio is a contingent being. What does necessary mean? Necessary is whatever necessarily exists; thus God, who is the ens a se, necessarily exists. Humanity and the universe, which are ens ab alio, and I will now explain why, are contingent beings.

What does the word contingent mean? That it can either exist or not exist. It is not necessary.

Thus God, the ens a se, is the necessary being; everything that is created, that is the result of creation, is a contingent being. To be contingent means that whether it exists or not makes no difference at all. And if it does exist, it exists by pure chance and just as it exists it can not exist and it is completely unimportant.

Do you see the difference between being necessary and being contingent? Good. Now let’s look at the connection between ens a se and ens ab alio.

What is an ens a se? An ens a se is the Being, that is God, that doesn’t depend on any cause outside of itself, and for this reason we say that God is causa sui, the cause of himself.

What is, instead, the ens ab alio? Ens ab alio is the being that receives its being from another, not from itself. Thus this being, whatever being that might be here, including all of us, are beings that have a cause, according to this philosophy. Who made this watch? The watchmaker; and who made the watchmaker? and so on and so on.

Therefore, everything that is created, everything that is contingent, everything that is finite, is always the effect of a preceding cause; that preceding cause is the effect of a yet earlier cause and so on and so on. But the first principle that Aristotle formulated says that we cannot proceed infinitely from one effect to its cause, from a cause to another effect and so on. It is not possible. At some point we have to necessarily stop; at some point we must necessarily postulate a being that creates all other beings but who has not been created by any other being.

Is this clear up to this point? Now let’s look again at the earlier text to make the connection with the following phrase clear.

The philosophy of Aristotle affirms:

  1. c) that the principle of causality cannot be put aside;
  2. d) that it is impossible to proceed infinitely from one cause to another but that at some point we must come to an uncaused cause, a primum movens that is moved by none other except God, or the Absolute, the Ens a se and not to ab alio, to the uncaused Being, without beginning or time, that is, though, the cause of every beginning and every time.

Why? Because if the contingent being exists, if humanity exists, if the universe exists, it

exists because God created it.

Because the ens a se generated the ens ab alio. Do you follow me?

The error in this second affirmation lies, in my opinion, in the affirmation that it can be demonstrated, philosophically and scientifically, that any event can be brought back to a single cause, even with infinite steps, instead of to a complexity of causes or at least to two.

My confutation consists in affirming the following:

it is not possible, neither philosophically speaking nor scientifically speaking, to prove that any event originated from one single cause.

Philosophy will never be able to offer this demonstration, nor will science be able to. To the contrary, science continuously demonstrates the exact opposite. What is its opposite? That there are instead a multiple number of causes that originate every event, there is never one single cause. To simplify it all what I say is: if it is difficult to demonstrate the complexity involved in multiple causes, can’t we at least say that there are two causes at the origin of every event? Let’s just start from this more simple affirmation. At the beginning of every event there are at least two causes, not one.Demonstration.

 I don’t believe that philosophy can ever make such a demonstration and I do believe, instead, that science can show that every event always has a complexity and a multiplicity of causes. It can do so and it already has done so in many different cases.

If, then, we apply the Cosmoanthropic principle, we see that every child is born from two distinct causes: the father and the mother. This is also true for every animal and for every plant. And I also know that the father and the mother are not two absolute causes, but they are immersed in multiple causes that keep them alive and make them act. At the same token, both the ovum and the sperm need many other causes to develop, either as sources of ulterior energy or as stimuli.

Is it clear what I am affirming here? With a mental abstraction we can say: I am the child of my father and my mother; I am the child of two causes; and I could very well stop there, but I will make a mental abstraction because history tells us something quite different. What does history tell us? That my father was also the son of a father and a mother and my mother was the daughter of a father and a mother; here we already have two plus two equals four plus two equals six, and if I keep going back how many causes will I have? To touch on this  just briefly what I want to say is: I am the child of a father and a mother, and I have only named two causes, but what is behind these causes?

An infinite number of causes. Where did my father and my mother live? Didn’t they live in a specific geographic area? And the geographical area, the land, the city of Messina where they lived, isn’t this a cause? And the air they breathed, isn’t this a cause? And I could go on and on ad infinitum. Is this example of what multiple causes are behind a single or double cause clear?

To further shift our perspective regarding the principle of a single and absolute cause, I would like to ask you: first of all, is the genius of Einstein or Michelangelo or Mozart only the fruit of the single cause of their parents? And secondly, if this is the case, how is it possible that from the lesser, the banality of these parents, comes out something greater, which is the genius of these people?

I could ask the same question regarding life. How is it possible that superior, more complex forms rise from inferior, less complex ones? Human beings from animals, animals from plants, plants from minerals and all of it reduced to a single cause,  not a multiplicity of causes.

To correct and complete Aristotle’s thought I would here like to affirm the principle of circular causality, which states that reality is circular, just like a wheel is circular. Linear realities can only exist as being part of a circular reality, that is, as a part of a whole.

The spoke of a wheel can exist only if it connects to the axis of the circle. It can never exist otherwise. From this we can see that linear causes can exist only if they are a part of a circular cause and, in particular, it follows that the linear demonstration that Aristotle uses to deduce the Ens a se from the ens ab alio, based on the principle of causality, is false because it affirms that the line is an absolute.

Now, so we can assimilate well these concepts, let’s say that the principle of a single cause is equal to a straight line; the principle of a circular cause equals a curved line, a circle.

Is this comparison clear? Then let’s say that a straight line can exist only if it is part of a circle and here we must stop, because we immediately come to the point where all arguments fall through.

If we look at any room, we can see that there are many straight lines; a table has a horizontal straight line and another one that is vertical. We have only straight lines and none that are curved. But so how does what I am saying pan out? By steps. If I ask you to use your imagination to leave this room and think of the space in the universe, think of the sky and all the stars and tell me, would you be able to find a straight line in the sky? One that really exists, not just in your imagination. There are no straight lines in the sky. Sorry, none exist in the universe either.

The truth is that while on earth straight lines can exist – and we will look at why in a moment – beyond earth no straight lines can exist.

You can look for them as long as you like, but you will never find any of them! If you want to draw the starry sky on a piece of paper, you can trace a straight line, for example, from one star to another, but this is an invention of yours. A straight line does not exist in the universe. But so how is it that they exist here on earth? Think for a moment about the ramps where missiles are launched into space; a launching pad looks straight, it’s vertical, right? And when the missile takes off it goes straight up according to how we perceive it, but after a few seconds, what happens to the missile? It starts to curve. Why is that? Here we have the clearest demonstration that every straight line can exist only as part of a curved one. Otherwise it cannot exist. We can create straight lines only on a small scale, where they clearly exist and we see them. On a universal scale straight lines do not exist, they cannot exist unless they are a part of a curved line, of a circle or of a spiral. Is this clear?

Comment from the audience: “The force of gravity comes into play though”.

That doesn’t matter. What is important is that straight lines cannot exist. This is what really counts.

Comment from the audience: “Why do there have to be either circles or spirals?”

It is a law of the universe, I can’t tell you why.

Every straight line is always a part of a circle or a spiral.

 Let’s look at some examples, first regarding earth and then regarding the universe. On earth we have examples of straight lines that are part of a circle, like in a wheel. A wheel is made up of a circle that has a  central axis, the spokes of the wheel connect the central axis with the peripheral circle and here we have straight lines, which are the spokes of the wheel, but they are a part of a circular reality.

Is this image clear? Let’s say then that as far as our perception goes, straight lines do exist, but they exist only because they are part of a circular reality. There are some instances in which this circular reality is immediately evident, like in a wheel, and there are others in which it is less obvious and we have to use our reason to find it.

What conclusion can we draw here? That if we have made the analogy that says that a single cause equals a straight line and a circular cause equals a curved line, we can conclude that single causes cannot exist as separate from circular ones.

Now we must try to take another step forward. Later on I will again talk about single cause and I will affirm that single causes do exist. My discourse must be dialectical and thus you must be patient with me. For now I’ll say that a single cause can exist in that it is part of a circular cause, just like the spokes of a while are straight lines which are a part of a circular reality.

To return to my confutation of Aristotle, if I remain convinced that straight lines can exist by themselves, then I can affirm along with Aristotle that the ens a se exists as a single cause. If instead I recognize that they cannot exist, through the reasoning demonstrated here, I must recognize that this is false. It is an arbitrary abstraction that Aristotle created and every philosopher and theologian since he first made it has followed along with it. And not only have the philosophers and the theologians followed along with it, so have each one of us. Even though I am here telling you these things, I still do not consider myself as being free of thinking or being tempted to think that absolute straight lines exist. I know this is a fallacy, but I tend to think this way because this is the way of thinking I was born into, this is my cultural background. It is not easy to change our way of thinking, it is indeed very difficult.

Now, try to follow along with me in this other digression. I told you in the beginning that after Christopher Columbus all of humanity accepted to be convinced that the earth is round and not flat. Today everyone is sure that the earth is round and not flat even though what we see is a flat earth. We can’t see that it is round, right?

We are also used to thinking that God is flat and I want to ask you to begin convincing yourselves that God is round and not flat.

I have no doubt that this brief reasoning can clear the mind of philosophers and scientists from their unquestioned dependence on Aristotle and theology.

Einstein spent half of his life looking for a way to confute quantum physics, only because “God cannot play dice” and he could not give up the idea of God.

The same thing seems to happen today with Stephen Hawking, the greatest researcher on black holes and astrophysics, because he too is obsessed by the presence or the absence of the idea of God.

His whole book, From the Big Bang to Black Holes,  is based on this dilemma: is there a God or is there not a God?

Can you see how the way of thinking that Aristotle initiated continues to influence the minds of the greatest scientists?

What in philosophy is called Being and Nothingness, in theology is called God and Nothingness, and in physics is called quantums of energy and the quantum void, in Sophia-Art all these names indicate two distinct causes, which have always existed and which have always mated to give birth to new universes. They represent the Yin and the Yang, the masculine and feminine principles that the Chinese Tao and the Hindu religion speak of.

There is no reason to make these two entities into divinities or to hypostasize

hypostasize in this case means the same thing as making into a divinity them, which only creates all kinds of unsolvable contradictions in the lives of human beings.

Now that I am an adult, I no longer need to make my father and my mother into divinities, but when I was a child I had to do so.

Nor do I need to make myself into a divinity to give my life or anyone else’s life meaning, or to give spirituality and love an important place in my own life and in my relationships with others. Nor do I need to do so to figure out if I will have an immortal destiny or not. According to Sophia-Art all I need to know is if I will be able to make my life a work of art or not, and not all by myself but together with many others.

I believe that at this point I can trace the essential lines of my cosmological vision.

Now I would like to change my tone. Up until now I have spoken philosophically and scientifically, from now on I want to ask you to take what I am saying as though it were a fairy tale. I am asking you to listen to a fairy tale, and if you like what you hear you can accept it, if you don’t like what you hear you are more than welcome to not accept what I say.

Here is my fairy tale.

1. The origins of the universe

There is no God who created the universe from nothing. I am sorry to have to disagree with the Bible (a book that I love very much for many reasons) but this is not the first time this has happened in history. The universe had a mother and a father, just like every human being does. This father and mother can be called in many ways. I prefer calling them Masculine Principle and Feminine Principle and I don’t have to make them into divinities but I do have to free myself of any idea of uncaused and absolute cause that sits there and observes and judges what I do with my life. My life belongs only to myself and I am completely responsible for it, both for good and bad.


2. Is this the only universe that exists?

Many universes exist besides this one and nothing tells me that I have to know only this one I am living in now. If I transform my life into a work of art, I could find that I have discovered the key that will allow me to go from one universe to the next. To the contrary, if I refuse to transform myself, I could remain simply a man animal that falls into the nothingness and annihilation of its subjectivity once its biological form and physical form that incarnated it dissolves, just as what happens to plants and animals.

3. Life after death

This is a development of point ‘2’. There I affirmed the existence of other universes and of the idea that those who transform their lives into works of art can go from this universe to another universe, and begin a new life there.

How could this be possible?

I have already explained this thoroughly in my book La vie comme oeuvre d’art {Life as a work of art}.

Here I want to indicate another possible answer.

Men produce sperm and women produce ovules. To create a new life these sperm and ovules must detach themselves, begin to move, encounter each other and fuse together.

I think that every human being detaches from this life and its earthly identity dies, just like an ovum or a sperm detaches and dies, so as to acquire a new identity that comes about when it fuses with a partner in another universe.

Not all sperm and ovules that are produced end up generating new life.

Not all human beings who die are thus capable of beginning a new life. Those who remain profoundly egotistical are incapable of melding with another being and beginning a new life. An egoist will never accept losing his or her individual identity, thus he or she can never be part of a couple, whether it be in this life or in the next.

It is also true that it takes art to find the right partner; it takes art to bring them out of their shell and obtain their agreement to fuse together. It takes art to make sure that this fusion completely extends into a complex project, such as life as part of a couple, and it takes art to face the many obstacles that could transform a life project into an abortion and overcome them together.

It is not enough, therefore, to not be egotistical, as the religions tell us, to be able to incarnate in another universe. One must also become an artist and an artist of one’s own life. This is what Sophia-Art proposes.

Most animals, plants and human beings – maybe not all, but most – use forms of art to court each other.

Some use visual effects, full of color, like flowers, and some use song, like birds. Some use olfactory effects and others use rhythmic movements that express the strength, grace and beauty of a dance.

Human beings who want to incarnate into another universe must learn, before they die,  to transform themselves into visual, sonorous, rhythmic and perhaps even olfactory and taste artistic vibrations.

The purpose of the wide range of human arts that artists have created is to move people, and inspire wonder in them through their five senses. There is a form of art for the eyes, one for the ears, one for the mouth, one for the olfactory sense, perfume, and one for the body, which is dance. These forms attract people and create fusions, fusions among human beings and fusions between human beings and art. New life is always produced through these fusions.

Perhaps this is the way to the other side: knowing how to produce artistic vibrations in all kinds of ways so as to court and enchant our twin souls in other worlds and thus assure new life.

4. The problem of evil and pain

If a God exists, the God of the philosophers and the theologians who created the universe and the presence of both physical and moral evil, we will never find an adequate response to why these things exist in this world. We are faced with so many philosophical and theological contradictions, that to find a coherent way of thinking we are  forced to either draw all kinds of far-fetched conclusions, or to simply attribute these things to the mysterious will of God. Either that or we must simply accept the brutal coherence of Saint Thomas of Aquino, which states that the damned are necessary to glorify God, or Saint Paul’s, who states that Christ’s death was necessary to save the world from guilt, because God had no better solution.

But the worst contradictions arise within the hearts of men and women, not in their minds, when the hour of drama, pain and evil strikes and they are faced with their unbearable weight.

Camus was horrified by all the pain in the world, but he was especially horrified by the pain and death of innocent people.

Today no one perhaps is as horrified as he was but this is certainly not because people have greater faith.

But if it wasn’t God who created the world, then there is no absurd, unjust world which we must fight against. There is instead a world without meaning that only an artist can give meaning to.

An artist who has not been faced with evil and with pain is a mediocre one, and his or her art is mediocre as well.

Instead, whoever has learned to transform evil and pain into artistic creativity is capable of creating great works of art.

Even greater is the type of art created by those who transform their whole life into a work of art, using the energy contained in evil and in pain, both that which is experienced directly and that which pertains to the outside world.

5. Is the universe contracting?

Physicists ask themselves if this universe that is today expanding will continue to expand forever or if one day it will stop doing so and will begin an endless collapse.

Sophia-Art offers the following answer to this, by using the Cosmoanthropic model.

The entire universe is a single living organism, just like a human being is. A human being expands from conception until adulthood, but then it does not contract, it stops expanding at the point it had reached until after quite some time physical death overcomes it.

Why should the universe contract like some sort of magic trick? This universe will, of course, one day die. But human beings generate children and many other things before they die. Therefore, how many other universes will it have generated and how many other things that today cannot be imagined will be created before it collapses and dies?

6. Does the universe have an I Person?

If the universe is a single living organism, like a human being, it is feasible that like humanity it has a central subject, an I that thinks, desires, loves, makes plans and creates. Thus the universe would have its own I  that is a central subject and that thinks, loves and acts: in other words, an I Person.

But just like my I Person is not God, neither in a philosophical nor in a theological sense, why should the I Person  of the cosmos be one?

As a living being, I am made up of billions of cells and billions upon billions of atoms. Every cell and every atom each also have a central subject that thinks, loves and creates.

How can I possibly think that my conscious I does not communicate with my cells and atoms and vice-versa?

I can, of course, separate myself from them and I can oppose them with my madness, or I can transcend myself and ask my cells and atoms to follow me in my process of transcendence and in my work of art. In this manner we could create together a total joy of being.

In the same way I can unify my conscious, global I with the Cosmic, global I of the universe and become part of the cosmic harmony. Isn’t this what the mystics from all religions throughout the ages have done?

Following my personalistic metapsychology, outlined in my book Teoria della Persona {Theory of the Person}, I can attribute to both human beings and the universe a Psychological I, a Corporeal I, a Personal SELF and an I Person.

Or, being even bolder, I could think that the systemic whole containing these four components found in human beings, which is not a simple sum of the various parts, represents the Corporeal I, the Psychological I, the I Person and the SELF of the whole universe.

All together they represent the being and the future of the totality of the Cosmic I that moves continuously from one form to another, from one creation to another, from one transcendence to another, from one work of art to another. This happens so as to bring the many to the One, without cancelling the many, and the One to a contemplation of the Beauty that is thus created and to the ecstatic joy that is experienced when this happens.

To help your minds concentrate on the topic I will give you another example of yet another reality that can become an analogy of what we have already said about single cause and circular cause or multiple single causes, and about circular causality and multiple causes.

Think about a genealogical tree; a genealogical tree is made up of single lines. If you think about it, think above all about, for example, the genealogical tree of a monarchy, or a king that descends from another king and so on. What I want you to notice is that a genealogical tree is only a mental abstraction that does not take history into consideration. As one of you has pointed out, the female element is always eliminated in a genealogical tree. I mention this to bring you back to where we started when we were talking about causality, about Aristotle’s principle of causality, which is also an abstraction that does not take reality into account.

And just like a genealogical tree does not take reality into account, because reality has multiple causes, we use straight lines in them to make it easier for us, but at the cost of skipping over elements and thus not truly reflecting the reality of a family history.

Now let’s look at another discourse that I want to undertake.

In the beginning I mentioned Christopher Columbus and how his voyage began the unification between East and West and the unification of the earth as a global reality. I also asked you to have the courage necessary to undertake a new enterprise. An enterprise which entails unifying humanity with the universe and the universe in all its various parts.

Someone mentioned how hard it is to follow this line of thought and I told him that he’s absolutely right. If earlier we had to find the courage to jump in the saddle of a horse, and we know what horses are like, now I am going to ask you to jump into the saddle of a winged horse, not just a simple horse. You are going to need even more courage, because I am asking you to jump onto a winged horse and ride it so we can undertake this type of unification.

Here is another idea that we can use as the basis for our discussion. A human being is made up of a central nervous system and a peripheral one. The central nervous system is found in the brain and in the spinal column; all the connections to the peripheral nervous system come out from the spinal column.

So, now let’s ask ourselves a question: where is the universe’s central nervous system and where is its peripheral nervous system?

Second question: if we look at the evolution of life on earth, we know that early on there was no nervous system, then a peripheral nervous system developed and after that a central nervous system came into being. Later on, the connection between the peripheral nervous system and the central one was brought about. If this is what happened regarding the evolution of life on the earth, then what is it that must happen so that the universe’s peripheral nervous system and its central nervous system become connected?

I still don’t know how to answer these questions.

7. Does life in this universe exist only on Earth?

I believe that this question is not asked quite in the correct manner. Let me explain. If the universe is a living organism, just like human beings are, life in the universe exists everywhere, in every part, just like life is present in every part of a human being. The right way to ask this question could be as follows: does life reproduce only on Earth, or does it do so elsewhere as well?

Let’s again look at human beings to find the answer. The reproductive organs of men and women are found only in one area of their organism, not in more than one. The uterus is found only in one place within the woman, not in more than one place. It would be counterproductive for the proper function of the whole organism if there was more than one uterus in a single body.

I believe that the Milky Way, which the solar system containing the Earth belongs to, represents the male and female reproductive organs for the life of the entire universe. Other galaxies have other functions.

In the universe there is only one uterus and this uterus is the Earth. We can continue thinking and hoping that other living beings exist but if we do so I would suggest that we look for them not within this universe, but within other universes that are developing within infinite space, beside and beyond our own universe.

8. Did time exist before this universe did?

Before I was conceived, my time didn’t exist but my father’s time and my mother’s time did, as well as that of many others.

Therefore, before this universe was born its own time did not exist but the time of previous universes did, which mated and created this one.

Is it so difficult to accept such a simple idea?

Or is it too simple to be appealing to the complicated minds of the philosophers?

But who were they themselves born from?

Aren’t they also children of a father and a mother?

One would think not. And just like so many children refuse to consider themselves children of their parents and they fantasize about who knows what kind of origins, many philosophers, who cannot accept the essential simplicity of life, wrack their brains with metaphysical speculation so that they make it seem they are different and very much better than the rest of us poor mortals.

I really like how Davide Lopez, in his book La vita nella selva {Life in the jungle} , tears them apart by declaring how miserable their phallic, Napoleonic  and megalomanic  really is.

Then, thanks to Einstein, we know that time and space make up a whole, so what I have said about time refers to space as well. My own space-time begins existing with the beginning of my existence, and it will end when my life does.

And just like my space-time is within a space-time that is greater than mine, the space-time of this universe is part of a much bigger one.

What’s the problem if the human mind cannot manage to explain and even imagine this greater space-time? Is the human mind by chance capable of imagining four dimensions? And does this mean that four dimensions don’t exist?

9. The role of art in the universe

Sophia-Art has an even more interesting question for the philosophers.

The history of philosophy is very vast and it stretches across the centuries. Have philosophers yet managed to explain to us what art is, what is art and what isn’t art, and why? One philosopher steps up and says: this is art. The next one comes along and says, no, all of you who came before me have been wrong, I’ll tell you what art is. But even this last one’s discourse is garbled and so no one has ever really managed to tell us yet what art really is. Art, though, has continued to exist and develop and it never dies, whereas philosophical systems do.

What is the great mystery we are dealing with here?

For me, art is a creation that is even greater than the creation of the very universe itself. I will attempt to demonstrate this.

In a work of art what did not exist before now exists, and it does not exist like an inanimate thing but like a living subject. It is not just any living plant, animal or human subject, that lives, reproduces and dies. It is a living subject that lives forever.  It generates unending energy and it never dies even after the artist who created it is dead.

Let’s try to put the artist in the place of the God of the philosophers and theologians, and we will find that an artist creates everything out of nothingness.

Here the nothingness I refer to is not in terms of being, but in terms of a quantum void from which all forms and all possible potentials emerge.

According to quantum physics, a quantum vacuum is the ability to contain packets of energy, but at an unfathomable level of condensation. Thus a quantum vacuum is an infinite ability to  maximum concentration of packets of energy.

This nothingness is intended as totally not being, in the sense that before the work of art was created it was truly nothing, it did not exist at all. Then the miracle happens and the artist creates its non-being into being, its non-existence into existence,  non-living into  living and into an immortal living being.

And the artist that existed previously only at the level of a biological being is now transformed, as it is incarnated into the work of art and the matter that is the work of art’s medium. Before there was just one and now they are three, which are both fused together and distinct from each other: the medium, the work of art and the artist.

If we look at this practically, thinking of a painting, what is it on? It is on a canvas. And what is the work of art? We don’t really know, but it is visible and we can enjoy it. Think of Botticelli and of his Primavera, or think of Leonardo da Vinci and his Gioconda; in each one of these works both the art and the artist that created them are inside of them. They are both three and one: the medium, the work of art and the artist.

What a synthesis of opposites and what harmony arises from this synthesis!

According to theology and philosophy, God is eternal and cannot die, because he lies beyond time. At the same time he is nonetheless present in the time of this universe. The theologians say that the contingent being, the universe, could not remain alive, could not keep on existing if the necessary being, God, should withdraw his support from the universe.

It is easy to make this concept clear. Here I have my key chain and I am holding it up in the air with my hand; if I take my hand away, my key chain cannot stay up in the air and so it will immediately fall to the ground. This is the image of the relationship that exists between God who is ens a se and the universe that is ens ab alio, according to philosophers and theologians. The universe which is a contingent being cannot exist if God is not always holding it up, because as soon as God takes his creative action away the universe will fall into nothingness.

But now let’s look at the comparison between the artist and the work of art.

Instead, artists can die. They die when their biological time is over. But, strangely, they never die completely: they continue to live, to be present and to act, within their works of art and through their works of art, which were created within time but which are beyond time as well. They can pass through all time, as long as there is a material medium that can sustain their existence and as long as there will be other human beings to appreciate a work of art and give it new life and new continuity.

Imagine here the power that not only the artist who created the work of art has, but also the power that those who enjoy it have, because if there is no one to enjoy it the work of art cannot exist,  nor can the artist. If we look at it this way we can begin to understand the concept of circular cause between the artist who creates and those who enjoy the work of art.

Let’s look at an even clearer example. Do you like rock music? I don’t like it, but at this time millions of people like it. Could a rock singer exist if he didn’t have millions of fans who go to listen to him sing, who buy his recordings or who go to his concerts?

He can exist by himself but in that case he is the only one who listens to his music. If he wants to exist publicly he needs his fans. The same thing is true for a soccer player. If no one goes to the stadium to watch the game, a soccer player will exist only for his team mates.

Now can you understand circular cause? What it really means? Without someone to appreciate works of art, artists cannot exist, a soccer player cannot exist without his fans, nor can a rock singer exist without his.

So it is important that we not only look at the power the artist, the soccer player or the movie star has, we have to see the essential relationship that each one has with their fans. We must understand and deeply comprehend how important the artistic power of those who connect with a certain artist really is. Because if this does not happen the artist cannot exist, either on a public level or socially or historically. The artist can exist on his or her own, but no one will ever know that he or she has existed.

And, contrary to the universe in relationship to God, a work of art can exist all by itself, once it has sprung from the mind of an artist. If the artist is not there, if the artist dies, the being and the existence of the work of art suffers no damage at all.

Try to look at this with respect to the difference between a philosophical, a theological and an artistic conception of things.

We have said that if I hold my watch up with my hand it will stay there as long as I hold it; if I take my hand away, the watch will fall. According to the philosophers and the theologians we cannot exist if God does not keep holding us in existence. If he does not keep us in existence we will disappear into nothingness. This is the power of God. It seems to me to be a very limited kind of power; if he doesn’t stay there holding our hands his creation will disappear into the void.

Is it this way for an artist and a work of art? No, it is not the same type of power! Once Leonardo da Vinci created the Gioconda, it will exist for as long as the canvas exists, until it has been destroyed by an earthquake or a fire or by who knows what. The work of art will continue to exist even if Leonardo da Vinci isn’t right there holding it up. This is the power of the artist.

According to you, which is greater, God’s power or the power of the artist?

I hope you can understand the difference!

It is there forever.

How strange is that! Does the artist have more creative power than God? And does the work of art have a quality of being than the one this universe has?

So how big, exactly, is the power of an artist?

One could say that it would be better to be an artist than to be God!

But there is at least one point on which we could argue it would be not be better to be artists than to be God.

When artists create something, when they are completely involved in the creative process, there is a long, terrible moment in which they must face death and emptiness. They must empty themselves of everything their existence has been up to that point so they can make space for the fullness that is the work of art that springs out of nothingness, out of emptiness, out of the heart and total being of the artist.

God knows nothing of this death and knows nothing of this emptiness.

God is and does not become anything else.

God is and doesn’t have to die.

God is eternal beatitude and he doesn’t have to suffer.

God creates instantly and knows nothing of labor pains. The labor pains of a woman giving birth; the labor pains of an artist who is creating. Oh how wonderful it would be to be God in those moments!

And God said: let there be light, and there was light. That’s easy, right? But for us it isn’t so easy. Whoever has spoken at a conference knows something about it, right? How easy it would be to be God instead of being a person presenting a paper at a conference, where you have to get up in front of a room full of people who seem like a monster ready to eat you up: one’s stomach becomes a battle field! This is what I mean by labor pains. And God, the God of the philosophers and the theologians, what does he know about labor pains?!


10. Is the I Person of the universe an artist?

If up until now we have spoken critically of philosophy and theology and have been enthusiastic about art, now the time has come to integrate the historical influence of philosophy and theology with that of art in our conception of the universe.

Here is an example of my way of thinking in a dialectical, circular fashion. If earlier I was speaking sarcastically of the philosophers and the theologians, now I would instead like to start talking about the wonderful things they have done.

We embrace the philosophical and theological idea of the existence of God as the creator and first cause, but we want to try to reformulate it in an artistic way, by using once again the Cosmoanthropic principle and the principle of circular causality.

Everything that we know about human beings as artists we can apply not to he who has created the universe but to he who is creating this universe. We will try to apply this idea according to circular causality.

As science tells us, the universe, in fact, is not completely created, it is in a phase of being created. It is in a phase of expansion and growth and it is just fifteen years old. If we consider a billion years as being one cosmic year, and if fifteen billion years have passed since the Big Bang – although science is still cautious about establishing this number precisely – we can say that fifteen billion years are the same as fifteen cosmic years. Therefore, the universe is fifteen cosmic years old.

Here we are inspired by the Cosmoanthropic principle to utilize what philosophy and theology tell us, be it in another context and by using a different modality.

If we reflect on how a human being is born, as a biological being, we have to recognize that there are essentially two generating causes: the father and the mother. But if we reflect on how a human being creates himself or herself as a man or a woman, we know that they are a single cause of themselves in the moment they decide to become a man or a woman or to build themselves as a man or a woman.

If we reflect on how human beings act with regards to morality or growth, we know that here, too, human beings are essentially a single cause of their actions. They are the sole ones responsible for their ability to give an artistic form and content to their creativity.

Is this idea clear to you?

If we look at how a man or a woman goes from the stage of infancy to the stage of adulthood, not in a biological sense, which happens automatically, but in an interior way (think about it, how is it that we transform ourselves from children into adults?), can anyone else do this for us? Can our parents do it for us? They cannot. Can our therapists do it for us? No, they can’t. Can teachers do it for their students? Of course not.

A child, an adolescent can only decide to do it him or herself. No one from outside can decide whether or not we will become adults or whether we will stay children.

 Comment from the audience: “A child can be taught how to do it, though”.

Yes this is true, but that doesn’t necessarily make any difference. A teacher is important; however, at the time the decision must be made, an individual is alone with him or herself. If he or she decides to become an adult they will do so, if not, they never will.

 Comment from the audience: “But can’t the individual be helped to make the decision?”

Yes, the teacher can help, adult role models can help, but only those who are adults internally can do so.

Here’s another example: let’s think about a person who has to own up to a moral responsibility. Who is it that decides whether to do something moral or something immoral? Does anyone else decide for me?

Only I can decide for myself. And I am the single cause of my moral actions.

And what about an artist who creates something? Can the artist call someone else to come and substitute her in the act of creation?

Now, this universe has a spiritual life as well as a biological one, just like human beings do.

If we postulate that at its beginning there are two causalities, a masculine principle and a feminine principle, which are central causes flanked by a number of other causes, the origins of this universe’s spiritual life must necessarily have a single central cause: a single subject that decides as  a causa sui, as a cause of itself and as an uncaused cause.

Uncaused cause means that no other has generated it. Let’s look again at the case of an adolescent who is becoming an adult. The adolescent who is becoming an adult is a causa sui and an uncaused cause, because the parents or the teachers cannot cause the effect of an adolescent becoming an adult if the adolescent does not decide to do so him or herself. In the moment in which an adolescent transforms himself into an adult, he is the sole cause of his transformation and of his creation of himself.

My father and my mother are the cause of my life but they are not the cause of my actions. The cause behind my actions is my I as a subject, my I Person.  The cause of my biological I lies in my parents and in the human species, but my parents are not the cause of my I Person

My I Person generates itself. I am the cause of my actions and my decisions, I create myself. I generate myself as creator of myself, I am a single cause, I generate my own works of art.

At this point, by analogy, it would appear to be necessary to reintroduce into the creation of the universe the first cause that the philosophers and theologians speak of. It becomes necessary to do so if the universe must have a spiritual life as well as a biological one, and if this spiritual life can only be in a process of being created, like it is for humanity, and not already completed from the first moment that the universe began to exist.

A first, single cause that is immanent to the universe, is within the universe and not outside of it, just like my I Person is within me and not outside of me. Others would speak of the soul of the universe, whereas I am speaking of the Cosmic I, the I Person of the universe that is in a process of becoming. I want to do so not speculatively, but rather by applying everything I know about the I of human beings as artists, artists of their own lives and artists of themselves.

This procedure cannot be linear, it must necessarily be dialectical. First we will affirm one thing and then we’ll negate it with other arguments, not to destroy what we affirmed before but to make a synthesis of concepts and realities that are opposite to each other.

This will also serve to affirm the presence of the principle of circular causation.

We can all agree on the fact that every artist is a creator.

But if we ask the question: is every artist a first and only cause of his or her work of art? We could answer that this is partially true and is partially untrue. The paternity of a work of art most certainly lies with the artist who made it but the artist is not the only one at work.

Every artist is part of a communications network whose roots are in the past and whose branches are in the present. Every artist expresses both continuity with and a breaking away from the artists who preceded them; every artist is influenced by the culture they live in at the present time, and they can also connect with any cultural thread that pertains to the past. Their intuition can also propel them into the future and make them capable of seeing what does not yet exist.

In this sense, artists are not and cannot be the first and only cause of their works of art. They work together with many non-causes, but there is a time when they synthesize all these causes into a single cause, together with their selves and their own perceptions, when they are actually creating. At that point they then become a first and only cause of their work.

Everything that exists before the artist’s own existence, and there are multiple factors, fuses together and unites with the artist’s own creative inspiration. Therefore the artist then becomes its own essential first cause.

Next to the artist, however, there is always empty space, the nothingness of all the works of art that have not yet been created. We have also said that the artist must be able to empty him or herself of everything they have been up to that point to be able to create, so as to give their work an autonomous existence and an immortal, artistic life.

When interacting with this emptiness, the artist is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, nor is he absolutely perfect. By creating he expresses his power and he becomes powerful, he expresses his art and he becomes a field of different energies; of knowledge and life, of love and beauty for both himself and for many others.

Coming back to our universe, it would seem wiser to postulate a God who is in the processes of creating the universe and who has the same qualities of an artist, rather than to postulate a God who has already created the universe and has the qualities that philosophers and theologians attribute to him.

This would help us overcome  omnipotence, omniscience and absolute perfection, which are all human needs and projections.

This could be the departure point for a new cosmology. Matter and energy can pass continuously from fullness to emptiness and from emptiness to fullness. This movement can be either chaotic or artistic. It is chaotic if there is no personal or impersonal force that organizes it and thus the movement occurs according to the laws of chaos and necessity; it is artistic if there is an I Person that molds and structures it so it becomes an art form, following the laws of art.

If we look at the physical structure of this universe we could decide to affirm that this universe is a work of art. But if we look at the “human phenomenon”, that is part of this universe, in all of its complexity and not only from a biological standpoint, how can we possibly affirm that it is a work of art?

We can only come to the conclusion that we must consider the qualities and the limitations of the Cosmic Artist. If on one hand it has shown itself to be powerful, on the other it has shown its impotence. It has been powerful regarding nature and powerless when it comes to humanity and human society.

But we could also look at things from a different point of view.

Perhaps the most arduous and most beautiful project that this Artist God – as postulated by Sophia-Art – has undertaken is to transform over time both itself and human beings from a mineral, plant and animal state to one of an artist. Not in the image of the God of the philosophers and the theologians, but in the image of an Artist God that is in a state of becoming.

An artist that creates his own happiness not before he has created the world, but while he is in the act of creating it.

An artist that realizes he cannot be perfect on the first try, like it seems instead the God of the Bible did when he created everything perfectly with his word, but that it is impossible to understand how he created his own happiness.

An artist that creates through trial and error, through continual attempts, and while he is trying he perfects himself and by perfecting himself he improves the quality of his work.

Just like Leonardo da Vinci, who always took his Gioconda with him as he moved from court to court, so that every day he could add some brushstrokes and touch it up a bit.

And here we could also imagine that the ideas for these touch-ups don’t just come from Leonardo, but at some point are inspired by the Gioconda itself, who communicates with Leonardo, sometimes graciously and sometimes arrogantly, suggesting the best touch-ups of all.

God, the artist, who models himself as a human being, over a long evolution lasting millennia, so he can give himself first a biological life and then a spiritual one, made up of intelligence, wisdom, love and artistic creativity.

God the artist who incarnates in humanity and gradually blends with its being, day by day, one step at a time, one transcendence at a time, one metamorphosis after another.

God that creates himself with human beings and in human beings with a quality of being that did not exist previously and that emerges in the moment of decision making, which only the is the absolute Lord of, the sole first cause, the uncaused cause that has no beginning and that originates the fusion between human beings and the God that lives in them. This creates an incredible synthesis of opposites, a wonderful work of art, where one is not confused with the other but where the fruits belong to both, spring from both, show the best of both, so that joy and the fullness of life can spring forth and from life new life can continue to emerge.

God, the artist that first shapes human beings and then begins to speak with them, because they are two artists working together and no longer one working alone, as according to the principle of circular causality.

Just like what happens on the set of a movie or on the stage of a theater or in the orchestra pit.

There is no longer just one artist at work, such as the director of the film or the orchestra; there are more than one artist who create together – both as individuals and as a group – a work of art together with the audience who is not there just to watch but to participate, and is thus an integral part of the work of art.

Here there is room for human history, for human actions and human freedom and for the actions of God as well, if God is just an Artist and this artist is the I Person of the universe, which speaks to the I Person of human beings.

In conclusion, it was not necessary that there be a God to create this universe in its physical and biological reality. To create this universe in its spiritual reality, however, it is necessary that there exist a God that creates it by creating himself, just like a human being creates him or herself, like an artist creates him or herself.

On one hand this God is the I Person of the world, and on the other in part we are this God and in part we are yet to become it.

We have a lot of time ahead of us to do so.

In essence we, along with the universe, are just hitting adolescence.

Have I made up a fairy tale?

I certainly hope I have been able to do so.

I believe that all the cosmologies, from the mythological ones to the scientific ones, last through time as long as they are reassuring and illuminating to mankind.

A fairy tale is also a work of art, in a certain sense, and the ones which contain greater artistic qualities last through time, until they become immortal fairy tales.

I hope I have created an immortal fairy tale: the fairy tale of the cosmological conception of Sophia-Art.

This is only a first draft of it, a first attempt. To learn how far it has succeeded in its intent and where instead it hasn’t, I now have to speak with those of you I have told it to and then afterwards with those to whom I will tell it to in the future.


Comment from the audience: “I would like to say just two things. I feel that this vision is very, very revolutionary. It seems truly original. The importance of the I Person’s actions is a wonderful thing. But do you realize how free we are?!! Just the thought of being so free, of being no longer tied down,  is so exciting. This gives me even more energy to do so many things. I find it really exciting that we are the cause of ourselves and that our parents are a cause only at a level of the biological and psychological I, but not of the spiritual I. I am free!

And then there is another thing: when you spoke of making a step into a new life, I said to myself: well, then dying is like a passage, it’s an orgasm. I had already felt this, but now I know it’s true”.

Thank you, I hope that many others like you can feel the breeze of freedom that this new vision of the world brings along with it. It is our duty to conquer our freedom. But freedom cannot be an end unto itself. It must be part of a larger goal  so that it can be of service to life. Today I indicated two goals: the first is unifying humanity with the universe; the second is artistically transforming the life of humanity and the life of the universe, to create a form of immortal life from a form of mortal life.