Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Cosmic Kaleidoscope

By Kaja Stamnes

Hilding Lindquist, a local blogger and playwright, opened the doors to his creative mind, inviting others to join on Sunday, March 30 at the Ethical Culture Society in Maplewood, NJ. Speaking on the subject, “Our Creative Imagination: The Cosmic Kaleidoscope,” Mr. Lindquist described his existential views of the world, aiming to engage the audience in a conversation about their own ideas. The talk was part of an ongoing lecture series at the Ethical Culture Society, which describes itself as a “Humanist and Ethical movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of our lives is to create a more humane society,” according to the website.

Mr. Lindquist put forth his unique, existentialist view of the world and the place we as human beings occupy within it. He defined his terms to clarify his explanation, using “Universe” as “that what we already know and understand of our environment;” “cosmos as everything” and finally, “world” as in “my world,” “the time and space continuum in which I live and act.” The relationship between these variables is of special interest to Mr. Lindquist, and the afternoon focused on the idea of engaging one's mind and creative imagination whether through thought or discussion, to better understand one's own “world.”

An interesting point made by Mr. Lindquist was the view of human beings as all occupying their own “world” of awareness and understanding, yet universally being connected at the same time. He explained, “one of my basic ideas is that we are all wired the same way, we have the same music score as it were embedded in our DNA, guiding our awareness ... we are able to recognize the truth about our world ... if we are open to the truth ... but then truth is not a fixed marker to be discovered. It is more like the surface of a balloon, ever expanding as we seek more answers, attempt to connect more dots.”

Mr. Lindquist continued by describing his biological understanding of human life, rooted in three tenets: We are tribal animals, we are hunting animals, and our awareness takes different forms—all that are linked—using here the metaphor of an orchestra, different instruments sharing the same musical score.

The existentialist and transcendentalist views that Mr. Lindquist holds places creativity and awareness at the centerpiece of the question of human existence. While religion can play a role in this existence, it is not the stage upon which these other factors are set. Quoting Dr. Stanley Wayne's A Book of Ethical Wisdom, Mr. Lindquist said, “Societies experience religion as a conversation through the ages.” This experience of “religion” as a “conversation” reveals the perspective Mr. Lindquist has about awareness: not only does it precede experience, but it is continually evolving through the metaphorical and actual conversation of human consciousness.

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