What the Universe is.


Every artist who embraces their responsibilities and understands their position as "in training", needs to know what they're dealing with. From there, go specialise.

I write this from the position that when we say Art, we normally mean art-work. The difference between the two is this: Art is the Universe and everything in it, including the Universe. An art-work is a thing brought into existence by a homo sapien as a homage to an existant. It is an important distinction to make and now I have made it, I will only say Art when I mean the Universe or a thing that exists in the Universe as part of Nature, and I will only say art-work when I mean a thing that a human made and they or someone else called an art-work or "art" for short.

Other synonyms for Art that can and should be used interchangably include Nature, God, Everything, One, All and Love. There are other words, but these are the important ones. Such is the beauty of language that they can mean exactly the same thing and yet be used in all kinds of different ways in different contexts to mean subtly different things. But really, when you say one of these things, just swap it out and see. Yes, it means the same thing.

The artists of the past bestowed upon us a gift. They pushed the boundaries of what an art-work is or can be to the point where it was obvious that an art-work can be anything. Saying that something can be anything is tantamount to saying that it is anything, which is in turn tantamount to saying that it is anything and everything. We have a word for Everything, it is called (in English), the Universe. I therefore thank the old artists for their hard work in revealing to us the truth about what Art is. Whether or not they knew, they knew enough.

When I say homage, I mean a sign post. An art-work is a sign-post that points to something that already exists. This can be something material and measurable, like an object, or something that has no matter and is unmeasurable, like a dream, or something that happened. Both exist and art-works can and do regularly attempt to point at them. The reason why art-work makers might do this is the subject for another article.

What we are interested in here is the Universe and what it is, so that we may better understand the things to which we point. I offer the following definition for discussion, perhaps you'd like to help:

The Universe is the container of Everything, including the Universe.

Consider infinity. Most people can agree that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Universe is infinite. All containers are things and indeed, the Universe itself is a thing, but the difference is that the barrier that prevents the milk falling out of the jug is finite, the barrier that contains Everything is infinity itself. The Universe is unique in this regard, as it is, outside of mathematical headspace and unmeasureable things like consciousness, the only things that physically exists that is not finite, is the Universe. Even space, which surely constitutes the greatest part of the Universe and despite it being nothing at all, is a thing; a thing contained in the infinity of itself.

Besides, its obvious. We need a name for the thing that contains Everything, so we called it the Universe. This thing contains everything that ever existed, even other Universes, even itself. The notion of the Universe is pointless unless it really does contain Everything. As the Universe is itself a thing, it stands to reason that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, and in light of what we can comprehend about infinity (that it is indeed infinite), the endless container that is infinite space and all the bits of matter and energy that exist in it, that are bounded by infinity itself, includes the Universe. What else can we say? Argue it to death dear heart, I'm all ears.

Graeme Walker, 2014-18

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