“Things are not what they seem nor something else.”
Next Forever is the name of our forthcoming chapter of musical explorations, light journeys and ideatic adventures.
While our guiding vision is oriented towards the future, there are pillars on top of which we stand looking towards the horizon. Next Forever is one of the forms in which we chose to express our understandings and personal stories reimagined through other lenses.
Thy Veils is on a constant lookout for the essential reality. Such a direct insight is one of the personal quests tapping into the significant questions that blossom through our everyday. And the artistic expression of these inquiries and journeys is what we choose to share with the world.
The paradox is our Rubik’s cube – we play with it, we challenge it and we twist it on all sides. To find answers, sometimes. Other times, to outline even more questions. And to become, to transcend, all the time.
One of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called “flow”. In this state people get completely absorbed by an activity, especially an activity that involves their creative abilities.
During this optimal experience they feel “powerful, alert, effortlessly in control, unaware and at the peak of their abilities”. In his initial observations and studies of creative people, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi noted that the act of creating sometimes seemed more important than the completion of the work itself. He was fascinated by what he called the “flow state”, a state in which the person is completely immersed in an activity with intense focus and creative involvement.
In addition to many other benefits, the flow state is a state of consciousness that transcends those mindsets in which things like limitations and unboundedness could exist and have meaning. Achieving the flow state is in the practice of Thy Veils not only a desire, but an active pursuit.
Nondualism and nondual awareness
While nondualism is a philosophical construct that uses words in an attempt to describe what is ultimately real, nondual awareness is an experience in which the subject-object dualities that characterise human experience appear to vanish. This “collapse” of the subject-object duality can be whole or partial and last for varying lengths of time.
The experience of nondual awareness is found in the flow state and Thy Veils accesses it through the creative act. The elements of expression of the nondual philosophy are then adopted (quotes, lyrics, images, etc.) to accompany the manifestation and transmission of the artistic vision (which is the source and impetus for the experience of flow and nondual awareness).
Nondual awareness is often shallowly understood as meaning a collapse of object-object dualities. No difference between black and white, king and pauper, the ocean and the desert. While this type of object-object duality may sometimes seem to vanish in nondual awareness, it is not the aspect of the experience that makes it so shockingly powerful – even life-changing – for most people. Instead, it is the collapse of subject-object dualities that is the crux of the experience; the part that “blows people’s minds”. This is commonly described as “becoming one with everything” or as philosopher Ken Wilber describes it: “… the sense of being any sort of Seer or Witness or Self vanishes altogether. You don’t look at the sky, you are the sky. You can taste the sky. It’s not out there. As Zen would say, you can drink the Pacific Ocean in a single gulp, you can swallow the Kosmos whole–precisely because awareness is no longer split into a seeing subject in here and a seen object out there. There is just pure seeing. Consciousness and its display are not-two. Everything continues to arise moment to moment – the entire Kosmos continues to arise moment to moment – but there is nobody watching the display, there is just the display, a spontaneous and luminous gesture of great perfection.” It is this loss of the distinction between the subject (“me”), seeing an object there (“the chair”) that is the essence of the nondual experience.
Michael Taft – Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept
Embracing and driven by the guiding artistic vision, Thy Veils cruises through these notions and states of consciousness, observing and noting how everything unfolds. Through music. Through dance. Through light and colours. Artistry is our method of exploration. The published art is our journal.
Next Forever is also an expression of scientific considerations and realisations about the nature of consciousness, of how the Universe works, reunited with our personal experiences of immersing ourselves within the great questions of existence.
Regarding science, Thy Veils taps into everything between the strange and seemingly inexplicable behavior of matter on a subatomic level and the new views about the nature of space and time.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure how consciousness works. However, there are a few theories out there that try to explain it. One theory, developed by Sir Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff, suggests that consciousness arises when certain quantum processes occur in the brain. This theory is still being debated and researched, but it keeps us in wonder.
Roger Penrose, a world-renowned mathematician, a physicist at the University of Oxford, philosopher of science, and Nobel Laureate in Physics, has been one of the leading researchers in the field of consciousness studies. His mind and views are also one of the main fountains of wonder for Next Forever.
In 1969, along with Stephen Hawking, Penrose proved that all matter within a black hole collapses to a singularity, a geometric point in space where mass is compressed to infinite density and zero volume. Penrose also developed a method of mapping the regions of space-time surrounding a black hole.
He proposed the “conformal cyclic cosmology” theory that essentially tries to define how the universe that came to exist will live out its time, degenerate, and eventually another universe will come into being in an infinitely cyclical way. He offers proof through the analysis of the cosmic microwave background that shows echoes of previous Big Bang-like events that appear as “rings” around galaxy clusters.
There is still much debate surrounding the topic of consciousness. Some scientists believe that it is simply an illusion created by the brain. Others believe that it is a fundamental property of the Universe.
Issues related to consciousness in general and human mental processes in particular, remain one of the most challenging problems in science. Progress has been made through the development of quantum theory, which, unlike classical physics, assigns a fundamental role to the act of observation. To arrive at the most critical aspects of consciousness, such as its characteristics and whether it plays an active role in the Universe, requires us to follow hopeful developments in the intersection of quantum theory, biology, neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. Developments in quantum theory aiming to unify all physical processes have opened the door to a profoundly new vision of the cosmos, where observer, observed, and the act of observation interlock.
Next Forever is our multidimensional tapestry of stories that projects an imaginary universe, 30 millennia into the future, when each person functions based on nondual consciousness. Envisioning a group flow state at a planetary scale.
The idea that we are all connected – that everything is one – is at the heart of many philosophies, including Zen and Sufism. And it’s something that Thy Veils has been exploring for years now. More on these in the future …
Keep your heart in wonder!