Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
FOLLOW US @WORKUNTITLED_MAG
Conversation between Adler Guerrier and Olivia Ramos.
Siza Shrine, Columbia University 2007
RAMOS: hi there
how spiritual are you this morning?
afternoon, no more than usual.
open to the universe
clear your agenda
allow yourself to be guided
i wouldn't use that phrasing. but yes, that sentiment
i am in my studio
and today, i am working without the pressure of any deadline
so yes, clear agenda
no tension, no friction, sounds like serenity
well, there is the works and its demands
not serenity, but a great place
happy to hear that
what is your disposition?
today I make my own deadlines and knowing that makes the tension superficial, self inflicted, and i can have peace for a while if I choose
it depends on the demands i have for myself
but i rather be guided
its hard sometimes to tell the difference between my will and the will of the universe
what if we all surrendered to the will of the universe?
i am not sure
i am in the universe
so i would be surrendering partly to me
we can't be out of the universe
so we will always be subservient to the universe
there is also a universe within me
and i can tap into it
a metaphor for the vastness of humanity
of individual humans
philosophy and theology talks of reflecting divinity or perfect forms or love
or it is within us to reflect
we are divinity incarnate - no?
we have flesh only as a challenge
in some views
sure... if you go with the Anunnaki views.. we are drones
slaves to the alien race
the carnal can't just be a lesser
i didn't say it was a lesser
on the contrary
i know you didn't
i think our incarnate self are complete and able to be fulfilled
to be seen as a limitation or limited in contrast to the omni
tell me a bit about the Anunnaki view
well... let me answer the previous comment... challenges and limitations does not mean we as carnal beings are less than
in the spirit world, there are no limitations and therefore there are certain forms of growth (from pain and pleasure) that are no available
as spirits we choose to take a body to learn
we dive into the karmic cycle to see if we can reach enlightenment
spirits can't possibly have that challenge
as spirits anyway
so it is a privilege to take a body and face the challenges and grow above the limitations
do you still want to hear more about the Anunnaki?
the way i understand it is... back in the day, i'm talking 200,000 years ago1
people lived 900 years
and were much taller
this is way before the Anunnakis who are said to have been around during the Mesopotamian era which his only around 3,000 years ago.
so were the Anunnakis decedents of the Lemurians?
or did the Anunnakis flee from earth when Lemuria fell
this sounds like sci-fi
in a wonderful way
you can say the same about Jesus Christ
so everything we can't do today is sci-fi
everything can't see is sci-fi
myth and sci-fi are different
sci-fi tends to be a bit anachronistic
"in the spirit world, there are no limitations"
no physical limitations
pain is a very interesting catalyst for growth
i am not sure i understand no physical limitations
spirit has no physical anything
which is why mythic tales tell of spirits taking form human or animal or object -river, tree
to do something or affect the world
the point of "limitations" is growth
the world of the incarnate is an important theatre/stage for the spirits
as in transcendence
limits are defined and to be overcome
like college courses
every life is a different course
and if you fail, you repeat and it gets harder the second time around
what we think is "success" is part of the challenge
the truth is within that piece of universe or "source" we all carry within
does everyone carry the same-ish truth
or 7 billions truths to guide 7 billions humans
it's all the same truth and i believe we all carry it
one truth is right back to perfect ideal forms
the source cannot be in us.
but a means to connect to the source may
why can't the source be within us?
why can't we be the source?
because it seems that we all have the same thruth
one truth to 7 billion people
it must be external to us
yet we connect to it
and 7 billions is just now
one truth for all humans and aliens in the universe
it must be external
i don't see that at all
and you don't really give me any argument for that
other than a number
i don't see the source having any limitations
the source can be everything at once
and be learning over 7 billion lessons at once
you are offering a reverse image to my thinking
so, everyone as source contribute to the truth
we don't reflect
we are the source
but in our (human) case
our challenges, and there are many, is partly to figure this out
to escape the traps of the physical and the traps of the Ego
which is obsessed with the physical
this, i don't like
i see perception to be connected to the physical
and that is wonderful
i am not sure what are the possible traps
you don't think spirits can perceive?
i see living as being wonderful
i do not think spirits can percieve
i dont think they have poetry, art, music
there is no way the spirit can do any of that.
you seem to have a limiting scope of perception
i think spirits can perceive beyond anything we can imagine
but again, those are the limitations of being human
our perception is limited
how? i am not a spirit. I cant perceive them. i know what it is to be human and carnal.
and while being humans, we can be fulfilled in a spiritual manner
yes... but you said prior that spirits can't do things in the physical world... and i agree, that is why we are spirits having a human experience
but that has nothing to do with the scope of perception
or rather you are assuming the physical is all that there is to perceive
for me, spirituality as practiced as formal religion or not
leads to fulfillment
while being a humans
afterlife is the next chapter
in this one, we live fully
i dont think we are spirits
i assume there is a spiritual realm
i disagree... and definitely feel we are spirits
and that spirit is connected to the source, it is part of the source
and spirituality is a practice of connecting or allowing that spirit, or being aware of that spirit within
spirituality requires/dispenses knowledge
but also more
spirituality offers guides on how to live
living is a physical thing
in the spiritual realm, i don't know what it is called
that is why it leads to the ideals
and perception is there for us to gather knowledge
of us, the world and its connections
the non-incarnate probably takes human form, or animal form or a tree form
every once in a while
in order to perceive
and gather knowledge
i like this view because it still allows for transcendence while alive
what are some traps of the physical?
one week later...
i sent you an image last week
about spirituality and housing
how do you feel about that?
about the image?
what if all buildings had some sort of a shrine?
what if all housing projects had a spiritual component?
housing projects probably do
as spaces open to be used as shrines, temples, meeting halls
atheist would feel oppressed
you don't think atheist can be spiritual?
atheism is really outside of my grasp.
for some, it sounds like an object to god or gods and/or the spiritual realm
not sure, if atheist can be spiritual
but i would argue humans have some spiritual component to their being
atheist or not
and i don't imagine buildings having anything specific or towards any denomination
nor anything organized
just spiritual as a space and experience
every building having something denotes organization, program
sure but more like game rooms, libraries, movie rooms...etc
like you said... that spiritual component in us all
i think if pubic or semi-public spaces had mirrors of such, then it would remind or revive that power
it sounds a bit too suggestive as to what one should think about
are cities or megalopolis compatible with such program
it's a larger scale
let me ask you something
is it wrong to suggest or embed hope?
optimism plays its in inspiring us all
i interrupted you thoughts... what about cities?
we have churches everywhere
cities seem to be a place of convergence
and at some point, a city must speak for multiple groups
how does it not?
not everyone recognizes the value of the spiritual
or even actively wants it
cities prioritize to serve broadly; and so politics enters
i am thinking of east Jerusalem
not being able to serve multiple groups right now
i think spirituality, faith and religion must be practiced on personal/communal terms
probably not on urban terms
it is just me and God sort of deal
but i'm not talking about religion and i think religion and spirituality are two different things
and so, no shrine in every building
what if the shrine was composed of trees and flowers?
and strategic lighting
gov't are terrible in helping people in spiritual matters
mandating ramps and restroom easy
mandating spiritual spaces is a big ask
and mandating Eco-friendly structure is even bigger
but i don't want to count on the gov
on the scale of the architect or developer, is it wrong to put a shrine in a lobby ?
Eco-friendly structure is easy
stepping on FPL
mandating may be
and water management
easier than you think
it's all politics
you think politics is easy?
and you don't think religion is by large politics?
not spirituality... religion
look at the Spanish inquisition
wasn't that religion playing politics?
i can think of contemporary inquisitions.. but don't know enough to comment directly
that wasn't playing politics. they were in charge
politics is game of interest and influence
like i said earlier, faith, spirituality and religion is personal
a person and a way of being
no outside interest, no outside influence
money doesn't matter
other people doesn't matter
one does what is right and good
as understood at that time
that sounds like anarchy
it may be changed with more knowledge
not at all
one's faith may ask one to be kind and good to all
so, one would live kindly with others
others do not get to shape the requirement to be good and kind
they can be your family, your clan, or your enemy
one must be kind
that is why Spanish inquisition is weird for Catholics to do
it betrayed their faith
so we are suspicious of them
the Spanish inquisition only killed about 5,000 people
but intimidated millions
over 150,000 people killed in Iraq
at least officially
i think it's tricky
there are laws to have human order
and there is spirituality
and there are overlaps
there is also insanity
and insanity on a social level
where there is an overlap of law and spirituality, the law must be careful
to be neutral
which can be hard for lawmakers who have biases
so yes tricky
if only all lawmakers had to study every religion
and would be free to apply principles that overlapped in all
well, that is what Plato required, philosopher-king