Still Life Moving Fast.jpg
Still Life Moving Fast by Salvador Dalí, 1956

Ever since I’ve been visiting the Dali museum in Figueres, I’ve been infatuated by Dali’s paintings and philosophies as a source of inspiration for my own artistically activity. Dali conceived Nuclear Mysticism as a reaction upon the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Japan during the second world war. This vision is composed of different theories that try to show the relationships between quantum physics and the conscious mind.

His foresight was truly prodigious and a productive forerunner of the coming age. The hyper-reality theme of nuclear mysticism is present somewhat in nearly all Dali’s work since 1950. Atoms explode into cubes and spheres, the material world is broken down into disconnected particles, and swirling cones (“rhinoceros horns”) symbolize manifestation, appearance and purity. Other ontological symbols are used throughout Dali’s version of the Tarot, where they often take on a hermetic, alchemical quality. Nature works in sacred geometry, curves, fractals, chaotic emergence, reiteration, complex dynamics, embedded imagery. Dali’s later art also explores the subjects of quantum physics and genetics with a metaphysical vision.

After the disenchantment of Post-modern deconstructionism, what we need is a neo-Nuclear Mysticism to heal the fragmentation and atomization of our psyches which have been blasted by the future-shock of post-postmodern life. Looking within for a moment of stillness, we cannot help but find imagery of our most fundamental being, that threshold where psyche, matter and energy share the same essence.

An offspring of Dali’s nuclear mysticism is quantum mysticism. The latter has lately been very commonly used as a literary device in books that develop supernatural themes. It’s based upon a somewhat scientifically distortion of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that states that the act of observing a particle influences the behavior of the observed. Quantum mystics have lifted this principle out of its quantum-mechanical context and applied it to the reality as a whole. Thus you get humans who can influence the course of the reality by the sheer power of their thoughts.

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Quantum mysticism is a great literary device when you want to create magical protagonists, but somewhat unpractical in daily life. Until of course you’ve humans who can influence the outcome of Schrödinger’s thought experiment “the cat in de box”(1), just by wishing for a certain outcome. Sometimes I’m astonished by the amount of people who believe that this is really possible. They usually belong to the same category as those who believe that magic is for real and not just a literary device to spice up a story.

As an artist I’ve always been careful to mark the line between the myths I’m creating and the facts whereupon I base my vision upon the reality. Some people seem to have lost the ability to make a distinction between them.

(1)

Schrödinger’s cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

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