Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Gospel and Escher

Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God.

--Joseph Smith, from The Teachings of Jospeh Smith, ed. Joseph Fielding Smith, pg. 137

I was looking at some Escher prints and it reminded me of some random gospel connections in some of his work. For example, this first one, called "Circle Limit III" is how I've always envisioned God's omniscience. We are like the little fish things in the print: it looks like our universe extends infinitely in every direction--and it does!--but God is outside of it and looking down on it, so he can see everything in it all at once. And at the same time, he doesn't know everything, but he does know every possible thing going on in our universe. Just like we can see everything in the fish things' universe all at once but if we look up off the page we can't see everything at once in our universe.

This next one is what I think of as hell: always going in circles, perhaps with a false sense of getting somewhere and surrounded by people who think the same, but never progressing at all. The weird hoods that hide the climbers' faces just makes it better. I think Satan is one of the guys just sitting there beneath, watching or moping.

What do you think? Are my theological musings pointless or inspired? How do you try to comprehend the infinite? Have you ever used art or any other medium for trying to understand the eternities?

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