Cradle of The Universe

At this site, I present my art (photos, drawings, brush paintings and videos) and my writing. It is through art that we examine ourselves and the universe around us, as we do in science, but more intuitively at times. This enables us to express what we have found, feel and imagine and enables us to reflect on our journey as conscious being

The Chinese classic, The Tao Te Ching, attributed to Lao Tzu says, “The names that can be named are not the eternal names.” This means, more or less, that things – especially in their truest essence – are not what we think they are – or… thought they were. All of the things in the cosmos that we can perceive with our senses (including our brains, themselves, and the minds they project for us – which are sense-organs as well as information-processing-organs and regulatory controllers of our bodies – are – in a very real sense – products of our mind’s perceptions – insofar as how we see and understand them.

In reality, all things are very different from our perceptions of them, depending on our mental and physical health, cultural orientation, environmental conditions, philosophy, religion, viewpoint, personality and education. Our concept of truth and falsehood affect how we see, as well. And depending on the accuracy with which we perceive, we h – in terms of how our minds process what they detect.

The tree we see as a tree, in some ways, is not “a tree” at all, but a composition that is borrowing and giving to the universe as a [art of the universe – the living universe. And with all of its component parts and processes, the tree is in constant flux. The same is true of you and me, and everything natural.

It is my firm and trusted thought that of all things, the mind is the most important (naturally, to us), the most wonderful, and the most dangerous entity known to us as well. Of course the mind cannot exist without the body (indeed they are really part and parcel of one another) – just as the buds on the branches of the tree cannot exist without its trunk, and the whole tree cannot exist without the soil of the earth, the air, the water from clouds – coming from the oceans and rivers and lakes, and so on. None of these things are really independent of one another.  Now that I have exhausted you in making clear that I understand this, I will return to the mind, and more of what I think of it.

To explain this – why I named this site The Cradle of the Universe – I am reminded of the old American Negro College Fund slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

I am also reminded of a scene in the Steven Spielberg film, Schindler’s List, in which Schindler has a temporary breakdown of composure, realizing that the thousands of lives he has saved with his industry could have been multiplied, so he might have saved so many more. If only he had sacrificed more of his possessions. He comes to this epiphany when he sees the inscription on a ring that is given to him as a parting gift, by surviving members of a concentration camp factory. the inscription on the ring reads:

When you save but one life, you save the world entire.

The passage is from the Talmud. If we replace the word world with universe – as we now know the latter word better describes the whole of existence, we get a broader expanse of grandeur to contemplate with the mind. And, indeed, the mind, as part of the universe – or a manifestation of sentience of the universe, is the universe looking back on – or into – itself.

The mind is composed, like the tree, of the same things the universe is composed of. Listen to Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson or Dr. Lawrence Kraus explain how the iron or atoms in our arms were forged in different stars. Learn of how the most prominent elements in our bodies are the most common elements in the universe….

Accepting all this, and knowing that we all look at life, the universe and everything – as Douglas Adams called it all – differently, we can come upon a wondrous fact, especially if we consider the same wisdom encountered by Arthur Schindler:

There is a universe in each one of our heads.

From this epiphany I just wrote, I felt I found the morsel upon which to build a new moral:


Each mind should be seen as sacred, and thus the body it is part of and which makes it possible, so should never be harmed by those of others, for each of us is a cradle of a universe.


So, I feel a human person is a human mind, the greatest thinking being of any sentient species we know of  in all of the life we have come across. Human beings are, thus far discovered, the greatest creatures of the universe. This mind is also matched with the most capable of biologies of all species we know of – as well. Therefore, we should respect one another, every one of us – each human life, as if we are sacred. This is why I am against all forms of unnecessary war, execution, and limits on the freedom of human beings (as long as those freedoms do not curtail the freedom of other human beings).

To the extent that you are mentally and physically healthy and free, you are the conscience and the consciousness of the universe. You are actually the universe incarnate. ‘You’ could have been “born” into a tree, a rodent, or a slug, without such abilities as I mentioned above, but you are the proud owner of the greatest flowering the universe took billions of years to produce, and the biology to match its powers; its own consciousness; one of its ‘cradles’ of perception and expression – a human mind and body! Actually, you don’t own your mind; you are your mind. Congratulations!


Carl Atteniese

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