Indra’s net: a digital dance with virtual light-physics

Paul Mulliner is a first.  He introduces digital graphics to our artisans’ gallery and eloquently explains both his reasons for choosing this medium and the view he loves to explore.  And what a view it is – nothing less than the dance of the universe, the “cosmic consciousness-field.”

I asked Paul to contribute a few words about his digital art practice for this post.  At his page in the gallery you’ll find more examples of his artwork and a sample of his writing about consciousness.

Paul Mulliner - digital refraction image
3D computer graphics software can simulate the physics of real-world light as it refracts within and reflects around the assembled objects or ‘models’ you place in the virtual 3D space provided to you by the software.

This capability of 3D graphics software offers the possibility of working with refractions and reflections to create digital art images.

For the refraction-image shown, an underlying graphic field of connected elements is expressing an intuited non-local connectedness and fractal self-similarity at all scales within the cosmic consciousness-field.

This underlying field is refracted through various transparent foreground shapes, which hint at quantum-scale dynamic process-structures such as the spin-resonance field-fluctuations known as sub-atomic ‘particles’, atoms and molecules.

Perhaps there’s also an expression here of the way that the underlying cosmic field of consciousness emerges into our world through the particular lens or prism of our awareness.

Part of the pleasure of working with virtual light-physics to create images is that the interaction of transparent 3D models with an underlying, structured graphic field often generates unstructured and unexpected refractions.

It’s fun to play with moving objects and lights around each other, to see how they interact and create refractions and reflections.

Paul Mulliner - still frame from digital animation sequence

I’m also working on an animation sequence which generates changing reflections as various mirrored objects move around each other.

It’s possible to create a 3D array or matrix of mirrored spheres, in which each sphere in the array reflects every other sphere in the array.

Any change of colour or size of any one of the spheres is immediately apparent on the surface of every sphere in the whole array.

This is a clear expression of the apparent non-locality of the consciousness field, in which anything known locally is also known immediately throughout the whole field.

An array of mirrored spheres has obvious similarities to the ancient Buddhist metaphor known as Indra’s Net, which describes the interconnectedness of the Universe as being like an infinite array of jewels, each one of which contains an image of all other jewels in its surface.

Like a non-local, dynamic-hologram, with fractal self-similarity at all scales, every part of the whole field continuously adjusts to changes in every other part of the field.

An intelligent, dynamic interconnectedness, orchestrates and binds together all of what we know as reality everywhere.

Each one of us is entirely connected into and known within the whole Universe.

– Paul Mulliner

at the artisans’ gallery


The 3D digital modelling and animation software required to create digital art used to be rather expensive.  However, with the emergence of Blender, which is open source software and therefore free to download, this is no longer the case.  The images featured here were created with Blender 2.78 or 2.79.

the sudden stillness of deep interconnectedness

Given that the editor of this site is indebted for much of her understanding of the dynamics of creativity to a noted physicist – David Bohm – it’s an unbounded delight to welcome a physicist with a passion for photography to the artisans’ gallery.

Andy Ilachinski‘s eye ranges over a vast and varied array of phenomena – he tends to leave his photographs untitled, preferring to group them instead into portfolios with titles such as Tao, Micro Worlds, Abstract Glyphs, Mystic Flame, Ice Abstracts, Synesthscapes, and various geographical locations.

On his page, he shares with poetic nuance the way his knowledge and understanding of the micro-universe informs his practice of photography, ultimately delivering him into “deep interconnectedness”.


Andy Ilachinski - Micro Worlds portfolio


I am, by training and profession, a physicist, specializing in the modeling of complex adaptive systems (with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics). However, both by temperament and inner muse, I am a photographer, and have been one for far longer than my Ph.D. gives me any right to claim an ownership by physics. Photography became a life-long pursuit for me the instant my parents gave me a Polaroid instamatic camera for my 10th birthday. I have been studying the mysterious relationship between inner experiences and outer realities ever since.

– Andy Ilachinski

… continue reading at Andy’s page

Other photographers featured at the artisans’ gallery:

john daido loori
dan dhruva baumbach
karen divine
roy money
dennis cordell
mitchell doshin cantor
lisa gakyo schaewe
ron rosenstock