There followed a long ritual that included full bows to the abbot, bows to senior teachers and visiting priests, each time carefully unfolding / refolding a length of cloth for the knees, picking up ritual objects, walking around, returning, finally sitting to answer questions. "Too much thinking," I thought. "Too many words, too many bows. When it was over we filed out—bowing to the Buddha—into the cold street.
"The act of making and remaking was as important as—or perhaps, more important than—the finished image." Lewis-Williams and Pierce are addressing wall paintings in the Neolithic town of Çatalhöyük. Of Modern Art, John Berger wrote, "the proposition on which [Alberto] Giacometti based all his mature work was that no reality—and he was concerned with nothing else except the contemplation of reality—could ever be shared. This is why he believed it impossible for a work to be finished." James Lord tells how Giacometti would drive to desperation persons who sat to have their portrait painted. Every time they thought it was done, the artist would erase it and begin again. "That's the terrible thing," Giacometti said. "The more one works on a picture, the more impossible it becomes to finish it."
Reality is never more than one's own, and is finished only at one's death. Whether artist, philosopher, physicist, or just plain folk, each animal, and plant, too, creates its reality. The Participatory Anthropic Principle, that an observer is necessary to bring the universe into being, pertains to all sentient beings, not just humans. Thus, it needs a more inclusive name.
In a dream last night, I was drilling holes into a wall of my apartment to add insulation, so that unwelcome sounds from next door don't come clearly through. "In the Paleolithic case," wrote Lewis-Williams and Pierce, "it seems that animals moved two ways through the walls: they appeared out of the walls to vision questers, and people passed pieces of them back to the spirit realm behind the walls." So that, "Walls stood between not only spaces but also states of being."