Norman Epp


Words and Phrases In proximation of how Norman uses them in his writing.

Regarding some Capitalization in Norman’s texts: While nouns like earth, spirit, spiritual, and others are not normally considered to be proper nouns, he has chosen to give them that distinction at times in his writing when they are not used in a generic sense of the word. Rather he does so to give them the distinctive importance of a proper noun in the context of what is being said. In his writing and way of using them they are more than a generic common noun; they take on the importance of an identifying proper name within the concept that is being referred to.


Entity: In Norman’s understanding: Any of a multitude of kinds of modifying contributing things / energies that actively mitigate, influence or direct movement within any facet of dynamic life interaction becomes an entity. Anything from a celestial orb (sun, moon) to a business corporation, popular or personal belief, social organization, weather event, human activity, psychological mindset, person, plant, animal, on and on…. Creation process, cultural awareness, change within Nature; each of these activities engage a set of those energy entities that interactively work in a complex recipe that some specific outcome. In Norman’s writing each use of the word entity[s] references possibility of a variety of these spiritual energies. Context in which the word is used may narrow the set of possible energies that are relevant. There is also possibility that unidentified energies are also at work, an exemplifying characteristic of the Complexity Norman references.


Spirit: The animating energy of any specific life-form (human; specific plant or animal; a specific culture; planet; region such as “Great Plains, etc. etc.). A characterizing energy that defines quality of specific action, such as care-less, nurturing, irresponsible, creative, destructive, cooperative, etc. etc.


Spirituality: The demeanor, the attitude, the manner, or, a mindset in which any kind of living entity lives and interactively conducts itself in relationship with other life forms, also, a psychological state of being. Not religious, or a religion: though religion can influence spirituality dramatically.


Spiritual: An active energy participating within the dynamics of those interactive spirits that contribute in the manifestation of any cause and effect.


Life Spirit: The Seminal set of core energies that generates and sustains Life in the Universe. A sub-set of those core energies maintains unique Earth centered lifeforms that keep it from being a dead planet. Without any one of a smaller subset of Earth’s core energies a human body cannot exist because physically it is a life-form sustained of and through Earth centered energy.


Human Spirit: The composite quality of energy manifested through the human races’ spirituality at a given time. This is much greater, and very different from any individual’s spirituality. It is a main player in determination of Earth’s quality of life, indeed of its very continuation of life.


Natural: A thing, or effect, generated through the inherent processes and interactions of nature’s life energies. The laws, rules and principles of manifestation that govern how active energies within the universe interact, and the outcomes of specific activity.


Conceptual: Ideas, thoughts, humanly generated primarily through intellectual processes of mindfulness. These may, or may not, mesh or relate well with how the natural world actually functions; however, the conceptual might serve as a stepping stone in the process of reaching natural compatibility or enlightenment.


Realism: The substantiality of what a thing or phenomena is, or how it works, or may be understood.


Idealism: A construction of intelligent mindfulness that describes any particular type of entity’s sense of perfection of the state / form / content that some material or immaterial thing should take. That particular outcome may or may not correlate with naturalism, realism, or how things are; however, it might enable a stretching of systematic process to new ends.


Complexity – Physics Conceptual Model: The basic premise in Norman’s understanding is that in the Universe there is a tendency for order to be created at the edge of chaos. All models of creation are theoretical; this one is based upon considerable observation and understanding of how the physical laws of the universe function cohesively. What constitutes the energies of that tendency is of ongoing discussion. Norman’s creative experience exemplifies this concept succinctly; out of a seemingly chaotic array of things / energies an unforeseen order does develop, sometimes very poignantly.


Dynamics of Complexity: The interaction of a plethora of active forces, sensations and energies that comprise the dynamic formulation of perceptual order drawn out of that chaotic mass of disparate energies’ interactivity. Various intentional energies wrangle in tension with each other for perceptual recognition and influence in the resulting naturally expressed form of order.


Natural Realism: The actual way in which the natural order works, and the various formal outcomes that result from those interactive manifestations. These forms sometimes are not necessarily perceived as they actually are / work.


Conceptual Realism: When ways of how order can develop are perceived and utilized successfully to formulate and establish an alternative mindful concept, conceptual realism has been activated. Such a development may work either positively or negatively towards holistic creation or sustenance of natural order of Life.


Natural Conceptual Realism: This occurs when creative process is intentionally utilized and activated responsibly in accord with energies of universal physical laws of natural creation; also, when they purposely manifest formulation of an alternative concept or thing with an effect that actually nurtures or advances growth in the quality of positive natural Life or awareness. When this happens, natural conceptual reality has been accomplished and continuity of Universal Life has been creatively nurtured as opposed to the destructive hinderance of Life that manifests when direction of energies occurs that is unsynchronized with the natural laws of universal creation process.


Cultural Mindfulness: The degree to which a particular human culture (for example, the culture of humanity, of a nation, or of a tribe or sub-culture) is perceptively aware of how processes of life work, of their place, the individuals place, and humanities place as well as of other life energies function in the maintenance of environmental creation which sustains them.


Sensual: Various disciplines of the humanities and of science describe many ways in which the human organism makes sense out of its environment – sight, theatre, thought, are only a small fraction of humanity’s sensual conditioners. The greater the number of senses that any organism can train itself to perceive and use the more fully and positively it can function in accordance with Nature’s way. This engagement is encompassed by Norman’s use of the word sensual.


Sensuality: The effective quality of energy resulting from how any individual or communal entity mitigates the active sensual energies that it perceives working upon itself. Quality indicates a level of sensual balance between purely logical and purely emotional. Active intentional awareness of this state exemplifies the entities sensuality as well as determines how positively it can nurture life.


Intuitive: The more complete a person’s / culture’s / etc. perceptions, awareness and knowledge of the functional depths of its sensual world are, the greater ability it has to make more subtle connections between how energies work and the outcomes from their interactive cause and effect. Probabilities of accuracy in determining impact from these results become greater as more knowledge is learned, experienced and applied. Exercising such ability to accurate manifestation is an action of spiritual awareness that may be near impossible to explain logically. This is very different from the phenomena of inborn instinct within a species.


Perceptual: Sensual realization, however that occurs within any type of entity, in accord with the specific sense[s] being experienced, and in conjunction with that particular entity’s mindful ability to interpret information concisely, determines the specific entity’s degree of perception as to what is happening in its surrounding environment. However expansive that environment may be, it includes the energies within that particular self as well as those others acting upon it from outside of itself.


Formalism: As a mind-set: Being caught up in the belief that a specific form of idea, method of composition or expression, religion, image, etc. is the correct universal truth for very substantial periods of time, including eternity. Characterized by unbending rigidity and righteousness. This mindset does not negate that all things take some kind of form, or formal characteristics. It does negate that there is fluidity in the substantial appearance that a thing takes over time.


Organic: As an action organic may be characterized as something in motion: being in the midst of movement or creative process. An organic concept, for instance, may be very well rooted and substantiated, however, at the same time it may be able to change as energies work upon it in different ways. Visually, organic forms do not impress one as being permanent or ridged. In the physical natural world, a flower keeps changing – it is an organic entity, but remains true to its uniqueness.


Stasis: The state of being at which a once active entity or energy is rendered helpless and un-able to move, for whatever reason[s]. A set of contributing energies being in complete polarization and remaining thus for an undetermined period of time. The beginning of an organism’s death, or possibly of its annihilation, if external energies cannot revive a new form to its being. The precarious state of being before possible extinction.


Obdurate: Determined resistance and purposeful unwillingness to consider an alternative to something that one believes – regardless of how non-sensical it relates to how reality actually works or what process[s] is acting itself out.


Norman Epp is a Pueblo, CO sculptor whose conceptual sculpture expresses the Art of Natural Conceptual Realism.