In looking for answers we often turn to logic, thinking solutions are to be reached by way of convincing or compelling arguments. And maybe they are. There’s definitely a need to make our plans reasonable, and, thought being the crown of our existence, it certainly seems foolish not to call on it. But, equally, there’s this sense in which we’re motivated by what we’d like to create in life.
I’m thinking of things like visualisation and vision boards – practices whereby we imagine a future, building up these inspirational pictures of how we want our lives to be. Logic might compel us in a certain sense, but having a vision we truly believe in also seems a deeply motivating and powerful approach to change.
As a train of thought, it touches into a lot of fundamental questions around whether we ‘need’ to be convinced by argument, social pressure or the promise of reward in order to change all those aspects of life that are genuinely in need of improvement (Notes One). It’s circling in on the question of what it is to be human: to what extent we’re ruled by logic or habit or belief in what we’re creating here.
What is life? It’s honestly quite delighting to find that a couple of questions can lead down to that bedrock of “what is it to be human”. What are we doing here? What do we make of all that we find around us? How do we interact with reality, and what are we bringing through our presence and engagement with the process of living?
Life’s clearly a creative process: we take what we find and add something to it, based on reason or habit or compassionate understanding. As humans, it seems we generally respond in one of those ways. At the extreme, we’re capable of literally recreating human life; but, every step we take, we can either nurture or neglect that which sustains life personally, socially, environmentally, etc.
In that light, are we acting purely on logic or also on vision? Everything seemingly has its own logic, but I’m not sure where that leads us – whether it’s capable of reaching a coherent picture we’d truly like to be living within. Alternatively, is there another way of seeing and understanding how things fit together? A way of imagining where things might lead while also staying engaged in the process of shaping that reality.
It’s my convoluted path back round to the question of art: whether it’s an option, a luxury, or perhaps a powerful way of cutting through to the essentials and seeing life with greater clarity (Notes Two). Whether it might be capable of penetrating to the heart of things, shining a light of awareness and understanding into areas of unquestionable darkness.
Because life’s not perfect and we’re clearly in need of realistic, practical, inspiring solutions (Notes Three). Finding ways to grasp reality based around deep understanding, motivating vision, and empowering engagement seems, at times, something art’s truly capable of offering.
Notes and References:
Note 1: Pick a side, any side
Note 1: Fear or coercion as motivators
Note 1: Attempts to influence
Note 2: What does art have to say about life?
Note 2: The creativity of living
Note 3: Starting over in life
Note 3: Seeing, knowing and loving
Note 3: Codes of behaviour
Note 3: Finding flaws
Unintentionally, this very much seems to follow on from the thoughts within Culture as reflection.