On Finding Presence in an Often Frenzied Reality
Maria Popova is a treasure for the modern human mind. One of my favorite writers and thinkers on the internet, she embodies the sort of fearless intellectual expression of knowledge and perspective that all humans should strive toward. She is the mastermind behind Brain Pickings and I highly recommend subscribing to her stream of consciousness.
In her timely post today, she reiterated the importance of artistic expression and imagination, even when cynicism seems to be outpacing what is good and noble.
She engages the essentialness of art to the human experience, especially in facilitating understanding about the state of present society up against the tides of uncertainty. A principal function of the artist's imagination, according to Popova, is
May we be reminded of the importance of embracing the unknown and forging ahead, especially during times wherein the inner-skeptic seems to be stifling the inner-creative self.
So let's make it a priority to focus on what could be as a result of raw creation, not to the dismissal of what is, but to the emphasis on how we can make manifest the future world that we'd all like to inhabit. Part of this starts with being our most authentic selves.
We're not powerless. Why not empower ourselves and others by seeking the cathartic experience of collaborating to achieve this better future? Inevitably, a part of the process will be waking the dormant bonfire that is the creative spark inside us all that is often purged through rote monotony and as a detriment of matriculating.
Fueling the fire is to activate the spirit of your fellow humans; to propel our species towards a future in which we will thrive. And there's the inner skeptic again, yes? Strangle it. Cut off its oxygen with the foreknowledge that creation is fulfillment and there is value to be given and received.
The roots of nihilism in me have taken years to cleave and overcome. I can assure you that on the other side: it is better.
So if you have an idea? Execute it to its fullest extent. If you've been meaning to get out the pastels and put them to the medium, do it. If you've been kicking yourself for not bringing your camera and/or pulling out your phone and snapping a picture of an interesting scene, take the leap next time. Take the leap every time.
Wanting to create a better society for yourself, your progeny, and your fellow humans? Start designing that future today. We need more enablers, not cynics. There will always be plenty of cynics. Of course, I'd be remiss not to say that a degree of cynicism is healthy and an intellectually protective mechanism of ensuring the integrity of ideas. But fight for those ideas.
You'll never regret doing something that fulfills you. Reconnect with your harmonic human spirit and the spirit of ambition and ideas.