Art: A Life Force

Einstein had once said, “Imagination is more important than Knowledge”.  The beauty of human intellect lies in its power of imagination and creativity. History of human civilization dates back to the time when man evolved from apes and started walking upright. One of the important survival tools ever since that day has been creativity and innovation to express as well as understand the self and the world (not merely invent tools to hunt and protect self). Cave paintings, history of art, music, history of literature bear a testimony to the fact that forms of expression are an understated but important creative life force of the human world.

Man’s progress in economical, political, social and technological realms has been immense. Nevertheless, all these have evolved as a response to man’s conscious need for food, shelter, and good health in order to acquire dominance on resources, land, on other people and even Nature.

Religion seems to have evolved from man’s fear of the unknown. It rather straddled both subconscious and the conscious world. Unfortunately, it also became a political and manipulative tool of the powerful to hold power and wealth.

Only Science and Art have managed to remain in the domain of creative sub-conscious. Both aspire to comprehend and express the beauty of the unknown. They have always challenged conventional thoughts and frameworks of human understanding and wisdom. Many a scientists have staked their life in their pursuit of Knowledge and Truth about Man, Nature and Universe. Scientific truth has banished man from being the centre of Universe, Solar system and even very Life on this planet with hypotheses, theories, proofs and experiments. However, applied Science in the form of technology has once again become the shining armour of man and a means to dominate and manipulate the world.

Fortunately with Art it has been a different story. Stemming purely from the imagination and need of the sub-conscious, it has never been in hot pursuit of truth or knowledge or even power. It has managed to remain out of the domain of consciousness too. Thus, it is still uncorrupted by greed. Art stems from man’s need to express self and the world by expressing in different forms, be it music, films, literature, sculpture, painting etc.  Art too has a dominant place in the modern world. Entertainment and other forms applied art are big commercial endeavors. Nevertheless, a song, a poem, a book or a painting takes birth from pure urge to express self. Once created its universal appeal makes it popular and successful and leaves an imprint on the soul. Ballads, stories and operas have travelled through time thus becoming immortal. Oppressed slaves found freedom through their songs and dances.

The true beauty of art is that it cannot be enslaved by any ideology. It truly transcends human consciousness and thus can create fantasies. Creative work often gets its due recognition and acceptance in the world even after death of the artists. One could say, the different forms of expression are inexplicable pure magic. Songs, tunes, melodies reach where words cannot – be it insane mind or a plant.  Pain, pathos and joy become universal through fiction and films. Art can connect human souls better than any religion or ideology.

As modern world begins the decent into abyss created by constant human greed for dominance over Nature (resources and land) to acquire power and wealth, Art gives the sole hope of sanity and salvation. On the other hand, wars, brutality inflicted by a man on another, greed, hatred, intolerance, materialistic pursuit tend to desensitize human beings and make them worse than beasts. Art will persist to make man more sensitive and humane. We turn to art for our own solace and peace.

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