As I’m sitting here, contemplating on the dish of ravioli I just made I inevitably start thinking about true art and the meaning behind the sense of excellence. So let’s resume our little talk about art because it is soo important. Art tells us a lot about not only us as human beings but also about our experience and what should we do with our lives in general.
This post is probably about the source of art and to talk about art I must talk about our minds internal representations. It is a speculation on my path of searching for the true meaning of art and how to create it.
There are certain questions you encounter on this path. For example what comes first: emotion or thought?
Let’s define thoughts as everything that is happening in your awareness such as your inner voice, abstracting, analyzing, rationalizing, imagining, visualizing, hearing, seeing stuff inside your mind.
Emotion is whatever you feel in your body or in general, like the state of mind you are in.
Now do thoughts change emotional states?
Or do emotions change thoughts?
For example I can be sitting in my room thinking happy thoughts about bunny rabbits and how cute they are. Now this will make me joyful. But is it like that? Can’t it be the other way around?
What if I was already feeling joyful and that produced the thoughts of hopping bunny rabbits.
It is important to know what comes first because then you’ll know where does brilliancy come from. Does it come because you think about it and then produce it, or does it come from some place else, rather undefinable. A place which can’t be described much in words, cause you can never catch it like that. A place which is always there with you, every second of your existence. You know about it and you feel its power. Like a tingling sensation inside of you, of existence itself.
For your reading pleasure…
There are things that you notice only after you slow down your thought processes considerably. Let’s say that whatever is happening in your mind is like trains running on tracks. They are fast, they switch tracks, there are many of them and you hop from one train to another. This is happening all the time. By slowing down your thought processes I mean either slowing down the train you are currently on and noticing where you are heading, where did you come from and noticing your surroundings or getting off the train entirely and just looking from a static perspective. This is not easy. It took me a couple months to get good at it. I wanted to do it because there is a lot of bullshit going on in your head if you don’t notice it. Like I could be walking down the street and thinking what is a random person in front of me thinking about me. Now why the fuck would I think about that? Why would you ever even consider what a stranger that you will never meet again in your entire life think about you. Why do you even assume that this person is thinking about you, or even better why do you assume he is thinking at all! Absolutely no reason. But stuff like that happens in your head. And if you don’t learn to notice it and discard from your thought processes you’ll have a lot of mental noise that prevents you from thinking about more important things (like bunny rabbits).
The positive side effect of slowing down thought processes is that you start seeing where do thoughts come from and you get an answer to the question “what comes first: emotion or thought?”. It is rather obvious for me now that thoughts come from emotions. But it is a lot deeper than that, because emotions also come from some place. They are a lot closer to this place but there is an important distinction. Let’s call this place an “inkling”.
It is different than emotions cause you can localize anger being in your chest for example. An inkling is different because it is non-local, just a sense of something. You just know that there it is. Like knowing that you’ll be eating breakfast tomorrow or just sensing that you’re sitting on a chair. It is very very simple, but because it happens fast we don’t notice it. It’s a matter of miliseconds and it is transformed into emotions and into thoughts. So quickly instead of just experiencing yourself sitting on a chair, you might start feeling discomfort and out of that you start thinking “Why am I sitting here?”, which is mental noise, because you don’t have to have a reason to sit, you can just sit.
Anyway, this inkling, is in fact your driving force or the driving force of life itself. And believe me or not everything that you ever experience comes from it.
An elaboration on that statement would be too much for me to write. Let’s say it is something you must see to believe. As R.A. Wilson once said when you notice this it is like spotting your father in a large crowd of people. You just know that it is him, and you just know he is your creator.
How do you notice this? Let’s say you are playing Soldat and you decide to slow down your thought processes (this will in fact make you a better player). You see an enemy you aim and click the fire button. Now what is happening on the subjective level in your mind. You want to kill, you notice a gostek, you decide to move the mouse over him, when it is on the dude you press fire. OK easy but let’s go deeper. Why did you notice the gostek in the first place, not how your eyes work, but why did he enter your awareness, like why him and not the tree scenery that was next to him? What happened first was your wanting to kill. The search for prey. Now what is that want? It is exactly the inkling that is driving you. It doesn’t just drive your hand to move the mouse, but it drives your entire field of awareness. so there are things that you see and things that you don’t see. There are things that you do and things that you don’t do, things that you think and things that you don’t think because of it. Maybe this is simple but can be a shock once you realize how this works. I think the best way to show it is to watch this video:
You didn’t notice it because there was no inkling. Literally everything that enters your awareness from your 5 senses and everything you think about comes from it. It is the source of your experience. So obviously it is also the source of experiencing true art (or knowing that this is it). Emotions come from it also. We all work like this, either because our brains work like this or for some metaphysical reason. I don’t really care, I just know that this source is the same for all human beings.
In a nutshell, what I want to say is that all human experience is the same. If you want proof just think about it why does this video have 240 000 views:
No not because people are fucking stupid. It’s because people have generally the same response to everything. Of course you may not like it, but that is a matter of taste and that comes later, it is a thought. What was first was an intuitive feeling about the movie, an inkling. And that is the same for all of us, call it an instinct if you want. We all recognize cuteness. It is the same experience for all of us. We are one because of it.
So coming back to art. You might listen to the Moonlight sonata by Beethoven and you might like it or not. You may think you don’t like piano music, you might think this is great because it is classical music and it is a classic or quite the contrary you might feel that you hate classical music. What I want to say is that it doesn’t matter what you think. If you trace what is happening in your awareness from your thought, to emotion, to an inkling you’ll encounter what is true. And there is a certain feeling, a sense that there is something brilliant going on here. The problem is that on this level it is hard to grasp what makes it true art, but you know it is. Just like the ravioli I ate today.