Sunday, March 9, 2008

Art:the focus of all emotions

Mankind has served from time immemorial to express emotions which could not be expressed in natural life. Suppressed emotions have had to come out some way or the other. They do in fact manifest manifold. Be it odd mannerisms, gestures, mental illnesses, outbursts of energies or paintings and the fine arts, suppressed emotions have their ways. Leonardo Da Vinci's thoughts for instance have led to various interpretations quite exotic. There was a period when Sigmund Freud achieved great heights because of his concept of the unconscious layer dominating us all. In the light of such flourishing theories two questions spring up in my mind. The questions in contention are the following:

Can mankind ever be free from the 'Unconscious'?

Is it necessary to be completely rid of the 'Unconscious'?

Both the questions are of a different nature. You see, when man doesn't behave naturally he builds up as a consequence, a private inner world. This inner world of his goes through a transformation depending on the kind of experiences he has in the external world. Thus a world of opinions is created. Now it is just a question of being channelized. The media are plenty. After all energy gets dissipated in many forms. There is often a platform by which energy is channelized. If the platform is steady, you tend to be more conclusive than you were pre-disposed to be. If it is bumpy you get into the realm of argumentation and reasoning. If on the other hand there is no platform then you end up being creative. This means that you create a path for yourself. A path, which is inscrutably pure. There is no difference then, as a consequence, between your private inner world and the external one. This leads to a state of existence where there is nothing like diffidence or confidence but one harmonious reality. A journey without a destination is an ideal without a subject. You pursue what you wish to pursue and in a harmonious way at that. However, be mindful of introspection. There can exist simultaneous journeys or paths. Platforms may vary depending on the experiences you have.What you create will there-after be a response to stimuli. It is nothing but the work of natural emotion.

Suppressed emotion only distorts. Especially when there is no room for direct expression. With the instance of repression, you start expressing incongruently. This is in actuality an indirect response to a previous past not responded to. In the process you have given way to a promising career in psychoanalysis. You create forms of artistic expressions. You develop insights through reasoning based on apparent discrepancies. You measure and define your experiences on par with all that you have learnt. You may also develop patterns of behaviour with abnormal references. Idiosyncrasies, defence mechanisms to name a few are by-products of perceived experience. While there are desirable effects, there are also undesirable side effects of unnatural existence. But the more natural you are, you will certainly demonstrate attributes fascinating an exclusive public to an incredible degree. Such revelation will not be interpreted as 'Psychosis' as it is extremely desirable. Being the well-spring of authentic 'Art', it gives rise to a canvas where in you can paint your emotions either through enigmatic colours or strokes of genius through direct simplicity. Art becomes the focal point of all emotions. There is no longer a prosaic platform on which to walk but a sound theme to vent out your tabooed feelings.

Art brings to life a desired reality. It converts experienced moments into creams of picturesque designs. So if by being free from the unconscious would mean the end of aesthetics then such freedom is far from worthwhile. Only the second question having been answered the former directs its way also to a relieving answer. Mankind can be free from the unconscious only when translation of experiences gives way to 'there and then expression'. This means that only when there is provision for direct response to stimuli there is hope for freedom from the unconscious. As this has proved to be impossible, emotions find refuge in the artist's canvas for figurative expressions.


Anonymous said...

very well expressed, especially the last line....
however i think it is important to see that evryone has this "inner world" in them.the only difference is how much they get in touch with "self"...
according to my opinion only those people who constantly keep in touch with the inner self grow truely optimistic and easily expressive.........
and i strongly believe it is the truth ...i havent seen an exeption!!!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this article. It raises many questions apart from the two that are put forth.

Can mankind ever be free from the 'Unconscious'? I would say no. But some individuals perhaps can. The question is, how would you know if one is free of the 'unconscious'? What would be the characteristics of such a person?

I think your premise is that behaviour in the outer world depends on the inner world. That the choice or availability of the platform determines the kind of expression. And when there is no platform, one ends up with pure (?) expression. You refer to the latter as 'nothing but the work of natural emotion'. But, to the extent the expression depends on the inner disposition, is it really 'pure'? Does this depend on the platform?

I would like to suggest that you take a look at Carl Rogers for another view on the individual behaviour, in particular, his ideas of 'The Fully Functioning Person'. Such a person is freer, more creative and experiences life more intensely, according to Rogers. It seems to me that the Fully Functioning Person is free of the unconscious. Therefore, being free from the unconsious would not mean the end of aesthetics, would it?

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comments. It took me so long to reply. I feel today that if an individual is free from the unconscious then his works of art will be free from influences-collective and personal altogether. I will read Carl Rogers to understand his thoughts better. I also think that creative expression may begin under the spell of the unconscious and later as the individual begins to get free from the so called neurosis his/her work brodens in range and variety.