Getting to the Real Mystery of Being Alive (Through Art)

Getting to the Real Mystery of Being Alive (Through Art):

“Why is there something rather than nothing?”

Being alive is the true mystery.

Coming into being…

Simply coming into existence is the first mystery.

Coming into awareness…

Coming into consciousness…

Becoming conscious makes us aware of life. Aware of death. Aware of being alive. Aware of feeling alive. Aware of the mystery of consciousness. Consciousness makes one aware of the importance of life!

“Why is something important rather than nothing?”

Art is the mystery of sensing importance. Art is a mysterious sense of importance whose greatest challenge is simply existing. Art’s greatest mystery is that this (or any) sense of importance exists at all. Art’s very existence is a mysterious act of defiance against all that negates this and every sense of importance. Art is an act of defiance against all that negates life.

The universe is largely lifeless. This lifelessness has no native sense of importance or any other sense or feeling. The living’s sense of importance is continually being undermined by the blind, unfeeling violence of the inanimate universe until death and destruction finally overtake them.

But where there is art, there is a hotbed of activity contradicting the cold and uncaring nature of existence. The existence of art contradicts its unimportance. The existence of life contradicts the overwhelming lifelessness of existence. The existence of our sense of importance contradicts its overwhelming unimportance in the face of death and destruction.

What is this mysterious, defiant sense of importance? It is the mystery of why life seems important, feels important, is important, in the face of overwhelming lifelessness’ lack of importance. It is the mystery of how and why your life seems, feels, is important. It defies logic. It defies most of the natural world. Most of the natural world is lifeless and can’t feel.. can’t sense.. can’t feel and sense importance. The existence of importance (and its progeny: value: purpose: meaning: worth) contradicts and defies this world.

Great art is a great act of defiance against lifelessness. Great art achieves greatness by sensing great life, by sensing great importance, by sensing the great importance of life. Great art shares its great sense of importance. Communicates it. Not by convincing others that the artist’s life is important. But by convincing others that their life is important.

The point of great art is not proving to others that your life is greater, more important than theirs. The point of great art is to point the way to the buried treasures of others: pointing the way to where their treasure is: pointing the way to where their source of importance is hidden. Great art is pointing the way to uncovering and unlocking each and every ones own mysterious sense of importance in a violent natural world’s mindless natural order where nothing seems important ultimately, not even life.

If an artist is not pointing the way to your buried treasure, your sense of importance, then he is only pointing the way to his own. In which case, you are merely an obstacle in his way. Perhaps a tool, if not an obstacle, on the artist’s way to fame and fortune. Art then becomes nothing more than a senseless battle of wills positioning for power in a vain contest of egos.

“My art is better than your art!”  (video)

My life is better than your life!

All that is teachable in art teaches what others think is important. What art needs to do is get you to explore/discover what is important to you.  All important art is self-taught in this crucial sense. What is important to you is all that matters in the end.

~ Joy Rip


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