Welcome To The Jungle
No matter how civilised we manage to be, how enlightened and conscious, we still have animal drives that govern our behaviour. The social wilderness is a potentially dangerous place with our popularity and reputation being at risk with each word said. We can sometimes adopt survival mechanisms in order to cope with this situation, especially in the way we think. Social camouflage helps us to fit in and find social interaction easier. If we agree with people or at least not challenge them on what they say, we stand a better chance of remaining part of the social circle. The way we behave can also create risk. People who hang around together not only say similar things but they act in similar ways as well. By establishing group behaviours, personality traits can be validated. This can have both positive and negative outcomes. So as social people who enjoy the company of others we can find our authenticity comes into question. Sometimes we don't even think about it and assume we're on the right side. If we enjoy being around people who say and think particular things, we naturally mirror that psychological gratification which ultimately prevents us from thinking for ourselves.
What Does Authenticity Mean?
In the most general terms, authenticity means you keep it real. This is easier said than done, as we all know how hard it an be to admit feelings or desires to other people. We don't want to change the way things are in case it gets worse. Valuing a situation means we don't want to risk losing it, so we sometimes keep our mouth shut or even smile and nod when we don't really want to.
What Is The Function Of Art
Art can represent things in ways we did not expect. Art can say something loud and clear without the use of words. Art can translate unknown feelings into a language we can empathise with. Art makes us think. Art is a language all on its own. A piece of art is a representation of thought and feeling for us to digest. The way we will understand it depends on our own perception and interpretation. Cognition is the process of perception from the mind's point of view and it involves several key processes. Art can identify with and make a statement to any of the following aspects of cognition:
This initial psychological response is a first impression. Before we even look properly, something will hit us immediately. This can define the rest of our experience without us ever noticing. The stand-out elements of a piece of art, or the first few lines of a piece of music, will establish a preception element that parallels the rest.
We know right and wrong from our own perspective and if we're lucky, from the perspective of others too. We also know if something is good or bad from our perspective, which can be something else entirely. This is a much more personalised feeling and we don't really have the ability to determine this for others without their say so. Judgement is how we decide what to do with the given information. We assign tags to the input so we know how to move forward.
Once we have been given the information and we have determined if it is right or wrong and good or bad, we can begin to assimilate it into a rational process. We have mental tools at our disposal to help us reason with given information. Balancing the good and bad with the right and wrong can give us a straight line through the picture that points to our considered response.
Before we can think of what to say or feel, we often discover something new within the given information. Either new facts or new perspectives, something unknown becomes illuminated due to thinking about the information we are given. Even in the case of pure fiction, the human or anthropomorphic situation can be emulated in real life along various lines.
Like reasoning, we once again think about what we are given. The difference with reasoning and consideration is that in the later we fit the information in with other things that are so far separate. We determine the things we have seen, learned, and thought about in regards to the wider world. Sometimes art is only enjoyable in its own safe space, outside of the world. Other times it wants to fit in and make real-world changes. We have to make a choice as to what it wants us to do and if we should do it.
We don't remember the whole thing but mostly the pieces that stick out. We recall what moved us, what altered our state of being. Imagine a flat road with a fallen tree. You remember the tree because it got in the way, the miles of flat road were not challenging so you have nothing to remember about it other than you travelled it. Maybe you saw a few interesting things on the way, individual and personally placed things that serve purpose. Those are what seem to take up the attention, especially for passengers.
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Alternative Fruit by Rowan B. Colver
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For people, for peace, with love.
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