Today I got inspired about a subject concerning both religion and philosophy: creativity. My beloved ones know that I'm a creative and thoughtful person so that is no surprise I found aesthetics, a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, taste, creation and appreciation of beauty of interest. Creativity is usually linked with artistic gifts such as painting, writing, doing handicrafts or composing music. So I attached to this post one of the world's most famous paintings, Sixtus chapel or Adam's Creation, by one of the world's most famous artists, Michelangelo, who has commemorated in his work God, the first artist of the world's history doing His work. And behold! He created us, the people, as the first piece of art in the world's history. And He created man and woman as his picture - and we truly are, because He gave us this wonderful power of creativity that He has as well. My readers, you truly are pieces of art and beautiful in your own unique ways!
Plato's ideas of beauty and inspiration
Plato thought that cuteness is a criteria of good poetry - whatever it means, because we everybody have our personal ideas of beauty. He also said that "all creation whether it's mental or physical cheating or giving birth happens only in touch with beauty; in connection with ugly there can't happen creation." By 'mental cheating' he means ideas that are pre-stages of deeds (of course). And everybody who has read Plato's philosophy know that his worldview is based on idea doctrine which means that ideas are the most real and sure in the world and sense notices are unreliable. So according to his ideaology he explained sources of pleasure are beautiful colours and shapes and most scents and tones and usually that whose absence doesn't bring suffering but whose presence makes pleasant feelings. He doesn't mean beauty of those shapes that people usually see in animals and paintings but something linear and circular and according to this surfaces and pieces made by turning on a lathe or with help of a ruler or a corner ruler are beautiful, because they're beautiful by themselves - not in relation to something else. He said that they make peculiar pleasure to themselves and it's far from tickling and he compared it to white colour. So the idea of beauty is abstract, undefined and colourless. He also thought that idea of beauty by itself can't be a target to be achieved by poets and artists. His another definition of beauty is that it's something that causes pleasure or benefit or both whether it was human body, colour, shape, voice or action. I love his ideas of beauty because according to them anything or anyone can be beautiful and he's right, because beauty is a question of taste. His another qualification of beauty is more concise:" Arts are mixture and if they lack right measure and relations it destroys the mixed ingredients and itself and then that's a mess. Because right measures and relations are always also beauty and goodness. So art is good with beauty, right relations and truth." This explanation brings to my mind the classic sculptures of Antique: the perfect shapes and details of human body; they wanted them to look realistic but they were more like dreams of ideal human body. This ideal human was later pictured also in Renaissance art such as my example Creation. And what sculptors of Antique pictured to their work has become ideal beauty of today: we want firm bodies, men want to be muscley etc. And I think the modern Miss competitions and modelling are based on similar criteria.
And what especially interests me is Plato's thought of true source of inspiration: He said that poets are interpreters of gods; Each poet has been made ecstatic by the god in whose possession they are. For example I worship Jesus and according to this theory He speaks by my mouth in my writings and by them we shall hear His voice. So all my inspiration is from God. So according to Plato writers, artists and musicians aren't intelligent or talented but God takes our sense away. Even though I believe in God I'm not convinced about this theory, because musicians need much mathematic intelligence when composing their songs. So he said there can't happen creation with sense but I'm sure he was wrong. I agree with him though that our creativity is a divine gift. He justified his theory by that poets can do only one kind of literature, the one that God has given them inspiration for and nothing else. Because if they had talent talking about one subject they could talk about everything else as well. Once again he's wrong: even though I've been now writing lyrics for pretty long time I've got lots of inspiration for prose as well.
Kahlil Gibran: Christian poet, artist and philosopherI've been reading lately some production of Kahlil Gibran and now I'd like to share you some of his quotes about creative people and just in the name of comparison to Plato also his idea of beauty:
"Beauty is what attracts your soul and for beauty it's more important to give than take. When you face Beauty you feel how hands deep inside you stretch to receive and convoy it to the throne of your heart. Beauty is glory that sorrow and joy create together. It's Invisible that you see, Incomprehensible that you understand and Silent that you hear - it's The Holiest that begins in yourself and ends there where your earthly imagination can't reach."
"The most sensual creatures on Earth are creative people, poets, sculptors, artists, musicians... and it has been so from the beginning. Making love is for them a beautiful and noble gift; it's always beautiful and always tender."
"Isn't it true that always when we're portraying the Beauty we get a step closer to it? And every time when we write the Truth, we become one with it? Or are you going to silence poets and artists? Isn't realizing oneself a deep need in human soul?"
"Are you a writer that keeps oneself more noble than great audience though her/his sense is deep in the hole full of past's everlasting useless waste? In that case you're like a standing pool. Or are you an intense thinker who explores one's soul and prunes what's useless, overworked and bad but saves useful and good? In that case you're semolina for hungry and cool, bright water for thirsty."
"God created music for common language of people. It inspires poets, composers and architects. It tempts us to look for meaning for our souls from mysterious writings of ancient books."
"Are you a poet full of noise and meaningless words? In that case you're a swindler who makes us laugh when crying and when laughing makes us cry. Or are you a talented soul for whose hands God has set a violin to calm spirit with heavenly music and accompany others close to Life and Life's Beauty? In that case you're a torch enlightening us on our road, the sweet longing of our hearts and the divine revelation of our dreams."
"Poetry, my dear friends, is a holy incarnation of smile. Poetry is a sigh that dries tears; it's a spirit living in soul that gets its nourishment from heart and its love from wine. Poetry that doesn't appear in this form is a wrong Messiah."
"Art must be direct talk between artist's imagination and audience's imagination. Therefore I'm trying to avoid too many details so the viewer could extend one's imagination widely and far away. Art has been made to create material forms: they got to be beautiful; Unless art doesn't serve its purpose."
"I'd be a deceiver of my art if I had to borrow my model's eyes. Face is an unbelievable mirror that reflects most faithfully the inside of soul; Artist's job is to see it and paint it; unless he couldn't be called an artist."