What is an Idea? (part five)

All art is idea. It is a method to present or possibly force your idea, vision, or personal logic upon others. Those who are able to present their “idea” in the form of art in a way that either pleases people, or disturbs them, might cause them to buy it, display it for others or put in museums, are communicating an idea. They are considered artists, but others are only of …uh, whatever, and disregarded in their attempts to influence others. Of course, when art fashions change as centuries change, often what were representational ordinary displays become more exotic, and even “idea” with another meaning than the original intention. Like that, what are sincerely presented as idea now, might be changed or meaningless in the future, when the possibly political or social injustice is no longer relevant. So, art is mixed with culture, is mixed with other values, but that is another kind of discussion.

Art is a visual, auditory, or other sensual representation of a conception or an idea. A visual representation is something seen without words involved, and yet “idea” is being transmitted to us. In that way, what people are buying when they purchase a piece of art is not paint, paper, stone, or electronic data. It is idea.

I heard a story, a while ago about a hat designer. This was in the era when ladies wore fancy little hats that looked like fourteen feathers stuck into gauze, probably from the 1940’s or 50’s. A lady enters a fancy hat shop and is waited upon by the French designer himself. He says, “
Madam, this hat would look absolutely marvelous on you.” He places this creation on her head. She says, “It is beautiful. How much does this cost?” He replies, ”Two hundred and fifty dollars.” The lady complains, “That is outrageous! That is far too expensive for a few feathers.” He snatched the hat off her head, ripped it to shreds throwing the little pieces into her lap. “Madam, you take those for free. I am the artist and my work costs two hundred and fifty dollars.” Like that, I think that for a long time artists have felt that we are not paying them for materials, we are paying for their creation!

Now let us return to the meanings of idea beyond art, opinions of others or language structure as discussed in previous articles of this series. I am thinking about idea as a further nuance of the critical thinking process. We can concur that there are degrees of agreement regarding the living dynamic of a situation. As we skillfully present a condition, we invite others to move their minds in a similar way. This lifts the discussion to a higher platform from most of the previous discussions, although there are elements discussed which are valuable.

There is an excitement of being alive with another in communication, inviting them through gesture, or perhaps drawing a picture. Even a Rorschach test might invite them to come move their mind with you. This invitation with another creates what I call a “core” or a central pivot upon which we look at a situation as a living dynamic instead of words and other solidifications. People who are valuable and unusual in their field, can invite others to see this core and to dance and move around a situation generating something else important.

Highly creative business practices display new concepts in the form of idea or ideal and is the very same as skillful teachers will do in an exciting learning situation. This is also very important in the ongoing transmission of the transformative concepts of Buddhism. In the creative method of communication, we move around picking up ideas, while looking at them carefully. Either they are discarded as being not valuable or we form opinions together. We invite others to see the central pivot point, which we are going to be getting to soon. The core concept I would use as the example here is part of my work, talking about how we are actually alive. To be continued….


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