I love it when suddenly things start to make sense, when thoughts come together.
I was again reading the book On Creativity, because I was searching for the definition of some concepts.
Those of creativity, aesthetics and art.
All my previous posts about aesthetics point to the importance of those concepts as an essential step between instinctive and moral human behavior.
But before I could understand it better, I wanted to have some sort of definition. A definition as general as possible. And who would be better to talk about general definitions that take in account the whole, than David Bohm.
In the chapter ‘The art of perceiving movement’ Bohm talks about the split in our language between our emotional and aesthetic perception on the one hand, and our rational and functional perception on the other.
A very good case in point is provided by considering the word art. The original meaning of this word is ‘to fit’. This meaning survives in articulate, article, artisan, artifact and so on. Of course, in modern times the word art has come to mean mainly ‘to fit, in an aesthetic and emotional sense’. However, the other words listed above show that art can also call attention to fitting in a functional sense.
The fact that we are hardly aware of the syllable art in words such as articulate or artifact is an indication of an implicit but very deeply penetrating fragmentation in our thought between the aesthetic, emotional aspects of life and its practical functioning aspects. This fragmentation tends to operate also in the meaning of the word beauty, which is ‘to fit in every sense’. Nevertheless, this word also tends mainly to emphasize aesthetic and emotional fitting.
It can be seen that, in a very profound sense, all these activities are concerned with fitting, i.e. with art. All that man does is a kind of art, and this implies skill in doing things, as well as perception of how things fit or do not fit. This is indeed self-evident for the visual or musical artist as well as for the artisan. It is true also for the scientist and the mathematician, but less evident.
It is clear, then, that reasoning is to be regarded as an art. And thus, in a deep sense, the artist, the scientist, and the mathematician, are concerned with art in its most general significance, that is, with fitting.
With that in mind I found a post about language with a video of Stephen Fry, about the ‘correct’ use of language. And the following caught my attention:
But that is an issue of fitness, of suitability. It has nothing to do with correctness. There is no right language or wrong language any more than there are wrong clothes. Context, convention and circumstance are all.
The video is mainly about the critical approach to language. How being too critical and too focused on a correct use, can prevent us from being creative with it.
But at the same time it brings to attention the importance of context. How the right use of language depends on the circumstances.
It has to fit, we have to find the right balance. A balancing act that requires skills to recognize the resonance.