Does anyone actually need art?

Internet is full of art – pictures, paintings, sculptures, buildings, monuments, movies, songs, symphonies, poems, literature, interpretive dance numbers, animations and so on, and so forth. As an amateur painter I feel overwhelmed – does anyone really need more paintings? Is there still not enough? How can I even know that I’m not doing something that was already made?¬†All these thoughts have left me on a dry period for painting – do my paintings actually matter?

Well, I can always try to make myself feel better and say that yes, it matters to my parents and maybe some friends. And yes, it matters to me, I know that even if I agonize about this, I will still go back to painting sooner or later because for me it is a way of expression. But how to make it matter to others?

It is harder to understand what is art and what is not. Actually, it’s a very complicated question. The meaning of the word ‘art’ became so broad that it is hard to narrow it down. Can you say that something is art and something isn’t? Probably – no. But there’s art with different purpose. I will be talking about the art that is meant to make you think about life and about you values. I am talking about the symbolic art that is always more than it looks.

I am a big fan of such artists as Zdzislaw Beksinski, Salvador Dali, Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, Margo Selski, Andrea Kowch, Victor Safonkin and many others. All of these people inspire me to think deeper. Art in the past was very important because many people didn’t know how to read, were not educated. So art became a message that everyone could read. It wasn’t something straight forward. Maybe it was more like a feeling, something subconscious. Churches were built to look strong, powerful, closer to the skies so that people would feel safe inside it and closer to God. And this is only a very primitive example.

I have been listening to online talks/lectures about meaningful art and I was amazed by all of the ideas proposed there. One of then was about the Egyptian Pyramids. A square is a symbol of matter and a triangle is a symbol of spirituality. If you look at the pyramids from above (as it was built for the gods to see) they look as squares that are divided into triangles – matter and spirituality combined. Art was very close to religion and I’m not speaking just of Christianity, I am talking about human beliefs, mythology and even folk tales. A hidden meaning can be found there even without using the squares and triangles. There are certain numbers that have a deeper meaning than just a count of apples. 3 is the number of spirituality (in Christianity – the trinity of God), 4 is the number of matter (in Christianity – 4 evangelists). 7 is a 3+4 meaning the overlapping of spirit and matter (for example there are tales that tying 7 knots on a rope and burying it into the ground will stop your loved one’s soul from leaving the earth), 12 is 3×4 also a mixture of spirituality and matter (12 disciples of Christ, 12 months in a year).

A circle is also a very powerful figure showing the natural order of life, where beginning or ending is not important. It’s a cycle meaning that this how it was before you, this is how it is now and this is how it will be.

So this is some basic figures. Simple, but strong. It is amazing how people could feel it, feel the hard “math” like Fibonacci sequences and the Golden ratio, fractals when it takes us so long to learn it because no one is teaching us how to understand it anymore. It seems that we created an alternate way to understand our surroundings but forgetting that we are a part of it. And the “math” is everywhere. I even read an article that the golden ratio can be found in the uterus of a women in her most fertile years! (article can be found here)

And let’s not forget the symbols of male and female. Sky is considered to be the male and earth is the female. Rain helps the earth to grow life so rain is the act of fertilization. In Greek mythology, the first gods were Gaia and Uranus. Uranus was uncontrollable and he was sexually abusing Gaia whenever he wanted – a total wild male archetype. When Gaia grew tired of Uranus she asked her son Cronus (god of time!) to tame Uranus and when Uranus attacked Gaia again, Cronus cut off Uranus’ genitals and threw them to the sea. As this happened Aphrodite was born – the goddess of love. This shows that love cannot exist without control. This is the same symbol as pillars – holding the sky from falling on the earth and causing chaos.

So, now I’m standing here as a small insignificant person and thinking – how much can I understand? How much can I take from this? These are only few of the major symbols, but they can be used as a basis for other symbols to be built upon. And how can we understand it when we can’t stay even a few minutes without browsing on a smart phone?

There was an idea that being bored is necessary for people to get themselves thinking, creating ideas. But now we are stimulated all the time with TV, smart phones, internet. Now we cannot stand the presence of ourselves for too long and we can’t be bothered to think about our lives, to search for meaning. We’d rather “google” it than try to search for it in ourselves.

So the question is, does it matter, all the hidden meanings and all the spirituality when we get everything that is chewed up for us already?..Try to think about this amazing painting for instance, try to feel.

Another great work of Zdzislaw Beksinski

Tired but happy in my lonely confinement that starts to feel like freedom,


From Analytical Psychology

The works of Carl Gustav Jung always astonished me. After reading his “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” I had a great list of books that I just had to read. Sadly the list is moving really slowly. A month ago I read his “Psychology of the Unconscious” and it opened my eyes to so many things. I really was intrigued by his explanation of neurosis – that it has a purpose to get some sort of a result, for example, a woman afraid her husband might leave her for another has these neurotic phases, pleading her husband to be by her side, to save her, to take care of her and not to leave her. The husband will feel guilty if he had even the slightest thought to leave his wife. He sees how ill she is and how much she needs him. Unfortunately to all the “neurotic people”, at the end this works in the opposite way – after many times when the husband is put into a role of savior and nourishment (a neurotic person becomes like a small child), he will be fed up with it. How long can you act as a mother to a grown up infant? The husband needed a wife, maybe he had a mistress but that happened for a reason as well – maybe just midlife crisis, or maybe the relationship was just getting cold and the husband needed someone to look at him and see a man, not a care-giver. I’m not saying that it is the woman’s fault her husband needed a mistress but I’m saying that the fault might fall on both of them.

So, what did I learned from this? I’m not neurotic, but as a girlfriend, I used to mistreat my boyfriend by blaming him for no actual reason, getting mad at him for no reason and even having some small heart beat issues after that (of course, only when my boyfriend was with me). Saying that “for no reason” I mean, that there was no reason for the reaction of this kind and strength. I mean, that a normal person would react in a less dramatic way, maybe he even wouldn’t react. But I did. And I would always understand a few hours later what happened wrong, so I would apologize and apologize to him for my mistakes. I always thought that my “little neurosis” came as a result from my complexes, childhood problems and that it was a normal reaction for me that I couldn’t change or alter. And it felt like that, I just get so angry that to think straight would become an impossible thing to do. Somewhere deep I would understand that my boyfriend is not the reason, but the thought was just too weak. I would still feel that he is guilty for not understanding my childhood issues and saying or doing something that would make me react like this. After reading the book I understood that I shouldn’t be looking to my behaviour like this:
Some bad stuff in my past —> my “neurotic” reactions to regular things

but I should be looking at it like this:

My “neurotic” reaction —> result: my boyfriend feels really guilty

And I started to be very conscious of my behaviour, I wanted to prove myself that I was not wrong, that it is not about my boyfriend. But it was. One evening we got into a fight, and again I started it for something really insignificant, trying to convince him that behind his actions lies deep hatred for me (my choices made our relationship really complicated, half of the year it is a long distance relationship) and when he didn’t admit his anger, my heart started skipping beats resulting in lose of breath, chest pain and blurred vision. My boyfriend thought that it was his fault for causing me this pain and he was agonizing inside not being able to help me. And when I came back home, everything ended. No more pain or shortness of breath. Then I realized everything – I am causing myself all of this pain, I am making myself ill to make him feel guilty about it, to make him take care of me. And actually, somewhere deep I felt that it is his “fault” that we are together and it is his “fault” if everything falls apart. This struck me hard. I felt really bad, ashamed. I explained everything to him and apologized even more than ever. And since then I am controlling myself. Even if I start to have this “neurotic phase” again, I just stop it with the thought that I can get better results by talking to my boyfriend about what I need and what I feel than making him feel guilty for not understanding that telepathically.

Mine is only a small example what might be causing people to act out like this. I believe that everyone might have a quite different structure and can seek a different result. Or maybe the causes are not so different. Freud explained neurosis through sexuality, Adler through the need of power, but Jung put everything really well into one idea – both Adler and Freud were wright, it is just a point of view, a way to find the system of the behaviour (and different ways are more easily accepted by different people) and then it is easier to search for a solution, for the way to change.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” — Lao Tzu

For the enlightment,


Free at last

Yesterday was the last day of my summer job. I was working as a waitress-bartender in a small Cuban bar for a minimum wage. It was my first job and I am grateful to the owners – they taught me everything I know about making cocktails and ‘mixology’. However, I am so glad to be out of there. I think I learned a very important lesson working for these people – people with power over others can get carried away easily. Everything depended on the mood of my boss – when he was in a good mood, he talked to me like he was my teacher, tried to share with me his knowledge of how he became an owner from a simple bartender boy. However, when his mood was not as cheerful, he would find how to shout at me or my co-workers, how to insult us. He would gladly talk about how I don’t think rationally, how I don’t understand the way the world works, how I will rot working in a lab earning even less money than I did at the bar. He was the one paying me money so he acted as my owner not just a boss. A few times I grew tired of his insults so I talked back to him just protecting my name not insulting him back. It didn’t work, I don’t really think he listened. So I learned to listen with an emotionless face. I think that scared him a little bit. Or maybe my face was not as emotionless as I thought. People tend to say, that I look angry when I don’t even notice that.

A few days before I left, the cleaning lady/kitchen helper didn’t show up to work. She was a friend of mine so I texted her, was everything ok. She texted me back, that she had some heart problems and was going to the doctor later that day. My phone was standing on a small table were all the waitresses put their stuff. My boss saw my phone light up when the text message came and he saw who it was from. He came to me shouting, that I shouldn’t have business with other co-workers if they start skipping their duties. I said that I just asked her if everything was alright. He shouted that it is not my business and asked me what the cleaning lady answered and would she have a doctors note for this. I said that she was going to a doctor and he left me alone for a while. Then he came back to lecture me that I am naive and stupid to believe that everyone is telling the truth and that by showing my authorities that I actually don’t despise the cleaning lady (the boss and his wife really don’t like her, they blame her for not doing tasks that I see her do everyday…) I prove them of being not loyal. At the end he just told me that people are never equal, she is a cleaning lady because she didn’t have aspirations in life and because she didn’t work hard enough to reach for something more. And that is her fault. Why others should help her now?.. I just nodded and got back to work. Yes, this was the hateful part of my boss, probably he was not accepted by his friends in school or abused by his father. Otherwise it’s really hard for me to understand that anger for others, that deep necessity to be better than others… Anyway, after our little ‘discussion’ I found out that during lunch time (when the whole bar is crowded with people) I will have to wash the dishes and boss’s wife will be in my place. This wasn’t the way I imagined a waitress’s work, but I didn’t argue. After that I got some more assignments – to clean the bathroom’s sink, to sweep the floor and even to clean some waste from the repairing of the sinks (macroflex, if you heard of it), that stuck to the skin of my hands and took two days to peal off (the boss gave me some gloves but they were with holes and helped only a little bit).
My normal duties were very broad – from just regular waitress-bartender stuff like attending customers, making cocktails, taking orders, cleaning the bar’s surfaces and etc. to carrying heavy tables every Friday to the kitchen (the tables didn’t fit through the doors, so we had to lift them in a very uncomfortable way) and carrying them out on Mondays or cleaning up after the boss (if he makes himself a drink in the bar, he always leaves every utensil he used dropped anywhere he liked at the moment). I did everything the boss or his wife asked me. But maybe I crossed the line where I should have just stood up for myself and said “no”? How much do I have to sell myself? Yes, I needed a job, but I didn’t need it so desperately. They could have fired me for not obeying and the other employers would know that I was disrespectful, lazy or something similar. And shouldn’t I defend my co-worker if she is falsely blamed?

I know that a lot of people deal with this. And I am definitely sure that my boss was not as terrible as many others are. So the society forces us to obey, nothing new. If your job is important to you, you cannot overthrow your boss’s power. You depend on him.

I’m glad that some people don’t get lost in authority and still act as human beings with their employees. I promise to myself, if it happens to be that I get some power over other people, I will resist becoming a monster as much as I can. It’s easy to get used to let out your anger on the people who are “below” you when they can’t fight back. And it is hard not becoming too soft when your employees will start to use you as a weakling, so it is easy to “overdo” trying to be authoritative.

Can I change my boss? No. But I can change my own opinion about leadership. I hope that if my next boss is similar to the first one, I will do better dealing with him the same way as with others who channel their anger on innocent people – don’t give them the pleasure by becoming a victim, by letting them put you down. I will still stand for others and, yes, naively hope that they would stand for me as well. Maybe they won’t, maybe they will, but I will be able to feel not as a worthless sold-out but more as a truthful person. I know that people have reasons for their actions, some maybe are similar, some different. But having a reason doesn’t make you innocent of your crimes. You can understand others, know that they are just weak, trying to defend themselves, but it is hard to forgive.

Where do you put the line between your values and obeying?

Finally free and jobless,