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The Indispensable Canvas: Art as Our Transcendent Connection - Insights from Jordan Peterson

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

colorful abstract with human form and birds art as connection

Art as Connection

The role of art and creativity in our lives cannot be understated. More than just a pastime or a profession, art acts as a mirror reflecting the human experience, and a window revealing the realm of the transcendent. Profoundly influenced by the insights of Jordan Peterson, a renowned clinical psychologist, and professor, I've come to deeply appreciate and articulate the importance of art in our lives.

Unearthing the Transcendent Through Art

Jordan Peterson eloquently explains, "Real artists are contending with the unknown... they are possessed by it." The process of creating art is a profound journey of grappling with the mysteries of life and expressing them in a form that others can perceive and resonate with. Each brush stroke, each verse, and each note performed is an exploration of the depths of the human experience and an attempt to communicate the inexpressible.

Art acts as a conduit to the transcendent, a realm beyond our finite and limited existence. Art as connection! Peterson's lecture on "The Psychological Significance of the Bible, Episode X 'Abraham Father of Nations'" delves into this in detail, explaining, "A real piece of art is a window into the transcendent... you need that in your life because you are finite and limited, and bounded by your ignorance and your lack of knowing. And unless you can make a connection to the transcendent then you don't have the strength to prevail." Art, in this perspective, is not just aesthetic; it is our lifeline to the metaphysical, an essential ingredient for our survival and growth.

Art: A Non-negotiable Need

In our modern world, art is often seen as a luxury or an option, secondary to other aspects of life. But according to Peterson, this view is gravely mistaken. He passionately states, "We need to understand the role of art and literature... and stop thinking about it as an option. It's not an option. It's NOT an option... 'Man does not live by bread alone'... We live by beauty. We live by literature. We live by art... and LITERALLY... not metaphorically. We cannot live without it." Indeed, art provides sustenance for our minds and souls, feeding our insatiable hunger for beauty, meaning, and connection. It allows us to understand and navigate our complex human emotions, our place in society, and our connection to the world around us. In art, we find a language that communicates across cultural, societal, and temporal boundaries, uniting us in our shared human experience.

In contemplating Jordan Peterson's profound understanding of art, we can see why creativity is so valuable. It is more than a simple expression; it is a tool for survival, a pathway to the transcendent, and a fundamental aspect of our existence. By creating and appreciating art, we open our eyes to the infinite possibilities that lie beyond the ordinary and tap into a reservoir of strength, resilience, and understanding that sustains us in our journey through life. As artists and art appreciators, we are the custodians of this invaluable gift, entrusted with the task of unveiling the beauty and complexity of the human experience, one artwork at a time.

About the Author:

Angela Swanson is not just an artist, but a seasoned expert in WIX Web Design and online marketing, specializing in helping fellow artists thrive in the digital space. With a deep understanding of the art world and a knack for creating captivating websites, Angela offers boutique and affordable services tailored to artists and art-related sites. Whether you're looking to create an engaging online portfolio or want to effectively market your art, Angela's online services are designed to meet your unique needs.

Angela's passion for empowering artists extends beyond web design; she provides resources that help artists enhance their online presence. If you're interested in boosting your Instagram visibility, sign up for a free Instagram Hashtag Tip Sheet. To explore more about Angela's services and how they can elevate your art career, visit the Web Services page. Don't just showcase your art—let it make a digital splash!


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