Making life a work of art

“The art of life consists in making life a work of art,” Voltaire

In the deep Japan, there was a tribe of warriors who would develop a way of thinking that would help them find courage in each moment of their lives: the Samurai. From the time they were young they were made friends with death, in such a way that they should live their lives as if they were living a memory from beyond. From here, they could focus all of their forces on making a life worth remembering, a life of courage, full of great and aesthetic moments, a life that was like a work of art.

Also, in ancient Greece there were two positions on the debate about how an artistic lifework should be valued. On the one hand , there were those who thought that an work of art had value for it’s recognition by the other, so a picture that was not flattered by anyone would be equal to nothing. This position is that of the great epic battles and the Achilles quest for immortality in Homer ‘s stories that would transcend it’s time and would be preserved in the memory of the God of history.

On the other hand, there were those who believed that each artwork has an innate value, which does not need of an external person to validate it, therefore they would center their efforts not on the promotion of their successes so much as in achieving things that made sense for themselves. This is the position of the investigator, poet, writer, warrior and others who only want to serve but repudiate and avoid reputation.

A big tendency exists nowadays towards the first position. In the social networks, people publish photos of their daily activities, their frames of mind after waking up, before going to bed, how many times did they cleaned the teeth, went to the bath or if they have or not the flu. Have you ever gone to a good concert, only to find that the only thing people want to is to record everything with their cameras, to put it on facebook and to receive comments and likes of approval and ratification about the way they are living their lives? Or in a catastrophic event? Or in the birth of your first son? How is it possible that we have come to a point in which we live things only with the purpose of telling them, not of enjoying them? That only do we want to accumulate memories, if we see it positively, or facebook likes, if we see it in a realistic way, as a measurement of our social and vital success?

Nor Kant writing his thoughts, nor Mozart writing his inmortal music, nor Buddha sharing his reflections were in position of living things only to tell them. These marvellous men never spoke just about themselves, since they knew that their problems were common to all mankind, and like this were they tackling them. It is very different to offer something to the world with a sense of service, than trying to attract attention by putting on instagram a new photo of your pijamas, even more so when you buy the pajamas thinking about all of the likes that you are going to receive.

The paradox is that only when we act forgetting the results and expectations, only do we manage to do the type of things that are worth of recognition. It requires a leap of faith. That is why in the following post we will see what living life only to tell it brings behind and how, if you are interested, can you fight it.

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