By Anna Von Reitz
People sometimes approach me, and more often, my husband, and they are curious about the role of art in our lives and why we would devote such a considerable and fond portion of our time on Earth to art? To many people, art seems extraneous, useless, just "pretty pictures" on the wall--- something that might be nice to have, but serving no actual purpose.
People have lost their "eyes to see", and are like dead people in fact as well as on paper, not because they lack the essential organs and capacities to relate to art, but because they have been stymied, atrophied, and discouraged to the point wherein they can't perceive art naturally anymore, and can't interpret it, either.
It's like a foreign language hanging on the wall, someone speaking in Dutch or Japanese or another foreign language --- pleasant enough, for the most part, but unintelligible.
In frustration, many modern artists have attempted to bonk audiences on the head, to demand attention, and force people to look at things like soup cans and dead bodies and manikins and dog feces and all sorts of ugly, or mundane, or downright offensive presentations. They don't know what else to do. Their art becomes the equivalent of a fire alarm or S.O.S. signal.
Other modern artists have attempted to become art. They tattoo their bodies and pierce their noses and weave odd colors and bones and ribbons in their hair. They dress up in costumes or wear things that aren't identifiable as clothes, or they tear off every stitch in desperation --- all because they feel that they can't get through to the numbed-down and dumbed-down audience they are playing to.
So if you want to avoid the penalties of bad art, become a better seer and a better listener. Tune up your inner organs of perception --- your inner eye, your unseen ears of the soul.
Art helps us do that and to make that leap in perception that can carry us all the way back to the "lost" Universal Language of Photo-Feelings and instant knowing. This is why we love art and collect art and spend time with art. That's why we enjoy it. We speak the Universal Tongue.
Most people in America are like little children just learning to read when it comes to art, and they tragically stay that way all their lives. They spend their whole lives meeting externally mandated and arbitrary needs, content that they can tell the difference between red and green. And as a result they can neither "read" art, nor can they communicate with art --- their own or anyone else's.
They pass by, they glance, but they can't take in the content.
All brave souls begin the journey with simple art that pleases them, because that's their reading level, and that's wonderful. I encourage them every step of the way and discourage no one. Remember when you were a child just discovering books? It's the same way with art.
Most of us start out with simple sounds and simple words and simple art, and that's just fine. Whatever pleases you, whatever speaks to you, is fine. Never feel embarrassed or defensive or pretend to like things because "art snobs" like them. Like what you like and let your responses be honest. Let your responses to art thrive. Exercise your perceptions like you exercise muscles.
As time goes on, your appreciation will increase, become more mature, and your art "vocabulary" will expand. Maybe you will be like me, and always retain a place for simple art and friendly mutts. Maybe you will be strongly drawn to one kind of art or one medium. Over time, most of us develop multiple interests in multiple mediums and genres.
Paintings, prints, sculpture---- will all stimulate your inner eyes and inner ears. They will all teach you to speak the Universal Tongue that existed before Babylon.
And they will all empower you beyond your wildest dreams.
That's why we should all buy art. Art still retains the power to transport us into realms where we are at home, restored, and safe from the parasites that would suck us dry of every living impulse, and squelch every creative thought until we are reduced to living in a box provided by their constant propaganda.
And that, again, is why we should seek art, love art, and buy art for our homes and offices and anywhere that we spend time. Our art becomes our castle keep, our mental retreat, our reminder of better things. Even the memory of art allows us to dwell in a different world, using different sensors to attain new perceptions and stir our emotions.
Art keeps our souls alive and develops our ability to see with our inner eyes. It allows us to silently communicate vast amounts of feeling and meaning, just as two lovers can say everything with a single soul-piercing glance.
What use does art have, but to discover and to express and to expand your own soul and your own ability to see, to feel, and to know? To empower you to speak the Universal Tongue. To know who you are. To know what you most truly value. To express your heart. To find others who have felt what you have felt, to find silent mentors whose vision expands your own.
Art is infinitely more important than any news you will ever hear on the television or radio, yet we are encouraged, almost forced, to pay attention to the Talking Heads and the politicians, to believe that they are important when all they offer is a constant diet of discouragement, embarrassment, fear, and hot air of a kind that won't even heat your home.
A decent painting of a warm fireside on a cold winter night is a far, far better investment than a television set. Why? Because it warms your heart, makes you feel secure, maybe even grateful. It stirs good memories and associations and gives you hope. It tells you that you are safe. It tells you what matters.
The pictures flickering over a television screen go by too fast for your contemplation, and no matter what their content, much of which is bad, they slip by so fast that there is no opportunity for us to learn how to extract meaning from these pictures. Our feeble yet-to-be-developed inner organs of perception are flooded, dulled, overwhelmed, unable to get a foothold on all that content --- but a painting or illustrations in a book, that's a different story.
So we should buy hard copy art --- art for our walls, illustrated books, you name it. If it is a picture that we can pause over and actually look at and see before it morphs into something else, it will teach us the skills and sensitivities we desperately need to be and to feel alive.
Buy art, for the sake of those whose mission it is to save our lives and awaken our souls. Buy art, for your own sake to comfort you and inspire you and enliven your vision and your soul. Buy art and cherish it and keep it for your lonely days and quiet moments, for when you need to cling to something beyond yourself. Buy art and spend time with it, as it is the only way to learn the Universal Tongue.