At first I thought this quote was perfect for my ‘Mind Image’ series. Then after I drew the drawing I started to think it was somewhat pedestrian. Then I got it. It isn’t pedestrian, it’s understated. I can just imagine a upper crust British actor saying this in a period movie as Galileo is being tried for heresy or Socrates is forced to drink hemlock.
History shows us the consequences of new ideas in religion can be extreme. One need look no farther than Jesus as an example. He was crucified because of the threat his new religious ideas had on the established religion and the established government of the day. And there have been millions more over the centuries who have suffered and died because the threat their ideas pose to someone else.
The process of proving something in science often starts with an individual having an idea that something may not be as it seems and starts to investigate. As he or she investigates their ideas are not yet fully proven and are often met with skepticism and distrust. Luckily, science has a built in mechanism, the scientific method, that eventually allows ideas to prove themselves. The recent proof of the existence of gravitational waves proving Einstein’s 100+ year old theory that they exist is a great example.
Name an art movement and it probably started by being disparaged and attacked by the people involved with the more established art movements at the time. Sometimes even the movements’ names often started as a cut. Fauvism (Wild Beasts) was the dismissive name given to Henri Matisse’s art movement of 1905. Impressionism got it’s name when a critic took it from a title of a Monet painting (Impression: Sunrise) and wrote a satirical negative review of their first exhibition. In fact most art movements tend to take shape in rebellion against a prior movement. Pop followed Abstract Expressionism. Pre-Raphaelites rebelled against Raphael and the Mannerists who followed him.
It’s not likely you, or anyone, has a completely open mind. I know I don’t. We end up believing certain ideas and it’s hard to let go of them, no matter how open minded we are. So, how do we keep as open a mind as possible? Well, the goal, for me at least, isn’t to have a completely open mind. It’s to have a mind that holds on lightly to ideas. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe them, but it means I am willing to accept the possibility that a new idea might come along that changes my mind. I don’t grab new ideas willy nilly just because they are new. But I do allow my mind to consider new ideas before I judge them.
Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Quote by Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher