What if we were to use the brain for enjoyment?

art-appreciationAn article on the Wall Street Journal states that our brains are built for art appreciation (“Our Brains Are Made for Enjoying Art” by Ann Lukits, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014). http://on.wsj.com/1slEgiQ. For some reason, this struck me as an important finding about the brain and about life.

What if art appreciation is the main purpose of the brain? “None of that,” you might object. “The purpose of the brain is science, logic, mathematical reasoning, objective validity, and certitude based on reality.” Still, “The human brain is built for art appreciation, suggests a meta-analysis that looked at studies mapping brain processes linked to the arts” (quoted from the article).

kids-and-artLet us consider for a moment what it would mean to use the brain for art appreciation. No suggestion is made that this is the only function for which the brain is suitable, but perhaps we could increase the frequency and opportunities for art appreciation. May be side by side with exercise, nutrition, and spiritual rituals people should take time to appreciate art. “What are you doing?” a friend might ask. “I am appreciating art; will be done in about 15 minutes.”

Or a doctor might prescribe art appreciation for 20 minutes a day. In fact, the article continues: “Viewing paintings engages a number of different regions of the brain, suggesting art appreciation is a natural biological process…”

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

From the Biblical tradition stands a warning against eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From the the Back-to-the-Body perspective, the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a symbol of the brain. What is the fall of humans, and why do humans get expelled from paradise? The fall starts with the loss of the foundation of faith, when people opt for fear, mistrust, and cunning to outsmart others. This attitude–we are warned–will make it impossible for us to live in paradise.

tree-of-knowledgeSo, what if we use our brains less for cunning and craftiness and more for art appreciation? In that case, we would use the brain less for judgments and more for appreciation. Nietzsche seems to suggest this idea when he says, “Nicht dass du mich belogst sondern, dass ich dir nicht mehr glaube, hat mich erschüttert.” [“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on, I can no longer believe you”]. In other words, the loss of the ability to believe is such a painful loss.

As for myself, I am adding art appreciation to my toolkit of living: walking, living the day in four seasons, eating slowly, telling jokes, dancing–and now, art appreciation.

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
June 17, 2014 (World Cup in progress)

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de la Perspectiva De Regreso al Cuerpo? | Paulo-Juarez Pereira - June 23, 2014

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  2. Happy Hour – June 26, 2014 | Cynthia K Ortiz - June 27, 2014

    […] What if we were to use the brain for enjoyment? […]

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