“The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art — and, by analogy, our own experience — more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means.” — Susan Sontag

An artist is either destroyed through laziness or being so stuck inside his head he never begins; a overthinking artist either double thinks every stroke of the pen or questions the likelihood of anyone ever bothering to read the intimacies of his heart. Because death is an inability to live, and overthinking prevents people from acting, overthinking is a death; we are not allowing ourselves to connect to the flux of on-going experience. We are meant to follow our hearts, and this pursuit is more important than water, food, and even sleep; however, because the artist cannot release his uncertainty or use it to propel him forward, he shrivels under the weight created by his mind. Because we live bombarded with social expectations and mass manipulations — without an active battle against our destruction — we never discover where our thinking begins and the assumptions of parents, the community, and the nation begin. We become obligated to leave the trap, and discover the importance of living with the 5 senses every day; examining the source of our lives and relinquishing overthinking for certainty. Certain that rising for the universal morning roll call signifies a responsibility to every hour. Living with uncertainty keeps us a short distance away from our potential, and the distance ca be bridged by certainty.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”— Vincent Van Gogh

Every artist, thought leader, painter, poet, and human being has experienced the debilitating effects of doubt; being opposed to the present, doubt makes it impossible to create, and paralyzes creativity because it make the creator assume he knows the future. The writer speaker to the heart and intellect of mankind, while doubt speaks to the writers non-existence; doubt speaks to everything we wish would not happen, and has us expecting the most pessimistic outcome. The past was hard, the present continues to be hard, and the future will bring more hardship, but the future does not have to completely mimic the past. Doubt is completely antithetical to the creative and those living to master existence. We must learn to transform doubt into an alarm clock of our need to be present.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” — Henry David Thoreau

Life moves without hurry, and learning to move patiently is developing a keen eye of reverence for every moment. Our anxieties and fears are hindrances to our rejoicing, but must be treated — time and time again — as a alarm clock; a signal from the most high that the world needs our awareness. Rushing the present does not allow us to be grateful for the life we are currently living; we lust after a moment in the past only because it is no longer here. Standing steadfast in the day allows our total involvement in the incubation and birthing process of our lives. Being forever required to make sense out of nonsense and look upon this eternal duty with an affirmative disposition; for, any other life only creates a greater distance between our internal and outer world. We have responsibility until we do not rise for the universal morning roll call, and like our ancestors we have an obligation to leave a legacy of commitment and devotion.

“When the Negro musician or dancer swings the blues, he is fulfilling the same fundamental existential requirement that determines the mission of the poet, the priest and the medicine man.” — Albert Murray

Living demands faith, allowance, confidence, and a keen ability to recognize the necessity of using the internal life as a ladder for a higher relationship to the world. Living is an art that has to be worked, shaped, mastered, and loved in order to take our unutterable thoughts and have the faith to utter a solution or walk the path to our treasure. Because people depend on the regurgitation of ideas to live, they are always an the whim of the information that comes to them; which means if the artist is not providing people with information on how to become independent then the information is useless. People cannot face the day believing that it will be the same as yesterday, but our responsibility is learning the pleasure hidden in the pain; learning again and again that our responsibility is to what we can become. When the anxiety is rampant and the over-thinking ripping our present apart that we are in the midst of an age-old epical struggle of Heru vs Set; however, many people fail to recognize the opportunity and succumb to Sets strength. Continuing to live the day as it was lived before; through the terror, doubt, and anxiety we must recognize every emotion as a ladder to climb above and beyond it. No matter the size love must be discovered and appreciated in our lives.

Edvard Munch’s portrait of existential angst