For centuries, philosophy has been shaped around an important question. Who am I and what is my purpose here? What about religions? It can be a socio-cultural system that actually exists or that people have created to make sense of life. Isn’t it the basis of religions to connect with “I”? Aren’t religions also a search for yourself? Spiritualism, on the other hand, may be seen as “illogical” by some people. But isn’t this system also an effort to make sense of oneself and one’s surroundings?
Why is psychology so important? With each passing day, we reach new information about our brain and consciousness, which is like a secret. Why is this thing that is always with us, that we carry within us, that makes us who we are, so mysterious?
Since Modern Art, artists have moved away from traditional aesthetics and reflected their individual interpretations and images. Is this awakening also a coincidence? For example, Salvador Dalí, one of the representatives of the Surrealism movement, was highly influenced by consciousness and its layers, as in his work “The Persistence of Memory”. In other words, Dalí focused on “I” in his works. He frequently used subjects such as hallucinations, dreams, subconscious, life and death in his works. This work is about the connection between past, present and future. So it’s about time. And it can be said that it also has a spiritual meaning in terms of its content.
Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Oil on canvas, 24 cm × 33 cm
If we look at the Contemporary Art period, we can talk about performance artist Marina Abramović. In her performance titled “The Artist is Present”, the artist sat in a chair for 8 hours almost every day for 3 months. A lot of participants sat on the chair in front of her one by one and came face to face with the artist. This performance gave an experience of being in the moment and remembering the present. With its interactive feature, it created a transcendent bond between the participants and the artist. How can two strangers who don’t know each other exchange such energy? How can they experience such calm and sometimes emotional moments in silence? I think this performance is a good example of our spiritual bond.
Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present, 2010, Performance
But why is “me” so important? Why am I so close to myself and yet so far away? Who am I talking about when I say “I”? Do I know myself enough? Or do I think I know?
Don’t we miss a very important point while struggling to survive in the material world? We make money, we want more. We buy a house, we buy a car, we shop. We use material things to make ourselves happy. Of course, it is necessary considering the economic conditions. It is necessary because we live in a certain system. A house to shelter, need for security, food… But the real question is: are these enough?
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
Alan Wilson Watts
We are trying to do our best in this system. But do we still feel a void? All these materials are an effort for meaning that we use just to be happy.
But what if the meaning of life is not something we have to look for outside but something we have to create inside?
Are these the things that make you “you” or could there be more? What do you know about your subconscious, which contains much more information than the conscious side? What if it really describes you? What if you never thought about that information? What if you are living a life you’ve memorized for a long time? The source of happiness you seek may be a “you” that you have never met before…