Intelligence, Loneliness and Art – Stating the Obvious

Intelligence, Loneliness and Art – Stating the Obvious

After procrastinating for two months, being lambasted as an “utter disappointment” is what it took for me to finally contribute to this amazing blog. But be rest assured I am gonna start off with a “major philosophical bang”, bigger than the one that gave birth to the Universe, a bang, deeper than the Mariana Trench, loftier than the Olympus Mons, more significant than Gandhian Socialism in modern India.

Well not really, all the brazen bombardment of knowledge above was to filter out the people I do not want to be reading this blog (for their own good). They would have wasted 7 precious minutes of their life and not understood a word. For all of you, who have endured until this point, I believe you people are just like me and hence will enjoy the fact that somebody is putting down in black and white, what is super obvious and extremely relatable AND THAT

 

Jokes apart, it sounds like a very mean and undemocratic thought, trading off the peculiar glamour that isolation has in romantic culture- to gain a vague sense of superiority and partially passing off an absence of social skills as a virtue, therefore I need to be clear what I mean by intelligence in this piece. It has nothing to do with the marks secured in exams or the number of degrees that one has. In our country we invariably and very erroneously correlate the two. What is meant here is Emotional Intelligence, thanks to Sir Daniel Goleman for glamourising the term.

We have heard the term “Emotional Intelligence” innumerable times but what exactly is it? Emotional Intelligence means a capacity for self-honesty and self-observation. In layman terms it is a knack for opening oneself upto the strange and not easily admissible aspects of oneself and at the same time for noticing the many peculiar (may be beautiful or ugly but definitely profound) experiences and sensations passing through our consciousness. The problem arises from the fact that most of us (I am guilty too!) are not used to doing this. We tightly cling onto reassuring notions of what normal people are like. As a result we exclude the most honest and richest parts of ourselves in front of others. We simply edit the wild, impatient and probably terrifying sides, revealing just the socially acceptable side which we like a seasoned actor pretend is who we are.

What it feels like to be in the company of other people.

The result of all this? Most of what is in our minds remains unfelt and unseen, troubling us in other ways. Insomnia and many other diseases are just a manifestation of everything that we tried so hard not to notice in broad daylight. So finally let me introduce to the “Intelligent Person”. He is one who is a genuine reporter of his inner mental state, one who has vanquished the fear of being weird. But- As Ned Stark said “Everything said before the word but is horse shit”. But it is almost certain that this “Intelligent Person” has a far greater chance of meeting with incomprehension, irritation, boredom and in certain extreme cases censorship when he tries to share his feelings frankly in the company of others, his thoughts will sound too extreme, maybe threatening, too intense or too tender. This is where the feeling of loneliness sets-in.

Other people’s reactions when an emotionally intelligent person shares his frank views.

This is where art comes into picture as a resource to address the feeling of disconnect and loneliness which is felt by the aforementioned “Intelligent Person”. All works of art are nothing but records of everything that could not be said in regular social interactions and thus have rather formed a more intimate connection with their audience transcending time and geographical distances. All the cinemas, art galleries and libraries are repositories of everything that could not make way into standard interactions but at the same time are the things that we crave to state and hear in our lonely “Moments of Truth”; the things that tell us what it actually means to be alive. Art is nothing but the fact that some emotionally intelligent people find it easier to share their thoughts with people who are not in the same room and maybe even the same lifetime as them.

Leonardo Da Vinci communicating with billions of people five centuries later.

Everything being said, the goal is not to become a society where art is ever more prevalent and more available when loneliness strikes but a society where it is ever less necessary, because we have grown better at sharing more of who we actually are in the ordinary moments of life.

I hope atleast some of you survived till the very end. Thank You.

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