I’ve found there are terms derived from Art than can be useful in altering our perceptions and maybe making us forget our woes and feel more at one with the world.The most common and underrated one is,
Seeing things from a different perspective.
Most people are aware that when we look at a street or a row of trees we see them as differently shaped when we look at them from different positions.But we don’t see it can be used as a metaphor
I can imagine children think they are seeing a totally different place altogether
And furthermore to young children buildings are alive.Windows are eyes, the door is a mouth.So they seem to be looking at us.
When we grow older we invest the world with less of our imagination.So a pavement cracked and marked is fascinating to a child but is ignored, not noticed as we adults rush ahead trying to get things done
I think it is worthwhile to try to regain some childish vision and see more intensively what is near us.And who.
When we are unhappy it is good to get out of our thoughts and put our eyes and ears at the service of what is not ourself.I sometimes watched ants running up tree trunks.I wondered what their life was like.I believe injured ants are carried back to the nest.Perhaps they have a group identity.
See the brave grass growing in a crack in the road.
In a way, the environment IS ourself when we are little and we play outside the front door.For me, it is the hills of my childhood that evoke a sense of identity, a me-ness in me.
So to be a refugee or a displaced person must be very painful in more ways than we think.
As well as literally moving about to alter our perspective, we can also change our minds by trying to imagine what the lives of other people are like.
I find literature and novels especially are good for this.Great writers know more than psychologists.
So we can develop sympathy or empathy for others by reading.Many of us know a little Shakespeare and can identify with Hamlet or Macbeth, even King Lear.These works provide furniture for the mind.
And what do iPhones provide or texting
Should we be worried that a book written in poorish prose like 50 shades of grey outsells the Bible?
The stories of love, murder, savagery, mysticism are more interesting than these feeble writings women read on their Kindles as they commute to work.
Sometimes pretending to be a lawyer and making a case out for something you personally disagree with is a way of learning to see more widely
Because that really matters to everyone and not just the troubled or isolated