Acrylic on canvas
152 X 122 cm
Be as free as you really are. Acknowledge, that wasting our lives is our own fault, however much we are tempted to blame God or the status-quo. Most of us don’t know how to do it, right? There’s no pedagogic answer and no magical book of wisdoms. In that case we’re nothing but illiterates of perfection? We are reading book on book without understanding their meaning. Assuming that there was one to be found in the first place. We should see our existence as the greatest exploit in our life. Yes, we are alive! Let’s start to enjoy life. Flee from your very own graveyard of happiness and reach for a fearless triumphal happiness that rejects transcendental rot. That all said, you are yourself, so cherish your singularity. We can see Friedrich Nietzsche on the right side of the painting, the liberator from our deterministic straight-jacket and restorer of our creative freedom. Next, we can see in the background, a man reading diligently a book; this is an homage to Carl Spitzweg. Let’s assume that he is looking for the meaning of the word freedom. Well, freedom you got to find it first in yourself and not in books from self-help orgies to the bible. Now, the problem of being is a problem of freedom. To become a Man, one must be bound to the mast of rational self-affirmation, right? Moving on we find Albert Camus, who seems to be the only one to enjoy this get together. Is life just an absurd dream, right? How can we preserve our incorruptible lucidity? One must, safeguard one’s independence at the core of oneself, right? Be that as it may, with all freethinkers comes tolerance. Those who demand freedom of thought for themselves recognise the same right for all people. So, strive to remain sane in the deluge of madness. Nevertheless, man has inherited the incapacity to be free because of his fear of passion and responsibility. Now, time has come to nuke the shackles. Stop playing the game that the status-quo wants you to play. Refuse to lie, say how it is, and refuse to hide your feelings. The result was predictable: society immediately felt threatened. Maybe we have enough freedom to realise we’re in a cage, but not quite enough to escape it? Maybe no one seems to understand anything, and everything appears a bit hopeless? Maybe, there is in fact no preordained meaning in life? Too bad, then we’re just biological matter spinning senselessly on a tiny rock in a corner of an indifferent universe. We were not put here by a benevolent God and asked to work towards our salvation in the shape of 10 commandments or the holy gospels. There’s no road map and no bigger reason to navigate life. And it’s this realisation that lies at the heart of so many ontological crises reported by the thinkers we now know as Existentialists. We should accept that all our lives are absurd in the grand scheme of things, and hopefully we end up resisting utter hopelessness or nihilism. Yes, we must live with the knowledge that our efforts will be largely futile, our lives soon forgotten and our species irredeemably corrupt and violent – and yet we should endure, nevertheless. Finally, we find another French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre. One of his famous philosophical war slogans is: Existence precedes essence. What Sartre meant by ‘being’ are the bits of our life that we are free to choose for ourselves: how we live, what job we do, etc. And by ‘essence’, he refers to things that lie outside our command: our biological nature, the flow of history etc. He wished to liberate us from certain rigidities of mind, that ‘being’ should ultimately be thought of as more important than ‘essence’. A personality is not built over a previously designed model aka God or a precise purpose, because it is the human being who chooses to engage in such enterprise. If things are not what they seem, then our possibilities are becoming huge, right? Maybe things are weirder than we think? Everything is (terrifyingly) possible because nothing has any pre-ordained, God-given sense of purpose. Maybe we are just making it all up as we go along, and are free to break the chains at any moment, right? The three philosophers urged us to accept the fluidity of existence and to create new habits, outlooks, and ideas. The revelation that life doesn’t have some preordained logic and is not inherently meaningful can be a source of immense relief when we feel oppressed by the weight of tradition and the status quo. Our collective unconscious agrees too: we’re freer than we allow ourselves to imagine. Very good.