Blog: Balance

Christine Alfery

Posted on July 08 2020

Blog: Balance
Featured image: The Key

Your values - what you treasure, how you think, the way you understand reality – these form the self, the soul. For some these values are objective - they come from external sources like science.  Science is based on epistemology. You ask what is epistemology? Epistemology in a nutshell is a science devoted to discovery and an accurate, as truthful as possible, correct way to acquire and validate your judgements, statements, values. Epistemology is what provides validity to conclusions reached. 

For others the self is subjective – like artistic creativity. The act of artistic creation is a very personal self-experience. Art is an expression of the soul – pure objectivity, pure self. People everywhere value the abstract, the immeasurable, the personal, the non-concrete like believing in miracles and mystical things. People everywhere have faith in things that cannot be measured or defined. 

So is one better than the other?

The issue isn’t right or left, correct or incorrect – both the objective and subjective have value. We need both in the world. The key is balance – and creativity offers that balance. Both examples – science and creativity – are filled with discovery, problem solving, and creation of ideas. Creativity is the balance of the objective and subjective. Creativity is the symbiosis that brings together the epistemological and the mystical.

The Real and The Imagined by Christine Alfery

In education a great deal of emphasis seems to be placed on the value of objectivity and acquiring the correct answer. There are specific methods that dictate how we learn, how we find the right answer. Take art education as an example. Art critiques are part of the curriculum, and a student needs to understand the elements and principles of art in order to participle in a critique. The student is left with the idea that the elements and principles determine what makes a “good” or “bad” work of art. Art teachers can purchase pre-printed charts explaining things like color, value, line, shape, texture, form, contrast, repetition and pattern, emphasis, movement, rhythm, unity. The value placed on these charts and the corresponding elements and principles of art is objective. It can be measured and evaluated.

What is often missing is creativity – thinking differently. The principals of art create a foundation but creativity balances these objective values. In art, especially, we should value thinking differently. 

I am an excellent example of someone out of balance with traditional educational objectives – and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Creatives like me struggle to function within the existing system. Creatives like me think differently and solve problems differently. When I was in school there was no place for me – even when I went back to graduate school. Because of this I struggled to defend my PhD. There was no balance. Even in art, there was logic, curriculum, and direction. I remember taking a multiple choice test and thinking – multiple choice in art? One right answer? But there are so many possibilities . . . 

As I creative I just didn’t fit the box and eventually realized not only was that ok – it was something I valued. I did not want to become one of the many, I did not want to seek sameness.  I wanted balance – a symbiosis of subjective creativity and objective theory. 

The Scale, The Machine, The Natural by Christine Alfery

Our world cannot be defined solely by the objective. External values can be manipulated and controlled – the unique individual soul is lost when it is governed only by the external. Defining your self only by concrete, measurable, proven foundations of knowledge makes all of us monotone - all of us the same. This “sameness” does not encourage difference. Difference exists – we must respect difference because it offers uniqueness, innovation, new ideas, objective creativity – it offers balance.

For us artists, realize as a creative we are giving balance to our culture. We are showing the value of differences as we respect the concrete while also honoring the unique treasures within each one of us. We must not let the world lose this balance. Our culture cannot afford to lose creative individual souls.

I am a creative. I continue to create. I honor the treasures and jewels within me that are shouting to emerge and be present in today’s reality. I am a creative. I exist to bring balance to the world.

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