Arts – Impossible to define? Arts is such a broad topic that it would be impossible to go with just a single definition. According to one of the definitions arts can be defined as: ”Studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills); college of arts and sciences’”. According to another definition: ”he arts include the visual arts, literature (written and oral), music, and theater arts.”
Another way to try to define ”arts” would be to say that arts are anything that stems from human’s creative side. Any body of work that expresses feelings, symbolizes certain emotions such as love or hate or jealousy, as well as works that show something that would be impossible to express through mathematical formulas or originated in a beaker could be considered a part of arts, as well. Art itself is sometimes described as object(s) of work that can be found in institutions associated with arts such as museums, galleries, theatres, dance stage… libraries.
Many people (artists) believe their creative side comes from something that can’t be explained – it disputes logic and it seems to have no reason for its existence – creative skills are rarely a consequence of a genetic makeup or a reason of educational training. The facts are simple: you can teach some people to draw or pound out piano keys to imitate art but you can’t teach anybody talent. Talent is perhaps what separates skill from actual art but lots of people will argue that it is impossible to define talent as well, and that someone may have talent but won’t act upon it in a way that would take full advantage of such gift. There’s one interesting definition of artistic ability, that sums it up interestingly: ”[Talent] is an ability expressed by the Metaconscious mind, comprising mastery by the Self. With further study and practice, this ability becomes anchored in the Superconscious mind, where it can directly express the ensouling entity. This deeper development of ability is referred to as a gift, genius, a spiritual power or siddhi.”
Even though this definition is not necessarily relevant or understand to a majority of people, there’s something to it, namely, its puzzling explanation in itself captures quite well what talent is and what purpose (or no purpose?) it serves as the essence of arts. But going back to the concept of arts itself and the impossibility to pinpoint exactly what that concept means: it is perhaps a little like what lots of people refer to as ”subconscious” – it comes from somewhere within ourselves but perhaps from outside of ourselves – we don’t really understand well what it means. So here’s what we know for sure: There’s no common agreement about arts mean exactly.
A one successful argument, however, says that arts communicate on different levels and are open to a number of interpretations. If a person remembers a particular work of art – be it a book, a dance, a painting, a musical piece – and returns – in their mind or otherwise – to it frequently, than that same work of art may communicate varied ways of its meaning, endlessly. It has served its purpose whatever that purpose was. Great art pieces are said to be able to communicate with people across different cultures and be able to stand the test of time, which is could be the ultimate test for any of the arts and their (mystical?) purpose.