When people want to praise art museums, they sometimes remark that they are our ‘new cathedrals.’ … But there remains a huge difference between museums and cathedrals in terms of our collective awareness of what the two types of buildings should be for. You used to go to the cathedral for some clear reasons: because you wanted to save your soul, because you were looking for comfort, you needed community, you wanted to develop your moral character or you were hoping for consolation and redemption.
Art can do for us a remarkable number of the very things that religion once did. Culture is in a position to replace many of the functions of scripture. Art too has the power to console us, it too can bring meaning and purpose, it too can increase our powers of empathy and generate a sense of community.
Surprisingly, it wouldn’t take too much to transform museums so that they could really function as adequate replacements for cathedrals. … There might be a room on love, another on death, a third on children, a fourth on money, a fifth on aging – and so on. Just like music or literature, art has the power to work a deeply therapeutic effect on us. Connection with the right piece can explain, re-invigorate, rebalance and console us, but in order for this to happen, we need a little encouragement to believe that such intimate effects might be possible or desirable."
Also see Botton’s talk on how art can save your soul.(via explore-blog)
No one’s life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are. ~Dean Ray Koontz
(Source: , via explore-blog)