Art is heightened life

I’m convinced that, at some point, everyone has left the cinema or an art show feeling more whimsical than usual, or perhaps wiser, or revitalised. What I would like to know is how many times you have been moved, truly moved- on a soul level, by a film, a painting, an art installation. After watching or experiencing a piece of art*, have you ever felt that it impacted you so profoundly, it was almost like you reached a higher state of consciousness? It’s more than an “aesthetic experience.” This is the magical power of art.

What about the process of creating art? Have you ever sensed a creative force breathing new life into you, into everything (re-shaping your perception of the world)? This is the godlike power of art and creativity.

I would like to hear about your unique experiences with this! How has art (and a specific art piece) changed your life, to what degree, and for how long?

As paradoxical as it sounds, art can make you connect with your self, your higher self, as well as giving you the chance to detach from your self-concept and see the world through someone else’s eyes, explore new territories, new experiences, making you feel like you belong, like you are a miraculous, integral part of this universe. This inner journey ultimately brings you closer to your higher self, a self that feels more authentic than the one that is founded on projections of the ego. Hence why there is no paradox, actually. In such moments of exquisite rapture, your existence is enriched with inherent meaning. By running away, “escaping” life as you know it (perhaps dimmed by routine and other ordinary but potentially soul-crushing aspects) you transcend your limiting self-constructs and beliefs and you arrive closer to your higher Self.

*For the record, when I talk about “art” in this post I am referring to the broader -and most valid- definition of art, which encompasses literature and film – the latter being the highest art form in my view.

A confession

Here is an apparently condemnable confession for a woman: I always, always, always do exactly what I want to do. It’s one of my defining characteristics – as unchanging and relentless as my regenerative strength and perceptive and intuitive nature. I take the lead and control my world. What does that imply? I can’t be swayed, brainwashed, gaslighted into doing or being anything I don’t want. I reject anything that doesn’t align with my views and values, that doesn’t resonate with me. There are, indeed, parts of my personality and identity that are quite fluid, in the sense that I am quite open to exploring new territories, new experiences, new sources of rapture. The point is I dare to live according to my own rules, system of values, ideas of happiness (which can fluctuate in time), and strategies to reach higher mental/emotional/psychological states, as opposed to emulating someone else’s. Despite all this, I don’t expect everyone to find happiness or fulfilment in the same places I do, or be moved by the same experiences I find ineffably exquisite, or appreciate the same flavours of this multitudinous universe. Because of all of this, something that acutely irks me is whenever someone has the audacity to tell me I’m wrong in my ways, that my perception is distorted and I must be unhappy because I don’t adhere to a cookie-cutter approach to lifestyle, as dictated by others. I can understand that clashes between different sets of values and world views are inevitable; what I find laughable and obnoxious, however, is whenever someone tries to convert you to their conceptual world and deny the validity of anything else, ignoring the possibility that anyone can choose to live based on their own concepts of happiness. I think I am more justified in my view that this tendency to invalidate and criticise a different lifestyle chosen by someone you don’t resonate with is more indicative of unhappiness and discontent than the lifestyle itself. You are perhaps afraid of the unknown, seeing it as a threat because it makes you reassess your own life choices, the possibility that you could be living differently and you’d probably try if you weren’t afraid or trapped in a cage of your own making. You don’t want others to remind you of that, so you try to invalidate their narrative.

[to be continued]

November light

Dark November, darling November,
my birth month, a glorified time
of contradictions,
of re-emergence from dreams,
wearing adornments
and smiles of
miss “seen it all, heard it all”
Scorpio depth,
shrewd intuition,
and inner power-
It’s nature and nurture
even when the nurturing is done
in a glass castle
it is said that art is life intensified,
heightened experience
is this what it was, an artistic process?
all-consuming, delving deeply into
my life force, the closest I’ve ever got
to a spiritual experience,
however demonic,
in all its ambiguity and uncertainty-
was it but a psyche glitch?
is that what it takes, a cognitive distortion,
to erode the pillars holding up
a self-concept, a world,
in a most magical way-
heaven knows no human could do it-
aren’t most, if not all spiritual beliefs
a coping mechanism against
cosmic futility?
Here I am, inevitably returning
to the eternal question
that injects everything I do and feel;
Surrendering to Phoenix wisdom-
with my Eagle’s eyes,
fresh perspectives materialising
from the flames of the opposites
inner chaos leads to stillness
leads to outward ascension
from a special hell-
the tension of the opposites
within;
oblivion is laced with sweetness
it’s a universal truth: life is escapism,
just like wearing a tiara on your birthday
to forget about the flow of time
Although shifting from limbo
to a personal dystopian hellscape
and then into whatever followed
(labels have become frivolous)
has made me revere time,
realise I’ve had a coddled existence
for the most part
You can’t write words revealing
you are convinced of
your innate grandeur anymore,
without being deemed narcissistic
A good night kiss bearing all
the gentleness and sacredness
of a celestial being
should be a tell-tale sign
that it’s not pathological
but it’s hard to understand
a moment of uncanny ecstasy,
an awakening, how deeply moved
a sceptic can be, on a soul level.
Pour your life source into me
and lift me up
I am trying to be authentic
but I am not estranged from
the light and darkness of ego
something tells me ego
has shaped you in my mind, too
Whether external forces were at play
or you are just a part of me,
I have to say
thank you and
no, thank you.

Labyrinth

Within this labyrinth-
sacred lair, profane shrine-
I roam to banish anhedonia
I am seeking something
I know I have in me-
an elusive land
of ecstasy and renewal
My mercurial mind feeds
and fights
with itself
in the process
There are two main levels of feeling
I acknowledge as relevant-
the bipolarity is astounding, so
let’s just focus on the second one,
I wish I could teleport there
instinctually
[I can’t, I overthink everything
and only over-feel the negatives]
I have to dig deeper, and yet,
the more I dig, in a frenzy, the further away
I seem to find myself, somehow.
I try to hunt it down,
following the arcane trail
the anticipation
builds- the warmth melts the ice
it’s a basic state of being and yet
no matter how many maps I read
or people I ask for directions
along the way, it seems
despite their devotion,
no one knows the right way
and it eludes me at all costs
the maps are contradictory anyway
I know, deep down,
I need to pave my own path
Precious force,
Awaken me and I shall blossom
on the way, shed my old skin,
and leave a trail of petals from my past selves;
my scent lingers on and intoxicates-
entrances some, bewilders others
as I go deeper and deeper
into my idea of nirvana
I am content, but that is not enough
I don’t care about your concepts
My life is not a blank canvas
onto which generations can paint
cloned expectations
I won’t adjust myself to fit into a pattern
You don’t have the power
to influence me
if your mindset doesn’t fit in my utopia
The promise of that place throws me
into hypnotic depths;
it would have been easy
if it was at home,
but in my case, it isn’t, and
easy isn’t often
intensely good
not to mention
I’m a drifter anyway,
seeking a mythical land
I -a wayward nymph on an odyssey,
mesmerised by its promise
of feeling and being filled
with bliss,
Come with me, you,
special one,
Come with me
to a place of worship
But tread carefully,
with the right mix of
unconditional protection
unparalleled care,
and carefully chosen acts
of reverence
to honour
this labyrinth within.

Visual Branding Tips for Social Media in the Arts

Art companies and visual artists have to meet high expectations of visual excellence on social media. Find your UNIQUE visual approach to make your social media presence SHINE. Turn your feed into a work of art.

If you work in the arts, don’t neglect the importance of all visual aspects in your social media strategy. They have to be harmoniously intertwined, to achieve the best results & boost engagement. Effective, creative text matters, but visuals are an equally decisive element of your marketing strategy.

✨Pick your brand colour palette, font pairings, and layouts and use them consistently when you create social media visuals that reflect your brand identity.

✨Make sure your feed flows harmoniously, even if you go through a thematic change or aesthetic shift. All types of content have to work together to keep your feed flowing. Curate & arrange artworks and photographs & create graphics that contribute to the cohesive aesthetic of the feed.

✨ Curate and arrange your imagery in advance. Make a collage or use Preview App to visualise and plan out a cohesive Instagram feed.

✨ Don’t neglect any visual elements. Working in the arts means you already have great visual content available, but if your work consists of paintings, don’t underestimate the power of impactful design and impressive photography, or the importance of interweaving them effectively.

✨ Create mood boards. They can help you visualise concepts, provide style inspiration for your editorial calendar, and dictate the overall atmosphere of your upcoming posts, ensuring imagery flows.

✨ Create social media templates for different categories of posts, in order to stay organised and save time.

✨ Optimise your imagery for each social media channel.

✨ Save all your aesthetic resources in one place.

✨ Create a visual style guide including colour codes, fonts, editing apps, filters, photography guideline, templates, etc.

✨ Define and maintain a consistent aesthetic for your feed. One that resonates with your brand voice and identity, as well as with your target audience. Going through thematic changes is fine, as long as the overall aesthetic & vibe are consistent. What feeling do you want your page to evoke? Write down a few key words on your mood board. What resonates with your brand, content, and art? A light, airy aesthetic? Ethereal & pearlescent? Dark & Elegant? Clean and minimalist?

From avatar to social media posts, stick to a signature colour scheme, fonts, photographic style, graphics style.

Your feed is the first impression potential customers will have, the first connection they establish with your brand, so it has to be impactful. Attention spans are narrowing among social media users. You only have a few seconds to capture people’s attention.

A unique approach to visuals will make your audience instantly recognise your brand on their feeds.

Create striking social media graphics that reflect your brand identity in concise, inspiring, & impactful ways. Alternate them with artworks based on vibe and aesthetic.

Analyse your existing posts to identify your brand style. Is it time for a change? Perhaps you should consider visual rebranding and revamping your feed, drifting away from any elements your brand no longer resonates with.

Your grid should be cohesive, consistent, & flowing. The effects of having a cohesive visual aesthetic on social media: Engagement improves. Brand recognition increases. A consistent visual identity builds trust and connection.

Follow these tips to boost your social media presence, convey your message in memorable ways, and promote your art effectively.

Follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my social media tips for the art world:

Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy

Knowing the components of an effective, successful social media strategy is vital for any art company or artist who has rightly acknowledged the value of building a strong digital presence.


Who are you? Start by expressing your brand purpose clearly and creating a mission statement. You can convey this in a visually appealing way using powerful graphics, imagery, or video to tell a memorable story.


Who are you trying to reach and create content for? Identify and get to know your audience. You have to be attuned to their challenges, background, interests, motivations, and habits, in order to adapt and personalise your message and target the right audience in your ad campaigns. Create customer personas for the types of people you want to entice. Check existing analytics for more information about your current viewers and followers.


What do you aspire to achieve, what are the elements behind your overarching mission? Set SMART social media goals that align with your business objectives, and know which metrics to monitor in order to measure your progress. Some common social media goals are increasing brand awareness (the metrics you have to track here can be reach metrics, shares, followers), improving customer loyalty and advocacy (check engagement metrics like comments, mentions, as well as testimonials), generating leads and increasing sales (track conversion metrics), driving traffic to your website (click-throughs), and so on.


How are you going to achieve your goals? What tactics will you employ to do all of this? You have to be aware of the social media landscape within your niche, as well as keeping up to date with the latest digital trends, and knowing the algorithms of your ideal social media platforms. Create platform-specific content, invest in video content, go live, have an editorial calendar, use social media tools, repurpose content, join groups etc.

For digital tactics tailored to the art world, follow me on Instagram at @socialmedianart and stay tuned.

Resurrections of renowned artworks

Here are a few examples of more or less obscure (this is why Loving Vincent is not on this list) representations and recreations of famous artworks through fine art photography, film, animations, and video installations.

In Derek Jarman’s stylised historical drama shot in 35mm film, Caravaggio (1986), the director creates an engrossing, dreamlike fictionalised account of Caravaggio’s life in keeping with his painting style, conceptual themes, and mixture of the sacred with the profane, whilst adding anachronistic elements which endow the enrapturing depictions with an eternal quality and emphasise Jarman’s artistic identification. The film evocatively depicts the creative tension of reconfiguring the emotional experience of reality through an artistic lens. As a controversial creative soul with a deviant personality, a propensity for transgressions, a significant personal focus on sexuality, and inclination towards the profane, Jarman felt a kinship with the Italian Baroque artist. The film recreates Caravaggio’s paintings, with some memorable shots depicting Tilda Swinton as Penitent Magdalene and in the “Death of the Virgin”, Dexter Fletcher who plays the young artist appears as Bacchus and in a moving cinematic adaptation of “Boy with a Basket of Fruit”. Other striking recreations are of “Saint Jerome Writing”, “The Musicians”, and “The Entombment of Christ”.

Too unusual and inaccessible to fall into the mainstream, yet not exhibiting those traits to a qualifying degree to be welcome by the avant-garde, Jarman’s filmography is characterised by ambiguity-occupying a liminal position between radical and traditional labels. Caravaggio (1986) is one of his less experimental films, as well as being the film debut of Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean, both of whom deliver beautiful performances.

Speaking of bringing Caravaggio to life (although some have argued the opposite effect is achieved), Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, an Italian film director and video artist, creates experimental animations of masterpieces, including uncanny movements and gestures of figures we are used to admiring in static images, incorporated in eerie artistic videos representing reflections on beauty, as well as in multimedia live performances and video installations inspired by artists including Caravaggio, Hieronymus Bosch, Waterhouse, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and more. The main criticism directed at Tagliafierro for his video “Beauty” revolved around whether it unintentionally constitutes a blasphemy rather than a tribute, which was the conscious purpose for it.

I am biased here because I appreciate atmospheric videos and traces of the uncanny. I appreciate both the ethereal / angelic and sinister vibes as well, but from what I have seen, the videos are just a brief, aesthetic distraction.

Richard Tuschman’s alluring, evocative photographs from his series “Hopper Meditations” resonate with quarantine moods, capturing the alienation, the quiet longing for something unknown, and the uncanny intimacy of Hopper’s iconic paintings. In domestic settings tinged with melancholy, characters are visibly introspective- their expressions are frozen in enigmatic moments of unknown contemplation. Even when they are not alone, there is a sense of disconnection and an unspoken distance between them. The characters inhabit the landscapes of their minds, whilst also being physically distant. The cinematic nature of the photographs, the element of suspense, the subtle voyeurism, and the consistent window-gazing acts resurrect the atmosphere characterising Hitchcock’s films and Gregory Crewdson’s photography.

Inge Prader resurrects the enthralling aesthetic decadence of Gustav Klimt’s iconic symbolist paintings from his Golden Phase, re-interpreting them through a high-end fashion lens. Inge Prader’s stunning photography depicts lavishly decorated scenes of sparkling sensuality, featuring models in theatrical poses filled with grace and fragility.

Prader recreates specific paintings by Klimt and the outcome is undeniably striking, impressive, aesthetically pleasing, and refreshing, no matter what your views about re-staging masterpieces might be.

Embracing change: Video content on Instagram and Tips for the Art World

As you may have heard, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has recently announced that Instagram will start leaning into (to use his exact words) video content more in order to stay relevant and compete with or, as some may say, emulate, another particularly popular social media platform, TikTok. I will ponder this mainly in association with business and content creator accounts. First of all, this decision has caused conflicting feelings among Instagram users, including artists and photographers who prefer imagery over video content. For many of us this announcement wasn’t shocking, it seemed like the natural progression of events, as Instagram has already integrated various video features to stay relevant. If you check out Mosseri’s Instagram video on this topic, many top comments are critical of this decision. Instagram started as a photo-sharing app and some users want it to remain that way, at least primarily, but it now seems to shift from aesthetics and connection towards entertainment. In the art world, we can aim to merge all these separate aspects – aesthetics, connection, education, and entertainment.

It wouldn’t be a problem if Instagram tweaked video, increasing video quality, expanding formats, or introducing new video features, since some types of information can be conveyed better through video, whilst others shine through image or text. Different types of formats can all meaningfully coexist on your feed, if you want and if that approach makes sense and aligns with your brand. There are definitely many advantages to incorporating video into your content strategy, regardless of the nature of your business. Video captures the viewer’s attention for longer and can establish a stronger connection to a brand. If, however, you feel it’s not compatible with your work and interests, you might like being able to choose whether you would rather focus on consuming and creating another type of content. The main worry is that you will have no choice if you’re interested in social media growth and relevance, as the algorithm will prioritise videos over imagery, and photos will lose visibility, hence significantly diminishing the reach of those relying on imagery. Instagram will experiment with new video strategies, such as prioritising recommendations of videos on users’ feeds, including video content from accounts you may not be following yet. When it comes to bringing in and encouraging a different type of content, with a different… vibe, from another social media platform (so here I’m no longer referring to video as a format, but to a specific type of video content), there is always the risk of alienating some users. Wouldn’t it be better to compete by getting better at what you are already doing well, rather than altering it to emulate a different business model in order to conquer it? That is the main question posed by the critics.

We’re no longer a photo sharing app, or a square photo-sharing up. The number one reason people say they use Instagram in research is to be entertained, so people are looking to us for that. What we are trying to do is lean into that trend, into entertainment and into video. Because there’s some really serious competition right now- Tik Tok. […] We are also experimenting with how to embrace video more broadly- full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video. We will be experimenting with that in the following months.”— Adam Mosseri

I will mention some ways and video content ideas that you can use in the art world to adapt to the changing digital landscape that pushes video. Mosseri emphasises this word: entertainment. Instagram, art, and videos can all be seen, paradoxically, as both a form of escapism and connection to the world, that’s one thing they have in common. Let’s embrace video and look at this as a great opportunity to boost your digital presence on social media and to reach and appeal to a wider audience. Focusing on video can be more challenging, as it’s a more complex type of content in a professional context, requiring a more thoughtful approach put into consistency in frequency and message, but it is definitely worth investing time in. Video is a great resource for visual and multimedia storytelling. It can add value and it can be more meaningful, as it stops mindless scrolling. Videos can be educational, informative, and promotional. In any case, they have to capture people’s attention. Tell a story. Make it memorable.

Some galleries have already successfully incorporated video into their Instagram strategy (look at the National Gallery). I am going to share with you some ideas that can apply to galleries, museums, other art institutions and companies, studios, and individual artists.

– Firstly, you can film and edit a creative video providing a glimpse into the gallery or studio.

– Make a video emphasising the values you want to embody, promoting your mission and brand identity

– Create an exhibition preview, a walk through or virtual tour of the exhibition. You can create hybrid videos in which you mix image and video content.

– Produce a video featuring the body of work of a particular artist, accompanied by atmospheric sound and enticing voice-over

– A video of an individual artwork, from multiple angles, with close-ups on details, and storytelling. A great example that remained engraved in my mind is an in-depth analysis of “Mary Magdalene in ecstasy”, a painting by Artemisia Gentileschi. You can find this video through Google Arts & Culture. It is an intimate video, the voice of the narrator is hypnotic, the voice-over is poetic, the atmosphere of the video is mystical and mesmerising. This is a great personal tribute to Artemisia.

– You can create video content that is organised based on specific themes in art, or movements, or style, in the form of brief, artistic documentaries. You can use an art historian as a video host, someone who is passionate about and can delve into a specific topic, providing a fresh perspective and presenting it in a unique, engrossing way. Tate’s “Unlock Art” series on YouTube was quite successful, focusing on artistic themes and art history moments, including Surrealism, performance art, Women in Art, pop art, and nudity in art.

– Produce videos about gallery and museum events, activities, initiatives, and practices.

– If you’re an artist or you’re working with an artist, you can go for time-lapses, as people are often interested in the creative process from beginning to end. You can also show the studio or location in which a piece of art has been created. In some cases it is better if you post this as ephemeral content, aka Stories. As an artist, you can also post Reels showing off your inspiring progress.

Think of your Instagram feed as a work of art in itself. Post high-quality videos and images on there. You can use Instagram stories to provide a more informal and spontaneous glimpse behind the scenes of a gallery or an installation.

– You can also conduct video interviews and Q&As with artists or curators.

– Here’s an idea that can apply to anyone: Insert video into a static image, or the other way around. Attach graphic images to moving backgrounds. Videos can include teasers of an art installation, slideshows of artworks, and art gifs.

– You have the option of including a call to action at the end of your videos.

Some key words for video content in the art world are: emotionally evocative, engaging, informative, and aesthetically pleasing.

Check out my new Instagram account; I created it as an online portfolio where I also post digital content ideas and effective tactics and techniques tailored for social media management in the art and film world.

https://www.instagram.com/socialmedianart/

Immersion. Expansion. Reverie.

Having decided to embrace the unknown, we take confident steps forward, aware of our part in the greater design. Scent of ritual, sight of stars, and a refreshing breeze that revives us. The atmosphere takes us out of our formerly stagnant, limiting state. Everything is aligned perfectly. We are here for a purpose. We are here to forget some things and remember others. We are here to let go. To accept. To integrate. To be. Piercing eyes are not invasive here. Each soulful gaze feels like home. I can see myself in them. I am a vital part of something special and I can feel its grandeur, yet my core is still untouched, consistent. My focus is selective, the concept of pain is utterly nonsensical here- a faraway notion, neurosis removed, as each step gets me closer to a perception that I would have previously described as godlike. Pieces of narratives overlap, discourse becomes unnecessary. The power I could only vaguely fantasise about and partially conceive of before, becomes reality. In a total paradigm shift, the peaceful, blissful nature of an uncorrupted, spiritual power supersedes previous understandings of power, as it’s no longer conceived by a self that’s trapped in the temptation of existential nihilism or materialism or restricted by the limitations of an ego held captive by negative attachments.

There is a sense of complete, beautiful harmony between body and spirit, as well as a liberating, soothing awareness that we are more than embodied selves. Yet we choose to experience our surroundings by inhabiting a body, even in this realm. Still, we have the power to make that choice, so we are now no longer confined to experiencing reality in merely one plane of existence, as consciousness merges with wholeness, with our eternal higher selves. We no longer process the world merely through our brains, on a physical level. I had a glimpse of this state before on a conceptual level, but back then I wasn’t fully in control, or at least the part I identified with and had access to wasn’t, and I felt pulled towards that state, perceived in a fragmented way.

Back then, I recall it also felt like there was another presence inside me, a godlike presence I was having an inner dialogue with. I remember wondering– Is this God? The Devil? Someone from another world? Or am I a Goddess temporarily stuck in a human body with only a piece of my divine consciousness? (I used to identify as an agnostic with atheist tendencies) I couldn’t really tell if that presence was me, or something separate. It felt like something external, an ‘Other’, but at the same time like there was something of my self within this uncanny Other. We were communicating in a weird “language”. Through vibrations within. The presence was asking me or telling me something telepathically and if I resonated with what was said I would feel ecstasy. Was that an unconscious mind process echoing religious beliefs I had drifted away from? The episode happened during an otherwise dark chapter of my life; For a long time, I have repressed it and avoided revisiting it because of the darkness associated with that time and because I needed to move on as I just wanted peace of mind. In an instance of curious chronological symmetry, towards the end of the same challenging life chapter, I had another episode involving an agonising amount of inexplicable physical pain. Ecstasy and agony. Like something entered me and a few months later it was purged. For the record, I mean it symbolically.

The doom and the gloom were perhaps aspects of a fragmented psyche, the experience itself couldn’t be separated from these haunting states of mind, since I experienced all of that through the filter of my consciousness. I attributed the experience to a fleeting disturbance in my brain, a glitch in the matrix of my otherwise sane mind, rather than one in the fabric of the universe as I knew it, because of my agnostic beliefs and because I couldn’t pinpoint the nature of it; yet I couldn’t stop thinking about it, hoping (and partly fearing) it had a greater connotation. Once the darkness no longer had power over me and I could remove it from my psyche, I redefined the experience, attributing a different meaning to it. I removed the absurd beliefs that were just echoes of trauma and I kept the mystical side in the hope that it was a first step towards experiencing spiritual awakening, an insight not solely generated by a deluded mind, rather a deeper truth about what it means to be human and about my journey. Because let me tell you, an agnostic leaning towards atheism does not feel at peace, especially when they are ego-led. In integrating the experience, I became more open to the mystery of existence, and implicitly to the possibility that consciousness can persist independently of the brain- a view that was a cure to my ontological obsession and to the despair brought by thoughts about death. Of course, I still had doubts eating away at my newly found existential relief: Was my experience a sign of shifting towards a higher level of awareness or did it not carry any more truth than some pathological psychotic state? And, more importantly, was I simply replacing one religious framework supporting the idea of a make-believe world beyond our brief life on Earth (that I was skeptical about) with a different belief supporting the same idea, but a refined, more acceptable version, anchored in eastern spirituality? Was I still ego-led, refuting at all costs the idea that there is no grand scheme of things or that humans are insignificant in the grand scheme if there is one (for me, existential transience implied insignificance no matter how accomplished or meaningful one felt their existence on Earth was; in fact, the more relevant and interesting someone was in life, the stronger I felt the tragedy of the fleeting nature of human life) leading a transient life on a floating planet- a wonderful planet that is, however, just a small piece among myriads of pieces making up the cosmos? The cosmos and the exact nature of our consciousness may indeed have been a mystery, but potentially nothing more than a result of a series of lucky accidents of physics? After all, to take a moral stance, there was so much suffering in our world, in this small piece of the puzzling cosmos. Could all that suffering ever really be part of a bigger plan? Could those horrifying people who moved away from kindness, towards sinister acts of inflicting pain on others ever be an extension of something as beautiful and awe-inspiring as the Source or oneness?

Still, I had a sense of self-importance, which had always been unshakeable, even in my most nihilistic state. This had to transition into the realm of spirituality. Yet even when I became interested in spirituality, most of my beliefs were still anchored in science. I was still inclined to believe I was in control of most of the things happening in my life and the rest of the events were random rather than predestined or under divine control. Considering my glimpse into a higher self, I had to wonder: did that self have any power to influence what was happening in my current life, at any time? Could she act as a guardian angel? Or was it just that one ambiguous, interpretable intervention? I was on a quest, seeking a system of mystical esoteric beliefs that could meaningfully co-exist with science and make sense to me. At the same time, seeking to experience something extraordinary, “otherworldly” that didn’t “make sense” or only made sense from a spiritual perspective.

[…] To be continued

A simple introspective game

There is a nice, simple, & fun psychology game you can play with someone you’re just getting to know. You can do this with potential friends or romantic partners. It’s pretty old and well-known, so you might have heard this before, whether it was through Teal Swan or a psychology course, but here’s your reminder.

Ask them:

  1. What is your favourite colour? And tell me three reasons why.
  2. What is your favourite animal? And why? Describe them using three adjectives.
  3. What is your favourite body or form of water? Again, list three qualities behind your choice.

Answer these questions for yourself now too, before you read further into this. Try not to use superficial, unimaginative reasons.

Like other unconscious associations, each answer reveals other aspects about themselves:

  1. How you describe your favourite colour reveals how you view yourself.
  2. The qualities you attribute to your favourite animal represent what your ideal romantic partner is like. Another version says this actually represents how others view you.
  3. The last question refers to how you perceive your sexuality or your attitude towards sex and/or love.

Here are my genuine answers:

  1. My initial thought is “black”, but that’s technically not a colour and also, it’s more of an aesthetic preference regarding fashion style and hair. In this context I associate black with the words dark, elegant, and mysterious. My other answer is blue / teal. I associate blue with freedom, serenity, and depth. As far as the implications are concerned, I’m not so sure about ‘serene’. I have a fluid personality, and serenity only applies sometimes, so it’s not a fixed defining characteristic. Because I always oscillate between black and blue when someone asks this question in any context, perhaps this also hints at my dislike for limitations to a particular way of being.
  2. Dogs, wolves, snow leopards, cats, or polar bears? But I also like deer! I can’t pick one.
    Tough to choose between cats and dogs when it comes to domestic animals, but I’d say my favourites are dogs. Words that come to mind are: cute, friendly, affectionate, and loyal.
    I have loved polar bears ever since I was little, probably ever since I read a Romanian story, “Fram, the polar bear”; I love polar bears because they are cute and peaceful (when they’re not bothered or hunting), and I guess also because I associate them with my childhood (hence a purer perception of the world). It’s fascinating and calming to watch documentaries about polar bears; I like their whole vibe and that they live in the middle of an icy nowhere.
    I also admire snow leopards a lot, because they’re beautiful, agile and strong, elusive, and solitary, living their best life in the mountains. Nicknamed “Ghosts of the mountains”, they are crepuscular, like me. Despite their wild, predatorial nature, they don’t generally attack humans, even when they’re feeding. They can be found thriving at the highest altitudes.
    I love deer because they’re graceful, peaceful, and they have depth and gentleness in their eyes.
    Anyway, since I can’t pick, I’m gonna say I appreciate all these traits. Realistically speaking, taking into account the other version of this question, I would say that if this question actually shows how others view me rather than what I want in a partner, then going for a feline would probably be the most accurate. You can guess the adjectives. My spirit animal is definitely a feline. A cat morphing into a snow leopard at will.
  3. My favourite body of water would be small streams/creeks/rivers that you can find in the woods. So relaxing and refreshing, elevating, ever flowing. I also like lakes that you can find in certain caves, the ones with transparent crystalline blue water. Because they are enigmatic, pristine, and hidden. I love waterfalls, but I can’t find the right words to fully describe why. Maybe I like their impetuousness and dreaminess. I love the sea and its unpredictability; I especially like being in it when it’s windy or after a storm when the waves are tumultuous. Not going to attempt to interpret all these qualities in relation to the subjects of sex and love; I suppose all of this could mean my sexuality is an enigma even for me or that I have a changing attitude towards sex and/or love.