If art is spiritual as well as mental, which I think it is, then it follows that art therapy is real. But the question is how can art heal; what kind of art can deliver healing virtues to the one needing healing? I also want to believe that the mind is a very important tool or channel of healing for the entire human organism. The use of tranquilisers and also, especially placebos, are ways that clearly suggest that the mind affects also the way the body – a physical aspect of the individual reacts to the call to healing, and bodily repair.
|Painting by Gani Odutokun|
A placebo is an innocuous or inert medication which is usually administered to a patient as a pacifier, or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug. Fact is that so many have actually accessed healing through this experimental approach to treating patients in the hospitals. How does this work? It is simply healing from inside out – working on the mind to heal an ailing human being. There is certainly a place for art in your ailing (mind), and for your soul and body.
Human psychology has to do with the science of mental life; it is perhaps merely a distant cousin in relation to the spiritual essence of the same man. My thinking is that we have to understand that the situation that bugs down the mind and, or spirit, is fundamental to the state and process of well-being, and even healing for that matter. Even at the risk of sounding theological, I will say it is also true that everything that happens in the physical has also already manifested in the spiritual realm.
I will posit that mental art is not necessarily the art of the mind, but employing the art of mental focusing and deploying the spirit essence in art, healing can actually spring forth for the ‘patient’ patient. This mode of healing is also an art that must be thought. Thus, one would want to ask - how can an individual obtain healing through the positive ‘vibrations’ imbued in a specific piece of artwork such as a painting; how can it deliver healing if one is not properly channelled on how to obtain this inherent benefit? Or, how can one learn and begin to believe, whichever one comes first, that even by mere participation in the process of art production, they can equally be healed or helped?
|Painting showing an approaching storm over a landscape|
Yes, these are the two major ways there are in which you can obtain healing, or art can serve as healing balm or medium, for not just an individual but also a whole society. Evidences abound on how the process of art creating as well as the experience of art through appreciation and contemplation of the message it transmits have been used to effect healing. We shall be dwelling more on the practical aspects of this wonderful gifts and tool as we delve further into these beautiful realms next time.