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Art as Therapy

Alain de Botton

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Curiosity takes ignorance seriously, and is confident enough to admit when it does not know. It is aware of not knowing, and it sets out to do something about it”

“Growth occurs when we discover how to remain authentically ourselves in the presence of potentially threatening things. Maturity is the possession of coping skills: we can take in our stride things that previously would have knocked us off course. We are less fragile, less easily shocked and hence more capable of engaging with situations as they really are”

“The true aspiration of art should be to reduce the need for it. It is not that we should one day lose our devotion to the things that art addresses: beauty, depth of meaning, good relationships, the appreciation of nature, recognition of the shortness of life, empathy, compassion, and so on. Rather, having imbibed the ideals that art displays, we should fight to attain in reality the things art merely symbolises, however graciously and intently. The ultimate goal of the art lover should be to build a world where works of art have become a little less necessary”

“When you feel sad, you are participating in a venerable experience, to which I, this monument, am dedicated. Your sense of loss and disappointment, of frustrated hopes and grief at your own inadequacy, elevate you to serious company. Do not ignore of throw away your grief”

“We incline towards feelings of isolation and persecution because we have an unrealistic sense of how much difficulty is normal. We panic too easily, as we misjudge the meaning of our troubles. We are lonely – not that we have no one to talk to, but because those around us can’t appreciate our travails with sufficient depth, honesty and patience. This is partly because the ways we show the pain of our choppy relationships, envy or unfulfilled ambitions can easily seem pejorative and insulting. We suffer and we feel that this suffering lacks dignity”

“Art builds up self-knowledge, and is an excellent way of communicating the resulting fruit to other people.”

“Growth occurs when we discover how to remain authentically ourselves in the presence of potentially threatening things.”

“To define a mission for art, then, one of its tasks is to teach us to be good lovers: lovers of rivers and lovers of skies, lovers of motorways and lovers of stones (58). And – very importantly – somewhere along the way, lovers of people.”

“Our mortality does not call for panic, but for a sense of awe.”

“Art can do the opposite of glamourizing the unattainable; it can reawaken us to the genuine merit of life as we’re forced to lead it.”

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Book Keywords:

knowledge, curiosity, self-help, ignorance, questioning, grown-up, creativity, audiences, maturity, depression, art

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