🎨 Van Gogh: painting, love and purpose¶
How does this fit in?¶
The above brainpickings article, which summarizes a letter sent by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother in 1879, has been selected to help you deepen your own approach to:
- Asking better questions
- Thinking deeply about your intention
- How you define both 'value' and 'trust'
- Think about what you, personally, are doing here? What is your question?
"Improvement in my life — should I not desire it or should I not be in need of improvement? I really want to improve. But it’s precisely because I yearn for it that I’m afraid of remedies that are worse than the disease."
- How do we handle this tension between improving and being joyfully who we already are?
"Such idling is really a rather strange sort of idling. It’s rather difficult for me to defend myself on this score, but I would be sorry if you couldn’t eventually see this in a different light."
- Tinkering as a better way of being. This is not about building more products for 'consumers' - it's about using new trust spaces to commune in a different and digital sense.
"Such a person doesn’t always know himself what he could do, but he feels by instinct, I’m good for something, even so! I feel I have a raison d’être! I know that I could be a quite different man! For what then could I be of use, for what could I serve! There’s something within me, so what is it!"
- What is in your heart of hearts? You may wonder how relevant this question is, but we cannot build a better web if we do not first understand what it might mean to be better ourselves. And that requires deep enquiry into the nature of self: there is no other way.
"But what’s your ultimate goal, you’ll say. The goal will become clearer, will take shape slowly and surely, as the croquis becomes a sketch and the sketch a painting, as one works more seriously, as one digs deeper into the originally vague idea, the first fugitive, passing thought."
- Do you trust the inner voice? Again, a seemingly abstract question with profound implications for what we actually, in practice, understand trust to be; which is then directly reflected in the kinds of products we build.
"I’m always inclined to believe that the best way of knowing is to love a great deal. Love that friend, that person, that thing, whatever you like, you’ll be on the right path to knowing more thoroughly, afterwards; that’s what I say to myself. But you must love with a high, serious intimate sympathy, with a will, with intelligence, and you must always seek to know more thoroughly, better, and more."
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