Am I a work of art or an accident?
It seems that there are more ways to answer this question then I can count. To even approach answering it causes new questions. For instance, by defining "work of art" and "accident" in a certain way I can make the question one of creation vs. evolution. "Am I the art of a higher power or an accident of nature." Or I can look at this through only my personal life: "Have I made my life a work of art, where I deliberately do things with an outcome in mind, or is my life haphazardly thrown together by accident?" The shallowest way I can ask the question, "did my influences make me into what I am today with a specific work of art in mind or did they produce who I am unintentionally?" could still lend me a horde of questions on parenting and society.
So, I have to choose a way to approach this question before I can even come close to answering it. I really can't supply enough evidence to answer the cosmic Art vs. Accident question, I am after all only human, and as such can only suspend judgement on that at the moment. As far as parenting and society goes, I think that will only bring me to the middle questions. Out of all of the questions I could come up with, this one seems to be where the answers lead me. So, I will attack this in the way that I am used to seeing things, the way that it matters to me; through my own eyes. Am I a work of art or an accident?
An Accident is something that happens without intent. All things that spring from unconscious things are accidents. All things that happen from conscious beings unintentionally are accidents. Art on the other hand is an outcrop of a conscious being. Suspending the "god" or "mathematical predestination" angle for a bit that means most of what happens around us is an accident. We do not intend the sun to raise in the morning, it just does. However, the person who paints the sunrise is making a work of art: they are purposely capturing something. It is their intent, the associated feeling communicated in the picture, their awareness of the sunset, that changes the nature of the thing. Art happens, as a function of consciousness.
I am. I am not by my own choice. I did not say "let there be me" and there was me. I have no recollection of a time before the Earth year AD 1982. I then spent the next 19 years, learning who I am and who everyone else was. The universe would give me a problem, or a person, or an event, or a piece of candy, and I would try and figure out what the hell I was supposed to do with it. But that's the thing, note the "supposed to." Only non-conscious things have a "supposed to." Rocks placed into the air are supposed to fall. Any violation of this would indicate another "supposed to" as in "rocks are supposed to float in the air when the air is racing upward at a sufficient speed." Put simply, if I was asking "what should I be doing" I was really asking how should I go about becoming an automated thing like everything else. I was an accident trying to fit in with the rest of the accidents.
Only one problem; I realized that I was an accident. In doing that there became an inherent dichotomy. By trying to make a list of "shoulds" I was consciously deciding to do something, I was intending to be an accident. With intent, there are not accidents. Rocks don't intend to fall: they just do. I was an accident with the realization of the capability to do something un-accidentally. I was an accident capable of making something be something else. I could make a sunrise mean happiness by seeing it as another day I got to live. I got to make my world what I wanted it to be by associating things in what ever way I wanted to. My intent changed everything it touched. Put simply all of the sudden I was an accident capable of art, and the realization of this is what made it possible.
Me, a conscious accident, began to try to assign meaning to everything. I did things I wanted to do, I made everything around me as much a work of art as I could, but there was a problem. The things I wanted to do were given to me as well. My intent to love a woman for instance was created by my hormones. My want to listen to music was spawned by a feeling that came it seemed from somewhere other then me, a part of me maybe, but not a conscious one. Consciousness was not in charge, it was run by internal unconsciousness. All of my works of art lost their value: they were intended by something just as dead, as automated, as accidental as everything else. Could I intend anything? If not then what of art? Is emotion just another sunrise happening internally, no intent, just being? Could an accident make art if it couldn't really intend anything? My world crumbled.
But there was still this one thing: I am conscious. I am an accident making other accidents, but I know it, so doesn't that make it possible to intend to not BE an accident. I realized that I must first BE a work of art before I made anything around me into one.
I turned inward. It is myself I must fix. This accident now desires more then anything, to be intent. To build from the thrown together garbage that is me a work of art.
I don't exactly know what I am doing, there is no manual for eliminating shoulds, as that would imply a should. So I am alone, confused, and without any map, but I am determined. I am an Accident desperately seeking to become a work of art.