We all have an idea of humanity and, consciously or not, evaluate and categorize behavior as being  »human« or »inhuman«. But what exactly does it mean to be human? What is humankind or humanity?

Philosophical approaches define »human« in the sense of being »ethically valuable«. There are various semantic levels to the term »human«; the term relates to man, expresses certain characteristics belonging to man, and pronounces the simple concept of being humane.

 

Humanism and our image of humanity

What exactly is humanism and what are humanistic values? Humanism as the educational ideal was born in the 18th century and derives from the ancient word »humanis«; rooted in ideas and values, ​​such as dignified life and personal development, it offers a clear direction. Humanism distanced itself from the outdated, God-oriented image of man in the Middle Ages and focused itself on individuality: a new image of man emerged – an ideal of self-orientation.

Humanistic education is dedicated to the aesthetic, moral, and spiritual education of the human being; all of it with the students’ goal and ideal of enabling to develop the best version of themselves. Both personally and individually. This educational ideal  demands the student to take a look at the existential situation, while considering the possibilities of intellectual growth  linked with character and personality development.

The anthropocentric approach underlies all the different directions  within the concepts of humanism; the constant striving for the uniqueness/individualism of each person. The realization of this idealized humanity is based on the ancient Roman concept of »humanitas« as well as on ideals of the Ancient Greece. In the further development of newer humanism concepts, the old ideas about man, the world, and God, are rejected and consequentially, replaced. In the end, the pattern of revolving circular motions is a matter of doing justice to being human and fulfilling one’s own existence.

 

To be human means to use one’s creativity

When you examine the word »human« in a mythological sense, you can notice that it is a compound word of the syllables »Hu« and »Man«. Hu is an ancient Egyptian deity of creation and symbolizes the power of creation; Man, or Mannaz, is the 20th rune from the Furthak runic alphabet and represents the vibration frequency for man, humanity, and the divine descent of man. To be a human or to be humane therefore means to use one’s own divine understanding and potential.  This ultimately means the realization and use of one’s own creational power.

To be human as a human being should be quite easy and natural, right? What would the world look like if we lived by the very quality of being humane and did justice to our own nature? We have the potential to create an environment that is worth experiencing, if we only valued humanity and cherished it with honor and good will. It could be our legacy, as a collective humankind, to pass this value on to other generations in dignity. We could use all of our intelligence and ingenuity to bring peace and prosperity to everyone, in harmony with creation.

 

The downfall of values, the loss of meaning, or the search for light

In 2018 there were approximately 28 active wars and armed conflicts on this planet. Exterminated animal species, plastic garbage everywhere, microplastics in food and water, contaminated areas and seas of past atomic bombs, radioactive garbage, oil spills, famines; the list of side effects of our lifestyle is devastatingly endless. There is a codependence between people warring one another and the destruction of our environment: Our environment is the image of our actions. Hostility and mistrust shape our togetherness.

Yet, despite all the flaws and human failures, despite all the atrocities in human history, man is always in search of values ​​and morals, virtue and meaning. Just as the moth feels attracted to the light of the lamp, man strives for the light of human decency/values/morals in this dark world. Seemingly dedicated and devoted, we believe that there is more to a spiritual, intellectual man with a heart and a soul, than being a plundering, greedy and mean beast.

For the true, the good and the beautiful

Religious texts speak of charity, philosophies of ethics and morals – a perpetual struggle of human beings for love, for the good, the truth, and the beautiful inherits from human nature since the beginning of time. Still, regardless of all the possibilities that are available to us and regardless of various thoughtful considerations, we fail to let this earth and all its living beings bloom. We schizophrenically institute devastation, chaos, and eventually, our own self-destruction. A few countries live in perverse abundance, neurotically and desperately clinging to some meaning in life, while other nations struggle for their bare survival. This polarity shapes our political global situation, our social coexistence as well as our inner being. Our awareness of this painful gap is particularly amplified by the globalized and technologized world we live in: We are, again and again, fostered to self-reflect, because we intuitively know that repression is not optional when pursuing to live and experience a successful life. By only longing for achievements, the luxury, the conveniences and the apparent relief, we have forgotten our most essential purpose of existence: humanity!

Sweet singing has betrayed some birds – Twittered Out

A tweet; a twittering, a birdsong. As we understand it today, a tweet no longer has anything to do with nature or the innocent, beautiful sound of a bird. Rather, it is representative of the entire digital world; for the abysses, temptations, and purposes of social...

Denkstahl @ Max Papeschi in Milano

The DENKSTAHL artist AL visited his colleague Max Papeschi in Milano. AL and Max get along really well and are able to communicate with each other through their artworks. The language within their symbolic images and their meaningful titles are all they need. Both Max...

DENKSTAHL. art of a rebellious mind – The Book

288 Pages, 21×30 cm ISBN 978-3-941151-33-8DENKSTAHL. art of a rebellious mind Content Fly Falcon Revelation Profile Artistic Development digit-al streetart heads living on the wall denkstahl united colors of denkstahl Excerpt Published by Nora Hauschild and Ilknur...

Denkstahl – an artist between classical art history and rebellion

AL alias DENKSTAHL is an autodidact artist. While three decades ago his work was strongly influenced by abstract and action painting, he now has adopted digital art as his chosen profession and expression. Digital visual art has its origins in socially critical comics...

Just imagine, we would only be heads – HEADS II

In the second part of the HEADS series, DENKSTAHL portrays celebrities of modern history. It is the movie stars, music stars, art stars, political stars and sports stars of a pop culture, it is the geniuses, heroes and legends that DENKSTAHL honors on his digital...

Digit-AL Streetart l DENKSTAHL

The artist AL is an autodidact and has been artistically active for more than 25 years. Having grown up in the Frankfurt milieu, rebellion against the existing social system and against injustice has shaped his life early on, and thereafter his art. His art...

Artist and author AL, DENKSTAHL – in an interview with Sequana Birkel

The DENKSTAHL artist AL challenges every single person to question their own values ​​and motives, while addressing the extent and consequences of an egoistic and consumer-oriented way of being with unshakable vehemence. The name DENKSTAHL (thoughts of steel) says it...

Dedicated to the children of tomorrow

Images and texts that I have dedicated to the children of this world. For love, truth, freedom and life!What A Wonderful World There’s a human child in discomfortas if they’re cutting his heart out.No-one takes any noticeof all the ongoing anguish.We hear him whining,...

Art, Commerce, Money and Money Art

Money also rules the art world. Art is traded at record prices and the way the prices are set by the art market is inscrutable. Art economists, economic sociologists, art scholars and other experts have been trying to get behind the rules of the market for years. The...

No picture on its own may honestly bespeak, what needs to be said

The partiality for artistry, that I live in every breath, what I give is never enough and never will it be, because every work that I create remains ever too meager to a degree. No picture on its own may honestly bespeak, what needs to be said as critique, all the...

HEADS – WARPAINTING

HEADS – STARS

REBELLIOUS ART

URBAN ART

TRIBUTE TO

NATURAL BORN

Love and kindness is the real richness of humanity, beyond boundaries, differences, and fear. To create something, to understand something, to beautify it and to approach an ideal that is greater than our earthly existence, has always been the compass that directs us. Philosophy, science, every single form of art such as poetry, music, and painting always revolve around that one question: Who and what are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? In the search for virtue and truthfulness, for roots and wholeness, we find support in religion, spiritual directions, and (ancient) traditions. Reconsideration and the search for traces of our emotional desires have always shaped us.

 

The legend of great love

An ancient Navajo tradition, the Swirling Rainbow Prophecy, says:

»There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all Her children. They will move over the Earth like a great Whirling Rainbow, bringing peace, understanding and healing everywhere they go. Many creatures thought to be extinct or mythical will resurface at this time; the great trees that perished will return almost overnight. All living things will flourish, drawing sustenance from the breast of our Mother, the Earth. The great spiritual teachers who walked the Earth and taught the basics of the truths of the Whirling Rainbow Prophecy will return and walk amongst us once more, sharing their power and understanding with all. We will learn how to see and hear in a sacred manner. Men and women will be equals in the way Creator intended them to be; all children will be safe anywhere they want to go. Elders will be respected and valued for their contributions to life. Their wisdom will be sought out. The whole Human race will be called The People and there will be no more war, sickness or hunger forever.«

L

O

V

E

LOVE by DENKSTAHL

Love is »to give in order to give«

DENKSTAHL has dedicated his LOVE picture series to the message of reminding us to counterbalance the division and hatred in the world of wars and struggles we live in. For over three decades, DENKSTAHL has been dealing with the philosophy of indigenous people, their relationship to nature and their holistic way of life. A term coined by the Hopi Natives, expressing the absolute, yet simple belief of friendship and mutuality, is »Pinuu«. Its translation means »to give in order to give«; giving for the purpose of it. »Pinuu« is the opposite of an egotistically oriented value system which only asks about one’s own benefit and thus only pursues »give in order to take«; giving only for one’s own profit. DENKSTAHL has dedicated himself to Pinuu, advocating it and aiming to bring this lost wisdom back into consciousness.

The four pictures of women refer to a Cree’s prophecy; the title of the work consists of the four letters forming the English word LOVE. Symbolically, it represents the four indigenous ethnicities (black, white, red, yellow), embodied by women reflecting the origin of being human and femininity in its giving qualities. We the people, us individuals who synecdochically stand for the whole of human mankind, can only tackle the issues confronting us when they are self-inflicted. If we come together from all four spheres of the world and meet each other in love, we have the potential to create something that nobody on its own and separated could ever achieve. Only in togetherness can arise a momentum that will generate an unprecedented strength and creativity.

The slogan »love is love« is an expression of the socio-political debate about the concept of love and relationships; it stands for love that is free from any political and religious censorship. Interestingly enough, the colorful rainbow (according to the message of the swirling rainbow) also is the symbol of the Pride movement. The fundamental appeal and message is so simple, yet so completely and utterly forgotten: It is about a coming together in dignity, about love overcoming everything, and ultimately, about unifying all opposites in order to create something new!

 

An eye for the big picture

Treaties, philosophies, testaments, theories, oral traditions, tons of books, broadcasts, podcasts and blogs – we live in a universe filled with information. On the surface, we seem to know a lot, but little do we live it. So, what is the solution? What is an accomplished spiritual development?

We can be aware of both our weaknesses and strengths, and at the same time take responsibility for it. What we think and how we act is the affair of our free will. It is up to us whether we choose the pure and beautiful, or the evil and ugly. We cannot be reminded of this often enough, because we are all too happy to allow ourselves to be distracted and lose sight of our humane core. To question ourselves, to reconsider and possibly to change our own actions and values initiates self-reflection. Do we have the right goals? Are we living in accordance to what we stand for on a moral-theoretical level? What are our hidden motives, how is our compass aligned?

Another Native story illustrates the field of tension of being human, and at the same time offers a clear solution:

»My son, there is a fight between two wolves inside each of us. One wolf is bad. He fights with anger, worry, greed, arrogance, self-pity, lies, arrogance, selfishness and resentment. The other wolf is good. He fights with love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, kindness, compassion, generosity, gratitude, trust and truth.« The son asks: »And which of the two wolves wins the fight?« The chief replies: »The one you feed.«

We always make our decisions in the face of the choice of good and evil; our thoughts and feelings are always carried by one of the two qualities. This is a burden, but the key to freedom at the same time: We can decide which qualities we want to nourish, whether we use our given ability to create and cause beauty, nobility, and grace, or not. The potential is inherent, whether we use it is our own choice. The supposedly awful and evil has its justification in forming the foundation for the good and beautiful. It is therefore not about the exclusion and suppression of the darkness inside of us, but about the integration of and liberation from it. To use an ancient wisdom once more: Man needs darkness in order to shine in the light.

NORA

Art Advisory & Management,
MSc Psychology

Translated by Sequana Birkel

The pictures presented in our art blog are purchasable as DENKSTAHL UNIQUE PIECES, if they are still available.

A unique piece is a high-gloss print with pigmented ink on high-quality photo paper, laminated behind acrylic glass and reinforced by an aluminum back. Each unique piece is stamped with an artist’s stamp. For each artwork you will receive a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and the biographical art book DENKSTAHL. art of a rebellious mind, which will be dedicated to you.

If you have any questions or are interested in an artwork, please send us your inquiry via e-mail to denkstahl@vollherzig.de. You can also arrange your individual appointment directly by phone: +49 1772851804.

No picture on its own may honestly bespeak, what needs to be said

The partiality for artistry, that I live in every breath, what I give is never enough and never will it be, because every work that I create remains ever too meager to a degree. No picture on its own may honestly bespeak, what needs to be said as critique, all the...

Art, Commerce, Money and Money Art

Money also rules the art world. Art is traded at record prices and the way the prices are set by the art market is inscrutable. Art economists, economic sociologists, art scholars and other experts have been trying to get behind the rules of the market for years. The...

Digit-AL Streetart l DENKSTAHL

The artist AL is an autodidact and has been artistically active for more than 25 years. Having grown up in the Frankfurt milieu, rebellion against the existing social system and against injustice has shaped his life early on, and thereafter his art. His art...

Artist and author AL, DENKSTAHL – in an interview with Sequana Birkel

The DENKSTAHL artist AL challenges every single person to question their own values ​​and motives, while addressing the extent and consequences of an egoistic and consumer-oriented way of being with unshakable vehemence. The name DENKSTAHL (thoughts of steel) says it...

DENKSTAHL. art of a rebellious mind – The Book

288 Pages, 21×30 cm ISBN 978-3-941151-33-8DENKSTAHL. art of a rebellious mind Content Fly Falcon Revelation Profile Artistic Development digit-al streetart heads living on the wall denkstahl united colors of denkstahl Excerpt Published by Nora Hauschild and Ilknur...

Sweet singing has betrayed some birds – Twittered Out

A tweet; a twittering, a birdsong. As we understand it today, a tweet no longer has anything to do with nature or the innocent, beautiful sound of a bird. Rather, it is representative of the entire digital world; for the abysses, temptations, and purposes of social...

A day without a smile is a lost day – so what!?

DENKSTAHL’s work So What (orig. Na und) combines comedy, rebellion and tragedy in a cynical way. It is somewhat a tragic comedy; I dare say that this is an analogy to life. »It doesn't matter«, »so what«, »nevermind«, »it is not important« – many arguments have...

Dedicated to the children of tomorrow

Images and texts that I have dedicated to the children of this world. For love, truth, freedom and life!What A Wonderful World There’s a human child in discomfortas if they’re cutting his heart out.No-one takes any noticeof all the ongoing anguish.We hear him whining,...

Buy Art! Invest In Living Artists!

Because the dead ones don't need it! Do you want to buy art in order to live a more personal and inspiring life? Or maybe you are a patron who wants to promote art and the work of the artist? Or maybe you want to offer your employees and guests a special atmosphere in...

Denkstahl – an artist between classical art history and rebellion

AL alias DENKSTAHL is an autodidact artist. While three decades ago his work was strongly influenced by abstract and action painting, he now has adopted digital art as his chosen profession and expression. Digital visual art has its origins in socially critical comics...

REBELLIOUS ART

URBAN ART

TRIBUTE TO

HEADS – WARPAINTING

HEADS – STARS

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This