A casual observation

Life, I’m convinced, isn’t complicated.  If for example we were to conduct ourselves as animals apparently do by listening to our instincts, there’d be less incertitude. Apart from the improving feature of alignment with Nature, this simple rubric affords the most palatable and instructive statement of purpose and function. The government of our lives in accordance with intuition and urge is by logical prescription axiomatic; and, by contrast the ignorance, dilution or alteration of the inner drive is paradoxical beyond awkward.

At a tender age most of us are thrown into what is effectively a liturgy disguised more often than not by the obfuscation of solemnity and celebration. It then becomes our unspoken duty to fall in line like identical soldiers. Certainly there is need for uniformity in life but I am hard pressed to see the necessity to avoid inherent tendencies. Recognizing the interests of superior claimants does at least explain their preference for convenience among the subalterns. But it doesn’t excuse the travesty.

Be assured that I acquaint this imperative of the sixth sense with what are relatively inconsequential events. I do not mean to disrupt society or social conventions; or, to overtake compulsion with demand or obstruction. The effect of intuition is after all a private affair. Yet it succeeds with clarity to direct.  And that is why a modest adherence to the inborn tendency accommodates many otherwise forgettable performances.

It is odd that a psychological issue such as intuition has comparatively little strength in our everyday world when set against a commercial context such as negotiation and bargaining where the results are best driven by direct and tangible instructions from both parties. Once again the application of this observation is of a personal nature – for example, the openness to say to others what you think of them or anything; or, whether you care to socialize with them; or, indeed whether you have eyes for them! As long as the communication is at least within oneself, there is no need to broadcast or make an affront of the publicity. If the inner warning was received soon enough, perfecting it by enactment is the best relief. Otherwise just knowing you hadn’t the appetite for the convention may help; and its recollection in the future.

A bit of background acknowledgement might be in order. Intuition (for which the antonym is “intellect”) is no dummy.  Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s stupid. Accordingly I have by this neat logical subterfuge invested animal inclination with Machiavellian manoeuvres. There is nothing precious about those of us who are dedicated to opportunism and scheming! Too often ingenuity is shrouded in the cloak of godliness or propriety.

Ingenuity (Italian: L’Ingegno) is an allegorical Baroque painting by the Bolognese painter Giuseppe Maria Crespi. The painting is also known as Amor Victorious. It is on display in the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Strasbourg, France, to which it had been donated by the collectors Othon Kaufmann and François Schlageter. Its inventory number is 994-1-1, or 44.994.1.1.

The painting, one of the long-lived Crespi’s most monumental and expressive, was painted in the early years of his mature period, although a precise dating has proved impossible. Its texture may have been inspired by Rembrandt, its subject by Caravaggio’s Triumphant Cupid, although this winged young man with the helmet, the bow and arrow, and the armillary sphere behind him, also stands for the classical allegory of ingenuity (the faculty of finding clever solutions).

The painting once hung in Palazzo Magnani, Bologna, where it was seen and described by Joshua Reynolds, around 1750 (“A young man like figure with a helmet Bows and Arrows in his hand by Spagniolo”). It was bought in Venice in 1986 by Kaufmann and Schlageter and later given to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, together with several other paintings, among which two other Crespis; a fourth Crespi had already been donated to the museum by the two men in 1987.