Art is the creation of something new in the world. Successful creation is a powerful feeling.
The art may be words that tell a story or ink on paper that renders an image of the world captured by camera sensor. Maybe music as an arrangement of sounds. These creations are of the world, but just abstracted enough to transcend the noise and confusion of original experience. Man-made, they are focused and seem true.
Maybe art is just a way of making our imaginings seem more true, making them look real. The truth in an image or in music can feel true in a way that is more pure than the complicated, uncertain world we’re forced to live in. This is the mental simulation of the world we call imagination.
The power of imagination allows us to inhabit simple worlds of our own creation. If imagination helps envision a better version of ourselves or our circumstances, then it serves to provide goals to move toward. Or a safe place to live while it all blows over.
Imagination brings alternatives to decisions that enable futures to be tested before actually choosing them. We can create these futures because we have the ability to simulate potential worlds in our minds.
Yet imagination most often allows us to ignore the world as it is. What’s the value of imagining an alternate reality if the world treats us otherwise. then It’s only pretending. It’s like putting on on a different version of the world like dressing up in costume. If the mask covers our eyes, it blinds us.