“Art and love are the same thing," the writer Chuck Klosterman wrote in Killing Yourself to Live. "It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”
There are virtually as many definitions of art and explanations of its purpose as there are works of art. Though we've all seen, heard and experienced great works of artistic genius, it's surprisingly difficult to describe what art actually is.
As Klosterman suggests, one important purpose of art may be to help us know ourselves better. It can help us to see our common humanity, understand our joys and our suffering, and look at our lives in a broader human context, according to Alain de Botton's School of Life video above.
But in order to fully experience art, the video suggests, we should stop approaching it with so much formality and reverence, and allow ourselves to engage with great works of art in a playful, spontaneous way.
"We should relax around art as we already do with music," the video's narrator says, "and learn to use it for what it's really meant for: as a constant source of support and encouragement for our better selves."
Check out the video above, and head over to the School of Life's YouTube channel for more wisdom on living well.