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The Mysterious Power of Art

Kathleen Karlsen

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The power of art to inspire, comfort, and motivate is widely recognized. The more mysterious powers of art reveal that there may be more to art than meets the eye. The ancient Greeks believed that color and music possessed inherent powers to influence their viewers. Modern research may be starting to prove them right.

Some of the mysterious power of art involves the science of geometric figures. For example, some writers have gathered evidence suggesting that placing items in pyramids can have almost supernatural results. Food can be preserved without refrigeration and dull knives can miraculously become sharp.

The new field of biogeometry also suggests that the form of objects is directly related to their ability to help or harm living things. A cell phone, the theory postulates, can be designed so that its physical shape counteracts any potentially damaging radiation. Likewise, homes can be designed to offset the effects of geopathic stress.

In the spiritual arena, geometric forms have a long history of use for meditation and for inducing trance-like states. Mandalas and yantras are traditional art forms that are used for spiritual purposes. Some art historians believe that stained glass windows in churches are extremely effective in creating an aura of mystery and majesty for religious ceremonies due to the effects on the human brain of the movement of sunlight through colored glass.

More extreme examples of the phenomenon of the power of color and sound are the flashing lights in modern discos and bars. At the height of the disco era, dancers were known to pass out due to sensory overload. Psychologists also believe that the sensory overload caused by the combination of loud, rhythmic music and strobe lights reduces interpersonal inhibitions.

Recent studies of epilepsy confirm that some types of seizures can be triggered by color and sound patterns. On the positive side, moving patterns of color and form have also been used in a British hospital to reduce the pain medication needed by woman during childbirth.

In our world of ubiquitous multimedia stimulation, the power of art and multimedia both to heal and to harm may be a fertile field for ongoing research and increasingly practical applications.

Kathleen Karlsen is a professional artist, writer and design consultant residing in Bozeman, Montana. Kathleen is best known for her contemporary impressionism style and her colorful forest, landscape and flower paintings. Kathleen's original art and fine art gifts can be seen at For an extensive article about flower symbolism see To see a selection of Kathleen's flower paintings, please visit


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