This morning I had a critique in my Environmental Design course. Our projects were large posters with maps. The maps could be literal or they could be abstract. My map was about the actions we take to be a good person. The concept of the map was a path from the darkness to the light. It was inspired by the video game, Kingdom Hearts, where the main character has to fight the darkness which is actually the shadows of other characters who have lost their heart. A particular line from the game stood out as I designed: The closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes.
When I presented it, my friend commented on the fact that he always would joke around with me about the map leading us to Jesus. I am a very spiritual person and he knows that I take Christianity very seriously so he just jokes around about every thing in my life being related to Christianity. My teacher then followed up with a comment about whether or not I intended on making the map religious or not. It honestly was not my intent at all, I just believed that good is usually represented with white for purity and bad is represented with darkness. I did even add that angels are bright, but I guess that would be a religious thing, so.
Another teacher that happened to have been sitting in said it reminded him of a spiritual path to Buddah. He continued to talk about the calm of Buddhism and such. I was standing up there thinking, “Wait, as religious and spiritual as I am, how is this poster bringing out all of this spiritualism from others but not from myself?” That teacher continued saying how powerful it was.
After class, the teacher that was sitting in approached me to tell me again how much he loved my poster and how it was enlightening. He then told me how he is currently searching for his inner light. He mentioned meditation and how he has been reading about Buddhism. I found it interesting that he was telling me all of this just because of a map. But then I realized how even thought the intent of my poster was not to provoke deep thought into religion, it actually had the power to do so.
Perception is crazy. In my mind, the poster was a simple path to being a good person. To one student, it was a path on how to be like Jesus. To my teacher, it was all about religion. To the other teacher, it was how to be more like Buddah. Are any of those wrong? Absolutely not, and I can say that because I made it. It just proves that ideas can be perceived in different ways.