“The Therapeutic Power of Abstraction”
The word abstraction is defined as “A small quantity containing the virtue or power of the greater,”and comes from the Latin, abtrahere, meaning “to draw out from.” The process of abstraction is implicit in the creation of both photography and art.
For example, when a photographer looks at a scene, he decides what he regards as most important in it. If his intent is true, he chooses those aspects that he regards as most therapeutic, as most energizing to himself and to mankind, and frames the photograph accordingly.
Similarly, a painter, if he is true to his purpose, will give us what he considers to be the most valuable, the most humanly applicable, and therefore the most therapeutic aspects of the total scene. By highlighting these features, and by reducing or eliminating what he considers to be less important, he eases our task of appreciating and so gaining the greatest benefit from the painting.
More generally, I believe the ability to abstract is innate, a special gift that has been given to us all. Yet most of us do not often make use of this gift as we go through life! Instead, we tend look at everything rather indifferently. We see a tree as if it were just an inanimate object like a wall or a phone rather than as a God-given creation in a state of perfect harmony, grace, and utter beauty. Yet as soon as we do so, our bodies are energized and our stress is reduced—our Life Energy is enhanced. This is the Therapeutic Power of abstraction, and we should use it whenever we can.
Extract from the book
Beyond the Obvious: Photography for Healing
To learn more of Dr. Diamond’s approach to using photography for healing, Life Energy Photography, click here.