Through the chapters of this book, I would like to tell you, my readers, about something called Esprit Dessin. Esprit is a word meaning “sprightliness of spirit or wit” in French, and in this book, it is used to capture the essence of the inner self – its vivaciousness and budding potential. Through the process of creating Esprit drawings, you will learn to explore the realms of Beauty, Goodness and Truth.
The reason I chose to write this book stems from my experience as a police officer. In the past, I studied criminal psychology at a police academy, which motivated me to study modern psychology and philosophy in more depth. I was largely involved in criminal investigation work during my 15 years in service, and in this hands-on experience, I came in contact with the psychology of many people. This included suspects, victims and witnesses, all of whom helped me deepen my understanding of criminal psychology.
I get the feeling that people often think criminals have something already “there” to begin with. Something dark, and something fixed. I have seen otherwise – crimes are not a result of anything inherent, but a product of the intricate and complicated feelings of an ordinary human being.
Human beings are capable of feeling an unlimited range of emotions. Furthermore, no clear boundaries exist between each emotion. It is therefore crucial that we carefully consider the more detailed aspects of how the human mind works. This is what I have developed a strong passion in, and hope to pass on to others.
Through what I have been doing, seeing the psychology of many in the process, I also took an interest in the traditional culture of Japan – a culture which is said to nurture the spirit. Japanese people are traditionally deeply emotional and sensitive, and in our language, there are many words which allow us to elaborately express our inner worlds.
This idea made me think about where the Japanese way of thinking came from. It was not a religious approach with a God to seek guidance from, nor was it an analytical approach like psychology in academia. The answer lay in the spiritual world – Japanese place great importance on “spiritual growth”. We like to use the analogy of a “road” to illustrate the journey of growth, and when we face difficulties in daily life, we think of it as a chance to better ourselves. We seek meaning in life through the different things we stumble across.
It is unfortunate that things seem to be changing in Japan however; mental health in the nation has deteriorated significantly over the past decade or so. We have traditionally been brought up to appreciate the beauty of simplicity, but there are many things which people cannot seem to appreciate as much anymore. Standards of moral values are falling in society; domestic violence and child abuse is now more prevalent than ever. Corruption, infidelity and hatred also infiltrate modern Japanese society.
Role models are crucial for young people to learn from. Integrating into any community starts off with a child copying what an adult does – be it a parent or teacher. This is how they gradually learn what is acceptable in the society they live in.
It is the unfortunate truth however, that more and more young people nowadays are growing up in an environment without a role model to learn from. In modern Japan, individualism has become more widely accepted, and people have a lot more freedom concerning how to live their life. However, they were never taught the skills to use this new and powerful “weapon” so it would change their lives for the better, not the worse.
In that light, this book aims to teach young people concepts and theories which will help to lead a better life in modern society. The core principles proposed in this book are “Beauty”, “Goodness” and “Truth”, all of which are crucial to sharpening one’s Instinctive, Subjective, and Intellectual perception. The basic exercise recommended in the book is creating “Esprit drawings”, which encourage the young to adapt to the outer world better by exploring the inner self. The theories and exercises will act as a strong guide for those who do not have a role model around them.
Finally, this book aims to improve one’s Instinctive, Subjective, and Intellectual perception as a whole. Explanations of concepts sometimes include metaphoric expressions, philosophical ideas, and scientific thinking. Some parts of the book may be difficult to understand at first. Although it may take a little bit of thinking and digesting, if you read carefully and create your own Esprit drawings, things will eventually fall into place, making much more sense.
I sincerely hope that this book will be of help in supporting your journey through life.