Conceptually the image presents Jesus as being able to see in all directions, the concept of being fully conscious. The image offers us the promise of knowing and perceiving, 360 degrees.
Watchfulness means keeping the interior eye on that factory in our head which is belting out endless thoughts. Attentiveness while watching for any good quality materials which go in and good quality goods which come out of that same mind. We observe diligently for any weak angry moment which might sabotage or impede the goodness.
Each of us has a mysterious spiritual interior which is connected to the supper core within all matter, within all “things”. The relationship between matter and spirit is hard to define or describe because the spirit realm is outside of time, space and logic. We get tremendous satisfaction from material possessions but it is only momentary, as momentary as the changing molecules in matter…, whereas, the awareness of spirit is revealed through our capacity to love. The material dimension we can see, obviously, not the spiritual. Love is invisible, yet we take the evidence from the feeling and its affirming power and build a material world. It is a marvelous back and forth, double helix, oxymora, kind of one exists for the other.
As an icon painter, my favorite images to work with have this two dimensional quality, to inspire a new mind and new perspective. These special unique icons painted by others before me, are often not the famous ones or even in the canonical books on iconography. These few icons reach beyond generations of tradition. They speak of universality and/or our archetypal human experience and appear in many cultures.
The icon image offers the dynamic message that creation is witnessed.
Spending time painting an image with earth pigments and egg yolk opens me up to experiences which often feel surreal, as in supper real. Each icon is a spiritual journey, a portrait not only of the image but a documentation of many physical brush strokes. The practice of moving small particles of earth demands physical skill while turning my attention to the inner silence where I believe truth is revealed.
What did I learn as I worked with this image?
Jesus is a Guru, Master, Guide, Teacher like other great teachers of spirituality. Like others, He is a window beckoning us to ask “ who is the God (One Source, energy, light, absolute intelligence, cosmic consciousness, etc. ) through whom everything is created, maintained and sustained? ” It seems logical to think creation is not a completed image and it has been evolving towards the source from the beginning and will continue. Since humans are part of creation, the religion and spirituality any of us create comes from the One Source. The source does not change, the various points of view change, the explanation there of changes. The icon illustrates seeing in different directions simultaneously.
We are evolving into higher consciousness in
and through One Source.
It does not happen of ourselves but collectively.
In light of this, we need to walk beside other religions peacefully because we are of the same source and essence. God (One Source, energy, light, absolute intelligence, cosmic consciousness, etc. ) IS the system and can’t be reduced to any one subjective reality that works or doesn’t work for certain individuals. Whether we know it or not, whether we know Jesus or not, whether we know Krishna, Allah, Yahweh, Buddha or not, “IT” is still evolving awareness, at least where humans are concerned.
A Connection through Time and Place
While painting I try to listen to the conversation, the deep human questions which arise to build bridges of understanding across cultures and faith traditions. Forgive my attempts at sharing my interpretations and perspectives. Can you imagine what might develop when we shed the robes of our individual humanity, culture, race, color or creed and cloak ourselves in robes of the unified divine spirit abounding from where we have all originated?