Conceptually the image presents Jesus as being able to see in all directions, Unified Divine Spirit Abounding. The concept of being fully conscious is contemporary. The image may have been done 100 years ago when humanity was just beginning to explore consciousness. I 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, or angry moment which might sabotage or impede goodness.
Seeing and “Be”ing
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. Seeing and “Be”ing has no body or permanence. Awareness of spirit is revealed through our capacity to love. The material world we can see, touch, horde, manipulate, grab, share, even duplicate, etc. Not so with the spiritual realm. Love is invisible, yet we take the evidence from Seeing and “Be”ing, feeling its affirming what is around us to build up a material world. It is a marvelous back and forth, double helix, and oxymora, noticing the one exists for the other.
The icons powerful message is that creation is witnessed.
As an icon painter, my favorite images to work with have this two dimensional quality, to inspire and change my perspective. These amazing 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 are portraits done outside of doctrine and touch that unified divine spirit abounding in nature. These weird unique icons spark understanding about the archetypal human experience. They are timeless.
Moving Grains of Earth
Spending time painting an image with earth pigments and egg yolk opens me up to experiences which often feels 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 grains of earth demands 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. How is it all created, maintained and sustained? ” It seems logical to think creation is not a completed image. Creation 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, only our point of view changes. The icons illustrate seeing and feeling in different directions simultaneously.
We are evolving into higher consciousness in and through One Source.
In light of this, we need to walk beside other religions peacefully because we are of the same source and essence. God named; One Source, energy, light, absolute intelligence, cosmic consciousness, etc. IS the system. There are no words which can adequately describe the name fro all people to agree. 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.
A Connection through Time and Place
While painting I try to listen to the conversation in my head. 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. We might rather cloak ourselves in robes of the unified divine spirit abounding and experience from where we have all originated. It does not happen of ourselves but collectively.