Drawing-in the Withdrawn – Drawing in Meta-Meaning Mode led me to – a different approach entirely. It happens. Still, there is a connection, in that I am yet again drawn; drawn to let recent work inform me of my onward route.
Recent work/walks in my quest to uncover what lies Below the Line and then how to express my finds, led me to a realisation; that it’s only in its reflections Above the Line, aka The World, that can ever be experienced what lies Below the Line. Because we only have our senses with which to perceive. (But they are indeed awesome, the senses, and far more than the acknowledged five or even six).
It came to me that my work presents itself as incoherent as it is about just fragments of those indefinable reflections; yet this realisation, even, has shone light into the shadowy yet-to-be-mapped places I walk. Largely, the fragments are unrelated, cannot be pieced together. And thus, make sense. And so, what is Below the Line, reflected in its different ways into the world, is a journey towards Light.
I’ve never been at this crossroads – my work substantial enough to show me a way forward. Towards the Light. Or, I’ve been there many times but, so deep the shadows in which I walked, I was not able to perceive it; backtracked, or took the wrong road.
And I am, half-sick of them. Shadows. I feel stupid. The answer could only have ever been to work towards the light. But which road led to Light? I think it’s about Faith. Faith in the journey. Not blind faith. The idea of living by blind faith makes me angry, because it’s lazy, an excuse not to use that most wonderful gift, Mind. It avoids Truth, actually.
Shalott. She grew weary of engaging only with a reflection of the world, for fear of losing her life. But one day, she fell in love with one of those reflections (Lancelot). She lost her mortal life. To Love. “The curse is come upon her,” they cried, as she died. She lost her mortal life – an imprisoned one (as mortal life is) – but gained eternal life, through her courage to love. She found the road that led to Light. For Light is Love. In working at her weaving, The Lady of Shalott discovered which road leads to Light. Her work directed her. She wove her way out of shadow. She wove until she realised that weaving kept her in shadow; Love triumphed over Shadow.
Light with a capital ‘L’ = The Transfiguration of Christ/The Conversion of Paul
The glory of incorruptible bodies does not emit a light similar to that of this corruptible body ..., nor is it of a kind which is accessible to mortal eyes, but incorruptible and immortal eyes are required in order to see it. For then on the mountain He revealed only so much [of this light] to them as was possible for the beholders’ eyes to see without being afflicted; yet even so they could not bear it and fell on their faces.
So as to prepare His disciples for the trials that they were about to endure in this life, Christ chose to give them a foretaste, concrete proof, of the heavenly blessings of which he had hitherto only spoken:
These [trials] were in the present life and at hand, while the good things were still in hope and expectation; as in for example, they save their life who lose it; His coming in the glory of His Father, to render His rewards. But willing to assure their very sight, and show what kind of glory it is with which He will appear so far as they were able to understand this, even in this present life He shows and reveals it to them.
(The above are extracts from Dr Christopher Venianim’s St John Chrysostom and the Light of Tabor.
Light figures majorly in all world religions. On researching Light in the Qur’an I came across many references. This one drew me particularly:
5.46 And We (God) caused Isa (Jesus), the son of Marium (Mary), to follow in the footsteps of those [earlier prophets], confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Taurat (Torah/Old Testament); and We vouchsafed unto him the Gospel, wherein there was guidance and light, confirming/corroborating the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance …
In seeming confirmation, I was reminded of a point Jesus made in his Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5:17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
And I’ve highlighted in bold, from the above extract from The Qur’an, two interesting statements, that the Old Testament at that time, was just a fragment and that Jesus was given a Gospel (Truth) in which there was Light. I’ve also read one extract in which it is stated that the Gospel given to Jesus was lost. There’s clearly a back story here.
In Buddhism Light is Enlightenment. From The Eight Steps to Happiness by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: Our mind is like a field, and performing actions is like sowing seeds in that field. Positive or virtuous actions sow the seeds of future happiness, and negative or non-virtuous actions sow the seeds of future suffering. This definite relationship between actions and their effects – virtue causing happiness and non-virtue causing suffering – is known as the ‘law of karma’. I think for Virtue one can read Love.
Buddhism rose out of Hinduism, at whose core is also the Law of Karma. Hinduism’s most important religious celebration is Diwali, Festival of Lights. From BBC/Religions: The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, …
In Judaism an Eternal Light (Ner Tamid) never extinguished, hangs above the Ark in every synagogue. (The Ark of The Covenant is the holiest part of the synagogue, housing the scrolls of the Torah, the Jewish Written Law, which consists of the five books of the Hebrew Bible known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and containing the central teachings of Judaism. The Ner Tamid is a symbol of God’s eternal and imminent Presence in our communities and in our lives. And on the subject of Love, The Jewish attitude was clearly enunciated in the Book of Proverbs in which it is urged that when man’s enemy falls, man should not rejoice and say, “I will do to him as he has done to me” (24:29) and “Let not your heart be glad when your enemy falls lest the Lord see it and it displeases Him” (Ethics of the Fathers 4:24). In other words, we are to love our enemies.
Light and Love.
All the major religions advocate Light and Love. None advocate driving vehicles into crowds, stabbing people, detonating bombs in the midst of children, …
As this extraordinary blind autistic miracle boychild sings, Open the Eyes of my Heart. This beautiful child was born weighing less than 2 lbs (less than a kilo) to a mother who was a drug addict. Beyond all expectations he survived and thrived and grew into the living demonstation of Light and Love that he is.
Oh, and one of the victims of the latest atrocity at London Bridge (as I write) was a Senior Nurse working at the nearby Guy’s Hospital, a young Australian woman. Had she not been murdered and had her murderers not been killed by the police but wounded, they might have been nursed back to health at Guy’s Hospital by this very nurse. Would they have refused her care? Her administration of painkillers? I doubt it. They would have taken every advantage of the system that allows them the freedom to worship their religion.
In Light and in Love.