Saturday, November 22, 2008
Angels Leading the Blessed into Heaven.
This image communicates a sense of the Visshuddhi Chakra quality of collectivity. The angel's wings are an extension of the Visshuddhi from the shoulders. The Visshuddhi governs the arms and hands - used for communication through gestures. Here they are shown joined together. The expensive blue colour used by medieval artists -made from ground semiprecious stone -was used to symbolise the heavens. The Visshuddhi is blue in colour.
Picasso, Mother and Child by the Sea
Picasso is amazing in that he painted in so many different styles but his work is always recognisable. Art critics often seem to expect artists to stick to a certain style for life, but Picasso was much too playful and experimental for that. He once said that with each painting he painted he discovered another aspect of himself.
This work is from a period in which he was rediscovering the monumental classical art of the past, The style suggests a mood of reverence for the maternal. The simplicity of the image suits the subject matter - the innocent bond between mother and child. The backdrop of the peaceful sea suggests depth of feeling and eternity.
Picasso seems to have spent his life searching for innocence. This is why he was fascinated with so-called primitive art.
Dante Rosetti - Damsel of the Sanct Grail, 1874
The Holy Grail is a symbol of the Kundalini, the residual energy in the sacrum at the base of the spinal column. In India it is symbolised by the Kumbha, or pot.
Rosetti has included a white dove - symbol of the Holy Spirit - thus he has associated the Grail with the Holy Spirit.
Marc Chagall. Three Angels visiting Abraham
Chagall's work has a wonderful innocence and joyousness about it, and also a mystical dream-like quality. It's a quality of a self-realised souls to go beyond sectarian divisions. Chagall was born into a Jewish community in Eastern Europe. Apart from his secular works, he depicted religious scenes from both the Jewish and Christian traditions.
He chose bright colours that reflect the chakras.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The element for the Visshuddhi Chakra (Throat Centre) is ether/sky/sound. This painting of Lord Krishna, the ruler of the Visshuddhi Chakra, gives a strong sense of this element. Sri Krishna controls the reigns on the horses driving the chariot, which represents the restless mind. The Visshuddhi chakra controls the brain and the mind.
The American photographer Ansel Adams had a life changing epiphany while looking at the natural world of Yosemite. After this experience he found that he had a new understanding of what his photography should be. His work is spiritual because it captures the simple essence of the landscape. This stream leading to the mountain peaks is a symbol of the path of the Kundalini.
Late one morning in the summer of 1923, wandering amidst the harsh and bleakly beautiful high country east of the valley, he came as close as he ever would to capturing in words the soaring emotions that sometimes came over him in the high mountains.
I was climbing the long ridge west of Mount Clark. It was one of those mornings where the sunlight is burnished with a keen wind and long feathers of cloud move in a lofty sky. The silver light turned every blade of grass and every particle of sand into a luminous metallic splendor; there was nothing, however small, that did not clash in the bright wind, that did not send arrows of light through the glassy air. I was suddenly arrested in the long crunching path up the ridge by an exceedingly pointed awareness of the light. The moment I paused, the full impact of the mood was upon me; I saw more clearly than I have ever seen before or since the minute detail of the grasses ...the small flotsam of the forest, the motion of the high clouds streaming above the peaks... I dreamed that for a moment time stood quietly, and the vision became but the shadow of an infinitely greater world -- and I had within the grasp of consciousness a transcendental experience.
He would spend the rest of his life trying to capture on film the quicksilver light he saw that morning - and the sense it conveyed of a deeper truth and meaning.
When I'm ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my mind's eye something that is not literally there, in the true meaning of the word. I'm interested in expressing something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.
- Ansel Adams
As a young man, he had seen something in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada -something that resonated far out into the landscape and down into the deepest recesses of his soul -that would haunt him for the rest of his days, and that he would spend his entire life trying to convey.
-(From a biographical film)
A strange thing happened to me today. I saw a big thundercloud move down over Half Dome, and it was so big and clear and brilliant that it made me see many things that were drifting around inside of me; things that relate to those who are loved and those who are real friends. For the first time I know what love is; what friends are; and what art should be. Love is a seeking for a way of life; the way that cannot be followed alone; the resonance of all spiritual and physical things... Friendship is another form of love - more passive perhaps, but full of the transmitting and acceptances of things like thunderclouds and grass and the clean granite of reality. Art is both love and friendship and understanding: the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of things. It is more than kindness, which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light of the inner folds of the awareness of the spirit. It is a recreation on another plane of the realities of the world; the tragic and wonderful realities of earth and men, and of all the interrelations of these.
- Ansel Adams
Read more quotes about Adams here:
Ledoux, Eye Enclosing the Theatre at Besancon, France, 1847.
Each of the chakras is made up of a different element. Light is the element for the Agnya Chakra (Brow Centre) which governs vision. In this slightly surreal engraving from the 17th century the image of the interior of a circular theatre appears apparently reflected in an eye, yet strangely the ray of light streaming through the oculus in the theatre's dome extends outside the eye.
Digitally restored image of the damaged statue of the Trimurthy at Elephanta Island near Mumbai in India. Trimurthy means 'triple image', the three faces represent three aspects of the Supreme Self, perhaps the creative, sustaining and renewing aspects.
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa
The fascination we have had with this painting is due to the gaze of the goddess-like lady which has an expression perfectly balanced between joy and profoundity. It was not all that common for a figure in a painting to engage the viewer so directly, at the time da Vinci painted her. As we gaze at her, the Self seems also to gaze at us. It is an incredibly soothing image which takes one into a state of thoughtless awareness. Italy is the soul of the world, and the Mona Lisa is a depiction of that soul. The subtle serpentine river in the background suggests the nadis or channels that flow in the subtle body within the soul. With the over-reproduction and parodying of this image, it is easy to overlook the revolutionary nature of this work for its time.
Posted by jeronimus at 7:58 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
For more text and images see:
Posted by jeronimus at 7:26 AM
Sacred ovoid Shiva lingam stone from the Narmada river in India.
For text and more images see:
Posted by jeronimus at 7:25 AM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The Hesperides picking the forbidden Fruit for Hercules.
A serpent is seen guarding the sacred tree in the Garden of Hera
South Indian Tree of Life
growing from a vessel or kumbha
(symbol of the Kundalini)
Gustav Klimt, Tree of Life
Note the Kundalini-like spirals
Robert Fludd, (English Alchemist) Inverted Sephirothic Tree
The menorah, is a seven-branched candelabrum and has been a symbol of Judaism for almost 3000 years. It was used in the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Lit by olive oil in the Tabernacle and the Temple, the menorah is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish people. It is said to symbolize the burning bush as seen by Moses on Mount Horeb.
During the festival of Hannukah a nine-branched menorah is used.
The original seven-branched lamp, specified by the Divine for use in the Temple, had seven flames, the seven chakras, and seven days of creation.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Temple hanging (Pichvai)
Shri Krishna entrancing the Gopis with the sound of His Flute.
National Gallery of Australia
Consciousness is associated in particular with the Visshuddhi Chakra (subtle centre located on the throat but which is also the origin of the brain). It is believed that play evolved in order to develop consciousness in living creatures. Intelligent creatures, such as dolphins and apes, tend to be playful. There are many stories about the playfulness of Shri Krishna, the aspect of the Divine who rules over the Visshuddhi Chakra, and whose life exemplified social being, the interplay of collectivity.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Giorgio Ghisi (1520-1582) Italian engraver.
The Dream of Raphael, or Allegory of Life
The meaning of this intriguing allegorical engraving has never been fully explained but perhaps represents a philosopher, weary of a rather rugged looking world (materialism?) where misfortune pursues him in the form of harrying dogs (the senses?) and falling stars (dis-aster). He leans on a dead tree (the fruitless search for materialistic knowledge?), and is preparing to cross a treacherous sea (the mind?) where sea-monsters and submerged rocks threaten. On the far shore the Goddess of Wisdom invites him to an idyllic world of idealised and ordered flora. The rainbow in the background evokes the bridge between Earth and Heaven.
Amerindian sand painting. Probably Navajo or Hopi.
Traditional native cultures have a strong connection with the Mother Earth. The Swastika, though given a bad name by the nazis, is an auspicious symbol that has been around since prehistory, and is found in cultures all over the world. It's four arms represent the Holy Mooladhara Chakra, the subtle centre that connects us to our Mother the Earth. There is also a bandhan (auspicious, protective horseshoe form) around it.
The Divine World
This work suggests the chakras in the subtle system, which are spinning wheels of energy - energy that has consciousness, as suggested by the central eye. On the inside is the subtle; outside is the physical, represented by the circle of human figures.
The Lebanese poet and Painter Kahlil Gibran drew from various traditions of his homeland, from the ancient Goddess worshipping cultures of the region, to Gnosticism, Christianity and Islam. It is a characteristic of Self-realised souls to see the truth in all faiths. Gibran's work is in the same spirit as that of William Blake and Michelangelo.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tapestry by William Morris
Based on a design by Edward Burne Jones
Note the flame of the Kundalini emerging from the top of the angel's heads. William Morris, though very gifted in various arts, had great humility. He wanted society to move away from mass-production back to hand made crafts.
Raphael (Self-realised painter from Renaissance Italy)
The unicorn is a symbol of purity and the virgin Kundalini Shakti.
It is often depicted with a chaste maiden.
Like the Unicorn, Al Buraq -the winged Horse-like creature with the head of a woman desribed in the Koran - is a symbol of the sacred Kundalini energy which carries the yogi through the seven Chakras to the Heavenly realm of the Crown Chakra. She is an instance of the Feminine Divine in Islam and was the vehicle for Lord Muhammad's Nigth Journey (Miraj) throught the 7 heavens (7 chakras)
In the illustration above, the Prophet is shown surrounded by an aura of flame, and riding on Al Buraq, accompanied by angels.
Al Buraq on a record cover.
Posted by jeronimus at 4:48 AM
Australian Aboriginal painting showing a path, or songline, with rest sites shown as circles. In Aboriginal mythology, the Rainbow Serpent is the Creator, its movements forming the features of the landscape. The Kundalini awakens the qualities of the chakras as it rises through the central shushumna nadi.
El Greco was a Greek realised painter who worked in Spain, and was many years ahead of his time stylistically.
He has shown the flames if the Holy Spirit on the heads of the Virgin Mary and Apostles on the Day of Pentecost, when the Breath of God was experienced as a Mighty Wind and seen as tongues of flames.
El Greco has positioned the Virgin in a central position as She was the catalyst for this event. Unlike the Pentacostalist Churches of today, there is no sense of hysteria about this scene, just a depth and peace.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The Renaissance period represents a time when European culture was in the centre. After that it moved into the right channel - becoming overactive and overheated. France is the part of the world that corresponds to the liver, or the right aspect of the Nabhi Chakra. The liver is very prone to irritation and over-heating, but it can be cooled down with foot soaking. I feel that the Impressionist artists, some of whom were realised souls, particularly Claude Monet, were inspired by the Kundalini to try to sooth down and cool down the over-heatedness of their culture. Monet is famous for his depiction of the moods of water: lily ponds, rivers, the sea.
His work has been over-reproduced and imitated and this has lessened the sense of how original he was at the time. The Impressionists tried to capture a fleeting moment in time but Monet, because he was a realised soul, managed to convey the sense of Eternity in the present moment. You can see some of his works, and that of other Impressionist artists, at the Art Gallery of NSW at the moment.
The work of realised souls lasts over time because it has a universality that appeals to future generations.
The Nabhi Chakra is made from the water element. It's interesting that some of the main figures in the Impressionist movement were water signs: (Renoir and Ravel were Piscean, Monet was a Scorpio, Debussy was Cancerian).
Posted by jeronimus at 11:37 PM
Sunday, October 5, 2008
William Blake, illustration for Dante's Paradiso
The White Celestial Rose
The colour white is associated with the Sahasrara Chakra (Crown centre) as white contains all the colours of the seven chakras.
The deities take their seats in the Sahasrara at the crown of the head. William Blake shows the Divine Mother in the centre of the Rose.
The Ushnisha, or topknot, in buddhist iconography is a symbol of the Sahasrara.
The Scroll of Heaven.
Chora Church, Turkey
The Kundalini is like a scroll which records a person's life experiences through many incarnations. This fresco from a Byzantine church in Turkey depicts a scene from the Revelation in which an angel bears the Scroll of Heaven, opening its seven seals (the seven Chakras). The sun and moon represent the Solar (pingala) and Lunar (ida) channels of the Subtle Body.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the
tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered; thus he can open the scroll
and its seven seals.
- Book of Revelation, New Testament
Icon showing Christ making the surya mudra (ring finger touching thumb), which means 'Sun gesture' in the Sanskrit language. According to Sahaja Yoga, the ring finger corresponds to the Agnya Chakra. Jesus is the presiding deity of the Agnya Chakra, and The Sun is the heavenly body corresponding to the Agnya Chakra.
The figures in Christian icons are often shown with a frown - this is because the attention is focussed at the Agnya Chakra level.
Sculpture of the Buddha (or a Boddhisatva?) from Gandhara,
now in Afghanistan.
The Agnya Chakra is indicated by a raised spot (urna) on the forehead, the Sahasrara Chakra by the topnot at the crown of the head. The Buddha also incarnated to establish the Agnya Chakra.