Dedicated religionists such as we commonly meet are, of course, no more religious than an atheist. They are crude emotionalists who happen to have adopted religion as the field of their operations. Religion is their medium of action and expression: not the basis of their behaviour.
In this respect they resemble more than anything else the political, economic or other cult-enthusiasts who are a psychological and social phenomenon, not a religious one.
Anyone who knows more and discusses ‘religion’ with such people would be like an astronomer discussing astrology with a star-worshipper.
For this reason the regeneration of religion would come from people whom we would not always readily associate with ‘religion’ as we know it.
This principle is well known in other fields: where, for instance, great inventions come from the untechnical; since the main-line scientist and technologist has become obsessed with his field and its dogmas. Yesterday’s dogmas are tomorrow’s impossibilities.
In traditional terms, this is the condition of looking at the chrysalis when one should look at the butterfly: and also at the whole range of development, from egg to grub to chrysalis to butterfly.
Learning How to Learn
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Sufism is the doing in this lifetime what any fool will be doing in ten thousand years’ time.
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Proud to be a small part of this positive change for performing artists in NH. Scott Ruffner put good work, time, effort into this. Kudos.
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#ThyCaptionBe: Battle of the Bands
You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.
Medieval battle of the bands or the original Nickelback curse? It’s really not far from that as two monastic communities sing for Christ’s approval.Get ready for the Medieval Battle of the Bands!Opposing groups of monks stand in front of choir books used by the choir during liturgical services. Christ appears between them, turning towards one in favor.Religious costume (the long hooded robe called a habit) helps us tell the monastic communities apart. This marginal decoration comes from the Abbey Bible, painted for a Dominican monastery, the group chosen by Christ.
#ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.
Shang Chengxiang’s (born 1985) work digs into the deep psychic of a human being, revealing the anxiety, fear, and fantasy of unconsciousness. Dream plays a crucial role in his works. The artist is inspired and intrigued by his dreams, his paintings are often a mixture of his memory of his dreams and his pondering of his reality and things that are in between. The colorful cloud/ smoke in his “Cloud Path” series derive from the rainbow-color forest that once appeared in his dream, many drafts and attempts later, the artist couldn’t recreate the scene in his dreams, the illusionary quality of dreams started to sink into Chengxiang’s mind. He compares this illusionary quality of dreams to the evaporating quality of cloud and smoke, both temporary and unobtainable. He started to combine colors with clouds in his paintings, together with surreal and dream like images, Shang Chengxiang leads his audiences into the world of unexpected. Follow him on Facebook.
Wooden Statuette of a Mirror-Bearer
Maya culture, Guatemala or Mexico, 6th century (14 inches / 36 cm high)
Time, insects, and moisture have destroyed most Precolumbian sculpture in wood, but a handful of objects have miraculously survived. This wooden object, a kneeling sculpture of a male that most likely bore a mirror of pyrite, probably owes its existence to the sturdy dry walls of a tomb or cave. The artist created this figure from a solid piece of wood from the genus Cordia, known locally as bocote. Research determined a radiocarbon age for the wood of 1425 years b.p. ± 120 years, or a range of AD 410 to 650. This date falls within the late Early Classic or early Late Classic period, when dynastic kingdoms expanded throughout the Maya Lowlands.
The person shown wears an elaborate knee-length woven skirt with ties. In addition, he wears a rope or cloth band, perhaps for lashing the mirror, that goes around his neck and falls through his arms to his feet, which are folded under his body. He sits with legs and feet tucked under him as he arches his back, his head slightly tilted upward, his upper arms parallel to the ground, and his fists held tightly to his chest.
He wears a distinct hairstyle or headdress, is shown with a curled moustache, elaborate multi-tiered earflares, and a pectoral with an anthropomorphic portrait. Although the proper left side of the sculpture suffered more damage in antiquity, surviving pigment on the surface suggests he would have been brightly painted and lively.
This character is most likely a courtly dwarf, as seen in many palace scenes. In Maya art, dwarves often accompanied rulers or the Maize God. We see other dwarves in figurines and in painted scenes holding up mirrors. Mirrors themselves are about royal narcissism but also about dressing; they connote the assistance in clothing the king. They were also special in the eyes of Mesoamerican societies; they had divinatory powers and were sought after as entertainers in the royal courts.
Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art