Religions are defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods, and as an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group”. The head of these religions and those who promote a set of beliefs are generally called teachers asking that we blindly believe in their manifestos with rules, commandments, and practices.
These beliefs, which have no basis in reality, and could even be called hypothesis, require that we suspend judgment and embrace them, or risk institutional and/or spiritual punishment. In time, theoretic beliefs become rigid rules and in most cases, create deep separations in society, as the beliefs morph into “the way” to live by and die for.
Why stop at organized religions? We read self-help books and crowd around teachers who claim to embody eternal and absolutely certain truths, that if we follow, we will live happily ever after. A charismatic leader transfers these beliefs to disciples/ teachers who continue the chain without any means of testing the experiences into objective reality.
It is a believer’s world filled with comparisons and deep dualities.
None of these “religions” have brought more peace, more love and more security into our lives. In fact, our allegiance to dogmatic truths created a world in where fear, scarcity and blame are a constant feature. We buy insurance and when an accident occurs, we spend years in courthouses justifying our right to be reimbursed for our misery. In the process, we lose wages and quality of life capped by blaming “the system” we created. We witness or participate in senseless wars with considerable mayhem for the religious zealots to prove their theories, thinly disguised as “manifestos handed down by a higher power”.
When I meditated on this 20” x 16” painting, I realized that I had actually represented the world where some have all the glitter and glam and pompously tell us that their truths are better. Yet as they rise to prominence by obscuring the sunshine with blood and destruction, possibilities for transformation are visible everywhere. The art asks us to follow the unfurling swirls of metamorphosis.
Looking inward to notice the dubious thoughts that have become our beliefs, we see that at a smaller scale, these mimic the grandiose and horrific rules we have allowed others to impose on ourselves. Awareness may be painful, but the healing that ensues as we pull the “weeds” growing in our mind is transformational. For as we drop all beliefs, we begin to access the guidance of our heart-mind.
Guided by our kind and loving Buddha nature, we clearly know right from wrong and experience the shimmering light that other kindred spirits begin to notice. Embodying our glow, we start noticing the “gold” that surrounds us; the inherent goodness of everyone, sometimes buried under crusty beliefs of separateness.
There are no “others”, thus if we can reflect gold, we can also reflect lead, and as true alchemists, we can turn lead into gold. Thich Nhat Hahn calls it inter-beingness. The painting shows us how to turn senseless blood into gorgeous sunrises and spread bits of light in our neighborhood and among friends, family and strangers.
Firmly rooted in the truth of our heart, we illuminate the path for others and continue to transform growing kinder, more loving and more compassionate.
My clients tell me that the art I create from the heart brings them peace and a sense of well-being. Purchase Believing now and tell me how it affected you!