Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Presence of Good and Evil

"Painting of Judas Iscariot"
If you are like me, you form a strong opinion after meeting someone for the first time. Unfortunately, our impressions are not always accurate, yet we remember these fleeting feelings for longer than we care to admit. These vague notions may affect our dealings with that person even after we get to know them better.

I’m embarrassed to say that my first introduction to a person is sometimes shallow and in total disregard for their true character and nature. Once I get to know them on a personal level, I’m surprised that I allowed superficial values to interfere with our relationship.

Another painting of Judas
Each person gives off an aura that we can feel. If we judge them on appearances, we may miss the totality of their personality. I remember after my mother’s passing, I sometimes felt her presence when I walked into a room long after she was gone.

This aura either creates an instant bonding between two people or it does not. What we are and who we are can be felt by others. Our lives have an impact on the people we love and associate with while the presence of strangers may project either good or evil.

Have you ever felt the dark awareness that you were being watched or followed? Did the hair rise on your arm? Did fear hit you in the pit of your stomach? Whether you can see them or not is beside the point. Their presence was felt. 

Children are good at measuring evil and feeling when it is near. At the same time, they are innocent and may not listen to their own feelings but yield to authority without making any protest. That's why it's so important that we protect them.

Gut instinct is there to protect us. It is developed through experience. It's trying to tell us something about our environment. Traditionally, women have downgraded these feelings more than any other gender. They have been taught to “play nice” and to disregard angry or negative feelings. Thankfully, this style of femininity is changing. The deep and instinctual reactions we experience are there to keep us safe from harm or abuse. We should trust them!
Another artist's version of Judas
Men seem to be keener at recognizing a threat. They are built physically and emotionally to retaliate when confronted. We hear about the “dumbing down” of America. There is also an effort to emasculate males. Mothers are over protecting their sons and teaching them to back down rather than to stand up for one’s self.

While this sounds good in the short term, the long term results may have devastating effects on the family and the nation. If people lack the courage and skill to defend themselves or their loved ones, they become victims. If people cower in fear, they can be overtaken. If goodness is no longer strong it caves in to evil, and what kind of world would that create?

Over the centuries, artists have painted these opposition forces. Their artwork has provided a stark contrast between light and darkness, good and evil. Their portraits portray the struggle each person faces from within. Their choices illustrate the physical transformation of the flesh as it succumbs to wickedness.
In contrast, here is a face without guile, a face radiating from "A Joyful Heart" 9 x 12 pastel on Bristol
If you doubt that change, check out the police online files and see the alteration of a person’s face who has gone down the road of addiction. Signs of aging rapidly increase, teeth loosen from gums, hair falls out, wrinkles appear even in the young, the heart is weakened and hardened. 

The famous paintings of Judas in this blog depict the presence of sorrow, shame and evil. The portrait above reflects goodness and happiness.