Two of these photographs, the dog and the camp as tits man are small bits of very large paintings. Everything I take a shot of impresses me for one reason or another. I prefer the single portraits, more of which to come, as they seem the most real to me.
The painting here of the priest and the monk makes me think of all those burned by the church and otherwise tortured and inhumanely treated. I love old churches and cathedrals and monasteries too but for their architecture and art. The feeling I get in them is one of dread and intense coldness. I can almost hear the cries of those tortured and burned by these ‘holy men’. Made all the worse knowing that other ‘holy men’ are killing and torturing in the name of their God today – in the Middle East – and how in our more ‘civilised’ societies the systematic rape and abuse of children by ‘holy men’ and ‘holy women’ is covered up and thereby sanctioned by other ‘holy men’ and ‘holy women’.
I used to think, in the days when I was almost completely disassociated, that a lot of tosh was spoken about art. I no longer think that way. Oh I still think some speak and write a lot of tosh but I do now know that art is vital and it does speak to us though what each will hear will differ.
I find it astonishing that life in the times of these paintings was brutal and short for most, was lived amongst the filth of our waste, the smell of it, truly awful, yet such beauty was created also.
I was listening to modern day ‘holy people’ today, speaking of life and how they think we ought to live it. Oblivious to the fact that they make life so much worse for many. They spoke of life as a gift.
A gift for whom? How can it be a gift if one is born to live a life of suffering and then to die in suffering? How can it be a gift for a child born into famine? A child born into brutal civil war? Hacked to death? Or a child who spends years in day by day abuse? A gift? Really?
There will be those so shocked or repulsed by my next words that they will think me severely disturbed or depressed. In fact there will be those who think I am better shut up, forcibly, than even to entertain the idea that I may have a point. It is their fear that speaks to them. Not my words.
I would much rather have not had a life at all. Yes, today, by comparison to the lives of others and the life I used to have, I have a good life. I understand this. Not just intellectually. I do derive enjoyment from it. I know how to make the best of things. I know that it is wiser by far to choose to enjoy what I have than to allow the negative and misery to overcome what I have. I could. So easily. I know that for me and others of such good fortune, it is pretty much down to what I allow to dominate my thoughts. I can choose to enjoy the life I have. I do choose to.
Yet, I fail to see it as a gift. If I were given the choice, I’d rather not have existed at all. Save the last few of my 52 years, life was always far more pain and struggle than joy. I didn’t know joy or comfort until recently. Now I do and whereas before I longed for the end of life, now I do not , I do not want it to end.
Now I know that my death will cause pain and suffering to John and his will cause pain and suffering to me. I would prefer he went first to spare him that pain because I think I am better able to handle it as grief is not new to me. Yet the idea of yet again going into that darkness terrifies me.
The world would not stop turning if I had not existed and it will not stop when I don’t exist any more.
Enjoying the beauty around me, as I have done in Paris, or when I am just simply being with my dogs, is not a feeling easy to describe. It seems pain and suffering are far easier to find words for! Joy and peace seem inadequate to describe my present when compared to my past.
If life is an accident then it is without any merit. It is pointless. My struggle, your struggle, will all have been for nought. There are those who say it isn’t because our struggle makes life better for the coming generations. They neglect to remember that there will, at some point, be no more generations to come. Nothing will be of any use or importance. If the end of physical life is truly the end of consciousness, then why live it? There is no purpose. The propagation of our genes is not a satisfactory answer because science tells us this will all come to end anyway. The Universe will cease to be. Gone. As if it never were.
On the other hand, if consciousness is not extinguished by the death of the physical body, there could conceivably be a point to life. I have no idea what it is and I do not believe anyone else does either. Those who insist they know are the most afraid of uncertainty. They cling to words written down in ancient times regardless of the moral bankruptcy implicit in such clinging. Better to be cruel and immoral but be right! Their sense of righteousness quells their fear. If only for a short time. To stop it rising they must force others into silence or agreement, to shore up their defences.
Even if life is not over as death suggests, it doesn’t mean life is a gift.
Could it be a choice?
If life is not a choice, that you and I did not choose to have this life, then our will is anything but free. In order for life to be a choice, then we must have existed before we were conceived. Beyond comprehension. Nuts. Crazy.
Yet we readily accept the idea of Free Will when the idea that we have a will that is free is far more than crazy. It is positively wicked. It causes pain and suffering. It is also used to justify evil.
The religious love to trot out Free Will. That their God gave us Free Will and if we use our Free Will to believe what ever tripe they are pushing, we will go Heaven, be ‘saved’. If we do not use our Free Will to so believe, then we are damned. Right there is one reason Free Will is bulldust-no one’s will is free when a loaded gun is pointing at them.
The other, most obvious, reason that Free Will, as so far explained to us, is not free is because we are not all knowing. We can only freely make choices if 1. we know all there is to know and 2. can make choices free of fear. It seems likely that 2. would be moot if 1. were the case.
I can see why those who insist they are right, be they atheist or theist, do so: uncertainty is scary, painful, and well, so damn uncertain! Yet uncertainty is the only honest admission. Everything else is bollocks.
It is perfectly possible to live a life that is good and happy and which does not rely on the suffering of others, based upon ideas that we cannot know the truth of. I have yet to come across a religious ideology that does not rely upon exclusion and therefore the suffering of others in order that the religious might be happy and certain.
When I choose to read the words of others, I do so with the knowledge that I am not reading TRUTH but ideas. Ideas that may or may nor resonate with my mind. It is dangerous to read the words of others as TRUTH or with the idea that one might come across TRUTH. It is an abdication of our personal responsibility to lay our life down to the words and ideas of another. No matter how old the words or ideas may be! We must always be thinking for ourselves and living according to our conscience and not the conscience of another.
It is much easier to live according to the rules and conscience of another. This is why doing so is so attractive and indeed does attract so many people to do just that. Oh they may think themselves martyrs. They may think themselves strong and brave.
It is those who can live, and live well, with uncertainty who are the strong and the brave.
Those who proclaim certainty are the weak and cowardly and most in need.