This week I have been reading the New Testament: The Revelation of John, a series of stories written centuries ago offering guidance and understanding about our lives and how we should live them. This specific excerpt from the New Testament has not yet revealed any clear or illuminating messages to me. Granted, I only got about 12 chapters in struggling with the heavy layers of metaphors and ancient language and was ready to give in and get the cliff notes for the Bible (only $10 on Amazon!) Then a Living Chapters reader recently reminded me that these complicated layers of written revelations “were all written in a specific time-frame and oftentimes in response to a certain situation.” She suggested that I “try not to take everything that is written so literal.” Basically my message from her was to lighten up a bit. Be open and have fun with this. She also suggested reading something more contemporary.
Well I have found it nearly impossible to take anything I have read thus far in The Revelation of John literally. So instead of responding literally to the text I am reading this week, I will respond to the revelations that I am receiving myself this week through my own specific time-frame outside of the readings. In an effort to become more comfortable and loosen up about this material, I will share the experiences of my current here and now. How am I reacting both to the external act of reading “John’s” revelations and to the internal act of creating and reflecting upon my own beliefs through my personal mediation practice.
Literature, philosophy and poetry have always been an inspirational way to reflect upon and come to an understanding about our belief systems. Learning how others process ideas is a great way to validate or form our own opinions. One of the requirements from my chapter writer this month is to experience a spiritual practice with others in community to witness and open a door to new perspectives and insights. I look forward to attending a service in a shared setting. Maybe there I will find some translation for these layered explanations that I am reading in the Bible. My preference currently though is to be open to exploring the new territory that is within me. Our beliefs are personal and true to each of us. Right now I find it important first to look inward and be honest with myself about what my own truth and understanding is, what it may have been and what it may grow into.
My first choice of expression for sharing these revelations (and maybe my most fluent way of doing so) is through the creation of an individual visual language that can be read by many and interpreted in different ways.
This week I respond with a series of photographs. These images depict the experience I am going through here looking inward, validating and questioning my own beliefs and philosophy. They also express my feelings about seeking new ideas looking externally, in the shared quest for spiritual growth and knowledge.
Reaching out. Reaching in.
Do my images question what it is you see and believe? Are your beliefs based in organic forms? Are they based on a structure? Do we need structure for organic form to exist? Do we need organic form for structure to exist? As in photographs, lights, darks, and gradations must be examined and come together in a balanced way for the picture to ever become clear. This week I have had fun practicing, photographing and playing with the act of seeing all of what is in front of me, inside me and around me.
What do you see? And where do you look? Take a moment to explore around each window and door, you may find it as fun as I have.
Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to get caught up to date.