When It Comes To Clouds…

They’ve always been a favorite photographic subject.

When it comes to interests, religion and art history and how they intertwine, are high on a fluctuating list.

Though far from a religious scholar, I have done my share of studying religious history and religion, in general. Having grown up in the relatively non-dogmatic world of Methodism, my early religious lessons centered around music and Sunday School messages of love and kindness, a European-looking Jesus, Christmas trees, and new Easter outfits.

 

After disillusionment with religion and a brief stint as an atheist at the age of 18…

I jumped into the exploration of Eastern philosophy and psychedelics, which profoundly affected my world-view. That, coupled with my sense of alienation from a world that seemed hell-bent on destruction, left me permanently outside the confines of structured religion.

Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism, Native American spirituality, Paganism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and alternative Christianity, are all a part of me, now. The values of Christianity that I learned as a child and young adult continue to have the strongest resonance, and also seem to be universal across traditions.

Religion is too often used to justify horrific acts.

As one religion does good, another does the opposite — within a cultural context that may be foreign. Seeking principles that are universal, I often contemplate archetypes and myths that inhabit human consciousness and human history. I have no answers, except for brief flashes of insight that always seem to come down to the fundamental concept of Oneness — that separation exists only in our minds. Life is cyclical. Ages come and go. Eons beyond reckoning have come before us and will follow.

History is the telling and retelling of the story of power and persecution, of survival and rising above. No culture or human structure is immune.

What matters is now: how we treat each other, now; the small or greater good that we can do, now.

That, and clouds…

Air Brushed

 

and symbolism… 

Tara__Green

 

and art.

Reflection - Odilon Redon

 

Resources:

John Pavlovitz: Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

Hinduism: Symbolism of the Cloud, Lightning, and Thunder

The Atlantic Clouds: The Most Useful Metaphor of All Time?

 

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