The World is full of Actors pretending to be Human.
~ Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) ~
It’s not often you find a t-shirt trying to sell you a painting that’s simply pure black. This is the counter-intuitive nature of the existence we live in. What appears to be obvious, simplistic or unworthy of attention, is where the most profound truths are on display… in plain sight.
Two little men, one “Yin” the other “Yang”, standing at the foot of a regal staircase leading to “Lord Shiva”, sitting in a meditative posture in front of an exceptionally large “Black” painting… doesn’t appear to say much, does it?
The symbolism embodied in this image is three-fold, identifying the core tenets of the entire existence of Life on the esoteric level. If one ever pondered the “meaning of it all” or “where do I come from”, this image holds the symbolic enlightenments of ‘what is’; the Truest Reality.
Before I describe the components, here’s a brief primer on the insights of the Hindu/Yogic mindset… as Hinduism is the oldest existential philosophy on the meaning of Life, and by-far the most colorful and mystically intriguing… understanding the basic premise is not only vital, but should be contemplated seriously by every individual who considers themselves an interested party in this game of Life.
“The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God, whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God.
This creative activity of the Divine is called “Lila”, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of this “Divine Play”.
Brahman is the great magician who transforms himself into the world and then performs this feat with his "magic creative power" (HipSoul Note: “All is Mind / Dream”), which is the original meaning of Maya in the Rig Veda.
The word “Maya” – one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy – has changed its meaning over the centuries. From the might, or power, of the divine actor and magician, it came to signify the psychological state of anybody under the spell of the magic play.
As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the Divine Lila with Reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of Maya.”
~ Fritjof Capra ~
(Author: The Tao of Physics / 1975)
The ultimate premise of this parable is to enlighten the seeker into cognizing difficult spiritual truths into a cohesive framework with which to identify intellectually, cosmic realities which cannot be directly interpreted with words.
“Magic is just science that we don’t understand yet”
~ Arthur C. Clarke ~
(Co-wrote Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey”)
There is a structure to The Universe that mankind exists within, yet generally refuses to accept. This is all part of the game; The Forgetting. It’s OK if you don’t wake up to the game being played, but for those who are interested; The Universe communicates what it can, in ways that we may engage, contemplate and experience from our current vantage point.
The allegory of this image above is a representation of the entirety of Life itself:
Nothingness… and Everything.
The Black Painting: represents the primal foundation of where all things manifest, The blank canvas of existence, pure unconditioned Awareness. The eternal source of creation outside of time and space; Infinity. The painting sits within a regal gold frame as a metaphor to the “special” nature of this creation, its Sacred Nature (described in more detail below).
The People: Two perceptually small entities, one dressed in Black, the other White… representing the Yin & Yang, or the base natural law that allows the creation of the visible Universe. Yin & Yang is an esoteric necessity to the physical world, anything without a polar opposite is inconceivable.
For example, you cannot have the color Black without the color White to allow for the comprehension that Black even exists in the first place… without White to offer perspective, Black is utter, blinding Nothingness (ie. The Void of Creation).
Alternately, if there were no definition of Gravity in the known world, there would be no “return”... you wouldn’t be able to jump, because there would be nothing to jump “from”. So while the common phrase ‘“What goes up, must come down” is a whimsical nod towards gravity, it holds a deeper esoteric symbolism for the nature of the material world; without it there would be no “ground” to stand on (ie. The Void).
The two beings clothed in these colors implies that man is subject to these immutable laws of the physical world. Karma, if you like. Cause and Effect.
The two are also perceptually small in relation to Shiva, and even smaller relative to the black painting. This implies the ignorant state of mind of the unenlightened man. They stand at the foot of the stairs looking up at Shiva in a state of Bliss, curious how he is able to sit and do nothing in the face of this existential terror… symbolic of Man seeking wisdom of his true nature: his reason for even existing. Climbing the Holy Mountain.
Lord Shiva in Meditation: Shiva sits content with his eyes closed, palms facing upwards as his hands rest in his lap at the top of a wide staircase, a vulnerable posture, signifying an open invitation to join him in understanding the esoteric wisdom of the Self, the birthright of all conscious beings who inquire about their True Nature.
Lord Shiva has done the work to raise his Lower Self to reach Higher States of Consciousness, which imbue the inner workings of this indescribable realm which we reside.
Shiva offers The Seeker his knowledge freely, with “112 Ways” to reach the transcendent state of consciousness required to achieve Enlightenment, and learn to cognize the unknowable realm of Nothingness which sits behind him. This “knowing” is what develops the state of Bliss he remains in at all times through his physical manifestation (though Shiva is an esoteric symbol, not a historical figure; his anthropomorphisation is a metaphor for YOUR physical manifestation; You are Shiva).
This union of these Three elements illustrate the trinity of Man, God and the Source of Creation. Man and the rules which the physical world must abide to become comprehensible. God and the ubiquity and likeness which man unwittingly shares with Creation itself. And the Source of Creation, or the Blank Canvas with which all things are borne from. Nothingness into Somethingness, which is a very special thing considering where all things manifest from originally.
“Something” is Special, when “Nothing” is the alternative.
I’ll end this with an insight from the immortal wisdom of Manly P. Hall, a seeker who gleaned more insight regarding the history and lore of mankind than most others… anyone serious in their journey to Self should spend great deals of time reading his vast library of writings, or listening to his extensive catalog of lectures found on Youtube and at the organization which he founded in 1934, the (Philosophical Research Society
“Contrary to the generally accepted belief, the most highly initiated philosophers symbolized the eternally existing state of divinity by darkness rather than by light. In all the cosmological systems of enlightened pagans there was first darkness - an immeasurable extent of profundity which defied definition.
From this Darkness, which is the first God, proceeded Light, the secondary divinity. Light moved upon the face of Darkness and through its activities the world, or embodied divinity, comes into manifestation. The radiant spirits of Light set up their temporary kingdom in the midst of Darkness. But Light is finite, and Darkness is infinite.
In the last Age the night of oblivion descends once more upon the universe and the sovereignty of the Darkness is re-established.”
~ Manly P. Hall ~
(Author: The All-Seeing Eye)