There is a story about the Austrian artist, Oskar Kokoschka, who was commissioned to paint the portrait of a very prominent Viennese physician in the twentieth century. After the portrait was complete, the family was scandalized and refused to pay the artist’s fees because, instead of depicting the physician as the august sage and professional he was, at the time, Kokoschka painted the man with a vacant look and as a frail, feeble old man. Just six months after the painting was finished, the physician suffered a devasting stroke. It is said that the physician looked just as Kokoschka had portrayed him.
Visual artists are sometimes considered seers of sorts.
Jesus was a seer. This is how he knew what would become of his body and why he was tempted to take poison the night before his death by crucifixion. In classical, artistic representations, Jesus is given a halo, aureola or nimbus, which has stood as a symbol, in visual iconography, for the holy among us–both East and West–and has been a part of relgious portraiture for over two-thousand years. A nimbus is a symbol which sets the person wearing it apart, telling us–as readers of the visual–that this person is something or someone extraordinary, someone unique among us.
How do we become all that we are? How do we unsheath and grow our Light?
In India, visual depictions of the Lord Krishna, in classically painted religious iconography, show Krishna to be a robust man of blue. For most Westerners coming upon such a figure may seem surreal or other-worldly. The reason Sri Krishna is portrayed thus is that he is, in Reality, like the water of the ocean or the air of the sky–everywhere, required for living, omnipresent, visible, yet, invisible.
Scoop up a handful of water from the ocean or catch a jar full of air and what do you see? Nothing. And, in concentration, Everything. Plugging into and lighting up our own Divine spark means connecting to Source, through one of the world’s tried and true traditions. Allow Grace to lead the way.