Friday, June 02, 2006

Portrait of a Man, ca. 1590–1600 El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (Greek, 1541–1614)Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1924 (24.197.1) Metropolitan Musuem of Art, New York
Imagining the soul of a person

jaedon mast - 05.31.2006

chad meyers - 03.21.2006

great uncle paul, ca. 1910s

How does the soul of a person look? Through it’s eyes? It seems as though the eyes of a person are the closest we can get to seeing the neurons of the brain, the seat of the mind, the center of consciousness, the origin of the individual soul. Honesty is found in the eyes. “Look into my eyes,” we say, “and tell me that you love me.” We see the souls of others by looking into their eyes.
Thomas Merton speaks of seeing “with the eyes of my soul wide open.” It is in this state that he realizes he is in the paradise of “simplicity, self-awareness—and self-forgetfulness—liberty, peace.” We become conscious of our souls when we permit (and we are permitted to allow) our souls to be awakened and attuned to the voice of God—to the “inexplicable, quite definite inner certitude of one’s call to obey Him, to hear Him, to worship Him here, now, today, in silence and alone, this is the whole reason for one’s existence, this makes one’s existence fruitful and gives fruitfulness to all one’s other good acts.” This is the ransom and purification of one’s soul, which has been blind, deaf, dead, in sin. This is the joy of imagining, of seeing, the solitary soul.
I realize that a picture is a distortion of a thousand words—a sequence of space-time, but it can also be a framing of an individual world, the freezing of an individual clock. It can allow the subjective self to hover outside of the temporal and the spatial—an eternal moment. These three images were captured within the last three months. The last one however, is an image of an artist’s rendering of the soul of Great Uncle Paul after his body was no longer embodied.


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