Thursday, February 08, 2007
TEMPLE OF THE SELF
(c)David L Singer - 2007
This is my newest work, completed on February 6th 2007.For right now, I'm calling it Temple of the Self.
As tends to happen, a new semester of law school (the final one I might add) brings forth new found creativity.This piece began as a doodle on the back of legal pad on the first day of Professor Peter Zablotsky's Entertainment Law class. I sit in the front row in this class (there is a first time for everything) and Zablotsky was noticing the work as it progressed. He was like, "Do you pay attention while you do that?" I responded, "I can't pay attention without doing this." He was cool and let me continue on.
The bottom portion of the work is where I began.I've been incorporating elements of charts and chart indicators which I've been working with over the past couple of years as I explore and attempt to learn the technical analysis game. Of course, as anyone who knows me knows, I am attracted to the rhythmic, pattern-like qualities of the markets and those concepts in general - very kabbalistic indeed.
The histogram of bars undulating above and below the zero line are similar to those found in the MACD ("Moving Average Convergence-Divergence") indicator. Intertwining itself between these "mountains of bars" is the form of a serpent with a sort of playful expression on its simply rendered head. To me, this snake represents the energy in the spine of a person similar to the medical symbol or the concept of kundalini, but also is symbolic of the energy of the world of materialism where things always move up and down, back and forth. I take the Financial markets as a metaphor/reflection of this concept.
As we move higher on the page from the bottom, I began to draw the lotus flower. I've always liked this symbol. Recently, I have been reading two books by Seung Sahn, a Zen master, who passed away two years ago. 1) ONLY DON'T KNOW and 2) DROPPING ASHES ON THE BUDDHA. I'm enjoying them and their wisdom. Stop thinking and reach enlightenment. Very kabbalistic indeed. Alot of my inspiration comes from books I read and things I contemplate. I recently started reading THE SECRET DOCTRINE again, the master compendium of comparative religion and esoteric thought penned by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. It is now available on the Theosophical Society's Website for free. Also, at Touro Law School's new facility, I happened "by chance' on an unmarked copy of TALMUD ESSER SEFIROT by Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag in their Judaica library. All these mystical texts have reinvigorated me and caused visual spillage to ooze out once more onto the page.
Ahh yes, back to the lotus flower. The Lotus is a venerable symbol to those in the East. The Lotus grows on water which represents the world of Formation in Kabbalah and/or the emotions always flowing and moving from place to place. This concept is represented by the swirls which seperate the lower level from the higher. I think this is an Asian Art influence.It's roots are in the mud symbolizing the most coarse levels of materiality.
Anyway, the lotus has ten petals here. Ten always being an important number in mysticism of every kind as it symbolizes the ideal form of the Archetypal Man. See Plato and anything kabbalistic, i.e. TALMUD ESSER SEFIROT, which means ""the teachings on the ten attributes." The Lotus is the thought which rests upon the water of the emotions.
Emerging upwards in spiritual levels from the lotus, is the symbol that has become my trademark, and is my own "boutique" representation of the levels of existence. Similar to the tree of life in the kabbalah or the chakras in Vedic thought, etc. Let's start from the top. The rays of light represent the undefined subconscious, i.e. that which comes before thought. The undifferentiated essence of the Absolute. If this makes no sense to you, think about this - Where does thought come from before it pops into your head? It comes from this level.
Next is the crown, which represents the first expression, albeit in its most root essence, of some sort of manifestation. This is the level of will or volition , the desire which moves the process along.
The crown has three parts, the middle, the left and the right. The right represents Wisdom, or that mode of consciousness which is intuitional, and can be explained as the power to look at a room and see all of its contents as a unified whole without having to separately break down each of its components.The left represents the concept of understanding, the power or mind state that relates to the ability to understand one thing from another. Going back to the above example, to see each thing in its separate essence and to understand what it is and how it relates tho the other components in the room. (For a lucid Introduction to Kabbalistic thought in the Jewish Tradition see,INNER SPACE, by the late RABBI ARYEH KAPLAN)"
The next element is the Eye, with it's fibonacci spiral inspired iris design. The Eye represents "knowledge", which is essentially experiential learning, and the power of seeing. For instance, this is why in the BIBLE, Adam and Eve were enticed by the sight of the "fruit of the tree of knowledge of life and death."
To the right and the left of the eye we have the two leaves or arms of the symbol. In Kabbalah, there exists the concept of the left and right hand. We find in the BIBLE the concept of God's acting through his attributes of right hand and left hand. At this time it should be mentioned that the symbol as it is following the Tree of Life diagram, can be broken down into tripartite components of left, right, and middle. The middle acting as the balance of the two polar opposites. This concept of symmetry and mean reversion is a cornerstone of the spiritual paradigm and we see it exemplified in life in many ways.
The right hand represents the concept of giving, the left hand that of taking away.
Next we have the heart...the king of the body and seat of the emotions - those feelings we experience that are constant sources of struggle and insight that color our day to day human existence.
Next is the inverted pyramid. I've been fascinated by Egyptian artifacts since childhood. As someone who is fascinated by ancient Egypt in general and its use of Sacred Geometry in particular, this figure represents the channeling of the energies of the higher levels, into the creative power which is reflected in the human as the male sexual organ. Functioning as the conduit through which the creative or reproductive power is channeled from the one entity to the other.
The lotus acts as the final receptacle for and expression of the impetus of original will first emanated from the crown, as it expands through both types of thought via the experience of the eye, filtered by the emotions generated from that experience and finally channeled into its terminal expression either an action or a word.
Next to this symbol,is the castle or fortress. I had as my inspiration the mountain monasteries of the East and often times I end up creating an image that expresses the idea of Jerusalem, "a city surrounded by mountains." This is the Temple of the Self, where one goes through the travails of everyday life and while enduring them, learns about the true nature of reality and one's own being.On top, at its peak is a miniature replica of the symbol on the left of the composition, representing the fact that each of us is a microcosm of the greater macrocosm and yet we are each privy to pursue what we may in our own particular lives with there peculiar details in order that we may occasionally be aware of the interconnectedness of the WHOLE.
Posted by David L. Singer at 12:10 AM