oils on canvas...
The text in the corners reads like this: Sanguis ex deus. Deus ex Sanguis. Deus Aqua. Aqua Deus. Which roughly translates from the latin to: God from Blood. Blood from God. Water of God. God of Water. the figure on the bottom is me, the other one is my good friend Dan Lonick. I wanted to get the purity of the baptism ritual - I think it is a lovely and original symbol. The idea of symbolically being washed clean of sin to become reborn (though I am agnostic. Well. Atheist. It remains a symbol of beauty for me.)

These things are minor additions thogh. the beatific expression on my face, the sweetness and purity of such an act is what i really wanted. i believe it is one of my best works to date.


read it if u dare heh.

Hi everyone!

I have come across a whole string of mythological antecedents to Christian ritual in my readings of big weird dry history books. I like big books. If someone broke in, I could whack them with one and render them temporarily at my mercy muhahahaaahah. I always keep a huge fucking dictionary by the door, for sudden questions of etymology and, also, burglars.
I actually really like most Christian rituals. Though I am afraid… well I kinda think the burning bush is pretty damned lame. As miracles go. Well.
Coming back from the dead, eternal life. Healing lepers. Handy. These things would be cool. Tim tams. Endless tim tams. Reincarnation as an otter would be groovy as an act displaying the divine order of things. Perhaps an otter who always catches really TASTY fish…an otter that has truly AWESOME fur with natural stripes and a bit of a curl to it, that all the chick otters think is hot wanna root all the time.
Ok so Moses is out in the desert and a bush spontaneously combusts. Why not a tree? A forest? A planet? Even a rock. A nice rock. Shiny. But noooooooo it’s a BUSH. Woah.
Then him coming back to the Jews and saying “There was this BUSH guys it was FUCKING AMAZING! I was out with the sheep right, just rounded up Betsy Sheep after she had wandered off again, silly old girl, and THEN! Like - I was just standing there, right, with my crook, you know, that cool one I’ve got with the racing stripes which turns into a snake? (Actually this is another “miracle” performed in the bible that is actually STILL a common trick amongst Egyptian street performers. Yes, there are such people. The snakes go all stiff like a stick and then relax again. Not kidding.) I was in my favourite robes, out in the desert, doing my thing. And then outta NOWHERE this bush I was standing next to just like GOES UP! Suddenly it was on FIRE for like, no reason man! No reason!
“And then…
“I saw…
“No, no! No I hadn’t been playing with a godamned magnifying glass, and yes, all right, it was a prêt-ty warm out that day. Well, yeah, I did have a campfire to warm up my toasted sandwiches from last night but that was… ah… BEFORE then, somewhere else… yeah…I’m tellin’ ya! And it was uh…um… yeah well it was, I… I had my campfire in the next valley! I really did! I did! I did did did! It wasn’t even lunchtime any more! Promise!
“Believe me now? Ok then! Right! Let’s walk into the desert!”
And when he goes to talk to the pharaoh, he has to take his brother with him because: “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”
At least Yahweh (God) was pretty broad about whom he employed, but still, a divine messenger without a speech impediment might have been a better choice.
And um… also the first miracle in Buddha’s life was a giant snake, a cobra, sticking out its weird neck thingies and stopping him from getting wet when it rained. This was after he had gone hungry for a few years and gone through all this suffering. He actually said, “Life is suffering,” at one point. So he may have had a bit of a tough time. Starving for instance. How about instead, whatever passed for currency in India in 600bc appearing in the pocket of his holy-man gear. Not much, just the equivilent of a couple of bucks. Then he could say Nyah Nyah to the other mystics and possibly add:
“Fuck this! I’m getting a choc’ wedge!”
He must have been sitting there as the giant snake came up and started its fairly unsnakelike parasol activities, thinking:
“Great. A miracle. Now. How about a comely maiden? Beer? Nope, giant snake with umbrella delusions. No beer, no chicks. I could have just gone and sat on the porch! Stupid snake!”

And… (A friend pointed out the point about Adam and Eve. Thank you Denise.) Incest gets you in trouble with the bible. “No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.” Yes, you are the lord. We know. No need to keep reminding us really, the whole look-upon-your-face-and-be-annihilated thing will be enough.
And then there is:
“…Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.” Leviticus 20:11. There are lots of specifics, though a few combinations of family members not to have sex with got left out, which is pretty careless really.
From the movie Hotshots:
“Well, it’s kinda like doing your sister. Sure she’s a great piece of tale with a box full of goodies, but it’s just illegal…

Adam and Eve? Their kids must have had kids with each other since there was no-one else around, yes? And um… well Mr Abraham guy was pretty keen on doing what God said, I believe. And he married his half-sister.
There are lots of things like this of course. The lineage of Christ is listed twice, and the two lists are different. Once again. Oops.
I do think that the idea of baptism is not only benign, but also beautiful. I have painted a posed baptism: my passionately cynical hands turning their odd skills to express the beauty of something that I could never believe as divine. Washed clean, reborn. Cleansed. But wasn’t John the Baptist baptising people before Christianity, or Christ himself, started doing it? He and Christ co-existed. Wouldn’t he be still not a Christian and actually a most unusual Jew at that point? There is the famous quote:
“Bring me the head of John the Baptist.” And it just occurred to me… what if they lost it and went back. Dropped it in the river or something.
“Ah we had his head but Billy was playing bowls with it and it fell in the river and floated away. And most of the rest of him we fed to the lions.”
“You idiots! Oh dear. Well then… what bits are left?
“The ah lower torso?”
“Right! Bring me the BUM of John the Baptist!”
In the words of Joseph Heller in the mouth of a Chaplain, “Could a society that didn’t understand the mechanics of rainfall find the meaning of existence?”
Celtic myth has a lot of lame and just outright weird stuff in it. For example, the…
“Trout of knowledge.” Man. You ate of the trout of knowledge and then you got knowledge, right? But it didn’t die… it was a mighty mighty trout of knowledge!
The Druids were in the habit of chaining a human, usually a slave, to one of those stone tables handily scattered across Europe. Then they would get a two-handed sword and sever the poor fucker’s spine. After that, it was to time to interpret the way the person on the table twitched as they died, and thereby TELL THE FUTURE COOOOOOL! (I do like telling hippies this bit of druidic/Celtic lore if they even MENTION oak trees or sickles. Or fairies. Same mythology people! Goes together! Get a grip! Kind of unavoidable! For fuck’s sake, take a peek at the world from behind your disgusting deadlocks!)
To me, this kind of pagan practice is rendered impotent merely by the raw imagination and vision requisite in the sacrament of Eucharist.
Some rituals, though, are swollen with power.
The idea of actually, viscerally EATING the symbolic body of your god, and DRINKING HIS BLOOD? It has such violent potency to it. Cool. I believe that that ritual originated with the worship of Dionysus. It crosses sweetly and clicks into place in a Christian cosmos… still, this is the way millions are blessed.
“EAT GOD.” I mean. Wow. The process, the IDEA vibrates with authority.
I think that it may be the strength of implication that holds keys to our credence. It is the gathering splendour; anticipating the divine. It is this that spills miracles across our imaginations in the brightest and most defining lights of our minds, and of our lives.
For us, for you and for me…
In terms as far and as close as we seem to be able to invent: it is in so many ways this that describes who we are. Belief sketches us. With what we believe, we are lightning-lit, bright with conviction. Though it can’t tell us MUCH. Understanding our own beliefs is of course something that must happen within the fetters of our belief. Heh. Still it is this that for us may light up the universe, or disallow us from seeing anything or anyone apart from our faith and its dictates.
Absurd or not. DANGER DANGER!
“You with the gun and the huge crucifix! Step AWAY from the bible.”
Delusions; inviolate and immovable. The deepest walls in our minds: and all that some of us will ever, ever see.
The sum nature of belief vastly exceeds its component pieces of ritual, and its ornaments of symbology, fantastic and strange. Humming with devastating psychic force.

What is implied seems to me to exceed what is stated. Maybe it is this that is influencing us: The idea that something, a divine vision, an understanding, is coming. An epiphany and suddenly, Truth! Ineluctable. Yes. I think that intrinsic somewhere in religion, in The Godhead itself, is an essential idea of imminence.
Some massive, world altering event horizon of supernatural power is IMMINENT. It is IMPENDING. Something mystical is about to fall on our poor mortal minds and slosh over our heads with holy ascendancy, with shocking divine velocity.
Pouring insight into us, blinding truths that only our Gods can provide. The crucible of motivation here is that the adherent, praying and swaying and chanting, shall be included. Each person who believes. Made special. Declared valid, by God. Our world will have meaning.
Whomsoever has faith - enacts with their belief their participation within the divine order that they have chosen. We prove our belief by believing it.
We believe in being saved, and of course, to us, this will save us.
I think that what we really want is to be told who we are by someone as certain as a GOD.
We want Him/Her/That Consciousness thingie/Karma/ The Force - to tell us…
Say to us that, unequivocally, in all of this wild astrophysical endlessness where we fight and cling desperate and alone, we matter. Because we want and desperately hope that in the end, in Truth divine… that this universe that we cannot even ENVISION will be, it will, it will be…
FOR us.
So, I guess: it is the faith of an impending divine force rather than perceivable sensory evidence and a history of experience and memory that holds the key.
A belief and not a wish. Yes. Not hope. Faith.
Belief in a divinity is carried by more than 99% of the human race. But there are such traps…
Doesn’t it make more sense to believe in something as fundamental and reality altering as a God harder and more deeply than the mundane objects around you? A great deal of people I have met have a kind of faith that is simply utter certitude. To them, it is not faith but knowledge. Voltaire said “convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” But a conviction, to the individual, IS a Truth. And this is frightening.

Here. Try this:
How strong is your faith?
Is it more real than the evidence of your senses? Of your other beliefs? In the validity of your sensory perceptions? Are emotions that are not spiritual less powerful, less True, to you? Test your faith in the violent light of THIS context. Stand your faith against these words, if you can:
“I SPECULATE that I can touch the face of the woman that I love with the rise and the fall of every breath that I take.
“I OPINE that the woman that I ache for, that I live for, her for whom I would die all deaths, lives and has a mind and heart. That her lips, the softest in a million worlds, TRULY DO touch mine warm and wet in the morning. I SUPPOSE that my friend is real. He who stood beside me as I warred, exhausted and failing, against the softness of death. That I may embrace him. That he will feel it, as I feel the strength in his arms and the old love in his eyes.
“I PROFESS TO BELIEVE that my eyes see this screen. My eyes that have served me since seeping light into colour into form when I was a tiny child and new to humankind. When I saw and I saw and I want the feeling that I have forgotten, of seeing colours, such colours in this world! My eyes: the shock of blue and back and red that gave me, gifted me in spectacular benevolence the holy face of my mother.
“I HOPE THAT IT PROVES TO BE THE CASE that my hands that have fought, fists and wards against my enemies - that have and written and worked and bled for me - are mine own. That they do exist.
“I TRUST in the veracity of the fingers that have forged everything that I have made. With which I touched myself tenderly as I felt the first stirrings of sex. The fingers that hit the keys in front of me and that have brushed against the warmth of what humans I have known. That have shown me the texture, the heat, the shape of the world.
“I ASSUME IT TO BE TRUE that I can hold close to me the child that I have sired, that I have loved and taught and feared for. That I really, REALLY CAN feel the warmth of her sweet breath against my chest as I carry her with every gentleness I can find in my heart to her bed. That I can smell her hair and hear her steady breathing as I lay her down and step hesitantly away. That she is real. Her, my child. Her, whose sweet sleeping form I watch in the half-light for long moments, amazed a thousand times that a miracle, the best of natural miracles, found half of its well of inception within me. Her, sleepy in the quiet of evening. Whose perfect, perfect face I carry before me in my mind as a sigil, a ward, a spell of strength. Her whose need is a terrible weight and dire command. Her love the most beautiful thing I have ever known.
“I CHOOSE TO IMAGINE TO BE FACTUAL Her existence; the best reason to fight that there has ever been. That the stunning wonder of her birth - when my patella smacked the hard white tile floor and I found I was on my knees and tears of joy were streaming hot and salty down my face - ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
“I SUSPECT that the life that leaps and hurts and shudders inside me is MINE.
“I HOLD that I truly LIVE.
“I CREDIT, I POSTULATE, I PRESUME, RECKON RELY AND VENTURE that my body exists and that I am not a creation of a sickness in a mind without a world.
“I hope that I walk this earth.
“But I KNOW that God exists.”
Then this is outright, unmistakable. By choosing, swayed by beauty, experience, love, pain, to believe in God. We are howling into the night, screaming and frantic to hear ourselves. To BELIEVE OUR OWN VOICES!
With this choice, we are saying this: “The divine waits with every unexperienced second. This moment is FECUND! It is PREGNANT with hope!”
Perhaps it is not that we conceive of a divine past, but that we believe in such vast improbability to ordain a divine future. To make it inevitable.
The most beautiful symbols in the history of the Western world have shaped and tugged each essential violence. They are as omnipresent as ourselves.
These symbols have fired the lungs of ten thousand prophets. They have sustained fervour amidst tortures upon tortures, and death upon death in vast numbers lost to time.
Tens of thousands of martyrs have screamed their crucial and earnest fidelity. In gorgeous and compelling abstraction as their lungs were seared and they burned alive, as blood and pain and life poured from them.
These symbols have compelled children to hope. They have told billions of illiterate men stories. They have forced souls barely able to carry the weight of their hate to philanthropy out of fear of the possibility of their truth and the reality of their power. They have given beautiful hearts a means to twist our society from universal brutality to a place with unemployment benefits and public health care. To the point where slavery is almost unknown in this lost and vicious world. Wonders of love.
Because of these ideas, countless human hands have been raised. Weapons have been envisioned, forged, distributed. An endless number of proud human lives have been dedicated only as soldiers for God. Killers and rapists for a concept of love. Adherents to horror excused and endorsed in murder. Heroes for God even in their own hearts. Millions of lives. Millions. Of course. Considered thought exploring and exploiting endless possibilities of tragedy written into human flesh; finding revealing actualising and using endlessly creative machines with which to hurt other humans. The genius of the kill. Adherents to a God of pain.
From this source, from here: emotion blooming in human hearts inspired into conviction:
These tools of thought have led endlessly, endlessly, to war.
I wonder what has allowed such surviving rituals as the wine and bread to follow us from their dark and unknowable origins into the moments, the passions of our lives? Eucharist has an aesthetically seamless nature – “here, eat this symbol. Enact it. Force it to be real for you by participating in its arcane order.”
A process of transformation from concept to belief and hence forcing sensory input to lose its veracity. Fingers slip bloody from the emptiness of the unknown. I cannot begin to grasp what occurs as the ritual is performed, when this happens. As the symbols in the process of ritual are given belief. As they are given CREDENCE.
Drink. God created the world. This liquid the colour of blood was drawn from the endless flood of his wounds.
Eat. This explicit piece of the world is carved from God’s very flesh. You hold his skin, the meat of his body, within your mouth. it. Swallow.
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