All my contemplation art and spiritual searching started with this disturbing image I would call ‘Oppressed’
Oppression is described as the act of keeping a person or peoples down through harsh rule. Sadly for many, they do not have to look outward for their oppressors; they have been oppressed by their own negative ego thought processes from birth. This can become so serious that eventually the ego mentally binds them and they can no longer function as they were intended.
This self oppression can start in a variety of ways, but usually as a small seed of self doubt brought on by the way you interpret the words or actions of others. A classic example of this may be being bullied at school. This may go on for a relatively short time when compared to the span of a life, but it is without doubt that these events become the soil in which the negative ego can grow. Before you know it your mind is full of doubt, anger, separateness and depression. We allow these disempowering emotions to dwell within the dark side of us quietly doing their work.
It has been said by ‘wise men’ that we create our own reality. This is a bitter pill to swallow indeed: to think that our darkest moments of life are created solely by us and our own weakness of mind.
I realized that I had spent nearly 40 years of my life stopping myself from being so much more. Sure, I was bullied at school and yes for some time I was a loner. Neither of these things which ended a long time ago has warranted the mental harm I have done to myself since then. I jest not, when I say my ego should receive an Oscar for its mental screen play which it has played in my mind for years. I was convinced, utterly convinced, that this dark oppressed world was the only one that existed.
At the point when I created Oppressed, I was truly lost and at a low ebb. Everything I had tried to do up to that point had failed. I was out of money, out of work and hanging by the thread that my wife’s job was holding us both by. Ok, so we weren’t homeless, but like many we were only a few pay cheques away from being so. I guess that was just one of lifes so what’s, the real problem was we both felt hopeless.
Oppression seemed to be echoing my feelings of negativity and lack; just look at this poor abomination being pushed down into a pit by two cage doors. For some reason I wrote the following to describe this image: ‘Fear and Hate will so easily entrap your mind and crush your soul, it’s never too late to break free …seek the truth… seek love’. What did this description mean? Was I being asked to look at the image again from a positive perspective?
So this time, as I looked upon the image I chose to see a creature breaking free from a pit of despair. Was this creature in its pupal stage like a holometabolous insect just before its Metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly? This way of looking at the artwork did not come naturally, but as I felt I was out of hope and my past ways had achieved so little, maybe it was time to view my entire life through these fresh eyes. But what was this truth I was to seek? and what of love?
A lot has changed since the creation of oppressed. I now know the answer to the above.
The truth is within me, as it is you…’Look within for that which you are without’ it’s been said time and time again throughout history, but we block the truth out, many still think the stuff of life can fill that emptiness. The love I was to seek, was not spawned from the ego, the love oppressed pointed to is unconditional and universal. To know the answer is one thing but to live the answer is something very different. When I fail to be the best version of myself I don’t dwell on my failings I simply acknowledge I’ve been less than I really am and I intend better.
My art work set me on a spiritual path what it will do for you I can not say.
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