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"Baptism of Pain"
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Copyright ©1999, Christine

How painful is it to live under the labor of unworthiness, labeled from birth in need of baptism to align oneself with God? This first level of religious initiation is a pain-filled one that continues throughout a life time as other aspects of sacrifice arise indicating a further identification with pain as the predominant spiritual learning tool. Without inspection of these ideas translated into inner and outer directed hatred they continue unchallenged. It is my desire to expose the consequences of what seems unalterable and to alter it by catharsis through art, writing and my own improved behavior. Illness, a manifestation of guilt is one method through which I have accommodated and fulfilled the idea of sacrifice which to the frightened magical mind seems a compensation for sin but in reality rectifies nothing. Accepting the premise of punishment without benefit of scrutiny keeps the one who is learning by this method subject to the accompanying results. The results that revolve around this decision of pain seem not a decision at all and beyond conscious control. Identifying what is happening then changing it seems a necessary beginning for spiritual evolution and transformation to learn through joy instead of fear. To grow out of the mind set of the dark ages one must reveal the lies of the darkness and to have the courage not to abide by them any longer.

Until that time, the female figure rests on the baptismal urn or the fuller meaning described by a sacrificial slab, and abides by the rules of this mistake. She typifies not only her circumstance but the sorrow of the world. A dog, symbol of fidelity stays by her side waiting and abiding by the limits of her culturally and self-imposed condition. The implement of the laser gun brings the belief in pain out of the period of the past indicated by the decor of the interior and into the present. The use of this electronic toy implicates a projection of similar ancient beliefs into the future replacing tools of flagellation with technology. However the idea of a laser as healing tool, is a double meaning though it still does not liberate the mind from the ideas that make the illness possible. That is that there is no sin and nothing to fear. Mary, the mother of sorrows is sorrowful here not as a symbol of man's continued error but that the misery and misinformation continue. That her son's purpose remains forgotten by those who appear to follow and those who seem to reject, who destroy themselves and each other in reaction to confusion about the meaning of His name.

The painted birds unable to escape the pattern can't yet leave the paint, stuck and stuccoed to the wall. The good news is the birds caught mid-flight knows enough to head for the small window that awaits their release. The bells of hope anticipate the day they will joyously ring when the need for punishment will disappear. Maybe the only baptism needed is the thought that we are out of alignment at all and that is the forgotten content behind the otherwise useless ritual. So we are the birds in need of encouragement to fly and remember that we are all very worthy, able to safely sit on the window ledge and unimpeded take flight. .