Silence the Foe

See oil painting “The Moon and the Stars” come to life in about 1 minute (time lapse)

I uploaded this art video to YouTube today and it triggered a copyright claim so I changed the music. I like the new choice. It really suits the painting, which was inspired by Psalm 8:

“You have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them”

When we look up at the sky, perhaps we can imagine that our enemies are bound by earthly constraints; even the most powerful entities are small compared to the vast heavens. And while it may seem that we do not matter, God assures us that we do. We are sovereign and loved.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Watch “The Moon and the Stars” oil painting come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

What does it all mean? What does Time mean? Why are we here?

“In brokenness, we find healing. We learn what parts of ourselves we want to put back together, and which pieces we don’t. This process can feel profoundly sad, as we may be temporarily lost.

When we lose the people, places, and purpose that defined us, we have an opportunity to make different choices. This can be a liberating and life-changing experience. We can be more of who we were always meant to be.”

May we see what’s possible in ourselves. We have the power to be who we were born to be, should we choose it. Let us accept the challenge to be happy, regardless of our circumstances.

God bless and keep you, this day and always, and may 2022 be a year of unlimited hope and spiritual prosperity.

Happy New Year, dear friends!


Halloween Eve

Watch “The Moon and the Stars” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

I last shared this painting on the blog in May, in a post called “Dark to Light“. I also talked about this art in a post called “Painting Illusions“. I confess, I’m not a fan of Halloween. Every year I look forward to the end of the month of October.

Dark to Light

Watch me paint “The Moon and the Stars” in 2 minutes

(time lapse)

The phrase “dark to light” is heard a lot these days. Often, people refer to the disclosure of a horrible, grim truth that they perceive has been covered up by those who gain by secrecy and lose with transparency. Some of those issues are factually proven to be the case (powerful persons, entities and governments hiding unfavorable information to evade justice, accountability and/or damage to reputation and standing). Others are propaganda causes that the populace has become irrationally loyal to (causes promoted to manipulate the masses toward political change by skewing statistics and exploiting events, using advanced marketing and profiling strategies along with community organizing and other masking terms to package and disguise the abuse of the citizenry). 

When filtering information to determine if a “movement”, “science” or a call to “civic duty” is real or not, consider the following:

  1. Who is promoting, supporting, and possibly excusing accusations or even concrete proof of wrongdoing associated with their favored issue/agenda/call to action? Are they profiting or benefiting in any way from the popularity of the movement or the response to a call to action? Political gain, monetary gain, notoriety? Where there is motive to lie, there is likely bias, deception, or even outright fraud.
  2. Among those who seem to have no motive to lie, what might motivate them to believe what they do? Do they cite the media or other supporters? In other words, do they trust those in the first point above, those who have motive to lie? In this case, the source is the same, as they merely repeat the same things that untrustworthy, biased sources have said.
  3. If the information is coming only from those motivated to lie, and those who repeat the same things from those same untrustworthy powerful sources, then it’s prudent to research the events, issues, and people ourselves. A wealth of information is found in public sources, meaning that we can simply look statistics up for ourselves. We can compare and contrast the numbers for various issues and see what the true risks, fears, outrage, or hatred level should be. Better yet, since all statistics can be accidentally wrong or intentionally misleading or brazenly fraudulent, it’s good to listen to real people who have experienced things firsthand. In many cases, it is clear that the populace is being deliberately manipulated to respond emotionally and react irrationally to information that has been exploited, skewed, or even invented. This is never for the good of the people, but always for the benefit of those who profit from pushing people to do what they want. Often, SOME of the information is true, which makes forming an opinion difficult (by design… the best con artists use truthful foundations to “sell” a lie that is added to that layer, so when people see the part that is true, they will likely believe that the lies must also be true).
  4. Is this call to action moving at a fast, manic pace, with coordinated messaging meant to push people to respond emotionally? Are the messages hostile, shaming, or fear inducing? Consider that people who genuinely, authentically care about others seldom use an abusive approach to coerce people to act. When truth and pure intention is on our side, we need only honest communication, delivered with respect.

But, the oppressive actions of others (governments, entities, or other organized agents of darkness) are not the kind of “Dark to Light” that I’m talking about. What I’m reflecting upon today is what we can control, which is our own thoughts, beliefs, responses, and actions. Even when it seems that we are powerless, we are not.

There are few instances in life when we are ever in complete and utter darkness. We are more aware of this during a power outage after our eyes adjust to being suddenly without a source of artificial light. Even without a flashlight, candle, or other illuminating tool, we quickly adapt.

Our eyes decipher light when we are in darkness. We see it in the moon and the stars, as it filters through nature and into houses. We see it in reflections bouncing off mirrors, glass, and glossy objects. We see it perhaps on our own bodies or clothing.

The darkness is not purely black, but also purple and blue, and splintered with yellows and whites. We are not in a colorless vacuum, even when it seems we are. This is a metaphor for life. No matter how dark it seems, there is always light if we train our eyes to see it.

Seek good people.

Do things that give you joy.

Work passionately.

Love fiercely.

Play hard.

The darkness of lies, deception, manipulation, greed, and evil cannot destroy us without our consent. We give consent spiritually when we comply with the call to live in fear, anger, and malice. We refuse to comply when we choose the opposite- when every call to live in darkness is countered by living in Light. 

When the world says “FEAR”,

we must say hope.

 

When the world demands “ANGER”,

we must choose self-control.

 

When the world screeches as demons, commanding we live in “MALICE”,

we must choose love.

 

Hate destroys, love creates.

 

When enough love is created, it outshines the hate. When the global focus is on destroying everything “bad”, destruction overtakes creation, leaving the world in darkness.

 

When the world is saying, “hurry, hurry, act NOW”, when the world is shaming those who do not respond, and when the world leverages others to do what they demand, this is an abusive relationship. A healthy relationship allows space for people to reflect and make careful decisions before acting. A healthy relationship doesn’t play around with emotions- using gimmicks and flattery, and manipulative language to entice people to act together as a group to feel as if we belong… and then if this fails, snapping and turning on reluctant citizens in psychotic anger. A healthy relationship is one that cares about the truth so deeply that the source matters. Anyone with profit motive, associations with those who have a profit motive, or who are merely quoting those who do, are not valid sources. This matters when one cares about the truth more than an agenda.

We must reject dysfunctional relationships, whether they come from people in our inner circle, our workplace, our communities, our governments, or our global society. We must be empowered to counter unreasonable or cruel demands with demands of our own. Demand these things:

  • Time: we must be granted the freedom to slow down, think, and filter information at our own pace.
  • Calm: we must be protected from shaming campaigns, hostility, and punishments. As they have all of the information and have the advantage, we must have calm as we process what is demanded of us.
  • Power: we must have the power to say no. We must have recourse if we choose not to believe in the positions that force change, in the science that forces change, in the doomsday scenarios proposed, etc. It is not our responsibility to prove our right to freedom. It is THEIR responsibility to prove us guilty of citizen crimes. It is THEIR responsibility to prove their claims and their supposed reasons for why the world must comply with their demands. It is THEIR responsibility to prove that we must change our thoughts, words, associations, and actions to comply with their agendas.

If, after thoughtful consideration of the data, facts, information, and personal experiences of all parties, we decide that we agree with the claims used to argue for change, then it becomes our choice to comply. We deserve that choice. This applies to any situation, as there is no such thing as a social crisis, health or climate emergency, or impending disaster great enough that there is no time or space for individual human freedoms. Anyone who claims otherwise is using panic, fear, and bullying techniques to push people to make impulsive illogical decisions that always land in favor of those in power who benefit.

Analyze if dysfunctional relationship traits are clearly visible in the darkness. If you see unhealthy coercion, it doesn’t matter how many people are doing it or how widely coordinated it is, it is wrong. There is always a better way. There is no such thing as hate for one’s own good. Goodness and kindness give time, space, and calm to people. We do not abuse each other in the name of progress.

Today, if you feel pressured and pulled, imagine yourself as that little figure I painted in the video at the top of this post. There you are, standing in a peaceful space, in which you see that the darkness has beautiful colors. You are not without light, as you have the sky to guide you. No one can keep you from this spiritual place, where you can choose calm and hope over mania and fear. You can look up at the divine order instead of down at the manufactured chaos.

Choose to be loved as you deserve to be loved.

If you make this commitment, pay attention to what you see.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you see something beautiful… a butterfly that flies directly in your path as if to communicate with you, an unexpected visit by a wild animal, a flower growing in an odd place where you never planted it, or something else. Just wait and see.

When we choose to see Light, we do.

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