Ignorance is Bliss?


this is a piece i did in 11th grade for my high school Visual Arts exhibition and now that i look back at it, i can see so much in it that at the time wasn’t as significant. again this is where i can feel the influence of the underlying forces that orchestrate the unfolding of this miraculous story we call life. this piece came out of total nothingness at the time and was no more than an unusual, albeit fun, way to spend an afternoon with absolutely no intention to impart so much meaning. however, now as i look at it, i am absolutely stunned at the exact correlation between what is depicted here and what i feel internally in my inner space. 
the theme i chose for my exhibition was “reflection”. this was a broad enough category to include physical reflection, i.e. mirrors, and philosophical or metaphysical reflection. at the time, this was how i described my projects. now as i look back at them, i can understand that what i had labelled philosophical, or conceptual, reflection is actually equivalent to what i now call spiritual awakening. my pieces seemed to revolve around trying to understand the current state of the human spirit. several of them deal with bondage and the search for freedom, while others deal with ignorance and delusion that we constantly subject ourselves to, and still others were no more than simple explorations of aesthetic beauty in mirrors and symmetry and reflections. while i was constructing the framework for my exhibition, i did not really have a proper understanding of these issues, yet i seemed to gravitate towards them through no will of my own. these seemed to be the important issues that i really needed to explore, and lo and behold, three years later, i am completely submerged in the oceans of these very same themes and my whole life’s purpose now seems to have mobilized around the penetration and total understanding of the roots of these problems. it is truly uncanny to watch with perfectly opened eyes the various hints and clues that life drops at our doorsteps; there is undoubtedly a greater force at work here.
the reason why this newfound correlation seems so miraculous to me is because there is no link whatsoever between my current investigation into human suffering and spiritual awakening and my tentative and immature exploration of it three years ago under a completely different guise and name. it is only after looking back at them and trying to re-enter into the mind-state that gave birth to them that i can see how that event foreshadowed me current state. 
anyway, so if it isn’t immediately obvious what this picture is depicting, i’ll attempt to clarify a little. however, as with all abstract expressions, the true meaning always rests within the observer’s inner eye. so whatever i say here is just going to be pertinent to my own understanding of the piece but may be completely at odds with someone else’s interpretation, and this is the beautiful thing about art. this piece speaks to me of ignorance and specifically the dull and lame so-called “bliss” of ignorance. the profiled face on the right has his eyes blindfolded but seems to be smiling and enjoying. however, the profiled face on the left has no such covering and can see clearly all the demons and stories and dramas that the face on the right is consumed with, and thus sheds a tear of compassion for his plight. 
…may all beings cut through the veils of their ignorance with their practice-sharpened swords of wisdom…

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