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trying for balanceThis is the drawing for the next project. The inspiration for this piece is taken directly from a passage written by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space”.

” Among the most widely known and (formerly) commonly understood symbolic signs inherited from the Bronze Age times by the high civilizations of both the Occident and the Orient were the sun and the moon: the latter, the moon which sheds it’s shadow to be born again, connoting the power of life…as here embodied in each of us, with the sun, the light of which is unshadowed,  recognized as the light and energy of consciousness disengaged from this field of time, transcendent and eternal.”

“In the context of these symbolic assignments, the cycle of a single lunar month has been compared…to the term of a human lifetime…with the fifteenth night which is of the moon become full, equated with the human adult’s [mid life]… On that very special evening there is a moment when the rising moon, having just emerged on the horizon, is directly faced across the world, from the opposite horizon, by the setting sun. Certain months of the year and the two, at this perfectly balanced moment, are of equal light and the same size… [this] has been likened to that in the midmoment of a lifetime when the light of consciousness reflecting in the mind may be recognized, either suddenly or gradually, as identical with that typified metaphorically as of the sun. Whereupon, if the witness is prepared there ensues a transfer of self identification from the temporal, reflecting body to the sunlike eviternal source, and one then knows oneself as consubstantial with what is of no time or place, but universal and beyond death, yet incarnate in all beings everywhere and forever; so that as we again may read in the Upanishad: tat tvam asi, ‘thou art that’. “

It’s a mouthful, and a lot to absorb. But what happened when I read it and re-read it to make sure that I understood what he was saying, is that a specific image popped into my head.  A figure balancing the sun in one hand and the moon in the other.  And I think that the idea of finding balance is something that we all can relate to, from the small daily things all the way up to the “Big” issues.

My plan is to paint the figure sort of split in two, using warm colors to illustrate the warm light of the sun and the other side obviously done with cool colors to show the cooler reflected light of the moon.