Pierre Theilhard de Chardin
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ
My quote was taken from a French Idealist philosopher named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ. He was trained as a geologist and took part in the discovery of 'Peking Man'; an extinct creature of the species Homo Erectus. The fossils were found near Beijing, China. On the basis of a single tooth, Peking man was identified as a member of the human lineage by the likes of Davidson Black in 1927. I find it very interesting that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was connected to this groundbreaking scientific discovery and the fact that it relates to the quote given to me.
'Our Soul, that part of us that observes quietly behind what we do, think, believe and feel, existed before this human life and will continue to exist after our present physical life transitions. For each of us, our Soul is where unconditional love, unending forgivingness, compassion, harmony, peace and joy reside. Our Soul is a little piece of the Divine, here to experience this life and its lessons. We are, indeed, Spiritual Beings having a human experience.'
Gainsborough - Fruit Machine
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter as well as printmaker. His quick method of painting enabled him to become the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He uses a light palette and easy brush strokes.
Apparently, Gainsborough preferred landscapes to portraits yet the portraits he produced had a far more personal quality. A good example of this is the image that was given to me at random to research:
Mary and Margaret Gainsborough, the artist's daughters.
The 7 Stages Of Life
Linking back to the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote; "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." I decided to do some research on these experiences, both human and spiritual. In the religion of Islam it is believed that the soul goes through 7 stages of life and experiences.
1. Life in Lau Ho Mahfouz: Allah (God) created all the souls that are destined to come to earth. These souls are kept in Lau Ho Mahfouz. As a person is born, the soul is transported to the physical world and into the human body. Everything about the universes and our souls before and after creation are believed to be recorded in a tablet (book) board in heaven or Lau Ho Mahfouz.
2. Life in the Mother's Womb.
3. Life in this word: When a baby is born, it is clean, innocent and free of all sins. This reminds me of the portrait painting of Gainsborough's daughters Mary and Margaret. Both have an innocent look and the tender feel of the portrait reminds me of childhood innocence. In this world, children develop, learn and grow into good or bad individuals depending on their upbringing and surroundings. All this is a part of the human experience. This 3rd life stage is a very crucial and important testing ground for human beings.
This way of viewing life is not just in Islam. Many philosophers such as John Hick share similar ideas about the purpose of this world and the experiences we gain from it. Hick believes that God created humans as free but immature and imperfect creatures with the intention that life in this world provides an environment for the moral growth of human beings from immature creatures to true “children of God”. This school of thought originates from the Christian theologian Irenaeus’ teachings, which suggest that God’s image gives us huge capacity for moral growth. This world is like a school, further linking in with my previous ideas regarding children. As the contemporary saying by officer Anil Sinha goes; “in every mistake, there is a potential for growth”.
4. Death: After we die, we are kept in a place called Alam Barzaak. Here, we await our judgement.
5. Resurrection On The Day Of Judgement.
6. The End Stage - Hell
7. The End Stage - Heaven
Click here for more information.
Mark Making Print Try-outs
Experience: Practical contact with and observation of facts or events.
The Oxford dictionary has two main definitions when it comes to the word experience;
1. The knowledge/skill acquired by a period of practical experience of something, especially that gained in a particular profession.
2. An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone.
My focus is on the second definition of the word experience. Furthermore, having done some research on the seven stages of life, I feel that I should take it further by relating my research to my 'experience'. When I think of life, I think of a cycle. Perhaps I could focus on circles and circular shaped rides in amusement parks to represent the life cycle.
Shapes Inspired By Amusement Parks
Ferris Wheels (Circle Symbolism)
Thinking About Light, Colour and Tone:
Wall Paper Print Design Idea