Visioning the Divine Reality through Art and Story

“Double the vision my eyes do see, and double the vision is always with me”

William Blake

In college I took an art history course titled Heaven, Hell, and Judgement. We learned about Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and British poet and artist William Blake. The class was endlessly fascinating to me and being able to go see some of the works I learned about in person years later are moments in my life I will always treasure.

Sex and the Divine are One

On a walk by myself in Rome in my early twenties, I finally found the nearly empty and religiously quiet Cornaro Chapel. There was a sculpture housed there that I was dying to see in person. I had viewed it images in art history textbooks and on lecture slides used in class, but nothing could prepare me for the amazing sensation that overcame me to see this piece in person.

Bernini’s sculpture titled Ecstasy of Saint Teresa was truly rapturing. Standing in front of this work silently imparted on my consciousness the Divine experience I had been seeking and embodying simultaneously– one without the need for language or definition.

Being in the presence of the energy of this sculpture validated and confirmed to me that sex and sexuality are an inherent part of the divine and natural to the human-divine being that is me and also you. Feeling the trueness and mysticism of sex energy is essential to knowing and being aligned with our God Self.

Ecstasy of St Teresa Gian Lorenzo Bernini 1647–1652

The Backstory: Feeling Inherently Wrong

I have worked very hard to move through the shadows of feeling wrong and un-belonging. As a person raised on Christian doctrine, I am all too familiar with the the shame that gets tangled up in ones own natural states of being; whether that be sexually, creatively, emotionally.

The reading of William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell was a stepping stone that jolted something loose in those stuck patterns within my matrix. Helping me towards expanded healing, providing my outer self with the information I needed to move beyond some of the complexes which had been operating quietly beneath the surface of my being. Seeing the sculpture further propelled me towards my inner knowing of the ecstatic divine.

This persistent sensation of always feeling like I am doing something wrong or shameful, I believe, stems from some bizarre emphasis on punishment for just being human in the particular strains of the Christian faith I was raised in; which has been accompanied by a lack within my abilities to create a place to experience true joy, pleasure, and belonging here in the physical world.

Breaking from these complexes has taken years of work, and at times it can still feel like I am traversing this tangled forest. One of the pivotal steps in that journey was recognizing that the untamed aspects of the self, the true self, are not evil, sinful, or wrong and have just as much of a right to existence as anything else within me. Breaking free from this ill at ease feeling that I am doing something wrong has been one of the most freeing aspects towards reclaiming my natural sovereignty.

The Christian theology that William Blake creates from was something I was raised and therefore rooted in, so reading his more radical experience and visionary knowing of what it means to be human, angel, demon, spirit, divine resonated with me deeply- whether or not I use that language to actually describe my experiences. Reading this work in college allowed my entire self to make space for a new vision without Hell or eternal punishment-and rewrite the programming, not just on an intellectual level but on an energetic level as well.

Touching the Divine through Expanded Vision

What lies deeper or beyond these visions is the world that exists overlaid and sewn into the only world we are trained to see and believe in. There is an entire complex system of systems and spirit beings interacting, weaving, and webbing. When we stop looking through our narrowly defined perception of reality an entire world of expanded vision opens to us.

When I was a child I remember raising my arms in church and feeling the energy of the Divine come into me through the palms of my hands. Sharing these sensations was not something I felt was appropriate to express, as was telling anyone that I was hearing my name being called in the middle of the night, or feeling other people’s emotions in my body before they were fully expressed here in the physical. But despite these hidden fears, stemming from the religion I was raised in, I was also able to find and hold onto my own experience of God/Goddess for myself, believe in visions and dreams, trust their is a part of us that is the Holy spirit, and honor the sacred through ritual, prayer, and devotion.

The Divine Being lives within us and therefore resonates with our human energy and we with them. It doesn’t matter to me how detached from the collective ‘reality’ any of this sounds. That limited perspective is exactly what keeps us repressed and bound.

An overly rational and blocked world view from the Unseen detaches us from what is truly valuable and creates separation from our core. A longing to return to what is whole will persist and will motivate all destinies no matter how twisted the path my appear.

When Blake talks about ‘double vision’ he is talking about the eternal reality that exists along side the illusory world we are collectively living in. His art and poetry pull from this place of eternity that is outside the boundaries of space and time. It is realer than what we are programmed to believe is real.

As most anyone who has had a mystical experience on psychedelics, it isn’t always the ‘hallucinations’ that alter someone’s worldview it is more the re-wiring of the brain to see reality as it really is and know things from a real level of perception. As we open up our bodies to being vessels for our Divine nature our ‘sight’ becomes more empathetic, intuitive, and knowing; giving our lives and therefore all of existence the meaning they petition us for.

Pity (c. 1795)
Pity William Blake 1795

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