Caspar David Friedrich, 1818, Woman in the Sunset
Meaning, Virtue

Self-Deception: Finding Harmony (3/3)

With these lies we build a fragile fantasy that is not in line with the truth. Our perception is delicate, constantly threatened by exposure. On the other hand, when we align ourselves with truth, we start working with the world, rather than against it. There is harmony.

Gustave Dore, 1855-1861, Dante’s The Divine Comedy-Inferno, Canto XXXIV
Meaning, Virtue

Self-Deception: A Trip to the Underworld (2/3)

We don’t want to venture down there and face the damage we have caused. The alternative however, is more devastation every time the truth comes knocking; and it will keep coming. So, we muster every ounce of courage we have left, open the hatch door, and delve underground.

John Singer Sargent, 1919, Synagogue, Boston Public Library
Meaning, Virtue

Self-Deception- A Fragile Fantasy (1/3)

Even though we may think the ‘reality’ we have built is solid, when it holds no truth, it is under constant danger of collapsing. One cracked brick is no big deal, but if every brick we use is cracked, we end up with a completely unstable structure.

Jean-François Millet, Potato Planters, 1861
Meaning

Start Small and Let It Be Ugly

There are many things we wish we could change to be closer to who we want to be; the difficulty comes in how to make those changes.

Carlo Crivelli, 1486, 'The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius'
Circumstance, Meaning

What Does Life Expect of Us?

The old moral philosophers called it the ‘finis ultimus’ (utmost aim) or ‘summum bonum’ (greatest good). The utmost to aim for in terms of our character, for those around us and our society.

Jan Toorop, 1893, The Three Brides.
Meaning

One Choice Becomes Many

Without us realising, every choice we make contributes to who we become, shapes our character and our integrity. Like droplets of water, over time, they will make an ocean. If we really believed we are a result of all our choices, perhaps we would choose more carefully.

Jean-François Millet, 1857-59, The Angelus.
Meaning

We Are All Living in Faith

It seems the concept of faith has been hijacked, and is openly sneered upon. It is dismissed as nonsense and those who indulge in it as naive and not existing in the ‘real’ world. But by simply choosing to be alive means we have faith.