Path of Love
Rosie Jackson 2007
Acrylics and Oil Pastels on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
Love is the only possible means of curbing the chaos present in the world today and of preventing the large-scale decimation of the earth's resources. However, mankind continues to follow a path of self-destruction. Surrounded by war, famine, exploitation, environmental disaster, an abysmal record of human rights and mass poverty, we voice our outrage and complain about others who cause such chaos or fail to prevent it. We often shrug our shoulders with the words ‘There’s nothing I can do about it’. But the chaos on the outside is a reflection of our inner chaos. The wars are our inner conflict, and the others are ourselves. Every individual is capable of making his or her personal contribution to the global jigsaw puzzle by demonstrating a willingness to examine their own situation and work on improving his or her own weaknesses, to pursue the cause of latent aggression and to perceive hate as an emotion based on ignorance. How would the world change if everyone kept to the Path of Love; if all decisions were motivated by love?
In this painting, a dark-skinned woman is standing at the beginning of the Path of Love, holding a present in her outstretched hand. She is a goddess who gives birth to all things new and who bestows life through her own body. Behind her is a god who provides the initial fire and who protects and supports her. The Path of Love continues along a golden thread, flowing ever onwards like a river, without haste or fear, towards the heart at the end of the path. Progressing along the Path of Love involves following one’s intuition, being able to express gratitude and experience positive thoughts, recognizing detrimental behavioural patterns, overcoming one’s ego and reacting straight from the heart, like a child. Everything along this path is bathed in love all the people (including criminals in prison) and all the flowers. Like the small white figure which embraces itself, it is also time for us to love ourselves.
Travellers whose decisions are motivated by fear fall off the Path of Love into dark pools of despair and passivity. The water in such pools is stagnant, and so the message in the bottle cannot travel further. The man on the ladder which leads back to the Path of Love comes across a warning sign ‘Danger: Do not proceed’. Here, on the wayside, love is presented as a dangerous liability, but actually, life without love is monotonous and constrictive, symbolised by the lopsided butterfly. One traveller, unable to release his ego, has left the Path of Love and is sitting on his high throne in splendid isolation.