Forest Fire


















Forest FireForest Fire, 2013

Oil on Canvas 18″ x 36″

One of the distinguishing features of Christianity relative to other contemporary religious schemas is the externalization of the destructive force. In almost all widespread modern interpretations of Christianity the cyclical progression of life, death, and rebirth is seen as leading towards an ultimate end. An end where the cycle will at last stop with the death of destruction and the establishment of an eternal stasis of unending, unrejuvenated, life. While precedents can certainly be found, for example in the Jewish concept of New Jerusalem, the promise of life without death as a central tenant, stands as a central tenant in Christianity alone.

An interesting counterexample can be found in Hinduism. Similar to Christianity, the concept of the three-in-one god is also precedent. The central forces of the universe are thought of in terms of the creative (Brahma), the protective (Vishnu), and the destructive (Shiva). While a similar concept can be found in the Christian trinity, in the case of the trinity the holy spirit is is substituted for the destructive, which instead is personified as an external force, namely the devil.

Even in Judaism, Yahweh is shown as both a protective and destructive force, as easily capable of blessing as wonton devestation. Indeed, it is something of a cognitive-dissonance in modern Christianity that a supposedly moral god was once capable of such wrath. The solution to this dilemma is the realization that

we turn to nature however death is seen in all aspects of life. From the ashes of the forest fire grows new life. The fox kills the hare to feed its young. Dead matter feeds the growth of the new. Like any truth that is repressed the eventual emergence is warped and distorted.

That Christ is presented as a conquer of death, rather than role of death in. This fact especially curious as it, if the death of the savior was the catalyst that brought about new life perhaps it is best to regard destruction as a necessary, inalienable, aspect of the world, rather than a force that must be conquered. Instead, death may be regarded as a necessary part of a unified whole.