One who is out on the edge of new discovery is often facing the fine line between sanity and insanity. This would have to be so. Conventional thought is often the standard of measuring sanity, and that can be more often than we would like to admit―insane.

In the Great Sequester, we are all having to look at our lives in a fishbowl of close proximity, swimming around in the same space day after day. Artists of old have had fantastic visions in this kind of space of pure contemplation. They have given us some remarkable images to ponder. The banner of this post is given to us by Hieronymous Bosch. Circa 1500, five hundred years ago.

What do we have to give? I have been re-examining my impetus for painting and allowing myself the space for new discovery. Sometimes it feels like I am going a little bit crazy, and even making a kind of chaos. I took an old painting of Babaji that I was not all that fond of anyway and totally obliterated it. Be that as it may in this space of the Great Sequester. I am doing things I have not done before in quite the same way of unusual (but similar) gestures.

Shiva With Cobra

The mind is a place of unlimited possibilities. The question is, “Where is this mind taking us?” Shiva is the Destroyer of ignorance, no doubt, but in the process of this destruction, things may seem a little hairy out there (and even “in here,” in the space. between our two ear lobes). He is often shown with a Cobra around his neck. We may need a Cobra wielding Hero right now.

Some believed that symbolically the snake represents the ego. But when it is controlled, it can be worn as an ornament which Lord Shiva does. Symbolically snakes stand for all the passion and desires. By wearing the snake around his neckShiva conveys to all his devotees that he has overcome all his desires.


Well, Shiva is around enough, in His Kranti of the Global Revolution, destroying our old ways and wiping the slate clean. And Jesus is back as well, potentially in us. I wrote about that phenomenon in THE SECOND COMING: You are the Christ. You can read it here if your care to:

But now I am moving on. A Painter’s Life is a book I am totally committed to in this phase of creative writing. It’s becoming more clear this is the next piece in the jigsaw puzzle of my life. I have been wielding a drawing stick and a paintbrush for far too many years, without apologies, to not make an account of my painting endeavors.

Many of the paintings and drawings are gone. What can I say? When I left Philadelphia in 2008 with two suitcases in my hands, that did not include miniaturized versions of the 30 years of paintings and drawings I had amassed. The studio was left to my ex-wife, and eventually, she sold it. Who knows where the stuff went? It could have gone to the bulldozer’s blade of the developer she sold it to.

MARKUS RAY: Head of Shiva

I do not even have a good photographic record of it all. Just a few memories of bygone gestures, strokes, lines, and colors. I could be easily bereaved if I chose to go there in my mind. Wondering what Gorky went through when his studio burned down? Shortly after that, he killed himself. Well, I did not self destruct because I had a greater mission in my life: call that SONDRA RAY~!

Now I am at yet another crossroads. The Icons of Babaji, Jesus, and Amma have come a long way. But now I am feeling a huge surge of something new. It’s making me a little shakey, but I know all I really have to do is follow the thread in the labyrinth of creativity past all the heebie-jeebies of fear and doubt and just keep moving. Something will truly emerge in the ashes of destruction Shiva leaves behind.

MARKUS RAY: Babaji with Wing

Some of the Spiritual Sexual imagery I explored for awhile I shared with you. Then I decided this direction could be too easily misconstrued in the work we do with Liberation Breathing. I don’t know. Maybe I “chickened out” on this one. But with all the “sexual abuse” issues we see in the news and in our clients right now, I thought best not to go there. Too volatile a subject to be totally absorbed in it, although I am still committed to the notion there is a Sacred Sexuality that could be well expressed. Best to be well expressed behind our private doors for now. What must the 16th-century patrons have thought about Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights? (A detail of this painting is on the banner of this post.)

This leaves me in this place of New Discovery–in the place between sanity and insanity, between conforming to my own repetitions of workable gestures and the unusually different gestures of something totally off the wall. I painted Babaji With Mundan a few years back. The painting was different. I thought I had a patron who wanted it, but in the end, the deal did not go through. The painting had been sitting around for four years and I wanted to make it into something else. After all, a mundan is a surrender and a total break from the past, from the history of our already transpired story.

MARKUS RAY: Babaji With Mandun

Shiva is the God of destruction. The clearing away of the old so the new can come forth is the role of Shiva. I don’t know where this painting is going, but it feels good to let go and make a mess. I am out on the edge of new discovery, headed toward uncharted waters toward the wilderness of my earth. I face the apparent flatness of my old world. I may drop off in this adventure, but something tells me, “No, just keep sailing ahead blind, and rely on a Higher Power that knows. And trust your gut.” So here I am in A Painter’s Life. Not wanting repetition of the past; not quite knowing the best gestures for the future, and charting a course into the unknown without a clear vision of my final destiny. I am calling this work “Butter Fly.” I will keep you posted.

Picasso said painting is a series of “creations and destructions.” I am in the destructive phase right now, and bearing with it in the oceans of my own uncertainty.

With you, I share my process. I am out on the edge of new discovery. It looks like chaos at the moment. It’s making Sondra a bit activated, as she is a Virgo and likes a certain amount of preconceived order in my gestures. But she gives me space in the “painting corner” to question the conventional, even my own conventions that have given me Babaji, the Divine Mother, and Jesus paintings in the past ten years of an illustrative honoring of the Dream Team. Now I am honoring a Painter’s Life itself. My life. Who knows where it will all go? Stay tuned.

Love, Markus

MARKUS RAY: Butter Fly
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