If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to My breast.

-George Herbert

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rembrandt's "The Blinding of Samson".

What can one add to this masterful production of Rembrandt's genius? Listening to Bly's poem while contemplating this great painting is an interesting experience. I think there is some validity in Bly's insight that Samson is a solar figure, especially if one considers that the sun is a symbol of full, Divine, consciousness. In that context - thinking of Bly's marvelous poem - the men who are coming to blind Samson represent those persons and forces which have an interest in destroying, obscuring and veiling consciousness in our world, because the accomplishment of their desire requires that destruction.

In Rembrandt's picture, Samson is wrestled to the floor of a tent which looks, for all the world, like a cave. There is a blaze of intense light at samson's feet, outside the cave, while inside all is increasing darkness. Is the tent Plato's cave bereft of light? Is Samson the judge - the philosopher, the lover of wisdom - who has been seduced into believing that the ephemeral world of the senses is the real world, and has thus been blinded to the realm of divine ideas?

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