Just because there is sh*t in the world, it doesn’t mean the world is sh*t

“And, God forbid, do not read the Soviet newspapers before lunch.”

“Um … Why, there are no others?”

“Do not read any then. You know, I observed thirty patients in my clinic. And what do you think? Patients who did not read newspapers felt great. Those who I specifically forced to read ‘Pravda’, lost weight.”

“Hmmm,” said the bitten one, ruddy with soup and wine.

“Moreover, reduced knee reflexes, bad appetite, an oppressed state of mind…”

[Translated from Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov]

Whenever current affairs get really divisive, my faith in humanity wanes. Like really, wanes.

I am referring to the combination of the Belfast trial, the upcoming referendum in Ireland, the Skripals, the Russian election and the tragic fire in Siberia…

Feeling overwhelmed by all the recent news coverage and watching friends engage in social media battles, I was walking down the street and I really didn’t know how to handle it… and then I realised I was near a gallery.

I went in to look at The taking of Christ by Caravaggio, the most celebrated painting available in Dublin. I sat beside it for like a half-hour, probably looking like a mad person.

I stared at it just to get my mind off the other stuff.

I vaguely remembered a lecture that discussed how the arms of the different characters are all disproportionate. Look at Judas vs Jesus vs guard in armour:


And then I thought: Jesus, there are some serious problems with this painting! Yet, this is one of the most celebrated paintings out there. And it is, in my opinion, beautiful.

Just because there is sh*t in the world, it doesn’t mean the world is sh*t.

14 thoughts on “Just because there is sh*t in the world, it doesn’t mean the world is sh*t”

  1. Who’s sensibilities are you protecting? Does the hiding of the “I” somehow take the sting from your true intent? Soften the blow?
    Fortunately, shit washes away. A bit of rain, and patience, and soon the world is shiny again. For a while at least.

    Poggio Bracciolini, rooting through the cellars packed with shit, discovered gems of enlightenment. Now, Caravaggio, whoo, what a character. That guy needs a serious movie made of him, with all the CG possible to render Italy at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes Martina become a nun. it will serve you well. You will have a stable diet and go to a toilet at appropriate intervals., do your singing which will quiet you down, you will clean your body thoroughly as any dirt is comparible to a sin (I’m not sure if nuns suffer from having a vagina yeast though ?)
      I’m trying to become a private Buddhist monk 🙂 I can’t be a real monk as they torture themselves with sitting in a lotus position = and if it hurts they not allowed to complain (the abbot says that sooner or later they get used to suffering which for me is comparable to Christian monks suffering. And they have horrible diet (they have to eat whatever they given in alms and the givers of alms are poor villagers.
      Christian (orthodox nuns included have very good diets as I remember my mother would sell meat to them and they would inspect each piece of meat in scrutiny. The priests would be served there but I think nuns would eat the same I hope (very often good veal would be served. Scrutinising the famous paintings against reality is no good as their prime purpose was to reinforce the faith. So for that purpose all “tricks”would be allowed including the Turin cloth and Father Pio bleeding where Jesus had nails (but he did the cuts himself however the further in future the more genuine they become. But really not to become crazy let us sit in a park for a while, go home ..listen to some music, go to a toilet and do your thing and there are many other things in life but keep them simple and repeat in strict intervals. I’m not sure about sex ( I mean how frequent it should be. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you completely, although there are times I can almost feel the hope fading… then, I remind myself. I had a post not long ago which started with: “As much as there are “in-your-face” evil people inhabiting mother earth, people who make me question humanity’s further existence, I can’t help but notice the admirable spirit of some human beings, the spirit that makes me reconsider my almost-lost hope on mankind.”

    I try to remember this one advice from The Secret: Be informed but we don’t need to be inundated.

    I realize that avoiding the bad news do not make them go away. The reality remains. But with many things in life, what matters is our perspective. We have the power to change how we see things. It makes life bearable, and maybe, just maybe, we can change reality one little step at a time, one day at a time. ‘Apparently’, thoughts become words and words become actions. Ultimately, actions become character.

    Disclaimer: I know no psychology except for Psych 101. 🙂 I have the interest but no formal knowledge. And even with psychology, we must only be informed not inundated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pls don’t despair. Even if things are as bad it does not help to dwell on them. We always have a wishful thinking that there is somewhere a good God who controls all of that ethically and that nature is beautiful and that it is reflection of a good and perfect God. But evolution is extremely cruel and all animals die in a cruel way. And not so long ago many women would die in a cruel way when giving child birth. We are only like ants. Yes nature is cruel and we are trying to make more humane. We placing ethics into the world. That’s why we have religions. But there is no evidence that ethics rule the world. It is all part of endless cycle. Chaos becoming order. Order becoming chaos. For the ethics to exist one needs to have a God.
    As far as humans go they are microbial factories. Your health and emotional well being depends if you have a good strain of bacteria. If you don’t then faeces of a healthy person inserted in a capsule can be swallowed by ill person and that person becomes miraculously healthy and happy. So good pooing is very important . Another thing which makes one happy is sensory deprivation. The less you sense the better for you the happier you feel. I have to admit that it is hard for me to adjust in such way. However evidence of happiness of christian and buddhist monks is undeniable. I wish I had more sensory deprivation learned in my earlier life. Then I would have a better hang of it.
    To end I don’t know if there is any point in despairing over the condition the world is in . One can always find a small niche where one can hide and hope that the things will improve. Good thoughts are contagious as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Agree. And beautiful music too (especially Bach). But religions caused massive killings during reformation and not only. Massive prosecutions of Jews. Burning witches. Massive killings when Pakistan got formed. Hindus killed moslems and Moslems killed hindus. Even Buddhist kill Rohinga moslems in Myanmar.
    Religions caused more bad things than good things.


  5. I like Caravaggio. The arm hook is hard to display. I see what you mean. I noticed that a few weeks ago on a sketch. I looked at it. It looked equally normal and disfigured. Maybe our minds don’t quite grasp those values in art and shape. In the same like, I read in evolutionary psychology we fear spiders and snakes although most of us live in cities without them. We are triggered. We fear change. We want to be right or maybe, just fear being wrong especially collectively just on the wrong side. Moral superiority? I feel like I’m rambling. I do see the connection between the painting and the relief you inherited. I draw less because I have to work more this year. I feel it though, when I see things I’d like to draw. These small moments of relief through out the day. It only took 4000 hours to figure out that one. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Knowing the how of something does take away the splendor. The depth of knowledge adds to it as well as possibly taking something away. Maybe. It’s why people here in America truly embrace the superficial. Knowing a grain of truth in a beach of lies.


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