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Painting with Christ & Mary in the Garden; Spiritual Experiences of Artists

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Homage to St John: the Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric   Artist: Kristena West
Excerpt from book, "We Experienced Christ: Spiritual Encounters with Jesus Christ" published Temple Lodge 2016


In 1951 I started to carve a picture that was to portray Christ in the garden. But the wood crumbled and I stopped carving. I painted a few flowers and  a fig tree. Then I kept the picture in a suitcase in the basement. Here it stayed until the end of October of 1972.
                                                                 The Sun Road Artist: Toni Carmine Salerno

So the work on the picture was taken up again during the autumn of 1972. The picture had been commissioned and was to be sold. The artist said, however, that during the work his interest in it became more and more intensive so that he decided not to sell the picture. He expressed this as follows.

"At the time I was painting the picture I felt sorry that I had agreed to sell it. When the picture was finished I stood it up against the door of the balcony and sat down on a sofa at the opposite wall.

Then it seemed to me that Christ's eyes and also His hands were moving. The flowers in the garden became alive. They had turned into human beings who surrounded Christ. Then I saw Christ sway from one side to the other.  Oh, how He spoke! But I only perceived one word, 'Gethsemane.' Lightning struck, and Christ disappeared in a light blue robe.

In His stead Mary sat there, covered in a red robe. She held a baby in her arm. She, and also the child, moved. A voice said, 'Christ has been born again'. Then I saw lightning again, and Christ stood there again as before. He spoke all the time. I saw his lips move, but now I could not hear any worlds. All this repeated itself several times. At one time it was Christ, then again Mary with the child.

Because the artist did not want to part with the picture he painted a second one. The transformation happened again. Again the picture became alive. But this time something beyond that happened.

In the centre, in front of me, stood a tall figure turning His back towards me. Hi snow white robe blinded me. I tried to look at His head, but I did not succeed; the light was too strong for my eyes.

Then he reached out with His right arm which was much longer than a normals man's arm. In His hand he held a few twigs, and I some some thorns on them. I had the impression that this had to do with Christ's crown of thorns. But at this moment the twigs changed. He held a cross in His hand, approximately 28" (70cm) long and 2" (5cm) wide. It had rounded corners and looked like a grating of pure gold. A baby in nappies was tied to the cross. 'Christ who had been born again' this was the vision I experienced this time--but only a vision, I could not hear anything. The experience of this vision lasted a very long time."

Sergei Profkofief in his beautiful book, "Eternal Individuality; Towards a Karmic Biography of Novalis," discusses the profound mystery of principle of spiritual economy that Rudolf Steiner revealed. He states that the pure etheric body of the Nathan soul the sister soul held in the sun realm that incarnated in the Luke Jesus, this replicated and could incorporate into the bodies of artists, teachers, scholars, christians over centuries and this would give two gifts.

One gift is the ability to have an experience of the Damascus event in a small scale. Secondly they were able to experience the revelations of Palestine.

"But the most important aspect of what they were thus able clairvoyantly to experience with regards to the events of Palestine was apart from the scene of the Crucifixion, the image of the "Madonna', the image of 'Mary with the Jesus Child'. Such experences were also the source of early Christian and medieval art, especially painting."
Rudolf Steiner

It's interesting to note that this painter had experiences within the "canvas" of his painting, that was happening spiritually within him. It's a mystery worth pondering.


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