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Archive for February 5th, 2020

When I finished this small painting, the term Seventh Heaven quickly came to mind and bound itself to it as its title. There was a quality attached to it that evoked that phrase that I’ve heard thousands of times, mostly describing a time and place of immense satisfaction.

Bliss.

But in all those times I never thought about what Seventh Heaven really meant or where it came from. It was just a phrase that was thrown around easily without thought.

Turns out it has beginnings and attachments to the ancient Greeks, the Kabbalah of Jewish mysticism and in Hindic and Islamic belief.

The Greeks’ believed there to be seven classical planets beyond our earth —Mercury, Venus, the Moon, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn— each having its own heaven.

In the Jewish Kabbalah, there are seven levels of heaven, each ruled by an angel. For example, Shamayim is the first heaven, governed by Archangel Gabriel. It is the closest of heavenly realms to the Earth; it is also considered the abode of Adam and Eve. The seventh heaven here is called Araboth. Under the leadership of the angel of Saturn, Cassiel, it is the holiest of the seven heavens, housing the Throne of Glory attended by the Seven Archangels and serves as the realm in which God dwells. Beneath the throne itself lies the abode of all unborn human souls. It is also considered the home of the Seraphim, the Cherubim, and the Hayyoth.

The Islamic seventh heaven is similar in many ways to that of the Kabbalah, comprised of a divine light that is incomprehensible to mortal man.

Hinduism divides the material universe into fourteen worlds, seven of them being upper and seven being lower. Brahmaloka is the highest of the seven upper worlds, the highest of the joyful worlds a person might attain. It is the home of Lord Brahma.

There’s more but we’re going to keep this shallow today. It comes down to all of the different forms of  Seventh Heaven denoting a place of ultimate joy.

That description fits this little piece, with its seven rows in the field of the foreground, for me.

It is a seventh heaven by itself.  Even if it brings me only a moment of bliss, that’s I all I can ask for here on this earth, I suppose.

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This piece, Seventh Heaven, is part of the Little Gems exhibit at the West End Gallery which opens Friday, February 7 with an opening reception that runs 5-7:30 PM.

 

 

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