christ in the wilderness

Mainstream Christianity is afraid of the daemonic. Daemonic – the word itself – conjures unpleasant spiritual experiences and beastly spiritual creatures that are malevolent to the human soul. Yet, Jesus the Christ was entirely open to the daemonic. He encountered it in the wilderness and rebuffed it after surviving its attempts to seduce him back into a state of egoism. Jesus drove the cacophonous Legion into a herd of swine. In fact, all we see is the darker side of the daemonic in the gospel accounts of Jesus.

There are some notable exceptions such as Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan and the transfiguration atop Mount Tabor. Paul’s encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus is also an encounter with the daemonic. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon all gathered in the upper room on the Feast of Pentecost – another encounter with the daemonic.

The daemonic is the whirlwind of the nominous that is both creative and destructive; it heals and destroys. It strips our souls bare. In our encounters with it we recreate the very nature of our being. We should be afraid of it – that is a good instinct – but we must encounter it if we expect gnosis.



  Christ in the Wilderness, 1872, oil on canvas, by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy, Russian, 1837-1887. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

 Almost no other painting shows such utter desolation, abandonment and loneliness. The only spot of hope is the pink tint in the sky on the horizon.

  Kramskoy was a painter, etcher, sculptor and lithographer and taught painting to members of the Russian royal family. 

Cold War Kids - Out of the Wilderness. // Sir Sly - Gold. // Brand New - Jesus Christ. // The Front Bottoms - Twin Size Mattress. // WRØNGCHILDE - Gold Blooded. // Greg Holden - The Art of Falling. // The Outdoor Type - Are You Happy. Dotan - Home. // Young Galaxy - Pretty Boy. // Triggerfinger - Camaro. // Puscifer - The Humbling River. // The Paper Kites - The Mortal Boy King (Corrado Bucci & 2albert remix).

A Richard Gansey III Playlist. (3 of 5)