Artist: Tamantha Williams
Title: Psychomachia – Perception Born – 1st of 8 in series
The Seven Deadly Errors & Virtues
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 60cm x 90cm
The Psychomachia (Battle of spirits or soul war) is a poem by the Late Antique Latin poet Prudentius, from the early fifth century AD. This piece, Perception Born is one of 8 pieces reflecting the original 7 deadly sins as errors. Errors may be undone, however, sin is cast on a perceptional foundation of guilt and remains as is as much as we believe it so.
Within each believe put in place in the errors of lust, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, gluttony and envy, [order from left to right] perception is born and we move further from knowledge and certainty. With this “eyes deceive, and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become quite possible, for certainly has gone. The mechanisms of illusion have been born instead. And now they go to find what has been given them to seek.”
Furtherrst from the truth we go. Now lust is celebrated as being pseudo love, greed seen as ambition, sloth as giving yourself a little bit of ‘peace’, wrath as taking control of your destination, setting your sails, pride as an integral character trait of success YOUR success regardless of how or who gets flattened on the pathway to it, gluttony becomes an appreciation and gratitude for what you have more of, and envy making our way UP the social ladder to ensure our daily gratitude that we ‘have’ what ‘they’ dont… now our self esteem is measured on our ability to win at these characters to ensure ‘someone’ else loses to our benefit and in the eternal search we bolster our self esteem, touted by many a renowned speaker as the cornerstone of personal growth, with perceptual uncertainties ending up incredibly lonely in our search for certainty.
Now indeed sanity is replaced by insanity, purity smeared with false perceptions and we forget the real truth as the foundation in our ancient birth. Where love, kindness, diligence, forgiveness, humility, temperance and gratitude where a matter of fact. Where there was no need to question ‘who am I’ or ‘what is my purpose’ we just knew.
Only the ego treasures sin. It translates the self as sinful to preserve its sense of ‘holiness’ it sees purity as arrogance and defends the life of sin to ensure the nod of approval of society, the division that is placed between the do righters and the do wrongers, keeping the separate self as the innocent one, the special one, above and beyond reproach. And so perception is born, the only way to keep us separate, all senses working in overdrive as we categorise everyone and everything into good or bad… sinful or not. As we acknowledge the existence of sin, it becomes real, it becomes fear and fearful, it arrives as a witness to punishment and death. We can choose different witnesses, I choose ones who show life and love instead. Yet today in this world we see, the basic ‘sins’ that seem to be celebrated – a world apart from the original 7 deadly sins described in Prudentius poem in Battle of the soul of man.
I take on these mistakes in perception and have a chat to each of the sins, inviting them to witness truth instead. Please read the brief synopsis after you form your own opinion.