This is beautiful. A good reminder to keep the parts that speak to the soul while sorting through the lies.When I look at things like this, I try to absorb what the image says to my soul outside of the rational. And outside of the backstory which is usually some sort of religious chicken McNuggets for the masses. As a young man I did see some paintings that actually changed my consciousness. But it was not some "a-hah!" sort of explanatory thing. The images just stopped me in my tracks and reached out to me on an unfathomable sub-conscious level.
I have seen the Black Madonna of Częstochowa first hand.
You descend into a dark, dank place for starters and everyone is hushed and reverent.The first thing that struck me was: the music! Before they pulled back the curtains, there was this almost New Orleans Horn Band slow dirge that droned in a single stressed out minor chord to instill the proper sense of awe, mystery, trembling and Je ne sait quoi. D minor might be a good guess. The Madonna herself has a sense of being abused and wounded to the nth degree. A dark story there indeed. The child is one of these disproportionate small adults that almost seems oblivious and somehow unscathed. What is left out of the picture is the abuser or the source of her suffering.
I see several levels: the severe inner struggle of the individual to protect and nurture that inner baby Christ or spark of conscious awareness (very 4th way-ish) - it is also the dark story of all of humanity. I suppose it could or should be universalized as well. The dark story of our little sector of the galaxy.
Perfection/elevation of the soul through suffering.
A timeless theme acted out on all levels of existence.
Raising of consciousness through awareness....which includes things of a dark nature.
And the missing abuser?
It is us, the observer.
We gain a heart by confronting our own heartlessness.
Look at what you have done, she seems to say almost accusingly with a steadfast gaze.
And see what you too must go through if you are to nurture your own inner Christ.
And see what you too must go through if you are to ever atone.
But the sad Madonna gives way to the shining little Christ.
The suffering Madonna is a way station on the journey.
Is she black because she has risen from the ashes of her own sin?
That is a forbidden question.
For the Madonna is always said to be sinless.