Rembrandt and humanity.

Rembrandt, self-portrait

When I look in the eyes of this man,
I feel humaneness.
Somehow fearful and doubting he is.
He doesn't try to hide it either.
It is something very pure in it.

What is it that makes us human?
I think it is the pureness in expression.
The not-hiding.
'Show yourself'
is nowadays the commercial  slogan
of many business companies.
It sounds often like
a provocative call to me.
As with showing yourself
people always expect to see
somebody 'big'. Somebody great.
Somebody undefeatable.
Somebody who has no weaknesses.
And if he will not let them take him.
How inhuman.
That's not human.
That's the opposite to me.
Life gets hard if one thinks so.
It is exhausting to play such a role.
Somehow Rembrandt's self-portrait
touches me immensely.
Maybe you too?

Bach, Chorale prelude BWV 659 by Dinu Lipatti

by Kahlil Gibran

Humanity is the spirit
of the Supreme Being on earth,
and that humanity is standing
admidst ruins, hiding its nakedness
behind tattered rags,
shedding tears upon hollow cheeks,
and calling for its children with pitiful
voice. But the children are busy
singing their clan's anthem;
they are busy sharpening the swords
and cannot hear the cry of their mothers.

Humanity is the spirit
of the Supreme Being on earth,
and that Supreme Being preaches
love and good-will.
But the people ridicule such teachings.
The Nazarene Jesus listened,
and crucifixion was his lot;
Socrates heard the voice and followed it,
and he too fell victim in body.
The followers of
The Nazarene and Socrates
are the followers of Deity,
and since people will not kill them,
they deride them, saying,
''Ridicule is more bitter than killing.''

Bach-Hess Chorale “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

by Dinu Lipatti

What do you feel?