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, be yourself’ is nowadays the commercial slogan of many business companies. It sounds often somehow like a provocative call to me. As with showing yourself people expect here to see somebody ‘big’. Somebody great and perfect. Somebody undefeatable. Somebody who has no weaknesses, no fears. And if – he will not “let them take him”.
Is that human? I doubt it. Life gets very hard if one thinks so. It is exhausting to play such a role. Isn’t humaneness the integration of all sides in us?
Somehow Rembrandt’s self-portrait touches me.
Maybe you too?

Bach, Chorale prelude BWV 659 by Dinu Lipatti:

Humanity 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: