052 "Green Dragon"
Green Dragon Full Image
x 66" / Oil on Canvas
by John WorldPeace
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A partial interpretation from the artist's
At the center of the
painting is a green and red yin-yang symbol. The yin-yang
symbol is an expression of the universe’s constant
state of change. Within an endless circle, the green
is always encroaching on the red and the red is always
encroaching on the green. In addition, the red and green
each have a dot of the opposite color within their area,
showing that nothing is pure. The green contains some
red and the red contains some green.
In this painting, the
red symbolizes man and the green symbolizes the earth.
As man creates his edifices, the earth immediately begins
to erode them. In time, all manmade things will disintegrate.
The yin-yang symbol is
most closely associated with the Taoist religionist
whose sacred text is the "Tao te Ching", written
by Lao Tzu 2,500 years ago. My use of the yin-yang is
not to promote Taoism. I used the yin-yang because there
is no other symbol that embodies the one universal constant:
change. Gods come and go, people come and go, things
come and go, planets and stars come and go. All things
that manifest from the Infinite Potential eventually
disintegrate back into its oneness.
From the yin-yang, a
spiral expands clockwise around the painting. Along
the spiral are alternating spheres of red, yellow and
blue, the primary colors from which all colors can be
mixed. The spiral is an ancient symbol that relates
to the evolving universe. It also represents the coiled
up snake, which is a symbol of wisdom and eternity.
The snake is closely related to the dominant figure
in the painting, the dragon.
The dragon has many meanings
but has always seemed to be related to uncontrolled
chaos. The dragon is something to be conquered. The
dragon is the ultimate primal nature that is all-powerful
and destructive. By conquering the dragon within ourselves,
we become enlightened.
In this painting, the
dragon represents the religions of the East. Taoism,
Hinduism and Buddhism each focus more on the Infinite
aspect of God than on the anthropomorphic aspect of
the God of the Jews, Muslims and Christians. The Western
view contains but a finite aspect of the all-encompassing
essence of the one God.
The black hands represent
the religions of the West that are trying to control
the dragon. On each black hand are generic mandalas,
which are representative of the dominant religions of
the West, including the Mormons and the Bahai's.
Circling counter clockwise
in the painting, along the lines of the spiral, are
bats. In the East, the bat is a symbol of happiness
and long life. In the West it symbolizes negativity,
somewhat similar to the dragon, but also the sexual
ambiguity of a hermaphrodite. Within the bat the forces
of the yin-yang combine.
All winged beings symbolize
spirituality. Birds represent the higher consciousness
of humanity. In many traditions, they represent human
souls. In the painting, the birds emanate from the center
and fly in an infinitely expanding spiral gaining more
and more knowledge of the universe. This exemplifies
the ever-seeking curiosity of humanity.
Butterflies are also
spiritual in nature. They evolve from caterpillars.
Within their life, they experience a dramatic metamorphosis
from crawler to flyer. In life, we are human beings,
but in death we shed our bodies and fly as spirits.
The butterflies, unlike the birds and bats, are not
flying either in or out of the spiral. They are facing
all directions which indicates that they are flowing
freely and not on a particular path.
The body of the dragon
has many stars on it. This is symbolic of the dragon
as a constellation in the night sky suggesting that
the dragon is universal.
The dragon has no wings;
therefore it is of the earth. The black hands that hold
down the dragon symbolize humanity, which is also earthbound.
Swirling around the dragon are birds, bats and butterflies,
which represent the transient spiritual beings and the
guardian spirits and angels who dominate the non-physical
The dragon's green hand
on the blue sphere represents the earth. The dragon’s
hand is symbolic of the continents that exist in the
oceans. Therefore, the dragon is the earth.
The theme of the painting
is that all things change. Everything within the universe
is chaotic because everything is in a constant state
of change from one existence to another. In heaven and
on earth, spiritual beings are constantly coming and
going between the physical and non-physical dimensions.
Control is an illusion.
It only seems possible because of the limited time in
which physical beings exist. Within the Infinite Potential,
where there is no beginning or end, life manifests for
finite periods. Human beings harness, tame and manipulate
nature and live the illusion that they are in control.
Yet in time, nothing survives as change constantly frees
all things bound. All things that manifest disintegrate.
As above, so below.