Earthly Attachments

Earthly Attachments

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Earthly Attachments

Watercolor, 20” x 16”
Private collection

In Asian art, the water lily is a symbol of contemplation. As the Christian Church has made inroads into Asia, the flower has been incorporated into Christian symbolism as well.

A less fortunate history accompanies the frog, who has come to symbolize earthly attachments. Since playing its part in the Plagues of Egypt, the frog has never really made a comeback. Perhaps its meaning makes reference to the Pharaoh’s stubbornness, clinging to his Jewish slaves and his way of life.

The frog and the water lily are in opposition. Earthly attachments cannot exist in a life of contemplation. When we live the contemplative life, we gain true perspective, abandon material things, and experience a rebirth of the spirit. We forsake, in the end, our earthly attachments.

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