Mikes Regret behind His Painting of God on the Sistine Ceiling
February 12, 2017
— what is god?
My grandfather, a Pastor, asked me not too long ago, “I wonder why Michelangelo regretted painting the Sistine Chapel”. I will attempt to explain the reason why.
I believe for most people living in the 21st Century, God is seen as an old man or a sky daddy who knows when you are sleeping and knows when you’ve been bad or good. So you better not pout, you better not cry, because I’m telling you why….
Notice, I used the lyrics for the song, Santa Clause is Coming too Town? This was not by accident.
In ancient Rome, they worshiped Saturnalia, to the Old Man Saturn or Chronos in Greek Mythology, where we get the expression Father Time. And we still worship the Winter Solstice in a variety of celebrations: Christmas, Ramadhan, Kwanzaa; with Christmas replacing Saturnalia and Santa Clause the role of Saturn. Notice the simularities between the Norman Rockwell Santa and Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Son, depicted below.
The image of the old man is not the traditional representation of God in many of the more enlightened schools of thought. Michelangelo was a Humanitarian and would of rather painted an image to represent the God in all man like that of a giant light touching our minds and the smaller inner light in our hearts touching God through our hands.
But the hand is certainly symbolic. The limp wrist shows an Adam that is bored and impotent on a planet that limits our reach towards the heaven in contrast too the erect God full of vitality unrestricted by time and space.
But the touching of the hands holds great significance because God is always ready and is waiting for Adam to put in the effort. It suggests that one must reach out to God; and through out fingers, we can not only be touched by God but more importantly, touch God.
This would have personal significance for Michelangelo, who saw his Art as a labor of love and divine insight more than using it as a cheap propaganda tool; and Michelangelo would have regretted having sold out his Humanitarian beliefs to fill his pockets from the elite coffers.
I believe this is where Michelangelo’s guilt over his immortal mural comes into play. The God displayed in his painting is not just a man, but the old man of Roman Elitism (and of elitism in general think Odin, Zeus, etc).
But Michelangelo still left a deeper second meaning underneath the propaganda that has only begun too surface in modern times thanks too the internet and restoration of the Chapel’s ceiling, we begin to see the deeper concepts behind on of histories most brilliant minds. Speaking of minds-
Let’s look at some of the most important influences of the Italian Renaissance, the Hermetic, Alchemy writing and the Mystical Jewish book known as the Kabbalah which states that God is something that can’t be explained and to claim you understand it is evidence that you don’t understand it at all.
This type of understanding would later re surface with the Philosopher Bertrand Russel who claimed that “God is something greater that we could ever possibly understand”. But such alternative views are common in the course of Philosophy. Spinoza claimed that the Universe itself is God, where we get the term ‘Pantheism’. The interpretation below suggest that God is the Orion Nebula.
But what we have too understand that the Kabbalah, like the Hermetica and Alchemy, was interested in Consciousness and how the mind works and the individual can develop their own brains. Some speculate that God is a giant brain. This is interesting because the Eye of Horus in Egyptian Symbolism is believed to represent the Pineal Gland.
And more evidence than not shows the Egyptian influences behind the famous painting, when we take into consideration that Michelangelo had access to corpses for dissection and knew the human autonomy better than most living humans. This would make sense when we take in consideration the fact Egypt was once curious about both human autonomy and consciousness development, that works such as the Hermetica and Kabblah were believed to be ancient texts from Egypt circulating in the Renaissance, a myth, as most of these esoteric texts are only first mentioned in European sources from the second half of the Middle Ages.
So maybe this was exactly the image that Michelangelo envisioned knowing that his peers would have slapped the Old Man on top but left out the second hidden layer of the brain. But notice how God isn’t limited to the human brain and breaks through it and reaches out to Adam from the otherwise empty space. It suggest that God not only is in the Brain but is compelled to break through those walls into the natural world. God is within us but also above us reaching out and God isn’t going to touch us until we’re ready to take action by reaching out through the power of our own creations, to reach out and touch the divine through our own free will.