Two Sacrifices

Two Sacrifices (2021) 

There is spiritually uplifting beauty in belonging to a community. Being part of a community can strengthen both the individual as well as its members as a whole. The shared values between individuals are what allows them to form a community. In a community you can recognize yourself in each other’s weaknesses, sorrows and burdens. At the same time you can celebrate shared victories or beautiful truths. This gives individuals a sense of belonging that uplifts both the individual and the community as a whole. Thus a community is a place of giving and receiving. A pitfall arises when you give yourself completely in word and deed to a community without ‘getting’ enough satisfaction from personal growth or appreciation for your sacrifices. Especially when self-worth has not been received.

The sculpture “Two Sacrifices” exemplifies this in the context of a religious community. The (bronze) ox represents the individual ‘receiving’ factor, and the (gold plated) nativity, the ‘giving’ community it belongs to. The glass covering sanctifies the boundaries set by the community and the individual. The hinge by which the covering can be opened stands for the ability of the individual to step outside of such boundaries to preserve its individuality in thought and practice; it’s free will.

Receiving your live through sacrifices can become a meaningful compass. Receiving is equally important as giving. All can receive a moral compass allowing them to balance the interests of both the community and the ‘self’. Thinking outside of the boundaries of shared values can enrich a community with individual viewpoints. A community that accepts diversity in thought and practice gives appreciation to the individual. This way you get a vibrant community that values the spiritual beauty of individual souls.