The believer envelops that which is holy and its power with his belief. The recognition of the holy inspires certain feelings in the believer, and makes him behave and act in a particular way. Action is worship. As that which is holy can be thought of as a force, a force that can be pure or impure, but is always a force, it is relatively immaterial what actions are inspired by it, whether they take the form of positive worship or negative, magical, superstitious dealings: the egoistical will of the primitive is the decisive factor.
„I have a give and take relationship with him: help in return for a candle. The quantity and quality vary, as does the time of delivery. I set down the conditions as I think fit. A fulfillment of obligations from his side is never guaranteed. That is the risk I have to take in this deal.“
A saint doesn’t make you any richer and he doesn’t accept any money either. He’s not out to sell you anything! Half-baked gurus come along with all the answers even if I haven’t asked any questions. That is the difference between a religion and a travesty. And that is also the difference between a genuine saint and a fake. If someone instructs a fellow human being on what he is and isn’t supposed to do and tries to convince him that everything will be just fine if he just fulfills certain conditions and leaves his brain and his money behind on the doorstep – then such a person may be a slimy charlatan, but definitely not a saint.
Holy – a concept that is related to healing: to be whole, unscathed, complete, consummate. Holy people – these must be people in whom others find something that is missing in themselves: something they are not, that they need and crave. Through their whole-ness, holy men and women are in a position to share and impart some of their wholeness/holiness. They have access to something for which there is a deep-seated longing in human beings: they are able to make whatever this is accessible to others. Help provided in „becoming whole:“ physically whole, spiritually/mentally/psychically/emotionally whole, socially whole. If saints – who often lead martyrs‘ lives: maltreated, persecuted and murdered – are idols, then the longing must be related to psychic wholeness: to be so complete within themselves, so whole and round that the suffering and „unwholeness“ of this world become irrelevant. – What does art have in common with the holy? Like the holy man, art opens the door to human experience beyond word and reason.
*We wrote the introduction for the work of arts „Saints of Today“ of German artist Linda Schwarz in autumn 2003. It was the completion of some short texts which she then printed on her works. We called this introduction „Quintessences“ because it concentrates an intensive spiritual process of work.
German artist Linda Schwarz lives and works in Strasskirchen an der Donau and in Homburg am Main, Bavaria, Germany. Her German „Saints for Today“ comprises 18 unique art works shown in various exhibitions.