Sunday, February 03, 2008


As you can plainly see, the team that put together this speculative portrait of the Incarnation who was born 2008 years ago (about one-third of the earth's lifespan, according to Mike Huckabee) was guided by the same cosmic hand that collaborated on Jesus and the Bear. Gone are the golden tresses and pale Pre-Raphaelite skin; present are the long yogi's eyes and flat-tipped nose*, as described by Sri Ramakrishna**, to whom this speculative portrait bears more than a passing resemblance. Thus it is that science and mysticism, the Siamese twins of enlightenment, work side-by-side for the benefit of inquiring minds everywhere.

* Loss of nose-tip accounted for in my painting.

**In his vision of the Messiah.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:52 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Now that's the nose of a carpenter.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Ramakrishna just Huckabee with a beard? Ah, Jim. They are one and the same. Or, if you prefer, two sides of the same coin.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Hey hmmmm-

What a cretinous thing to say. Who are you?


2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They both look like homeless dope addicts to me which is cool with me all right! Check out my new favorite site.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but the speculative portrait bears about as much resemblance to the other guy as do you to Stephen King.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

I admit I'm not good with likenesses, and that I often have trouble recognising people I know. When I was courting my wife I had to locate her in a room of people by remembering what she was wearing.

But I always knew who she was, even if I didn't always know what she looked like. Something similar applies here.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim -
I meant no offense by the remark, of course. Perhaps I was flippant. What I should have said is that the ideas of Ramakrishna and those of Huckabee are equally valid, which is to say, not valid at all. The faith of Ramakrishna and Huckabee is one of feeling. Or worse, "experience." Feelings and experience are important things, to be sure, but the feelings of faith must be backed up by reason and intellectual proofs. After all, the only thing we should ever really be interested in when discussing faith is "Is it true?" not "how does it feel?"
And before you ask, I am a devout Catholic. Yes, by the book.
Oh, and you are one of my favorite artists. Ever.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

What you know about Ramakrishna would fit in a gnat's ear and still leave room for an infinity of ignorance.

Does being a devout Catholic mean that you believe yours is The One True Faith and that all others are mere pretenders?

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, yes, if you prove something is true (through proofs of reason), by definition anything that contradicts it is false. Otherwise you don't subscribe to true and false. But this is not the same as claiming others are "pretending." The Catholic Church is the one true Church, but it does not claim that someone is damned simply because they subscribe to a different Truth. It can't (and I can't) truly know the state or someone's soul. I certainly don't. But, being a born skeptic, I do demand proof for believing something. And once reason and intellect are satisfied, how could I not believe? Very nice chatting with you. Love the Looty!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

EW (whoever you may be; your insistance on anonymity irks me a bit) I implore you to name the proofs you say you possess that your religious ideas are valid, as opposed to, say, mine. Proofs, mind you; proofs. You say you've got 'em; let's see 'em.

In fact I'll bet you $1000 you cannot offer what any objective person would regard as proof your religious beliefs are correct.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim -
I'm very sorry - I'm not remaining anonymous for any other reason than I don't wish to post my email on a public site.

I don't mean any offense to you by stating your beliefs are invalid - I don't even really know what they are. I'm speaking objectively - the beliefs I hold true are not really "mine," but I do claim them to be objectively true. Any claims I make should not be taken personally - I really mean that.

And yes, proofs of reason are all anyone should consider. Simply taking someone else's statement that something is true is not something I would suggest anyone do; even the Catholic Church does not suggest that. I would be very suspicious if it did.

I would be more than happy to point to the proofs. Others much more eloquent than I have made the proofs. I don't wish to wager money. Not because I fear losing it, but something about that, too me, seems somewhat proud. I don't wish to convert anyone. Perhaps also, there is the risk that simply because someone states proofs, that is no guarantee that someone else will be persuaded.

But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. Do you believe in objective Truth? In absolute Truth? Do you believe that objective Truth can be proven? Known? I would be more than happy to continue this discussion if you wish. I can promise that I will not do so with any trace of rancor, but will simply stick to reason. I know sometimes there is the expectation that the proof for Truth can be stated succinctly. But it seems that is somewhat like a judge saying to a lawyer, "Prove your case - you have two minutes." All reasonable objections must be raised and dealt with, otherwise it is not an appeal to reason - that would be a leap of Faith. Does that make sense?
Again, it is nice chatting with you. I really do like your art. There is something so familiar. It's quite beautiful!

3:47 PM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Oh, stop stalling and get to the PROOF.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

EW, let me save you the futile effort of trying to prove that you know the truth about God and I don't. You simply cannot do it. Nobody has ever done it; nobody can ever do it.

You admit you have no idea what my beliefs are but are nevertheless convinced they are invalid. Now THAT proves something.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!
I fully accept my efforts may be futile! I am reminded of Georges-Henri Lemaitre, the brilliant physicist and astronomer (and interestingly, Catholic Priest) who was the first to propose the theory of what we now call the Big Bang. Using Einstein's theories, he followed them to their logical conclusion. He was, however, never able to convince Einstein. Einstein went to his death clinging to what he was comfortable with, all the while calling Lematire's mathematics "beautiful." Alas, proof is not always persuasion. No one thinks Einstein anything but brilliant, but he was still human, and we all have the ability to refute solid evidence if it does not fit into what we wish were so.
Perhaps it's better to read the proof and go from there. Antony Flew, sometimes called the most notorious atheist of the 20th century has written a book called "There is a God," detailing his realization (agan based on nothing but tidy reasoning) that there is a God, and that the Judeo-Christian notion of Him comes closest to what must be the Truth. Don't trip over the upset apple carts! C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" is still one of the most lucid proofs of God. Though he was not Catholic, his reasoning is nonetheless flawless as far as it goes. Then of course there is Bisho Ronald Knox' "The Beliefs of Catholics" which follows the proof to it's natural conclusion.
There are many more, but they are all restatements of the one proof (indeed there is only one).
Hmmm...that is a lot to chew on. I think I'll leave with that for now and promise come back in a couple of weeks.
As I said, I have no idea if these will convince you, but perhaps at the very least they will instill an understanding why I and others believ. That is always a good thing, I hope someday there will be more.
Thanks again for your comments and time! I look forward to talking to you again soon.
All the best,

10:48 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

I'm familiar with the writers and material you cite, except for Anthony Flew's post-conversion work, which according to you offers his opinion of "what comes closest to what must be the truth."

As for the others, you're confusing "arguments for" with "proof of". C.S. Lewis, for example, uses backwards reasoning to support conclusions he has already come to, selecting tenets of Christianity that that work for his arguments and ignoring those that don't, while reversing the process for other religions. Some "proof".

I'm disappointed in you, EW. You insult me profoundly by asserting that my religious beliefs are "invalid" and then, in lieu of the proof you say you have, you back up the statement with nothing but bromides by the heroes of Vacation Bible School, which every thinking person has already absorbed. I'm hurt that you think I'm that stupid.

Let's call it a day, shall we?

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with EW. I also will not ever allow my email address to be published anywhere, for fear that if my secret were to be discovered, my life and the lives of my entire family as well as my loved ones would be put in dire jeopardy. For protection, I have only my wits and my mitts and I can't be everywhere you know. I have to sleep some time.

It's not as if you can just set up another email account, you know. IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Dr. Ocelot-

Sure, I understand. If I didn't have the house surrounded by explosives and tripwires I'd never let anyone know who I am either. The big mistake I made was having a listed phone number. Now I can't ever answer the damn thing.

Of course I wouldn't actually mind being a martyr for my faith, as long as I got credit for it, but what with the press being in the hands of the... you know...I'm sure there'd be a coverup and nobody would have the opportunity to be inspired by me.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!
Sure, we can call it a day if you like. But don't be insulted or hurt, man! Best left to the fairer sex! These things take time. Rome wasn't converted in a day, as they say.
Keep up the good work. Your paintings are quite remarkable. Quite remarkable!
Signing off,

8:11 AM  
Blogger Secret Agent Squid said...

the fairer sex rejects your sentiment, Ew. Ew indeed.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wooah that's crazy! I need to read that article now
(I put this spam killer address at the end of each of my comments)

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>Feelings and experience are important things, to be sure, but the feelings of faith must be backed up by reason and intellectual proofs. After all, the only thing we should ever really be interested in when discussing faith is "Is it true?" not "how does it feel?"

The mix-up of religion and spirit is a problem. Facts must NOT be the basis for spirituality. Religion, yes, religion seems to need facts (rules) to self-perpetuate and keep followers and gain new ones. Facts mean relatively nothing in a lot of world spiritualities. Or, rather, it's looking at it the wrong way. You'll NEVER find anything concrete in spirituality - nothing to measure, nothing to prove. So really, all you really need and have in the end, is feeling. Bringing science into emotions, feelings, bliss, the unknown, is well and good and what we humans do these days, but in the end, you're barking up the wrong tree, and perpetually stuck on what you can "see", instead of just being accepting of the things you can't see, and hopefully, eventually, accepting of all things. Feeling the greater beauty of life doesn't really need concrete, strict guidelines. But gentle nudging and some guidance, sure.

>>But don't be insulted or hurt, man! Best left to the fairer sex!

come on now, tough guy. now you're just being silly.

--sorry to take up space here, Jim. Just a fan irked by something i read on the internet.

1:27 PM  
Blogger nichole said...

You know, you're officially tyrant of this website and you have the power and my support if you want to delete any comments like the ones posted above by ew.

Personally, I'd go a bit further than deletion if possible. Maybe castration? I'm not adverse to violence if it would help to chlorinate the gene pool. I just don't like when violence gets all out of control and there's collateral damage and casualties and whatnot.

Or maybe ew will be a kind gentleman and remove himself from this existence. You know, Sylvia Plath wrote some on the blessings of suicide and you should believe everything you read!

Fucking misogynist.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Chris Almond said...

Man, those two guys look a lot alike. You know who else Jesus looks like? a neanderthal.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they dont really look

10:00 AM  

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