July 4, 2015

"The Ladder of Divine Ascent."

It's a 12th century painting, located in Egypt, that depicts monks on the rungs of a ladder going to Heaven.



I went searching for that on my iPhone as I was looking at "Tradition and Innovation: The Human Figure in Contemporary Chinese Art" (at the Chazen Museum here in Madison), which included "Ladder to the Sky," by Yu Hong:



You've got to picture that about 20 feet tall. It's quite something. A fascinating contrast to the 12th century painting. No Jesus, no Heaven, no real reason to be trying to get to the top. No like-mindedness in the humans engaged in the climb. No devils causing the falls.

I highly recommend the exhibit by the way. Today is the second to the last day, so fix your sights on that destination and don't let any devils pull you ofF the path. 

20 comments:

traditionalguy said...

That appears to be last rungs ascending the ladder of human creatures who have spent mellenia striving to get to the top, just before AI shakes them off and pulls up the ladder.

Happy human independence day.

Michael K said...
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Otto said...

Wow - Anne proselytizing so early in the morning. Reminds of that old saying that so describes liberals with some word substitutions-"proselytizing for me but not for thee". Folks it's not about logic, reason,or even fairness(a must in a liberal's lexicon); it's about power.

Michael K said...

Here is a similar picture of babies climbing a ladder to Heaven which is on the wall of a medieval hospital in Sienna, Italy. The hospital is hundreds of years old and was, for a while, used by a modern hospital. It is now a museum across the square from the cathedral.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous picture. Needs to be removed from Egypt before the Caliphates followers
vandalize it.

Drago said...

Althouse: "No Jesus, no Heaven, no real reason to be trying to get to the top. No like-mindedness in the humans engaged in the climb. No devils causing the falls."

One thing lefties/liberals dislike, it's unnecessary "like-mindedness".

Won't find any of that stuff in places the left runs. Nope. Why, it's almost as if the left is single-minded on the issue of like-mindedness.

Being "against" it, rhetorically, of course.

In practice? Well.....

JackOfVA said...

Doesn't this constitute micro-agression against Asatru followers?

Coupe said...
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Michael Fitzgerald said...

So the photo-art is an homage, but without the meaning, purpose, reason, or skill. And Althouse praises it- because it lacks the qualities that make the original great- and because it's big... Yes folks, there's the democrat party intellectual for you. And they control the universities...

Marc Puckett said...
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rhhardin said...

Wittgenstein said that an infinite ladder is not a ladder.

Probably in remarks on the foundations of mathematics.

Marc Puckett said...

St Catharine's at Mt Sinai possesses what is putatively a decree of Mohammed guaranteeing the monastery's freedom etc and the rights of Christians in general.

William said...

I always thought that at the top of the secular ladder there was a landing with good restaurants, hot chicks, and sunny weather. And so there is, but it is only accessible by the executive elevator. Those who reach the top by climbing the ladder are usually too exhausted to enjoy the comforts of the landing.

kcom said...

Anyone want to take bets on whether that painting will survive the decade, the quarter century, etc. in Egypt? It looks an awful lot like blasphemy to me. And Egypt ain't Iceland.

Terry said...

The ladder to heaven is behind a rose bush:

While he gazed up, again he heard the cry. At the same moment he saw one of the biggest stars over his head give a kind of twinkle and jump, as if it went out and came in again. He threw himself on his back, and fixed his eyes upon it. Nor had he gazed long before it went out, leaving something like a scar in the blue. But as he went on gazing he saw a face where the star had been—a merry face, with bright eyes. The eyes appeared not only to see Diamond, but to know that Diamond had caught sight of them, for the face withdrew the same moment. Again came the voice, calling "Diamond, Diamond;" and in jumped the star to its place.
Diamond called as loud as he could, right up into the sky:
"Here's Diamond, down below you. What do you want him to do?"
The next instant many of the stars round about that one went out, and many voices shouted from the sky,—
"Come up; come up. We're so jolly! Diamond! Diamond!"
This was followed by a peal of the merriest, kindliest laughter, and all the stars jumped into their places again.
"How am I to come up?" shouted Diamond.
"Go round the rose-bush. It's got its foot in it," said the first voice.
Diamond got up at once, and walked to the other side of the rose-bush.

George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind

Bob said...

The Ladder of Monks is a work by Guigo II, a Carthusian hermit of the 12th Century. It's one of the classics of Catholic theology.

T J Sawyer said...

Here is a similar ladder on one of the painted monasteries of Romania from the 16th-17th century. But note that the angels seem to be taking a much more active role in assisting the wretched climbers.


Guildofcannonballs said...

"Ladder" thereby intended to mean "lower."

"Vertial integration" has purposes unspoken here yet relevant.

Of course I retract any and all statements I've made concerning or approaching in any way the great Richard Feynman.

I overreacted expecting Feynmanians to understand: my bad.


Deb Whitehorse said...

Stairway to Lenin

Unknown said...

All religions teach one way or another to become good enough to climb the ladder to heaven, in Christianity God reaches down to us through Jesus Christ and brings us up to himself , and for this I am eternally grateful.