12 Viditque in somnis scalam stantem super terram et cacumen illius tangens caelum angelos quoque Dei ascendentes et descendentes per eam.
Genesis 28 12
The well-known biblical account tells us that Jacob, one of the patriarchs of Israel, fleeing through the woods after facing his brother Esau. Night surprised when he stops, takes a stone as a pillow, sleeping and dreaming of a ladder resting on the earth whose top touches the heavens. Angels go up and down it.
The passage has given rise to countless cultural events and numerosísimas paintings, such as the catacomb of Via Latina, Raphael Sanzio, Rembrandt, Ribera, Michael Wilmann, William Blake, Marc Chagall and many others. Also there have been interpretations of Jacob's dream. Angels are going up and down a connection between up and down, between the upper and lower forces; They are evolution of biological life to spiritual life; bridge between heaven and earth; lifting and lowering ...
If we stay with the connection between up and down, we discovered that many pictorial forms (iconic or plastic) capable of displaying the union suggesting to look a tour of ascent and descent: trees, rain, mountains and jagged clouds, columns smoke, light beams, vertical forms, ramps, diagonal, horizontal zigzags and successive repetitions.
Below is the land where our weight and our step falls supports. Below our origin, our humus (the animal, the lower powers, irrational instinct) and also the imagined destination where we end up. Fango the beginning, root, home and belonging; also return, fall and destination.
By raising scrutinize look at the sky for something else, because not enough firm step and the land on which the passage says. Desire to climb that rises to our ancestor Homo erectus and raises his head, his intelligence and spirit, into the air kingdoms of the whole and the cosmos, in the desire to understand (with the development of their "higher powers") where is, what colossal magnitude part. More than anywhere else, the spirit world stands symbolically in the sky, in the clouds. Up growth, lightness, air, flight, light and its source: the sun.
This is not to overcome the opposition between up and down, but to move from one place to another, up and down. Without their ground, thinking may lose foot, rise and dissolve in soft abstractions. And conversely, it does not seem to be going too far to think that runs at ground level, crudely, unable to rise a foot off the ground to gain perspective. This is assuming the movement, perhaps uncomfortable or worked, up and down, without allowing the look and thought settle. It's not about looking (thinking) always loudly or softly, but modulate the voice of thought.
Trees, rain, mountains and jagged clouds, smoke columns, beams, vertical forms, ramps, diagonals, zigzags and successive iterations of horizontal ... invite us to raise the head (above ourselves) to search the distant and recline (below) to find the nearest. They invite us to go up and down, and down to lift us to affirm our vertical and seek our inclinations. It matters little if you never get anywhere, while the movement-and its perceptive increase keeps us in desire. What is life. Look but the monk Friedrich or dog Goya.
José Saborit Náquera 2018