This was the first masking design I did of this complicated nature roughly two years ago. I was going through a difficult period with some heartbreak, loss, starting over, and letting go, when this new form of finishing my ceramic work unexpectedly developed one evening. 

A consistent theme running throughout my work is birth. It's primarily about giving birth to what is within an individual. In hindsight, it seems obvious and appropriate the first design would resemble the feminine: pregnant with unknown contents with the inevitable period of birthing comes about. If it doesn't, it weighs down and eventually destroys. 

Men, too, are capable of giving birth, but that is of a different substance. A man must be tuned into himself, connected to his emotions, connected to his inner feminine. It is a reference to the work of C.G. Jung. And although this concept isn't taught in this day and age, I
believe it to be true, based on my own experience.  

I consider the Women's Movement, and it is alive and strong, a righteous response to the Patriarchal systems of oppression. Yet, forget that Men have been victims of the Patriarchy also. It is why it has continued for so long. 

What of the Men's Movement; the movement where Men learn in real time to be tuned into their emotional/spiritual Selves? It happens when men are taught how to deal with and process their emotional and physical shame, fear, and trauma, learning to love themselves from the inside out, and abandoning the idea that their inherent value is upon achievement in the arenas of Sex, Money, & Power.

Generally, men are not taught how to be centered in our own unique being. Control Comes from Fear. Men are afraid of themselves. They are afraid of the unknown, the intuitive, the emotional, the "feminine."  For emotional and spiritual intelligence comes not out of the logical and dualistic mind, but up out of the depths from within, underneath the surface in a place few of us have come to understand, down in the circular space below.  

The long-winded tendency towards bondage and subjugation of Women is a direct result of the Fear and repressed trauma which resides within Men. The double standard is real. Men have been bought and sold by the Patriarchy just as much as any woman, but with different scales, and for different uses, yet pain and subsequent fear is universal. All human beings have experienced manipulation and control from unknown exterior forces. 

There is no exterior substitute for a mystical experience of ones own divine nature which blooms forth from within.  This world is a mess because humanity continually searches for meaning in exterior things. The endless consumption never ceases. Humanity is stuck in a rut of routine, constantly consuming, seeking more and more of more. Are people all nothing more than maggots on a carcass called Earth? 

I think not. We are beginning to wake up, though this process takes real time and intention.  

Thankfully, Women are beginning to break free and respond to these injustices, yet the false assumption remains that to that Men are already free from injustice.  Men do not know themselves. When men learn to go within there will the inner education begin. A new generation might then stand up and refuse to contribute to more pain and trauma and subsequent control. 

What might change if we all began to make decisions out of love, rather than fear? How might we change the world if we started teaching emotional and spiritual practices which center the individual human being to the same universal truths that all healthy religious practices seek to communicate to the Spirit within, yearning to manifest in exterior art.

It is our collective responsibility to the unborn that we face these issues as a race of humanity. We must stop separating ourselves based on our differences, but learn to accentuate our commonly shared beauty. The future begins to change today. We much learn to be present to the moment at hand, attending and fighting for peace, healthy, beauty and love. 

It's about learning how to love ourselves as we are in this moment, so we might learn to have compassion for our fellow humans who are also in pain, fighting daily battles within themselves. Things won't change until you begin the hard work of becoming who you already are in the world. 

It's a daily process. I understand it's difficult. It will surprise you though. I hope you'll stay open. I'm learning to do the same. 

Thanks for reading. 

Much Love. 

 - Jon -