Breath of Fresh Water
I was inspired to paint this image, based on a getaway at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Laguna Beach, CA, where there were fish swimming in a pond.
One of the thoughts behind this painting is the value of breath. Fish live in a bubble called water, which they probably have no clue of; and humanity lives in a bubble called air, which we seldom pay attention to. Similar to how fish can only breathe and survive under water, we human beings can only survive with fresh air. This concept has to do with awareness and appreciation for our breath. We often fail to recall this fact unless we are reminded, for example, when traveling to outer space; or on a more negative note, when a child or an elderly person is experiencing asthma, and is gasping for air. These scenarios serve as a wake-up call. Like the fish, we often tend to forget about the blessings that we rely on to survive; the unnoticed “small” things in life are what we depend on so much. According to the famous author Louise Hay, “The only thing we have is our breath”.
Furthermore, a conscious effort of deep breathing is actually an exercise that connects us to the Divine. As the famous yoga instructor Kisen in his book “Yoga Pure and Simple” states, “Science reveals that when we breathe, we are actually inhaling light, solar energy. If we can actualize this truth, we can begin to establish a deeper intimacy with the life force and, consequently, the instrument through which it shines.” Actually without a soul in our body, there would be no breath. According to a deeper understanding by Michael Berg, a well known kabbalist of our time, every day our soul yearns to leave the body especially if we are doing negative actions, but the Creator begs the soul to go back to the body in order to give us another chance to transform our selfish nature to becoming our perfected version; for us to give without any personal agenda. For more clarity on this subject, please watch the following video clip by Michael Berg:
Another point I have utilized in this scene is a soul mate connection, because each of the fish are with their other half; except for the 2 fish that haven’t yet discovered each other, but may possibly do so. I used one of the 72 names of God, which is “Shin Alef Hei”, for “attracting the one”. Here each fish has a counterpart, which represents the idea that usually everyone in the world has a soulmate, which at the right time can connect. According to the Zohar, in the section of Lech Lecha (volume 3), we usually need to earn our other half (and there are secrets on how to do that). Note, an in-depth study of reincarnation explains that a soulmate is not necessarily limited to only a romantic relationship; it can also be a business partner, a mentor, a good friend, a parent, child, or siblings, etc. For further reading on this subject, refer to kabbalist Rav Berg’s book “Wheels of a Soul”.
In addition, I like to portray spiritual teachings I have studied and apply them through imagery. In certain cases, I have applied numerology in a symbolic way to portray a certain message. For instance, in total, there are 10 fish in the pond, which represent the 10 dimensions (sefirot) of our universe. This concept is discussed at length in kabbalistic literature, and is confirmed by science in the Superstring Theory of modern day physics. The Superstring Theory states that space-time has 10 dimensions, which means that the universe is comprised of these 10 powerful energies. These 10 levels are known in the ancient book of the Zohar as “Sefirot”. It is always inspiring to see science concurring with ancient spiritual knowledge. For more information on this subject, read the following article: