Marina Abramovic: True Agape Love

Last night I watched a little known documentary: “The Artist Is Present.”

“The Artist Is Present,” is a 2010 retrospective of work by the artist Marina Abramovic performed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Let me start by saying this documentary is not a critical review of Ms. Abramovic’s life. Except for a brief Fox News clip, there were no dissenting views. Rather, the film gave me a view so riveting that it wasn’t until my meditation this morning that I began to fully  comprehend why hundreds of thousands lined up at the MoMA.

In a meditative marathon, she quietly locked eyes with patrons, seared past the veneer and reached deep into any soul willing to offer a view. Over the course of several months, the amount of emotional energy exchanged, face to face one at a time, was immense. The case clearly made through the captivated and crying museumgoers.

According to Ms. Abramovic, “Through performance, I found the possibility of establishing a dialogue with the audience through an exchange of energy, which tended to transform the energy itself. I could not produce a single work without the presence of the audience, because the audience gave me the energy to be able, through a specific action, to assimilate it and return it, to create a genuine field of energy.”

From both a Buddhist and Christian perspective, it is this energy, this chi that made the movie and the experience. After watching this film, I now understand why great leaders such as Christ, Buddha, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King and others were so effective at change. Each one of them was able to peel back the outer soul and see the humanity of another. There, in those powerfully brief moments, artist and patron became one, exchanged clemency and compassion.

Friends, this type of exchange, this compassion, is what Christ was all about. This level of love is what Buddha sought. Imagine if we could go home tonight and experience this type of deep dialogue with our spouse? What if one could tap into the pinnacle of Buddha, look into your child’s eye, and provide such profound compassion?

The depth found in this level of agape love lasts forever. And to paraphrase Christ (Matthew 28:20), it is the kind that ‘… is with you always, even unto the end of the age.”

Truly do that … in memory of Him.



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