From ancient times, when it came to the word “cultivation” people would always think of the mysterious East and not understand the depth of cultivation. … In fact, for over thousands of years, the West has also been compiling a massive record of cultivation experiences for returning to the heavenly world and tells of countless miracles manifesting in the human world that have influenced literature and the arts.
When Jesus was preaching during his ministry on earth, out of his compassion, he used his many supernatural abilities for healing and easing pain and loss for humans, rather than for showing off his power and abilities.
There were also people who were curious about supernatural abilities and came to see Jesus and were very impressed.
The true story about St. Joseph of Cupertino floating in the air at the pilgrimage site Basilica of Loreto of Christianity was portrayed in paintings by Ludovico Mazzanti in the 18th century.
Saint Joseph of Cupertino/Ludovico Mazzanti (1686-1775). (Public Domain/United States Public Domain tag)
This had remained puzzling to many scientists but it was gradually explained later when the results of a study on six recognized supernatural abilities was widely acknowledged. But it is not a new topic in the true world of cultivation.
The painting “Ascension of Christ” by Albrecht Altdorfer (1527) shows the resurrection of Jesus three days after his crucifixion. The gloomy cave that was Jesus’s tomb glowed, when suddenly the stone covering the entrance rolled away and Jesus was then seen ascending into the air. The scene of the tomb opening and the beam of light emanating from inside signifies the ascension of Christ. The witnesses of the event, which were the guards beside the tomb were all left in amazement with one even falling to the ground and looking up to Jesus.
The painting “Ascension of Christ” by Albrecht Altdorfer (1527). (Public Domain)
Jesus’s resurrection is not only the resurrection of the flesh body on earth, but also represents the true resurrection of the soul.
This is a testimony of Jesus‘s teaching of removing the desires of the flesh, and at the same time affirms that suppression or persecution of faith cannot kill the soul of enlightened beings.
“The Assumption of the Virgin” is a fresco by the Late Renaissance Italian artist Antonio da Correggio that decorates the dome of the Cathedral in Parma, Italy.
Below God, the uncorrupt Virgin in red and blue robes is lifted by a vortex of singing angels. Ringing the base of the dome, between the windows, stand the perplexed Apostles, as if standing around the empty tomb in which they had just placed her. In the group of the blessed can be seen: Adam and Eve, and Judith with the head of Holofernes. At the center of the dome is a foreshortened beardless Jesus descending to meet his mother.
The Assumption of the Virgin/Correggio. (Wikipedia Commons)
Another painting by Francisco de Herrera el Jove (1622-1685) artist portrays the ascension of a saint:
The painting depicts a saint holding a crucifix with a steady gaze and solid faith. He is surrounded by welcoming angels singing joyously in heaven while the people look up astonished and shaken by the scene. Their hands on their foreheads suggest an exclamation: It’s unbelievable!. The tone shows the stark contrast between heaven and the world. Heaven is painted in bright, pure color, while the human world is depicted with dark and gloomy color.
The meaning of an enlightened being demonstrating supernormal abilities
Enlightened beings rarely demonstrate their supernormal abilities before humans. So each time when their super powers are manifest it carries a specific message they want to convey.
Humans are actually lost in a maze. On life’s journey, they harbor a lot of desire and self-interest, which is really very burdensome.
But people kept trying to acquire them out of their uncontrolled greed. They pursue fame, money, and to whet their desires thereby causing sins. Thus, then they have to pay for all the sins they have committed.
‘The Last Judgment’ (1536–1541) – Michelangelo’s painting on the wall of Sistine Chapel. (Wikipedia Commons)
When their desires are fulfilled, they crave even more, thinking it will bring them eternal happiness. The magnificent scenes of heaven unfold the joy and happiness of heavenly beings. It is an unimaginably glorious realm and it carries a message to humans that they should take lightly their desires, greed, and bad habits to be able to ascend to that realm.
The saviors including Jesus, and Eastern Buddhists like Shakiyamuni descended to this world out of a desire to save humans. They existed in human form, and preached to awaken humans. On their salvation journey, the suffering that they bore was actually atonement for all the sins that humans have committed. Humans don’t usually see their super powers, and, thus, dare to be disrespectful or even do harm to them. However, with their boundless compassion, the saviors still insist on awakening people and guiding them to the realm of eternal compassion and happiness.
Since humans are lost in delusion, paintings depicting the superpowers of enlightened beings and the glories heaven have given humans a flicker of hope. By following the saviors’ teachings, people would be able to ascend to heaven. It is truly the message that saviors wish to convey to the generations and generations of humankind.