Each of us has wondered at some time or another about what happens when we die.\nToo many questions that have no answers.\nAnd then along come the religious bosses \u2013 part of some organisation \u2013 who have us believe that THEY know the answer. An answer that is not to be questioned further or tested by logic. If they all had the same answer it might be that somehow their affiliation to an organisation confers upon them some insight privy only to some secret society \u2013 and it might have ben easy to believe the answers they offer.\nBUT the fact is that each organisation comes up with a different answer. And since none of them is more convincing than the other \u2013 this question remains open in my mind.\nAnd I remain a curious questioner rather than a believer \u2013 since nothing seems to offer a \u2018total\u2019 explanation / solution for all aspects of life.\nBut in the meanwhile it is interesting to read about the next theory and the next answer proposed by groups that I am only now encountering.\nFor, in the field of knowledge the truth is not decided by the\u00a0 \u2018number of votes\u2019 \u2013 the ayes and nays that it can garner. The size of the flock of \u2018believers\u2019 is irrelevant in concluding whether the conjecture holds up to logic & reality and proves it to be a fact.\nBut the politics of religions is a digression.\nComing back to the theories and the diversity of these theories, I came across the Yao religion which is an offshoot of the Taoist philosophy practiced by the Mien or Yao people an ethnic minority in China that also spread out to Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.\n\nMien or Yao Taoist paintings are religious, not decorative. Each has a ritual function and is considered the abode of the gods. During the one to two months it takes to complete a set of paintings, the artist works in an atmosphere of religious devotion and ceremonial purity. When the work is finished, the painter himself \u2018opens the eyes\u2019 of each character according to the Chinese custom for consecrating Taoist icons. The Mien Taoist tradition goes further and also requires a priest to perform a ceremony that introduces the gods to the paintings. Priests then display the set of paintings in a certain order to play a part in ceremonies. At other times, they are rolled and stored up in a box hanging near the domestic altar.\nOne such work of art is the Dragon Bridge:\n\u00a0\nThe Dragon Bridge of the Great Tao \u2013\u00a0 Tom To Luang Tsiou,\nThe processionals scroll painting serves as a bridge that connects this world with the supernatural worlds. The dragon bridge, a long paper scroll, is used in ceremonies and serves as a bridge that connects this world with the supernatural worlds and symbolises a communication line to the other world.\nFeatured in such Dragon Bridge paintings are\n\u2013 The God of the Soil and his assistant stand under a shrine at the far left.\n\u2013 Standing to the right of the shrine are priests welcoming the gods.\n\u2013 The sacrificial table separates the living from the deities illustrated in the other paintings.\n\u2013 Orderlies\n\u2013 the Twelve Immortal Maidens\n\u2013 the Seven Stars stand in front of the sedan chair carrying the deceased\u2019s soul\n\u2013\u00a0 An orchestra\n\u2013 Tai Wai on his white horse leading the major gods\n\u2013 The Celestial Worthies or Pure Ones sitting in oxcarts at the end of the scroll.\nSome day I hope to spend more time to understand the Yao philosophy that has survived several centuries (13th century? if my understanding is correct) but today\u00a0 is practiced by a very small group!\n\nMore images of this amazing work of art may be viewed here on wovensouls,com\n\u00a0\nREFERENCE: \u201cYao Ceremonial Paintings\u201d by Jacques Lemoine\nMUSEUM PRESENCE:\n1. Haffenreffer Museum of Art, Brown University\n2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art\n\u00a0\njm\nMay 2, 2015\n\u00a0\nThe post Across the Universe \u2013 A Bridge to the Other World appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.