When I think about faith and religion in general, its significance in somebody’s life is correlated to the devotion one has to its beliefs, way of life and deities that are worshipped. In my Christian upbringing I was taught that the devotion started on God’s side. He dedicated themselves first to us and gave everything for humankind, and that’s why I should devote myself in the same way to God and others. I have seen similar attitudes in other faiths, even though sometimes based on different theologies and inner drives, Faiths are not real unless there is dedication and consecration involved. Deities and gods become alive and real when a believer consecrates himself to it.
This triangle of ‘make’ belief, devotion and reality is tense and brimming with emotions. It touches on the ideas of what is real and not, what can we believe to be real from what we see, what are reflections and what is truth? In which sense can we believe the deities in whom we have put are trust to have devoted themselves just as much to us as we to them? Can we expect the same dedication from them as we are willing to give to them?
I went to this temple before having started with Assignment 2, but I do want to add the images to it, because I find it is a good reflection of the tension described above. Although it is a typical Hindu god and setting, the interplay of reality and fake, consecration and make belief are universal themes that come back in all religions. We see a man and woman reflected in the window, behind which a Shiva and an other goddess is standing. I think that the layers of past and present, real and fake and the urge to become like gods, even though they are fake, become clear and are effective in bringing the notion of faith and its implications across.
As you can see, I have done quite some heavy editing to get the effect that I wanted, but in black and white this becomes a bit less visible.