What would Jesus do if he saw his death memorialized as art?

All failure begins with fear—especially fear of others.

You have fear of others judging your admirability or importance or excellence. Hearing that you or your work sucks cuts you like a knife. And so you try to avoid it at all costs. But this only ensures that you fail. You would rather truly fail by not even trying than “fail” by way of rejection. If no one says that you suck then you have a kind of victory.

In all of world mythology, Christianity is the most pictorial. It’s about betrayal, torture, humiliating execution by way of crucifixion, and then death. The central image is Christ Crucified.

Why not the empty tomb? Why not wear a pendant of an empty tomb? This would be happier and more consistent with Pauline Christianity, which is all about crucifixion and resurrection (as opposed to most of early Christianity, which cared about other things). Well, it’s because of marketing—in image of execution, like a photo of roadkill, is something irresistible for humans. (Violence and sex are the two things we’re wired to care the most about.)

The greatest move in image-manipulation history was when some artist depicted the wounded, cut, sunburned, naked, scourged, pounded, pierced, and hanging Jesus as blissful and smiling. What a shocking thing! Another shocking thing which we don’t consider much these days—the equally shocking public suicides by early Christians. Who can kill herself while smiling and mean it?

So Jesus on the cross laughing is perhaps the greatest mythological icon of all time. It’s a good antidote to stage fright. This is at least one way where being “Christ like” won’t make you sick, unlike being nice to sadistic assholes who enjoy hurting you. The laughing Christ crucified valorizes exposure, putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and joyfully embracing the pain of rejection and insult.

Remember: even Crowley took Parzival as his Adeptus Minor motto. Even Crowley. Actually, the spirit of crucifixion isn’t contrary to his system. He just eroticized it. There’s also Liber Cheth, which gives his psychological interpretation of the Holy Grail:

Thou shalt drain out thy blood that is thy life into the golden cup of her fornication. Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop. Then shall thy brain be dumb, and thy heart beat no more, and all thy life shall go from thee; and thou shalt be cast out upon the midden, and the birds of the air shall feed upon thy flesh, and thou bones shall whiten in the sun. Then shall the winds gather themselves together, and bear thee up as it were a little heap of dust in a sheet that hath four corners, and they shall give it unto the guardians of the abyss. And because there is no life therein, the guardians of the abyss shall bid the angels of the winds pass by. And the angels shall lay thy dust in the City of Pyramids, and the name thereof shall be no more.