Work 666; The Beast

666 the beast
The Beast
c. Michael St.Mark 2011

Found fallen Ash tree root complex in woodland, Barnet.

Signed edition of 25 giclee prints 32 ” x 28″ on Ilford Pearl
£230 ( unframed)

Although the eye may immediately “see”  the protruding head of some terrible beast, in actuality the object is obviously merely knarled, weathered, partly charred wood.  The “beast” lies within us and is projected or imputed by the mind onto the object.
In similar fashion every day we project our hopes and fears onto external objects in the world, unconsciously judging strangers by how they look, even though in reality their actual character may bear no resemblance to our imaginings. Demonizing or worshiping impersonal forms or people are two extremes or sides of the same coin of delusion that are held dear by the ego ready to pronounce in judgement over others.
In the case of the mythology behind 666, “the number of the beast”, there is no evidence to back up the many extreme claims made over the centuries;  indeed, to the contrary…

Phillips Stevens Jr., an anthropologist at the University at Buffalo, suggests that the association of “666” with disasters, evil, doomsday scenarios, and the devil are based on a “widespread misinterpretation” of Revelation 13.

Professor Stevens said:

“Like most superstitions, the avoidance of the numbers 13 and 666 are examples of magical thinking. People everywhere believe that things associated with other things, through actual contact or just some similarity, have causal relationships even over space and time. Things associated with good events or great people can bring good fortune; things associated with failure, disastrous events or evil people carry some of that negativity with them.”
He suggests that the “number of the beast” in Revelation 13 does not refer to Satan, but to one of many beasts mentioned in that passage”

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LD archive website

6 thoughts on “Work 666; The Beast

  1. Pingback: Work No. 865; Call of the Wild II | LONDON DADA

  2. I’m listening to Mozart’s piano sonata number 16 at the time of viewing this and they don’t go together, I’ll have to try and find some Iron Maiden and then call back.

    Regards, Bradders


  3. Would I have looked at this gnarled old piece of wood and seen a beast if you hadn’t called it ‘the Beast’? ——-yes I probably would have because that is what it immediately looks like to the naked eye.

    I find it quite intriguing how we can look at an object and it will ‘become’ something different for different people——rather like ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ what appeals to one won’t to another etc.

    I think the mind is the most wonderful tool we have——and at times the worst! How can a thing so small be so powerful? It can give most of us the ability to see beauty in simple things such as raindrops on a spiders web, but for the minority it can cause them to commit heinous crimes!

    So many of us have superstitious thoughts, we were ‘brought up’ with them, the number 13, walking under ladders, breaking a mirror etc. They just come unbidden into our minds—-how do we break their potency? [even though we know they are rubbish—-touch wood!!] that is the problem.


    • I know what you mean Brianna; I often stumble across solitary Magpies on my walks and try not to remember sorrow.
      A few years ago I counted eight of the black & white blighters on the ground together. First thing I did on returning home was to search ” Eight for ? ” – just on the off-chance they were a warning or maybe a premonition of good fortune.
      The tradition of superstition still retains a fingertip hold on us; maybe because there is still so much we don’t understand in life – back in the middle ages mind, peoples’ entire lives were ruled by it, so progress has apparently been made…. but just in case you were wondering 😉

      8 for a wish.

      One for sorrow,
      Two for joy,
      Three for a girl,
      Four for a boy,
      Five for silver,
      Six for gold,
      Seven for a secret,never to be told,
      Eight for a wish,
      Nine for a kiss,
      Ten for a bird you must not miss.


    • ” The identity of the Great Whore has been the subject of speculation and discussion for centuries. And even though church groups differ as to who she is, almost all agree that she is a religious organisation which has prostituted itself for wealth, popularity and power.”

      Wonder which one they could possibly be pontificating about. hmmm.


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