Separation of Light and Darkness: Another Esoteric Message from Michelangelo

by Joshua Tilghman on July 8, 2013

separation of light and darknessAbout eight months ago I wrote a post entitled, The Sistine Chapel Ceiling: The Secret in Plain Site, about Michelangelo’s esoteric message within his painting, The Creation of Adam. In that painting Michelangelo conveys the idea that God is manifested through the human brain. It appears he has hidden similar esoteric messages within multiple paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Another painting which clearly portrays this same idea is called, The Separation of Light and Darkness. On this painting God is seen separating light from darkness with his outstretched hands and arms. But something is amiss: if you look closely at God’s neck, there are multiple unnatural bulges which appear completely out of place. In fact, art critics have argued about what these bulges mean for hundreds of years.

R. Douglas Fields wrote an article for Scientific American (found here) where he addresses the fact that Ian Suk and Rafael Tamargo originally saw the connection and wrote about it in a scientific journal called Neurosurgery. They argue that the odd-looking lumps and overall disfigurement of God’s neck is in factMichelangelo spinal cord the human brain stem. But that’s not all! They even argue that part of his beard above the neck contains the temporal lobe of the brain, the images 3medulla oblongata, and Optic Chiasm. Finally, there is a fold in the robe of God which would not occur in natural fabric; rather, this fold represents the human spinal cord ascending up to the brain stem.

If you look at these pictures carefully, the resemblance is undeniable. So why do I mention Field’s article from Scientific America?

It is amazing to me that the same scientists who are brilliant enough to notices these hidden images within the painting cannot understand their true esoteric significance. At one point in the article the author of the Scientific American Piece, himself a neuroscientists, speaks about the tension between Michelangelo and the Catholic Church brought about by the fact that Michelangelo believed that one could communicate with God directly instead of needing a priest. He states:

“Perhaps the meaning in the Sistine Chapel is not of God giving intelligence to Adam, but rather that intelligence and observation and the bodily organ that makes them possible lead without the necessity of the church directly to God.”

While anyone who believes in the inner path would agree with Dr. Fields’ overall statement, the above falls short of the true message Michelangelo was trying to convey: that God and man are one! Another way to put it would be that when we communicate with God, we are communicating with the highest aspect of our true self. If this is what Dr. Fields understands, he surely doesn’t make it clear in his article. Instead he emphasizes the rift between Michelangelo and the church based on their religious differences. It’s almost as if he is saying that Michelangelo went through all the trouble to hide these anatomical structures in the paintings to, well…stick it to the Catholic Church!

Personally, I don’t think so. Michelangelo was a master artists that knew exactly what he was doing. He was concealing one of the most important messages EVER given to humans: Beneath the cloak of our outer appearances, man and God are truly one! I also believe that he knew a true initiate into the deeper mysteries of existence and consciousness, namely people who are not unlike many of the readers of this blog, would be able to see it for what it was.

To answer the question of the skeptics who are also reading this blog, I believe we can be sure that Michelangelo was actually making the statement that God and man are one in this painting for more than a few reasons.

Michelangelo brain paintings First of all he shows specific human anatomical structures within the body of God—i.e., the human spinal cord and middle, inner portion of the brain. It is these same anatomical structures within this painting that esoteric traditions claim are the direct vehicles to enlightenment; the spinal column is the energy conduit through which kundalini ascends, ending in specific portions of the brain where it opens the 6th and 7th chakras.

Now consider the fact that God has these anatomical structures in a painting where he is separating light from darkness. God is not creating Adam here, something which the Bible depicts him doing on the sixth day. He is carrying out the supreme act of a universal creator, something which the Bible depicts him doing on the first day—separating light from darkness! Why would Michelangelo give God these specific human anatomical structures other than for the fact that man and God have within themselves the same ability? Those of the inner faith understand that man has the ability to shine the true light of his inner self or to hide it under the mask and darkness of the ego. And it is the ascension of kundalini up the spinal cord and into the third ventricle of the brain where the ego can be transcended so that our true light can shine.

Last but not least, if Michelangelo were simply making the statement that man can communicate with God directly, why include the spinal column and those specific areas of the brain? Why not hide the anatomical structures of speech within God’s neck?

I do recommend going to Dr. Fields original article in Scientific America that I have already linked to at the beginning of the article. He makes some strong points and his writing is excellent. But Dr. Fields makes the same mistake as so many other intellectuals within the scientific community: he uses reason and logic to try and understand the inner mysteries of the heart!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

winfred September 8, 2015 at 12:04 pm



M&M December 6, 2016 at 7:23 am

Or yet again, the message might be that the fabric of God’s words, are nothing but the observations of men’s senses?


Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2017 at 10:02 pm

True, but the framework of all of the scriptures taken together and the brilliance in which they are written and how it relates the human experience tells me otherwise.


Vinícius Otaviano June 27, 2017 at 11:09 am

Joshua, you’ve stated in some previous articles, regarding the stair to heaven as Jacob’s seen it being involution and evolution process. Do you think that in the same way that we are trying to ascend in that stair, there are others consciously descending it, I mean, deliberately doing it, being aware as they go down? People who are evolved in the intellect, understand how energy works, are aware of morality, but choose not to be moral?


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