Symbols convey meaning.
The Passover Seder table is filled with symbolic food, a bitter herb, an egg, unleavened bread.
Cultural myths develop out of years of shared meaning through story and symbol and collective celebration and practice.
Religion has carried the symbology for the deep inner journey for millennia, but so has artistic expression. Artists actually deal in the realm of the mythic, and when we come together for a dance or music concert or a play, there is rich inner symbolism which is activated. Conscious artists, like conscious shamans, know the power of their tools and use them for good. The idea- in a perfect world- is to use the symbols to touch the depths of our being in a positive way toward creating catharsis and conditions for transformation for the audience. But cultural artists have used music and pageantry to lead people into mass action which may or may not be constructive as well. I remember taking pictures of my brother’s graduation from NYU, and every time the music swelled, I snapped a shot! I was literally hypnotized by the music! We laughed for years at some of weird shots I took that day.
Palm Sunday in the Christian tradition is rich in symbolism. The choice, by Jesus, of an animal of peace, a donkey, for his entry into Jerusalem for Passover said many things to the gathered crowds. Because the symbolism of that choice was probably present in the psyches of many of the people who greeted Jesus, they “got” the point in a way which we may not today. They cried “Hosanna!” which means “Save Us!” and they were hoping Jesus was going to save them from Roman rule. Palm fronds are a symbol of victory, and it was common to “cover’ the path of important personages. So the path was covered with a symbol of victory. Today we “cover” the path of our celebrities with a Red Carpet! It is the same idea.
But Jesus was trying to make a different statement about his mission. He may have planned to overturn Roman rule, but one would doubt that a military takeover would be his method. He rode in on a colt/donkey…which said ‘Peace” to all who could read the sign.
What do you say about yourself through the symbols of your dress, your language, who you hang out with? As Emerson said, “Who you are is yelling so loud, I can’t hear what you say to the contrary.”
For the next two weeks we have some very special events to share with you all. This Sunday we are celebrating the final Sunday of The Season for Nonviolence. What a great Season this has been! After the service we will have refreshments in the session room, as we set up for our wonderful closing event, a showing of the film “For the Seventh Generation- The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers” This is a do not miss event. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the Producer, Carole Hart, and there are special guests who will also bless us before the film showing. Then afterward, we will again gather for refreshments and fellowship in the Session Room.
Then of course the next week is going to be an amazing day as well…Passover/Easter/Solstice/Resurrection Day! The Arts will be a huge part of this day, Rev. Ingrid and I will be sharing the message…Check out Jeremy’s blog to see what you have to look forward to. Please do not miss it.
Sending love and light to all in this sacred time,
See you Sunday,