Monday, June 19, 2006
Have you ever thought-- somewhere there is a magic symbol, which if you find it will unlock the secrets of life? Or if not all of life, at least those of your own? Do you make it a practice to look for symbols? A rose bloomed and it was the anniversary of some special event and therefore it had significance beyond any other rose? Or a dragonfly stayed beside you and dragonflies always show up with certain events in your life?
This week-end I finally saw The DaVinci Code which I enjoyed. The strongest feeling I came away with was the importance for each of us of understanding symbols in the world and our personal lives.
The week before, I had glanced through a book by a woman who claims to contact the souls of people on the other side of the veil. There is a television show about her. She, like many others who claim the same thing, believes most often when a spirit attempts to communicate, it's through the use of meaningful symbols.
Whether we have any interest in reaching someone who has died (or even believe we should), the importance of understanding our own personal symbols is important in dream work. Yes, you can use a book that interprets general dream meanings; but it might say a black bird in a dream is an omen of death and for you it's a nursery rhyme that was always sung to you.
There are certain universal symbols, which the beginning of The Da Vinci Code pointed out are often interpreted differently in different cultures. So a swastika is a sign of Hitler but it also shows up in Native American petroglyph sites with an entirely different significance.
As a creative person, symbols have meaning to me and I try to incorporate them into my work when I can. Some years ago, I was told by a psychic that someday my sculpture would use sacred geometry, which would be used for healing work. After that, I studied sacred geometry off and on, found it interesting, used some of it in a manuscript I wrote (as yet unpublished), but it has never flowed for me in my sculpture.
Whenever I have the opportunity to visit a Native American petroglyph site, such as the Anasazi one above in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, I feel I am touching on sacred ground. I try to think what the meaning might be or was intended to be. I wonder at the one who created it and what they felt, what they hoped to accomplish through their symbols.
The Da Vinci Code mainly raised questions for people to consider. I did not see it as putting down the foundation of Christianity but suggesting people question what they know for themselves (in relationships, religion and anything else).
There was one element in the movie that was stronger, to me, than in the book. It has been a few years since I read the book; so maybe I am wrong. It explored how people can believe by punishing themselves for God, they are pleasing him and attaining spiritual perfection. Beat the body and you perfect the soul, prove the strength of your character, or atone for sin. This idea is in many spiritual traditions-- not just Christianity.
Incidentally, I was surprised to find I liked Tom Hanks in the lead role. After having read the book, I didn't see him as Robert Langdon, but the characters were mostly vehicles in both book and film for moving from one symbol to another. They were where events could unfold as well as be digested. With lots of fast-paced action, there was limited time for interaction between them.
The film left me wondering what personal symbols should I be more aware of? Am I walking around missing too much? I believe, we can all go through life on different levels of awareness from just living to what some call enlightened living. Although now and again things will nudge us or even give us a shove, in the end, it is our choice.