“It’s a strange dualistic symbol. Basically, it’s a torture instrument. To me, Jesus stands for humanity. So this man is nailed to the torture instrument, totally helpless, in deep suffering. At that point comes total surrender to what is. “Not my will, but thy will be done.” At that point, the symbolic significance of the cross is changed from being a torture instrument to a symbol of the divine.
So what it points to is that the very thing that seems to stand in the way of realizing who you are. The very suffering that comes with being here in this physical realm—because eventually some form of suffering comes to everybody—can become an opening into that which we call the divine. If you’re lucky, disaster comes before the physical form is lost and the psychological form dissolves.
This sometimes happens through extreme suffering, when people lose everything, or they find out they don’t have much more time to live. So they are faced with extreme disaster which cannot be explained away.”
This is a short post and I suppose you can call it self promoting because I want to encourage people to visit our etsy store, LA CASA DE ROSAS/The House of Roses. We just added a couple of crosses and more hearts.
But there are some things I want to say aside from that.
Being perfectly honest, I have never liked the cross as a symbol. I have not wanted to believe or think that someone, anyone died for my sins..that’s a pretty heavy feeling of guilt. I remember being at some of the workshops Elisabeth Kubler-Ross held at monasteries such as The Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside California and often.. … some of the Catholics in the group would attempt to cover the crucifixes in the workshop room… with sheets. I think they were expressing the same feeling: these Christian/Catholic teachings had caused them suffering, they had not brought peace or transcendence. And, as well, the cross has brought suffering to others especially the Native American/First Nations People.
But I can understand and relate to what Eckhart Tolle is saying in the quote above: that suffering, if surrendered to, can become the opening, the doorway to the divine. In my work with death and dying I have seen so many examples of this. So with this explanation, I can appreciate the cross as a symbol.
I live in a very tiny, very rural, old world Hispanic community in the mountains of northeastern New Mexico….
This is where life has taken me. The community is almost 100 percent Catholic and the old traditions are still practiced.
My partner, Jody Armijo [the Brown Piglet in this blog] was raised in this community and his art reflects his culture and his upbringing. As an artist friend once said “It’s in his DNA.”
Living here in this community I have come to appreciate the traditions though I don’t participate in them directly.
Jody’s art not only reflects his culture but also his own journey from darkness into light.
I was listening to a talk the other day on Shamanic Art. I’m not sure what Shamanic art is but I like this explanation:
“Being aware of the crisis that humanity and the world are facing, the artist makes artwork directed at the development of personal and collective higher consciousness and healing….” !Grey, Alex. The Mission of Art. Boston: Shambhala, 2001.
That’s really the intention behind Jody’s artwork though he wouldn’t be able to express it in words…..his crosses, hearts and altars are meant for healing, for transcendence.
“ I meditate at it [my altar] daily. The altar is in a place where I walk by and stop numerous times a day and send positive thoughts.”
~Irene / Former Research Nurse Coordinator at UT Health Science Center at Houston
“I put my heart next to my bed to remind me of the love GOD has for all of us.”
~Connie, Caregiver Houston,Texas
The heart is hanging over the top of the urn with Milagro’s ashes. It’s placed on my altar…..I want to take my time when & where his ashes will be buried. I usually buy a solar powered garden angel & I will hang the heart from the angel & Milagro’s ashes will be buried below.
~Stephanie/ Director Wanagi Wolf Rescue Albuquerque, NM
Jody, I treasure my two hearts, so keep creating them, because I will keep on buying them.
~Nancy / Director, Utopia Rescue Ranch, Medina, Tx.
I appreciate his crosses because they are not somber but painted with beautiful colors and he makes them with such love and care. Someone once told me that for everything, there needs to be an equal exchange however that may be. In this case, these art pieces which bring hope, beauty, transcendence etc. are exchanged for money and the process continues.
So please visit LA CASA DE ROSAS. “ART IS LIFE” and it is a lot of what keeps us going here.
And my usual request:
If you want to contribute to the continuation of this blog, you can on my gofundme page. There are many stories on that page about how I arrived at where I am today BUENO AND THANK YOU. PS I am still trying to bring enough money together to replace my solar batteries..so we can have electricity here. We need it! Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed! I still need to raise about $3000.