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What tales do dead symbols tell?

by Staraj on March 16, 2013   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

I don't consider myself "religious" because I don't know what that term means universally — the generic dictionary definition, notwithstanding. Nevertheless, I will occasionally quote certain passages from the Bible or other similar sources, if I find wisdom in the words.

As I assume is true for most of us, I've had Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon missionaries repeatedly ring the front doorbells of the homes in the various states where I've put down stakes. Though I'm no angel (no pun intended), I am not the type to slam the door in the faces of these folks, who I believe are good intentioned. Thus, in every instance, I have genially accepted their literature; and if I truly had time, invited them in for what I considered a philosophical chat.

The flyer shown above was dropped off yesterday by Witnesses. It's not very different from the multitudes I've been given many times before. However, the questions and the image on this one really made me ponder: Indeed, who is THIS man? Anybody? Nobody? A sketched made-up somebody who could be the twin of a famous real body from history? Absent YouTube and other social media 20 centuries prior, we don't have a visual record of that body walking on water, raising the dead, and blowing his flock's minds in sundry other ways. All done with perfectly coiffed hair and beard.

Assuming there lived such a body, he apparently told some fascinating and inspirational tales during his lifetime. And fascinating and inspirational tales have been told ABOUT his lifetime. Some are likely, shall we say, "vertically impressive". We are free to speculate about the veracity of the tales that have been and continue to be told. We are free to embrace or shun the symbols that illustrate those tales. Inanimate symbols. Animate symbols.

Tales and symbols. Can religions exist without them? Moreover, what would the whole of humanity's existence be without them? Tales and symbols.


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