Consecutive Days Riding: 121 Days Blogged: 103
New Mileage: 4 Total Trip Mileage: 869
I find myself marveling at the multitude of places in which we find examples of spiritual diversity. I’ve often said if we simply open our eyes we will discover the amazing diversity that is all about us.
I pride myself on my ability to turn a 10-20 minute walk around the block into a series of spiritual poems, or a stroll along the river into a soul searching experience. Yesterday evening I was visiting my Facebook page to answer messages from new members to my widening circle. I started to peruse a site that I had joined entitled HEALING. I looked through the list of members and was drawn to the images they posted. The majority used portrait photos, a few used the nondescript outline of a human form. Others choose a vast array of symbolic images including planets, angels, artwork, and various religious symbols. Some choose portraits of animals, or scenes from nature. I was struck by the diversity and the symbolism.
I’ve spoken to the fact that pilgrimage journeys are most often undertaken to a special or sacred place. Other pilgrimage journeys are undertaken at specific times of the year or important times in a person’s life. But pilgrimages are also journeys that can be undertaken to seek answers or certain experiences. I would propose that cruising Facebook photo’s can represent just such a “minor” pilgrimage, if the goal is to find diverse expressions of spiritual symbolism.
What is the purpose behind or reason for so much diversity in images? It seems to me that the image we use maybe functional in several ways. First, the use of our photo may speak to a level of comfort with ourselves and an effort to be open and “up front” about who we are. The use of a portrait photo may be less troubling then the effort needed to identify a specific “important” spiritual belief. Some portraits may be chosen to advertise a person’s beauty, or convey a sense of mystery or intrigue. The use of a generic human form (the non-photo) may speak to a sense of caution or a need for safety.
What of the use of symbols? I suspect these may function like flags, they advertise an important component of a person’s belief system. Some people may feel comfortable elevating one feature of their identity or belief system to the forefront; others may be unwilling and/or unable to do so. These symbolic images may speak to the special significance of angels, particular deities, exercises like yoga, or nature for an individual. They may be “flown” like a banner to advertise an interest in meeting or connecting with “kindred souls.”
The quick review of this group’s site filled me with a sense of awe and wonder, like walking through a flower garden for the first time. It acted as a reminder of the diversity of ideas, beliefs and expressions in the world. Each of these images represents a mystery, an individual spiritual journey, a new and different path. By sharing and reaching out we widen our circle and encourage others to step forward and join the effort to find and promote spiritual connectedness.
Tomorrow we will visit the first of several pilgrimage sites in the Orlando area. I have classified it as a Unique Inspirational Site! What does that mean? Check out tomorrows posting.
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