|Confidence in things unseen|
Today is important because of Faith. Today is Epiphany, the day Christians believe the 3 Magi found the Christ-child Jesus, after responding to an Angel's instructions and following a bright star which led them to the manger in Bethlehem. The Magi worshiped the infant as their King, and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. To this day, approximately 2015 years later, Christians still celebrate this day, the Twelfth day of the Christmas Season, with gifts and special food and drink with loved ones.
|Firmness, commodity, and delight|
Today is also important because of Art. January 6th at 6:03 pm can be written as 1/6 18:03, and this series of numbers (more specifically 1.61803) has been a very significant number in art and architecture since the time of ancient Greece. As a student of Architecture, I learned about the "ideal proportion" of 1.61803 to 1. This proportion has been called the Golden Ratio, the Golden Section, and the Golden Mean.
The Golden Ratio is often symbolized using the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet, phi, a circle with a vertical slash. The letter is similar to theta, a circle with an horizontal slash. Our words for Philosophy (philo-sophy or love of wisdom) and Theology (theo-logy or the study of God) come from Greek. People often use the Greek letters phi and theta to represent the subjects of Philosophy and Theology. If you look closely, you will probably find a letter phi on this page. It's part of my blog's name!
|Love conquers all|
Finally, today is important because of Love. January 6th, 2015 marks the one month anniversary of my brother's death. I miss him very much--so much so, that my emotions are still very close to the surface. My grief and sense of loss has been compounded by the holiday season and the expectation of Joy, Hope, Peace, and Love that crash hard against the stark reality of loves lost.
The great Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis remarked in the journal he wrote as he cared for his dying wife, A Grief Observed, that love is a form of torture for humans. He finally found the love of his life, only to have her taken away by a fatal disease. The depth of his profound grief was a testament to the heights of his magical love. He got a glimmer of ideal love, only to have it snatched away. December 2014 was rough like that for me, too.
Of course, our human attempts at the perfect love often fall short of ideal, even short of the proxy described by C.S. Lewis. We are casual when we should be closer, and we cling when we should give slack. Jealousy and disappointment occur when our egos get involved. Ideally, love transcends these human limitations. And by "ideally," I mean both the ideal we can imagine in our dreams, and the ideal that actually exists beyond human comprehension.
I do not see perfect love as a mutually exclusive, one-or-the-other, all-or-nothing deal. I am not threatened or diminished if the people who love me also love others--even if they love the others more than they love me. Similarly, I do not expect to find only one target for all of my expressions of love. When we are in a state of perfect love (i.e., when I see Todd again, as I promised him I would every time we said goodbye) I do not imagine there will be any quibbling or petty jealousy. Now that Todd is gone from this earth I will not see him again until I meet him in perfect love.
|Lean into the mystery|
Until then, the task of the living is to lean into each moment with openness to the possibilities and awareness of the eternal and universal power of Faith, Art, and Love. Dear reader, may you find that blend of Philosophy and Special Effects that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary--and having found it, may you hold it, if only briefly, and having held it may you treasure it.
And so may we all.
January 6th, at 1803 (6:03 pm) is a most auspicious moment. Thank you for sharing it with me and helping me keep it sacred.
If you enjoyed this, please have a look at these related posts:
- My annual ode to phi published earlier today: Putting the Phi in PhilosFX
- Here is my post from 1/6 last year: Cancer and the True Meaning of Life
- And here is the post from 1/6/2011: Phi Day 1.61803