Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter!

A stomach thing came up and prevented me from walking down to Bundang today, so I'm sheltering in place, if you will, and am about to work on two cooking projects. A Happy Easter to those of you who are Easterites. Ah, yes: the facetious term "Easterite" reminds me: I finally looked up the meaning of a symbol I had seen crop up years ago, when I was still on Twitter:

I kept seeing this alongside certain people's screen names, and while I was idly curious about it and suspected it might be Arabic, I didn't bother to do any research until a couple days ago. It turns out that this is the Arabic letter nūn, which is the equivalent of our "N." In the Muslim world, the Arabic N designates a Nazarene, i.e., a Christian. So there may be a political dimension to the usage of this letter: it is arguably a show of defiance against Muslims to proclaim oneself a Christian.

Can't say I'm all that Christian these days. I actively avoid church, and I'm pretty sure my belief system has evolved so far eastward that I'm more of a Zennie (a watered-down Zennie) than a Christian. At best, I'm a sociological Christian in the sense that, if I were to step into a church, I'd immediately know what to do, i.e., "church culture" is still a part of me. I certainly don't believe in a literal, physical resurrection, but I do think that the Easter story has a powerful moral and symbolic import that can be shared with and internalized by anyone.

Think of Easter as representing new beginnings, and don't think of it as being located exclusively at this point on the calendar: Easter, a bit like what they say about the spirit of Christmas, can be all year long. It's a state of mind, I'd say, not a historical event. Whatever the actual event was, when Jesus was crucified, feel free to use that remote point in history as a way to focus, anchor, and orient your thoughts and feelings about who you are and where you are now in life, about who or what ultimate reality is, and how you relate to it/Him/Her. But realize that new beginnings are constantly occurring—not just from season to season or from month to month, but from moment to moment. Many Hindus take a similar metaphysical view: every moment is a simultaneous destruction and creation of the whole universe. The new gives way to the new.

So in that spirit, with spring now springing in the northern hemisphere, I wish you all a Happy Easter. May your new beginnings set you on a path to happiness and fulfillment.

Now wish me luck as I try to bake some actual bread.

1 comment:

John Mac said...

I do believe it was this Easter post of yours from 2005 that made me a fan and regular reader of the Big Hominid.

Thanks again!