Friday, November 27, 2009
One way to see a crucifix is this: it's not good to nail - fix - stay - anything into one position or place; a reminder that immobilizing something kills it (at least temporarily), whether human, god, or knowledge around us. Ironically the various establishments of Christian churches have often used this image to nail down other people, places, ideas. It seems the usual mode of business - belief stands on - pins down - occupies the territory that the previous belief rested on. Nest-robbing.
I saw a painting on exhibit in the Rubin Museum in New York City - an antique map by Tibetan Buddhist monks of all the monasteries they had established over a mountain landscape - simultaneously depicted as nails pinning down a woman-demon. Each monastery was driven in to fix her - at her hands, shoulders, knees, feet - to a spread position. This is how they conquered the old image, the old way of believing.
Words can nail images down. They don't have to. This naming compulsion, this conquering habit serves up meaning only one way. Opinions: what we nail ourselves down to.