The Purpose of Symbolism

I was at the top of the bell tower in Mercatello Italy with the massive church bells ringing. No ear plugs and only a small railing between me and the people looking like ants on the cobblestones of the picturesque town square hundreds of feet below. It was Corpus Domini or the Celebration of the Body of Christ festival in Mercatello Italy and my friend in the square had waved to the master of the bells in the tower and had gotten us invited up eight flights of rickety wooden stairs to the top the bell tower high above. The ancient bells tolled with perfectly tuned pealing as the master of the bells pulled the chords to ring the smaller bells in time with the massive church bell pealing with each swing as the whole tower rocked slightly with the movement of the central church bell.

Mercatello, Italy, is a beautiful town built by seven families of the nobility of Italy and by the local people almost a thousand years ago. It is impossible not to feel welcomed into this community because the people of the town provide a gracious and friendly hospitality. This is the old Italy, an authentic slice of Italian culture far away from the beaten paths of the tourist industry in the major cities like Florence and Rome.

 The church bells of the magnificent cathedral on the square ring every hour to remind the people in the whole community to remember God and on Sundays and special days the master of the bells plays elaborate melodies on the church bells high in the tower. Everywhere you look is another church, another statue or fresco of one of the saints, or another symbol to remind the people to keep God at the center of their life.

No matter what your religion or belief system, or even if you don’t have any particular set of religious or spiritual beliefs, there is an immense value in learning to keep your divine nature and your relationship with God, the Divine or the infinite awareness in your conscious awareness throughout your daily life. Keeping symbols of saints or religious figures throughout the town serves as a way that the people of Mercatello and towns in many ancient cultures keep God in their consciousness. However, in our modern culture, we may see more signs for Big Macs and cell phones than we do for saints and symbols reminding us of our higher nature.

That is why it is even more important for us today to keep our awareness tuned into the essential unconditional Love that is our nature and is at the heart of every human being. Wherever you go, you carry with you the divine goodness that is your birthright. You can tune your psyche into the common humanity in everyone you see and to the connection of all things which opens your mind to the reality of unconditional love underlying everything, or you can interpret everything based on the anxiety created by the fear-based thinking of our culture and your past conditioning. Ultimately, this is really the only choice you have to make; to perceive everything in your world through the lens of love or through the paradigm of fear. Every time you choose either way, you train your psyche to go down the path of fear or the path of love. Every moment in your life, your choices are defining your conscious awareness.

Years ago in a dream, I was floating in space and a voice said to me, “The purpose of symbolism is to focus the mind on God,” and I have always remembered that message. In the town of Mercatello, the symbols of the Divine are everywhere. Whether or not you are a Christian or a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, new thought believer, atheist, or agnostic, training your mind to release fear and tune into the reality of unconditional love and to your essential connection with all life will help you be happier and bring more clarity and good judgment to every situation of your daily life. It is actually possible to have a real time awareness of your connection to the Divine and to all the people around you and to have a real sense of your connection and oneness with the human beings around you and if you are willing to practice tuning your mind into this connection on a daily basis.

Every conflict in your life and every cell phone advertisement, every piece of the latest political news and every seeming problem in life can be seen as an opportunity to deepen your connection to the Divine and expand your knowing that everything is working for a higher good, even if you are not at first aware of how this is going to unfold. I’m not talking about wishful thinking or living in a fantasy world, rather I’m talking about using every situation in your life to learn and grow in your ability to become the person you want to be. This is where your goals become real, and the life you have always wanted becomes possible. At any moment of time, you can become so present in the present moment that you become a channel of the divine, or your awareness can be imprisoned by the fears of your past where you continue to perpetuate the patterns of conflict and isolation of your history. This is your fundamental choice and every moment of your life, your choices are reshaping your consciousness to become a clear mirror of divine love or a reflection of the unresolved conflicts and hurts of your past.

The following daily practices can help you to unfold the awareness of your Divine nature and channel your life into a more loving and connected paradigm.

  1. Have a Daily Spiritual Practice
    1. Have a daily spiritual practice of starting your day with a positive or uplifting reading, meditate, do exercise, yoga or some practice to help you calm your mind and focus on love. Commit yourself to staying mindful of unconditional love through the challenges of your day.
  2.  Improve Your Self-Awareness
    1. Become more aware of the negative self-talk and your mental habits that block your awareness of love.
  3.  Center Yourself on Love
    1. When faced with life challenges and conflicts with others through your day, continue to center yourself on the reality of love that is at the core of your humanity.
  4.  Let the Wisdom of Your Inner Knowing Guide Your Thoughts and Your Decisions
    1. Allow this awareness of love to impact your decision-making process in the direction of good judgment and clear thinking, and let the inner wisdom of your intuition and connection with the Divine guide your thoughts and your decision-making process.