The changes that I’m seeing in myself and my moods and expressions lately have led me to think about the moods and expressions of deities and in spirituality as a whole. Those of you who have been reading my stuff for a while know that I had been in a depressed state until not long ago, and that it had been going on for several months. A few weeks ago or so, I realized how deep it had gotten…how serious I was being all the time…that I had stopped playing and laughing like I used to.
That realization caused me to examine mood and tone in regards to spirituality and even deity. One thing which has always turned me off when it comes to spirituality was an overly somber and serious demeanor. I have seen it in mainstream religions, new age spiritual practitioners, and even in pagans. For a long time, even though I didn’t like it, I felt that being studious and serious was what was acceptable in spirituality…as though it would be frowned upon if a person was anything but. I have seen people who say that they strive for enlightenment or who claim to be enlightened who have one expression…mouth in a straight line and frowny, thinking eyes…all the time.
I can remember seeing images of a smiling Jesus when I was a child and thinking that he was the Jesus that I wanted to follow. After I got older and began to study other modes of spirituality, I saw images of other deities either laughing or smiling. That made me begin to wonder why people seemed so uptight about something which was supposed to bring comfort and peace to humanity.
Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for the divine, for the earth, for spirituality as a whole…and I know that there are times in which seriousness is required. I am also not so naive that I do not know that there is both light and dark in everything. It is balance. So, while I am not advocating making a big joke out of the divine…I am thinking of it more in terms as I am the rest of my life these days. It’s great knowing that there is a sense of justice in the Universe…that cause and effect are real…that karma really can be a bitch. It’s also great to know that laughter, happiness, love, and playfulness are as much a part of the spiritual soup as the more serious aspects of it.
I’ve been spending some time lately looking at images of laughing Buddhas and reading about other deities which represent peace, love and laughter. Though I stopped identifying with Christianity long ago, to this day I still love the popular image of a smiling Jesus surrounded by happy children. It is this spirit of joy, love, laughter, and gentleness which I find myself being more thirsty for right now…both within myself and in my outer world.
Yes, the essence of Cerridwen and Kali still thrum deep within my veins and always will. Perhaps, this reckoning between the light and dark within me is part of the graceful art of balance which comes with age and life experience. This welcoming back of laughter into my life is proving to be very pleasant. Yes, I’m more emotional…more tender…and perhaps even more sensitive in some ways than before…but I’m good with that. As more time goes by in this state of being, I find myself making a shift into being protective of my peaceful state instead of living in a full time defense position…and I’m really good with that!
What do you think of joyful expressions in deity and spirituality?