Sunday, January 3, 2010

Statues, Images and Idols
(Symbols For Prayer)

"Thou shalt not place false gods before me"
-Second Commandment

Since the dawn of the most remote beginnings of antiquity mankind
has artistically manufactured material images, such as statues,
idols, and various Symbols, to represent the many different aspects
of Divinity and Nature.

These statues, idols, and Symbols were crafted from either stone,
metal, wood, or precious gems. Images honoring Water or the sky
were painted blue. Images honoring fertility or growth were painted
green. Images honoring purity, enlightenment, or Divinity were
painted white. Images honoring an untarnishable or incorruptible
Truth, or Quest, were painted either Gold, or yellow.

The artisans, craftsmen, shamans, and high priests who created
these images were highly skilled in the use of the colors, materials,
shapes, and features required to represent the Divine Essences
which they wanted their images to portray.

However, although a spiritual essence, along with the effort and
intention of the craftsman, was contained within the final image,
this statue, idol, or Symbol was simply a sacred representation of
a much greater Divine Principle or Truth.

An image or idol, regardless of how well it is spiritually and
materially crafted and blessed, can never contain the entire
Essence of the Divine Principle for which it has been created
to represent.

For example, a painting or carving of a tree is not a tree. It is simply
a portrayal which represents all of the visible and invisible essences
which are contained within a tree.

With these Thoughts in mind, The Second Commandment:
"Thou shalt not place false gods before me", is not a warning or
condemnation regarding the worship of Idols and images. It is a
reminder that although we should respect the created, man-made,
images of Divinity, in all of Its Infinite Aspects, it is not the image
or idol that we should be focusing our Prayers upon. Instead, we
should be focusing our Prayers, Thoughts, invocations, and
intentions upon the Divine Essence which the image represents
and not upon the image, idol, or statue itself.

Images, statues, and idols are simply Symbols, archetypes and
expressions of Divine Truths and Essences. They are not Divine
Truths, Essences, and Aspects in and of themselves.

Prayer is a Spiritual Conversation. When we focus our Prayers
on something which is material, we are focusing our Prayers on
something which is external to us and occupies the world of matter.
This is why most Prayers go unanswered. For our Prayers to be
answered we must direct them to, and hold an inner conversation
with, the Spirit (the Atman) which dwells within us and has direct
access to all aspects of Divinity.

If we desire prosperity, we should focus our Prayers on the essence
of prosperity. If we desire peace, we should focus our Prayers on
the essence of peace. Whatever it is that we desire, that is the
Essence, or Aspect, of Divinity which we should be focusing our
Thoughts, Prayers, and Actions upon. And although we should
always respect and honor the statue, idol, image, or Symbol, we
should also keep in mind that these images are simply material
representations of the invisible Spiritual Essences, or Aspects, of

With this in mind, the next time we go to our favorite place of
worship, let us remember that no matter how powerful, sacred,
holy, or blessed the image is that we are praying before and
honoring, it represents a much more powerful, infinite, sacred,
and invisible Divine Aspect (Divine Principle) which is the true
recipient of our prayers.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2010
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