From time to time I like to try to relate to different perceptions of my Higher Power, as an experiment. Some years ago I obtained a figure of Hotei the Laughing Buddha. Some time after that I found a nice one of Kwan Yin, which rode around on my car dashboard accompanied by St. Peter and Silent Bob. Kwan Yin survived removal from the car, while the other two did not. A couple of years later I got a tiny brass figurine of Durga. These three remain at my workplace and while I like them quite a bit, I don’t really perceive them as aspects of my HP the way I intended.
This sort of thing does not come naturally to me. The faith tradition I was brought up in involved a faceless God. Some people described Him as a very old man on a throne with long white hair and a beard, but he was verbally described this way, never depicted. the Virgin Mary was seldom depicted (except at Christmas), but Jesus constantly was. Jesus’ face was the face of divinity. But since we were only supposed to pray to God, as Jesus was the big brother savior guy and not the Creator, this left me without a visual focus for my prayers. I frequently prayed to the sky or the floor or the darkness inside my eyelids. But I’ve always been a bit envious of people who get to pray to divinities they can see.
There was a TV comedy series in Great Britain called The Vicar of Dibley wherein the minister habitually conversed with her portrait of Jesus. I liked that. I frequently converse with my Higher Power, but again, no portrait. My inner image of my Higher Power is something like a fractal – enormous and mysterious and complex with differing parts that relate to people of differing faiths, and different sub-parts that relate to different individuals. This is how I perceive a God that tends to the whole Universe and still is entirely concerned with the fall of a sparrow.
I tried printing up some pictures of fractals one time, but this wasn’t very satisfying at all.
The current phase of this experiment involves an image I found on the Internet and printed on some cardstock then stuck on my daily reader’s book cover with package tape. I looked for something specific for this image. I try to relate to female interpretations of God for two reasons: I have trouble trusting women, and it’s completely opposite to how I was raised. Here I wanted a woman who looks a bit older than me, so that I instinctively trust that she knows better than I do. Maybe in the future I’ll try a child or a teen just to play with that limitation. I wanted someone with a kind face, but not a weak one. I wanted someone whose eyes could seem loving but could also seem firm. Oddly, I didn’t find what I wanted until searching the keywords “woman” and “menopause”. Heh.
So this image went onto my daily reader, and for what-the-heck, I found some pretty images of Durga and Kwan Yin and put them on as well, so I can speak with them when I especially need strength or mercy, respectively.
So far, so good. This face is easy to talk to, though I’m not completely sure yet it works for talking to my Higher Power. My concept of a Higher Power doesn’t mind if I borrow a face for the purpose, but it takes some getting used to anyway. It was a bit easier settling my thoughts into prayer this morning. We’ll see.