That’s the Spirit!

A survey showed that, given the choice between seeing an exact replica of the Mona Lisa (or other cherished work of art) or seeing the ashes from the original, most people said, “I want to see the ashes.” Since the beginning of time, people have recognized that there is something – some animating principle – that imbues items made or touched by others.

Things can have spirit. Holding a violin held by earlier masters …. or wearing grandmas earrings … even visiting historic sites … well … we feel something. Our awareness of the moment changes. Is it all in our heads? It doesn’t really matter, does it.

There is another way, a more common way, that things get ‘spirit.’ The flags of our communities, the sacred books in our religious practices, the awards and insignia from the teams we support – even our special holiday ornaments – all hold special power in our lives. They serve as vessels for shared meaning and intentions. They allow us to connect to one another on a bigger plain.

These consecrated items are central to the rituals and traditions that mean so much to us. The National Anthem without a flag? The Christmas tree without a special top? A marriage without the exchange of wedding rings? A scout without badges? I’m sure you have family items that hold a special place. The reading chair. The special cake plate. The sick bowl? Let’s salute their special power!

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