From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rock on, Mother Earth

Garden of the Gods (Photo by Robert Corby) 
Isaiah the Prophet repeatedly referred to the Lord as a Rock:  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal (26:4 NIV).  Jesus, too, utilized that holy analogy:  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18 KJV).

Centuries later, rocks were still being associated with the Divine.  In 1859, two surveyors were exploring the Colorado City region.  When they came upon a site that was rife with eye-catching rock formations, one of them exclaimed: …Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble.  We will call it the Garden of the Gods.  It is still being called that today.

What is it about rocks that so captures the soul?  Patricia Adams Farmer explores this question in her article titled The Numinosity of Rocks.  She explains that Carl Jung "viewed rocks as one of the primordial symbols of eternity."  Ancient sculptors sought to "free the spirit" within the stone (somewhat like carving an elephant by removing everything that is not the elephant).  Tombstones and piling rocks upon graves also reflect this way of thinking.

Wikipedia presents the geological definition of "rock" as "a naturally occurring solid aggregate of one of more minerals or mineraloids."  Farmer, however (along with "Whitehead, Buddhism and quantum physics"), speaks of rocks as "vibrant energy rather than inert lumps of matter."  She states that science is beginning to corroborate that which mysticism has sensed right along - and recommends grasping a rock in order to
literally "feel the Deep Eternal."  


Copyright December 15, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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