The world is wrought with the symbology of man. Easter marks perhaps the biggest symbol of all, rebirth. Whether you are religious, spiritual, or claim no belief at all, Spring is the earth’s outward demonstration of the most impressive example of the concept of rebirth.
If you really think about it, the earth has had a lot of practice recreating itself. Whether it’s recovering from massive destruction or defying the death of even the harshest winter, the earth rejuvenates itself on the ashes and what has survived emerges stronger than the year before. But why?
Everything in nature, from seeds to the mightiest of trees, even the most simple of animals carry on the information of their predecessors, and somewhere in that information (their DNA), the value of protection has been imprinted. At the source of life which thrives lies a sturdy layer of instinctual protection. Humans are no different in this aspect. Like every animal, humans operate on instinct at first, avoiding situations which stimulate fear. As time goes on, we begin to include situations which we are unfamiliar to our avoidance patterns. Once we acquire enough information to survive on our own, we seem to go so far as to prohibit ourselves from experiencing new things based on the perception of fear of unknown circumstances. We simply repeat what works, what’s familiar, even if it isn’t desirable. Yet there’s no reason we should fear, but to many of us, the “unknown” might as well be a dark alley in the bowels of a notorious area in a notorious city.
As all other living things, humans rely on a figurative layer of protection, one we have individually created over time, to survive. That in mind, I’d like to paint a simple picture. What if, like the tiny mustard seed, we plant ourselves in the darkness of our minds, and entertain all of our life experiences in an effort to understand exactly what has driven us, prohibited us, etc., in an effort to start the process of rebirth…what would be the outcome? During this reflection, and without us even realizing, roots would have begun to sprout within the darkness, steadying our fears. Experiences would begin to nurture our thoughts, inspiring new life to emerge. We would begin to understand what feels right, and we would practice those things over and over…because what “feels right” is motivation for our true selves. Then, once the seed we planted bears its fruit, it drops another seed containing new information and experiences. That seed, once again, descends into the darkness – better prepared for another, more fruitful journey. Essentially, our new selves practice and grow, only to repeat the process, ad infinitum.
This is life. A constant cycle of death and rebirth. Like the mustard seed, like the mighty oak, like the lamb, and like the lion, we all emerge from the darkness. Our DNA holds the information of our experiences furthering the species, and more specifically, furthering “the self.” Experience imprints upon our minds and, if it’s significant to our survival, it will imprint upon our cells and carry us forward. The process is infinite.
So on this Easter morning, I submit that we must embrace the darkness and descend into it if we are ever to emerge stronger and better. We all experience Spring more than once a year, we experience it every morning if we’re lucky enough to open our eyes once again.