We've all had something die.
Some of us have suffered the death of a loved one, some of us the death of a pet. Nearly all of us have experienced the 'death' of a long-held belief, relationship or dream. We know the pain of loss.
I'm sure that's why Easter is such a popular time. It's the designated season for celebrating resurrection and rebirth, the belief that what was lost in death can be restored - not only restored, but reborn to a new and more glorious state.
I need this day. I need a tangible reminder of this life-death-life cycle and the symbolic traditions that support the idea of a larger, spiritual reality.
Easter reminds us there's a world beyond this physical day-to-day, one step removed from our rational understanding, what Carl Jung called "the collective unconscious", what shamans call the "underworld", and what Christ refered to as "the kingdom of heaven". On specially designated days - Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid Al-Adha- we acknowledge this mystical realm. We approach the threshold between worlds and attempt to part the veil in order to glimpse the majesty beyond. We do this through ritual, prayer, art, myth, symbolism - and through metaphor.
The life, death and resurrection of Christ is a metaphor I keep close to my heart. Of all the mysteries, the necessity of death seems to me the most mysterious. The story of Christ's life answers a deep forgetting and reminds me, "That which is True can never really die." and, "Let the death of 'what was' be rich, fertile soil for 'what is yet to be'."
And, what about 'what is yet to be'? The promise of the Christ metaphor is this - if we allow ourselves to 'die' regarding the things of the physical world, we will be 'reborn' to an understanding of the Truth.