Security and Cooperation: The World is Run by Spoiled Brats

Have you ever seen a couple of kids argue about sharing a toy or a role in a game? What do they look like when they are posturing and grabbing and holding on to the item in question? What do they say and how do they speak?

More than likely you would see them taking the toy closely to their body and hugging it as though they might lose it into thin air or get it broken by the other kid, and they would squeal and whine, “It’s MINE, you can’t have it and I won’t share it!” Maybe a little sticking out of the tongue or thumbing of the nose and some taunting sounds and gestures would accompany that declaration. The upshot: if a parent or guardian doesn’t tell the first kid to share it, the other kid might just give up, call the first child a spoiled rotten brat or just walk off and not want to play with them any more.

The phrase, “Discretion is the better part of valor” would take over here if the second kid is smart; they can just as easily walk off and say nothing and leave the first kid to their own, and let them have the toy. They can find something else to do and others to do it with; they don’t need to stay around and satisfy the brat by getting into an argument or a fight. In that case the toy might get broken anyway and where would the kids be then? Stuck without the object of desire, that’s where they would be, with a broken toy scattered about. They would both be out of luck and would have to find something else to do.

Remind you of the behaviors of people who are in control of our government, perhaps? It sure rings deeply in my mind when hearing about these issues of “security”, of “privacy”, of “national security“, of “protecting us”, and of “serving overseas”. What is our group of officials afraid of? What are they trying to make us afraid of and why?

Spoiled rotten paranoid brats, narcissistic folks… that is what our government is made of; nothing but arrogant, foolish adults with the minds of disorderly delinquents. And they are the people we have elected to make decisions about our military, our security, our tax structure, our infrastructure, our aviation safety, and our cities and towns.

Just in the news recently is talk of military officials being arrested for sexual misconduct. And we want to trust some of these people with our children and education and protection? If they cannot consider the feelings of those they serve with and their own families when the news comes out that they are engaging in such conduct, how can we expect that they are doing their job serving overseas or within our borders?

They are just as inconsiderate as that spoiled bratty kid who will not share a simple toy for fear something is going to happen to it.

What secrets do we think we have to hide from other countries? What is keeping us from learning about these cultures and sharing with them? Our officials are the ones dumbing down the nation because they will not loosen up, learn, get educated and share and sit down and talk about how to make the world a better place.

Instead they talk war, military spending, national security, secret plans, spy missions, drones, tanks and jets, spy satellites; they talk of sending thousands of troops into an area, or firing missiles or holding exercises off the coast of some nation like Korea or some areas of the Middle East. They don’t even know how to talk of anything else and we are paying the price for this false sense of security and patriotism and protection.

Do we think the issues and ideas of national security and guarding something and protecting something are new and reserved only for the government of the United States? Have we all these educated “experts” and “talking heads” all over the media spin circuit, and they cannot talk about the history of such ideas and concepts?

How many of these so -called experts and commentators remember the ancient ideas of civilization? People had to have someone to guard the entrance to the cave, to the remote village, to the walled cities and to the temples. They had guard houses, lighthouses, the making of chariots, spears, shields, armor; they had tacticians, phalanxes, plans for invasions, and their interests to protect and people to keep safe.

Yes, and safe from what, we might ask. We can ask the stones of Jericho and Gibeon and the sands of Egypt and the ruins of Phoenicia and Syria and India about their secrets; we can see what their people were doing and wonder why. We can read it in the Bible; it is a history book as well as a collection of songs and poems and laws.

English: Gibeon_entrance_to_the ancient,_well

English: Gibeon_entrance_to_the ancient,_well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just think of the men who guarded Solomon’s Palace and Temple, to keep things and people out as well as in. They had their system of knowing who belonged and who did not; who was entitled to eat of the meat or the bread or share the drink or participate in the festivals. They did not need drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) or fast jets, tanks, jeeps, or nuclear missiles to prove their points.

What then do we need of nuclear warheads, ICBMs, powerful tanks, supersonic fighter jets armed and ready every moment of every day, aircraft carriers larger than the Empire State Building and machine guns? Who would want to use such power on a nation, defeat it and take it over and then move in? What, to a wasted land unsafe for human habitation due to the nuclear fallout and the cratered ground and the land mines and unexploded bombs? You want to take over such a place then go right ahead.

As for our spoiled brat officials, they are just as mean and rotten and cold as the kid who won’t share the toys and the candy and the parties. They grab and squeal and posture and shout, “That’s MINE and you can’t have it!” They want the limelight, the undivided attention on their little toys and games but they will not share it with the other kids who want to know about it and participate. They want the power and the admiration and the gaze of the others.

But that gaze will soon fade once the other kids realize that the spoiled brat isn’t going to share or let them see the toy; they will give up and go play somewhere else. And if they are wise they will not pay attention when the spoiled brat starts to realize he is alone and begins to beg them to come back. They will turn and leave him alone and go talk and play somewhere else, oblivious to the pleas of the spoiled kid until he settles down and reforms his ways and learns to share and play nicely.

Seems our officials need to seriously grow up or else we will continue to have lots of wasted time, money, materials, energy and patience.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

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Holy Name and St. James: Churches of a Cardinal’s Feather

HOLY NAME AND ST. JAMES: CHURCHES OF A CARDINAL’S FEATHER

English: Steeple of St. James Catholic Church ...

English: Steeple of St. James Catholic Church in Chicago, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

See them both for yourself and you will get more of the picture than is being put on the news. The parishioners of St. James’ Church have a legitimate beef against the Archdiocese of Chicago and have every right to be heard in their efforts to keep this wonderful church open and the area around it thriving.

I had to go see what the real issues were behind just the talk of demolition, of the transit lines being here and there, of the area around the church and of the demographics (a nasty word at times and in this case the real problem, I think) to gauge the situation. The photos I have of this day speak to more than we have so far heard.

There are hidden gems to this beautiful structure, and the area around the church has its ups and downs just as any area of a major city does, especially when there has been neglect and racism and gerrymandering and politics getting in the way.

Now let us compare the areas around Holy Name Cathedral (the “Cardinal’s Church” as a friend of mine put it today) and around the magnificent structure of St. James’ Church at 29th and Wabash. I noticed a problem right away when I went into the area for the photographs. After a few minutes it hit me: this area should be just as thriving and prosperous as the area of the Gold Coast where Holy Name Cathedral is, just as beautiful, as clean, as preserved, as lovely, as safe, just as glorious, as televised and as touted and as visited by tourists and native Chicagoans alike. What is going on behind the scenes then, that has the diocese wanting to demolish St. James’ and be in such a rush to further destroy that area of the city?

Seems to me that demographics is playing a role, but to use that as a lame, corporate and vague and arrogant and authoritarian excuse to further the demolition … now that is about as false as any lie anyone has ever told- and to hear such a thing from the Church, the oh –so- holy high and mighty Catholic Church with its corrupt Curia and all –male official roster, and its priests and its prejudiced laws and rules is only to say, “Hey Cardinal, what’s wrong with this picture? What is going on, man? Why are you not owning up to admitting to playing the race card and wanting to see this area, Bronzeville, suffer as you talk of taking away this church?”

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Playing the demographics card is worldliness and falsehood and pride, and can lead to real trouble. Get over this demographics, racial gerrymandering and race card –playing, folks! Everyone lives everywhere, so do not come to the news people and say some area is “predominantly” this or that; every “race” lives in every place. Incomes and lifestyles are changing and with those changes people are looking for alternatives to living and working and moving to parts of the city that suit their need and their means. I don’t give a flip where “blacks” and “whites” and “Asians” and “Hispanics” live- that kind of talk does not fly with me and it should not fly with anyone who considers that they are educated. To speak in such a flippant and ignorant manner is an insult to everyone, Monsieur and Madam Politician.

Answer the people of St. James’ Parish about THAT one if you can, Your Eminence and Your Holiness; what is the problem  with that area that you cannot give them the same rushed consideration you gave to the rebuilding and preservation of Holy Name Cathedral? From what I gather it would cost no more to rebuild and preserve St. James’ than it did Holy Name.

And please do not use the “transit system is so close to it” lame excuse any more, please. The Red Line runs under Holy Name and you can hear and feel it when it does. Busses and cabs and planes roar by and over that church all the time, so mass transit is alive and well in the Gold Coast and around the school, rectory and cathedral. So what if the train lines run behind St. James’s? Just soundproof and shore it up somehow –certainly there are people who can do that and the money would come out of the woodwork if the project goes forward for the salvation of St. James’. Ask anyone who lives around the historic Gold Coast and I’ll bet those homeowners have found companies who can soundproof those older buildings so they are suitable for families and businesses and shore them up against the rumbling of subways, busses, trucks, jets, and the everyday traffic between Chicago Avenue and North Avenue.

The area around St. James’ Church has residents, businesses, and schools; it has bus routes and roads (that granted do need some fixing up and some cleaning up, but make the diocese alive and relevant and Streets and Sanitation would have to come out and do the jobs), so it is far from deserted and down-trodden. So there are some bare spots and trash that could be cleaned up, but then in a city this large there are bare spots and trash all over the place; vacant lots and dilapidated buildings and such exist even in the Gold Coast. On the bus ride back into the Loop and into the Gold Coast and through Lincoln Park the changes became apparent.

North of where it seems the diocese might end its borders (but then again if people can get to Holy Name from other nations they can get to St. James’ from anywhere as well), things turned more active and seemed cleaner and better maintained overall. People were milling about and folks were walking dogs and sporting their jogging togs as they exercised, and walking with their young children. People were shopping, going in and out of businesses of every caliber and every item from food to clothing, apartment finding to beauty supplies. Though the day is overall gray and damp, the spirits of the people north of 29th and Wabash certainly had a livelier flair than what I saw in the area around St. James’ Church. West of State Street there came a few people around the housing complex, and some walking about, and there were trains and busses passing regularly. But east, there came a couple of people and a few cars.

A couple of cars pulled up in front of the church as I took photos, but I waited till they left to continue taking pictures so I could get the buildings without too much modern interference. And there is more to that church complex than just the cathedral itself.

There is a hidden gem, a large stone structure that must at one time have been a very grand home indeed.

Take away the church and most likely the diocese would have to remove this gorgeous building as well which is in perfect condition from what I can tell gauged on this view. The architecture is magnificent and it should be preserved and used as a music school or some kind of learning center for the diocese.

People have been commenting left and right about the real issues and it is time the media stepped in to tell the whole and the true story about this demolition versus preservation beeswax. To do anything but preserve it and restore it would be an insult to the parish, to the diocese, to lovers of landmarks and history everywhere, and to everyone who has a history connected to St. James’ Church.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Save St. James’ Church: Isn’t it Only Fair?

ST. JAMES NEEDS TO BE SAVED: IS IT FAIR TO CLOSE ONE AND NOT ANOTHER?

In February of 2009, around 5:30 in the morning, on a very frigid start to what would be a terribly cold day there was a 3-11 fire at Holy Name Cathedral. I watched from a window at first and phoned my folks to tell them the church was burning down, and then I decided to skip breakfast and go to take photos of the events unfolding.

It was difficult to stand there at the opposite corner and walk up and down getting as close as was safe, watching the fact that I might lose what I have come to consider my home church since moving here. Still I bore up, got those photos, warmed up with a bus ride and then returned to take more pictures, all of which I have today.
The fact that our church was saved is a testament to the courage and skill of the Chicago Fire Department. Those brave personnel attacked that fire from every angle, going in, putting water through the roof and such. I do not doubt that many of them were afraid the church would be lost as well, but it was saved. Francis Cardinal George said at Mass that the CFD could easily have let the church burn due to the dangerous conditions but they did not and thank God for that.

There must have been about a foot or more of water throughout the sanctuary and in the lower levels surely there was more than that. The windows were saved but that old roof was a mess and there was severe water damage inside. Amazing at how much of it was saved.

English: Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago taken by...

English: Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago taken by Gerald C. Farinas on Monday, March 26, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the months that followed scaffolding went up inside and out, the ceiling with its tens of thousands of pieces was repaired, the Cardinal’s hats were saved and still hang in place, the windows are in place and there was a new floor and ceiling put in. The pews were repaired and the organ was saved and everything looks better now than ever.

The point is that this beautiful historic church was SAVED from the wrecking ball and was repaired lovingly and carefully. The cost was in the millions of dollars, at least $12 million as I recall the costs being bandied about in the talk.

Why then cannot the wonderful historic church of St. James at Wabash and 29th be saved and given the same consideration? Now I hate to think that racism and this stupidity of the interference of demographics could be the underlying problem, but if it is so, if the problem goes beyond talk of landmarks and transportation and other more important factors, then the whole issue needs to be taken a look at from afresh.

According to one article, the demographics are mentioned, and that is a problem when talking about a church which plainly needs to be preserved. So what who lives in the area? Black and whites live in the Gold Coast where Holy Name is, and more was put into that repair than in what it might take to bring St. James’ back to life and bring a congregation and visitors into the sanctuary.

Another article said that many pieces of the church have been saved for future installation, and if people are putting that much effort into trying to preserve the church, the officials need to seriously consider what the people want, what the congregation wants and what the city and the people of that area need.

Surely there are fine and brilliant minds in our American collegeiate system that could put their prowess in engineering, in science, in technology, in arts and restoration and preservation together to save this church? Surely there are people who will endow those repairs and do all they can to raise the needed funds to bring the church to fully functional status just as Holy Name has? There are people who would gladly donate time and energy into raising funds, in research, in drawing up plans to bring St. James back.

What about the landmarks and the opinions of the diocese? Well they had no problem getting support and resources for Holy Name’s preservation, and they have moved on to other renovation projects, again at a cost in the millions od dollars!

Perhaps restoring the church would bring the area back and bring in businesses and decent people who want to keep the area beautiful, alive, and going strong, to restore the community and the dignity of the citizens.

It would be distressing if the church was razed. Pay attention, Cardinal George, pay attention archdiocese officials… pay attention all citizens. St. James’ Church should be saved and preserved. Take out the modern stuff or rework it if you must; the church was there and solvent and wonderful long before the train and the ugly roads and this demographic prattle entered and corrupted the mix and the sacred nature of the church and its purpose.

Be fair, everyone, and be civil too. Learn to have teamwork and tear down the barriers.

RESOURCES

1. Historically significant 132-year-old church in Chicago faces wrecking ball. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-12-23/news/ct-met-historic-church-demolition-20121223_1_new-church-archdiocese-plans-demolition. 25 March 2013.

2. St. James infirmity: Distressed century-old Catholic Church heads toward demolition. http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/st-james-infirmity-distressed-century-old-catholic-church-heads-toward. 25 March 2013.

Wisdom of the Magi: The Crown of Wisdom

This is the season of Christmas, and depending on how you view the meaning of the holiday (or, holy day as it originally was meant to be and proclaim), the time can be one of great joy and compassion and exuberance in many levels, or it can be a time of expriencing depression, SAD, and thoughts that bring the person low and into a rut of trying to tune out the bustling and the constant music.

Christmas in America (pronounced in this case, kriss- miss and not CHRIST- mas), has become much more than the holy day that has its foundation over two thousand years ago. These days, “the holidays” begin with Thanksgiving, and stores break out the holiday decorations to excess. It has people thinking, “Gee whiz all ready, it’s barely Thanksgiving and all ready they are putting out Christmas junk.” No telling how many times I have heard that when visiting some of the stores that specialize in home furnishings and other goods for the house, for guests, for cooking and drinking and yard care. Sure, Christmas is a time for being festive and colorful, light and merry, thoughtful, charitable, bustling about the house and kitchen and singing and decorating trees and mantels and the like. But it is also a time to reflect, to sit back and think, to consider the origins of the holy day and the significance that goes far beyond the giving of presents, of pushing about at the malls, of trying hard to find parking spaces and of adding thousands of lights to one’s yard and house.

THE ATTRIBUTES OF KINGS

crown jewels of Serbia, with Karađorđević crown

crown jewels of Serbia, with Karađorđević crown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the most part, those of royal persuasion have some things in common. I have always been fascinated with the idea of rulers and those who have power over peoples and nations; being an Anglophile I have found the British Royal Family a subject of study. I visited England and had the honor to see some of the places and things associated deeply with royalty, such as Buckingham Palace, the White Tower, the Crown Jewels, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the House of Parliament.  Many of the pictures (in painting and in photographic form) show these august people in settings of splendor and elegance. They wear uniforms, robes, crowns, tiaras, gloves, golden jewels, sparkling jewels, and come complete with orb and scepter and rings. The jewels are splendid, full of diamonds and rubies and pearls, sparkling with color in their gold or platinum settings. The people stand in palatial rooms, full of columns and fine furnishings, books and tapestries.Royalty around the world have splendor as a common bond. Japanese imperial families attire themselves in wonderful robes; African kings wear ornaments of gold and garb themselves in precious fabrics, and the old maharajahs of India were indeed magnificently dressed. Speaking to the latter, the exhibit at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago gives a superb insight into the court life of those rulers and their households. But read deeply into what is said about the rulers and you find other facets of them and the lifestyle they were expected to lead, beyond dressing in pounds of gems, heavy robes, fine swords and such outward trappings of authority and displays of wealth. There was more than showing them as supposed descendants of the sun or the gods.

These rulers were people endowed with intellectual and religious pursuits as part of their daily lives. They were supposed to be people of poetry, art and the support of the arts, civil and dignified behavior, patrons of architecture and gardening and hunting. The splendid figures of the maharajahs were people of wisdom, the use of knowledge for, what we might see as ideal purposes, for the improvement of society and culture, for spreading intellectual pursuits and that which is connected to the idea of ruling a civilization.

WE THREE FRIENDS

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Adoration of th...

Biblical kings are described in such ways as well, taking Solomon as an example as he is supposed to be known for wisdom and wealth. Descriptions of his court and his pursuits in the Old Testament give us pictures of an exotic collection of people and material goods and curiosities of the natural world; Solomon’s encounter with the fabulous Queen of Sheba is well known. Now there is the example of Solomon, the example of David, and that also of Saul, but there are the three notables around whom this article revolves, the three “wise men” of the Christmas story’s foundation and signal event.

It would be safe to say that for these three nobles to meet on and take such a journey, a lot of preparation had to go into making it possible. One might speculate that, as their court scientists were ascertaining the time of the star’s appearance and its significance, they were making ready for the journey across the land to Jerusalem. When it was time, then, they set out with their parties, provisions, animals, and the gifts to present to the new king. The lands of these kings surely would be at peace and prosperous as well, for them to have such leisure to make such a journey and bring such precious gifts as gold, frankincense and myrrh. It would not have been diplomatic for a ruler to leave his land if there was war or some other problem that required correction. The wise person would correct the difficulties before taking leisure.

In the meanwhile their households, courtiers gathered around them in daily business, and retainers sewed robes and leggings and shoes for travel, and tended the animals and made the food and drink. The guards drilled and exercised and protected the gates and the palace so business could be properly conducted. These were the behind the scenes folks without whom the journey would not have been possible. The sages studied the records regarding the appearance of the heavenly object.

When at last these men met for their ride across the desert, they appear to have met as friends with a common goal. Paintings show them as three different looking men, not all light or dark, but with a couple of them as light in color and one as very dark, but all with the demeanor of kings. They did not meet to waste time discussing diversity or neighborhoods with their separation -mindedness, or anything else it seems save for accomplishing this mission and how important it was. It did not matter to those traveling with them what color anyone was – those details are not important in the slightest. They wanted to see where this incredible astronomical vision (star, comet, conjunction, supernova, gamma ray burst) would lead and what it meant; they wanted to know what they would find under its rays. They had to go through the obstacle of meeting Herod and his court, but they were warned not to deal with Herod and took another way.

When after this dusty, long, hard, dry journey concluded at the place over which the “star” stopped, the kings lit from their camels, they took their gifts and went in to see what they would find. In that humble place they saw, bathed in divine light and with an atmosphere of royal divinity all around them and the Holy Family, the new king, before whom without hesitation they presented their gifts, the best they had to offer. Paintings of this event are many and wondrous in their color and presentation.

The three friends accomplished their mission.

We can learn a lot from them.

Vincenzo Foppa - The Adoration of the Kings - ...

Vincenzo Foppa – The Adoration of the Kings – WGA7999 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.

Wisdom of the Magi: A Special Journey

THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS, PART ONE OF TWO

The Magi Journeying

The Magi Journeying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas – we can look at this holiday in a couple of ways; the secular, materialistic way that has become so prevalent and it seems so relevant in today’s American society, or on the path of which Christmas is based by its very spelling. The word Christ is very powerful, the basis of the Christian religion and the head of all who follow those principles. We misuse the name of Christ many times without giving it much thought, and we misuse the meaning of the holiday (really, holy day) when we go off the mark of what it really means.To some the “holidays”, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, seem to herald the time of breaking out the sales circulars, the decorations, the ads at the grocery stores, department stores, big box stores, any kind of commercial exchange venue.

We want to imitate the first bearers of the gifts that were given to the baby Jesus (later that head of all Christians), the wise men/ magi/ kings who made an amazing journey to see that young child who would be king. But we go to excess in the way we struggle to find “the right thing”, or get just the right wrapping paper, or find the right card, or be seen at the right store at just the time of day when “all our friends” will be there and know we are showing off our status and our wish to pick over the shelves to get that item before anyone else does… even to the point of losing friends.Let us take a closer look at that special event in history, an event that is painted, talked about, re-enacted every year as it has been for centuries in Christmas stories all over the world. There is more to this story than meets the eye of the artist, the bard, or the poet. In this is something for everyone.

THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI

The journey of these three wise men, sage kings as recorded in the many works about them, began perhaps two years earlier. According to them, a star was seen in the east and they followed it in order to worship him whom it symbolized. In the Book of Matthew, in chapter 2, the details are brief but enough to give us  knowledge that something special had happened and those men had set out to find out exactly what was going on. In the lore, the star meant that someone of importance, a governor, a king, had been born, and they were come to worship. They gathered their provisions and personnel and set out.

The paintings record this small group as a diverse gathering of rulers, with the time and wealth to make such a journey. Their lands must have been at peace in order for them to leave those lands and make their way to Jerusalem in order to recognize another king, and a baby at that, but then rulers in the Bible were very young times, and there is a fine painting of a maharajah, part of the exhibit at the Field Museum, when Raj Singh was only eleven. No matter who they were or what they looked like, theirs was a common mission and their goal was to find the new king. Through obstacles, harsh conditions, and maybe with some doubt in their minds, they made the journey and found the Child.

What they followed has been described many ways, as a comet, a conjunction, a supernova, and maybe even by some as a gamma ray burst (now that would really have been something to see the light of, as they are extremely energetic and that energy must travel billions of light years). For a light to last two years the event would have to be a very powerful burst of light indeed. Whatever it was, the kings followed it diligently until they came to the place over which the star paused and the light shone upon it. At that time, with reverence and dignity, the kings, surely tired from their travels, presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, no doubt in containers as precious as their contents.

Gold of course is well -known in its symbolism, for its purity, brilliance, endurance and many uses. It probably was the element used in the containers for all the gifts. Frankincense is a precious, fragrant gum resin from a tree known for its healing purposes and use in rituals. Myrrh is an oleoresin, an expensive spice, with uses in perfume, used also in preparation for burials in the times of Jesus. The benefits of all three of these gifts were well known, for medicinal and healing properties, to reduce swelling and inflammation and the like. Either these kings already knew of the benefits of these gifts or they were very well advised by their courtiers as to what might be suitable for gifts. They listened to the right people, and now their intelligence is rooted in history.

c. 1432-1436
c. 1432-1436 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What they carried with them was wisdom. They prepared carefully for that long journey. Being kings they were surely greatly guarded and appointed as kings should be. They were true to the traditions of their ancestors and their sages, who studied deeply the ancient texts to ascertain this event. They prepared carefully for this event by gathering the facts, preparing provisions, making sure the quality of their gifts, making ready their travling parties, and their animals, and setting out. Being such a long journey they had to be careful in their way so that they would make it safely and carry out their mission.Now perhaps you could see a king dressed in the manner they are accustomed to when in their native lands, maybe in dark, rich, jeweled robes and turbans and golden headdresses, maybe in garments wrapped around and fastened with brooches and pins fine with jewels and metals, maybe a combination of these regalia. But these would not be practical for a long, dusty, difficult journey over hills, deserts, river passes and mountains. And not wanting to attract too much of the wrong attention, they probably dressed rather plainly, with nothing overly glittering or heavy to burden them or their beasts of burden.

Wearing a crown means something special. A crown is a symbol of great authority, worn only by a select few in positions of amazing and incredible power. Crowns are made so that the wearer stands out; the turban ornaments worn by the maharajahs of India were meant to do the same thing, sparkle and move and shimmer so that the wearer would be known for his authority and the right to mete out power, delegation, and dicates. In the ancient lore of some religious traditions, the crown chakra is where the higher powers of the intellect reside and from which these powers spring to light the world and all who know the bearers of these faculties, brilliant facets, and wondrous principles of learning and achievement.

One of these kings may well have been from the region of the world we now know as India, but the point is that three powerful men came together for this wondrous journey to find another king and give him adoration and royal presents, the best they had to offer. Paintings show them in deep and humble admiration of the newborn king as he is held or is in the manger in the presence of his parents, Mary and Joseph, as they open their gifts. The area must have been filled with sparkle and light, and with a fragrance almost overwhemling, as of an Old Testament temple during times of high worship on special occasions.

It is truly a great moment in world history, something everyone can appreciate for the qualities that go way beyond the event itself.

English: Adoration of the Wise Men by Murillo

English: Adoration of the Wise Men by Murillo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RESOURCES CITED1. King James Bible online. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-2/.2. A Modern Herbal: Frankincense.  http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/franki31.html.

3. Why Did the Magy Bring Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh? Online article at http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/why-did-the-magi-bring-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/.

4. What is Myrrh? http://christianity.about.com/od/glossary/a/Myrrh.htm.

** Something to do: See the Splendor of the Maharajahs at the Field Museum in Chicago. Having done so I can assure you it will leave you dazzled and speechless.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2012.

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