Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's Your Source of Power?

Upon my return to Nanjing, I had felt the pull to go back and see the Museum again, as though I may have missed something along the way. We often go to museums to learn something about the culture and past history of a culture. To see what life was like in a time called, 'before'.
As it is commonly known, China celebrates the image of the dragon. Often a dragon is closely associated with wisdom and isn't feared. However, in the west, the common approach is viewed with fearful appearances.   Our mythologies abound with dragon slayers, heralded for their 'courage'. I viewed the stark differences, as almost as if the west would embrace knowledge and sacrifice wisdom.  Actually, there is a lot more to that view.  How many centuries did the west go through telling the people that the 'world was flat?'  Flat or round, the 'discovery'  was little more than a person that was celebrated for having the elite acknowledge what was already in existence.  The world comedy of discovery and declaration comes down to this.  It already exists, but is not universally accepted as truth.

There is a difference between application and information. We can be well-informed, but at a total loss with how to use the information we have. Having all the information in the world and not knowing how to use it, makes a person not more intelligent, but foolish.
As I looked at the ancient symbols and methods of communicating we had at the time, such as chimes for distress, we seem to be ringing a lot of much so, that no one has any senses that are not disturbed. So we try to silence them along the way. Everyone is shouting that the sky has fallen, but no one knows what to do about it. People have seem to have forgotten how to live and rely on others to tell them how to think, feel, and listen. These basic survival skills, which have fallen away for many due to relying on others instead of being able to listen to one's own voice has been costly for many who relied on systems to make their way in life.
As I looked adoringly on these pieces of art, I noticed the screens used for concealment, but walls always have ears. Thousands of years of monarchy rule over many differing cultures, telling them, they must serve their rulers. People did serve them, and often people desire to be ruled, but when will people desire to rule themselves and not entrust themselves to systems? We have societies, but flawed when it comes to the responsibilities of power.
I went back to look at a throne. The interesting thing about the throne was the seat of power. The image of a red dragon, that was normally carefully concealed with a seat cushion. Had the dragon given the monarch their power that was hidden from the people? Or had the people given the monarch their power? So often we don't see the real source of our own power, that comes to us naturally when we refuse to slay dragons of wisdom that come into our lives. If we only favor information then we remain foolish and slay the dragon that could have given us the wisdom of the world.

Then again, that is still aiming too low.


Paige said...

WOW. that throne is epic

Marilyn said...

and the power came from the is the oldest throne I have found in China.