Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Thinking

the dimensions - one, two, and three

Life is fairly one dimensional for me.  I don’t see much beyond the basic outline until someone points it out. 

For example, remember the three dimensional Magic Eye pictures?  The kids worked and worked with me until I could see the pictures that are within the pictures.  Finding the dinosaurs in this picture took a loooong time.

Though I don’t see a lot of depth naturally, I appreciate it when people point it out to me.  I have two nieces who see things three dimensionally and I love hearing their perspectives on life as well as seeing their drawings.  They make things richer . . . and make more sense.

Symbolism is a lot like third dimension.  It’s deeper than what you see on the surface.  Sometimes symbols are interesting and instructive.  Like an article I once read (similar to this one) that tells how the shape of many foods we eat are good for the body part that they look like.  For example, slice a carrot and it looks like an eye and everyone’s mother always said, “eat your carrots so you can see in the dark.”  Or how a walnut looks like a brain and walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which support brain function.  Or how celery looks like a bone and both bones and celery are 23% sodium and celery is a good source of silicon which is part of the bones’ molecular structure. 

I understand simple symbols (heart = love) but, like dimensions, need the more complex pointed out to me.  

I was so glad when Ande showed me that in art, Mary, the mother of Jesus, will usually be the woman in blue, because blue is the color of the heavens, purity, and divine nature.  Like Waldo, now I can always find Mary.

Ande also taught me what a circle within a square means in architecture.  The circle is infinite and eternal and the most perfect geometric figure; a circle represents God.  A circle also represents Heaven.  The square is not found in nature; it is man-made and therefore represents mankind.  The square also represents the four corners of the Earth.  Thus the circle within the square represents heaven and earth coming together – a place where man and God can meet.  I enjoy looking for circles within squares now on buildings and what that symbol is trying to communicate.

Because life is deceiving when it is seen in only one dimension, the gospel of Jesus Christ, rich in symbolism, gives life the explanation I need to see it more clearly.  The simple symbolism of the faith of a mustard seed helps me understand that the Lord can help me reach my potential if I trust Him.  Baptism, a symbol of burying the sinful me and being born anew, gives hope and beauty to world weary souls.  The earth is full of symbols that point us toward the Savior.  The scriptures say that “. . . all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath:  all things bear record of me.”  (Moses 6:63)

The Gospel fleshes out life.  It adds purpose, it adds understanding, it gives hope.  It takes what looked like a simple square and makes it a box – a gift box, no less – so much richer and fuller than a square.  And, you find that when you open that box and accept and live the details of the Gospel it makes life more meaningful and ultimately more simple, like the square.  Except that cycle is called a circle, so now we're back to the circle within the square where man can meet God.  

And that’s what I’ve been thinking . . .  how grateful I am for the Gospel which gives life meaning and makes it more simple to understand.

By the way, did you find the dinosaurs?


michelle said...

Love this. My life is much richer when I understand the symbolism as well! (I usually need help with that, too.)

Cali said...

I enjoyed reading this mom. I also got a HUGE confidence boost when I could still find the 3D picture easily... I've still got it.
I also found your blog header down-right endearing. I love the ones you regularly make.


melanie said...

Love this post Jane. I too often don't look beyond. You're a great example to me. Thank you.

Unlike Cali, my confidence took a little blow. I can't make the picture pop like I used too.

Deidra said...

I have never been able to make those Magic Eye pictures work. I like to blame it on the fact that I only use one eye... I used to spend hours trying and then I'd lie to my siblings saying I could see it! I think they always knew the truth...

Deidra said...

For me, it's easiest to cross my eyes and then let them find the picture when they come back to normal.

My little sister really dislikes one of my mom's nativities because Mary is not dressed in blue. She was really young when she matter-of-factly stated, "Mary always wears blue." I'll have to share the symbolism with her.

Jill said...

Oh Jane, I don't know how you do it, but you've done it again!

I have dimension issues despite the depth I try to seek. I tend to be too literal in my scripture reading and temple going and am finding (through more reading) that this is a huge mistake.

I was a Humanities major at BYU with English and Art History minors so I learned all about symbolism in art, so you'd think dimensions would come easier to me, but they don't.

I can't see the dinosaurs! How many are there and how big are they?

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

I think I saw the dinosaur....I can never let my eyes relax long enough to make it to the full picture.

I love that we have symbols surrounding us. It does bring comfort when you understand them. Thanks for pointing that out.

Becky said...


I didn't even bother to look for the dinosaurs :). I don't know if it is my poor eyesight but I have *never* been able to do anyting in 3-D.

Love symbolism though! The circle within the square is a lovely one. For some reason it made me think of that old Donald Duck movie where he goes to Mathematics Land and we discover that so many things in nature have the same repeating pattern....I love that Heavenly Father is in the details. :)

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Jill, there are two dinosaurs -- one in the front and one behind it. (Right everybody?)

Brenda Goodrich said...

I'm reading this on Sunday evening, but it is so ironic that just hours ago, as I was looking at something on my computer screen, I thought about those 3-D pictures that our kids used to look at. And then you had one on your post! It only took me seconds to find the dinosaurs but it takes me longer than most (even you, Jane) to see beyond the obvious. I'm not very creative or imaginative, but I've accepted that:) Thank goodness for the people in our lives who enrich us!