Omphaloskepsis

I dearly do ever so much TRY to avoid navel gazing; as I am so enamored with the analysis of self that I could do it ALL day. I’m generally a self-absorbed, though friendly, introvert. {Self-analysis is for introverts akin to speaking their mind is for extroverts}. Hence, I avoid those silly quizzes they have that define things like “What Disney Character Are You?” or “What Colour Are You?”.

Omphaloskepsis
is contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation.

The word comes from Greek omphalos (navel) + skepsis (act of looking, examination).

Actual use of the practice as an aid to contemplation of basic principles of the cosmos and human nature is found in the practice of yoga of Hinduism and sometimes in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Some consider the navel to be “a powerful chakra of the body”.

Just yesterday, one intriguing quiz flips past my eye that couldn’t be ignored – “What Historical Era Do You Belong In?” I couldn’t help myself, like crack to an addict. UGH. Without a thought, click, click, click-a-roo and another game that seeks to answer that universal question “Who Are You”? … taps into my soul of souls.

The first picture had me cold…Oh dear…I thought. If I pick the sandals dang-nammit they’ll have me in ROME. I can’t have that. But, I choose them anyhow, because it suited me most, made me happiest. Taking a higher view, I see that happiness is about simpler things to me now…however, a lovely pair of shoes can be walked in, can take you on adventures, and make me smile ever time I look at my feet.

Than POOF out pops your personality profile – I should have lived in Biblical Times. Very intriguing indeed. Considering my foraging into those times, given I find them so fascinating, AND the fact I don’t really consider myself a Christian…navel-gazing has begun.

THEN of course we can not stop there…I had to have more. Just to the side another tantalizing question sought my eye “What Religion Should You Be”…which decided I should be a Hindu.

Even more navel-gazing.

I think it all hinges on one thing though, the more I try these pop-psychology quizzes…and with the Religious one it was obvious…the question was about whether I believe that god manifested himself as a human.

I had to think about that one. See, I don’t believe Jesus was divine, nor any of these characters who appear throughout religions centred around the Middle East … I think they are messengers of the divine…conduits. I believe instead we all contain a piece of the divine, therefore god doesn’t need to take human form, as that essence is already within us.

This idea of God manifesting himself in some fashion within certain humans goes back to the Greeks, as many characters (Hercules) of the Greek Myths were said to be born of the head god (Zeus). In the mindset of the 1st century AD, in order to be great, one should also be born of the god(s). Today this idea has morphed over the centuries, but at its core rests this foundation of various influencing beliefs that surrounded the region of early Israel.

jesus-walk (2)Oh dear, I can’t help myself, I have to go deeper with this, as the synchronicity of these two quizzes is arresting – I’ve been seeing a lot of documentaries of late on the belief that Jesus actually spent some of his years between 12 and 30 in India, studying with Hindu Mystics. There is supposed to be an ancient document that exists that contains his writings, and has been secreted away by this particular sect within India.

Which, from the reading I’ve done of late on early Christianity, sounds completely plausible. That world of the 1st century AD was one of great upheavals of many Peoples, and thus was a fertile ground for new ideas.

It is just as possible these ideas came to Christianity AFTER Jesus’s death. Yet it is very interesting to wonder if perhaps he did venture far and afield, as a man of his intelligence would desire to seek out those who challenged his mind and spirit. It is these qualities, I believe, that made him special enough that more than two thousand years later we are still speaking of him, and why his beliefs and wisdom gave birth to a new religion.

We should remember that the one brief passage of his young life that makes it into the Biblical Canon, was a story of him in deep dialogue with the Rabbi’s of the Temple in Jerusalem. That’s all the Bible tells us – we read the stories of his birth, and of this brief episode in his youth, than nada till he is 30 and begins his ministry.

How magnificent that I should be a Hindu in Biblical Times. Can you imagine? I can see myself as some travelling peddlar of rare herbal remedies of the East; perhaps concoctions I manufactured myself from the flora and fauna of India. I suppose it is just as likely Jesus, therefore stayed put, and great minds and ideas sought HIM out. Possibly, in his travels around Galilee of the first century he encountered many a foreigner, many a stranger from a strange land… for as they say “birds of a feather flock together“.

Auklet flock

WIKIPEDIA COMMONS: Auklet flock, Shumagins 1986

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