Tag Archives: simplicity

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Basic Symbols, Basic Shapes, Basic Colors – Week 16

I don’t know about you, but symbolic learning isn’t my strong suit.  I am just more skilled at interpreting, absorbing and synthesizing the literal.  The figurative, i.e., symbols, are another story.

One nice thing about symbols is they are susceptible of multiple interpretations, and maybe that’s the point.  A symbol can be meaningful to me in one way, and to you it can be meaningful in another, and the diversity of interpretation does no violence to the utility of the symbol nor to either of us.

For the last 15 weeks, I’ve been using, largely ignorantly, 6 symbols to help me learn the lessons of the Masterkey System.  There are 4 primary symbols and 2 supplemental symbols.  The four primary symbols are a blue rectangle, a red circle, a green triangle, and a yellow square.  The two supplemental symbols are a compass and a magnifying glass.

I understood rapidly the import of the supplemental symbols.  After all, these are items I’d used many times in life, and I knew their “real world” utility.  So, thinking of a compass as directing me to follow my Dharma was easy.  Thinking of a magnifying glass as reminding me to stay focused was also easy.

Not that doing those two things was easy, mind you.  It still isn’t.  I’m still learning to operate my thinking and feeling mechanisms more efficiently and effectively.  Progress occurs, however, which is gratifying and reassuring.

Now, what about the primary symbols?  What do I learn from basic shapes and basic colors?  Not much, it turns out, until I felt prompted to take on a simple project.  You may like this story, and it may benefit you, God willing.

Here’s the project.  Some years ago, my daughter gave me a refrigerator magnet composed of a colored, patterned circle upon which she’d written her name in cursive script.  The paper circle was glued to a glass “jewel,” a piece of glass shaped like a river rock, flat on the bottom and rounding on the top, and a magnet was glued to the back.  This little magnet was attractive, it constantly reminded me of my daughter, and like all such things, was useful in temporarily affixing two-dimensional items to the refrigerator.

One day, tragedy struck.  Entropy came to collect its due, and the paper giving my magnet its import separated.  The jewel could still memorialize my daughter, but the item’s essential utility ended.  I was left with a marred memento and a bare, unattractive ceramic craft magnet.  That just wouldn’t do.

Next, the inspiration.  If my daughter could craft a magnet, so could I.  I sought counsel from my mother about where to find the glass jewels, and she guided me appropriately.  The same store, unsurprisingly, had craft magnets and clear adhesive.

I already had digital versions of the four basic symbols and a pictorial representation of a compass.  I have a real compass, but it’s safely ensconced in my emergency “go pack” left over from years of being a Boy Scout leader.  My plastic magnifying glass lies on a prominent place on my desk.  I reduced the size of the symbols to fit the size of the glass jewels, and printed them.

A pencil and scissors made short work of fitting the paper symbols to individual jewels.  A little glue, a little patience, overnight curing, and, Voila!, new refrigerator magnets.  Here’s a picture:

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It turns out that this supplemental kinesthetic exercise opened my eyes to the utility of the blue rectangle, the red circle, the green triangle and the yellow square.  For me, the message is one of simplicity.  It turns out that amazing things are produced out of simple ingredients.

Reminds me of a scripture.  “… by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; ….”  Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6.  You’d think, wouldn’t you, that having read that verse several dozen times, I’d have the message down, right?  Well, the teacher only appears when the student is ready.  And, fortunately, when the student becomes a servant, then the Master appears.

And so, my basic shapes with their basic colors now enshrined in refrigerator magnets, remind me constantly to remember to think basic, productive thoughts, feel basic, positive emotions, speak simple, edifying words, give unselfish, caring service, do simple, traction-producing activities, and hold basic, divinely inspired intentions.

I am repenting from Naaman’s fault.  I thought  I was supposed to do some great, heroic things.  It turns out that real heroism comes from consistently doing the humble, simple things which are the building blocks for a heavenly soul.  When I do that, the mansion takes care of itself.

What do you think?  Will you join me in the real hero’s journey?  Will you search out your divine destiny and use your God-given powers of perception to find the basic building blocks that will bring it about?  I know you can; I pray you will.

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