I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Holiday.
Even if you are not religious, it's nice to spend time with your loved ones,
or at least have a three day weekend, if you were that lucky.
I grew up Catholic and have always observed Easter as the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you ever wonder where the Rabbits, and Eggs and candy and such come from,
they come from the Pagan holidays of old Europe before Christianity when people celebrated
the Spring Equinox and the goddess Eostre. Like most major Christian holidays, Christian Easter was organized around the already celebrated Spring festival and in the time of "Eosturmonath" named after the goddess and thus the name stuck. Rabbits/Hares were always a sign of Spring well before most religious celebrations as a time of rebirth and fertility. Eggs and the coloring of eggs predates Christianity as a very old Eastern European tradition to give to good children as a reward.
None of this takes away from the celebration of the resurrection. In fact it is meant to be a part of the celebration together, that is why the Catholic Church decided to celebrate the resurrected Christ at this time. It is also the time of Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrating the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery to the Egyptians. Some of the followers of Jesus said they had seen the living Christ after his death at this time and it made sense to celebrate his rebirth during Passover. In AD 325, the Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter should be fixed on a Sunday after the first moon of the Vernal Equinox. This allowed the pagan celebration of Easter and the Spring Festival to coincide with the Resurrection Celebration and would help attract more people to the Catholic church and the Christian religion. It makes sense to me. Back then the Christian religion was the newest of religions and to allow the people to continue their celebrations and include the risen Christ, was an easier transition for all.
This is in brief, is why we call the holiday Easter and why you have chocolate bunnies and colored eggs during the celebration of the Resurrection. Similar stories of Christmas and the decorated tree and Halloween all have longer pagan traditions than they do religious.
None of this takes away from the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not at all.
This is just history and how it all came about. There is no right or wrong here, it is all based on one theme and one theme alone - rebirth.
Spring is rebirth. The time of year when it begins to warm up and the flowers and animals begin to come out again. Born again is the planet and life itself. This tradition of celebrating the new season of rebirth is as old as time. It only makes sense to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection during this period of time. History dates that this is the time when this actually happened, so it all goes hand in hand. The rebirth of Christ in resurrected form.
Even if you are not religious, the resurrection story of Christ is full of learning and spiritual principles.
The idea that we can shed the human suffering and transform into the spiritual is a lesson for all.
"Life is painful at best. The only thing that eases the physical pain is being spiritually minded."
roughly translated from the teachings of Buddha.
To live this life with a mind that is spiritually motivated rather than physically motivated is a rebirth that is unparalleled on this planet. It usually takes some suffering and some devoted change on our part, but it is possible for anyone who has the ability to be honest.
I know all of this seems fluffy and upright, but I enjoy Easter today. I grew up Catholic and although I am not very religious, I am spiritual and I now I appreciate the traditions more than in the past. I have less contempt today for the religious life. When I think of all the things I can do to change even more, the one thing that comes to mind this spring is to be more understanding of my fellow man. To let go of resentments and try and listen rather than explain. I owe no one an explanation. I need to listen to others and what they believe and understand that it is important to them, I am not greater than my fellow man, I am equal to. If someone taking a knee at a football game makes me very angry and resentful, maybe I will try to understand why they feel this is important. I don't even have to agree with them, just try and understand. They are my brothers and sisters and they have a right to be here. If someone is angry with gun owners and thinks that guns should be banned, I will listen and try to comprehend why they feel that way, or vice versa. Whatever the issues that are ruling our daily lives on social media, why not try to spend more time understanding the opposite view rather than explaining my view? Most people are not "dumb". Most people are not "bad". They're just having a different experience than we are. It is easy to explain away why someone does something wrong by calling it "evil" or blame society for the cause of tragedies......but it's much harder to take time to try and understand. Thats my goal to be reborn this spring, to stop explaining and listen more. Inside, I know what it is right and wrong for me, but maybe that is not true for you. In the end, I trust the process, and I know that is very hard for some people to do, but I do. I know that the good will outweigh the bad, it always has and always will. You may not be able to see it, but it's there. Horrible tragedies have taken place on this planet, atrocities that cannot be forgiven in our human hearts, but the Spirit of the Universe is not human and much greater than I can comprehend. I do not suggest that we sit idly by and let horrible things happen and write them off as God's plan. We must be involved. Stand up for our fellow man and take action for what is right in our hearts. If we have nothing to stand up for, at least do not belittle those that do, how lucky we must be to have not to worry about anything.
Understanding. Rebirth. Resurrection.
Begin again in a new form. I will try my best and certainly will fail, but I will try.
I will also try NOT to eat every chocolate ass bunny that is laying around this house today, and trust me there are way too many.
Give yourself a break this spring. If you give yourself a break, you most certainly will give me one too.
Peace, Love, Zito