January 10, 2012 2 Comments
Of all the varied Cultural Grails of American Capitalism, none is more poignant, and consistently heartbreaking, than watching the elusive quest of “e pluribus, unum” morph into “per plurima, plura”.
Many African tribes have used initiation through “secret” societies as a cultural tool in developing a Value, Norm, Ritual, and Punishment system. This system however runs into differences due to scale, environment, wealth, and religious differences. In a nutshell therefore, after some analysis, one can only surmise that “e pluribus, unum” can only really succeed on a psychological level where the following (somewhat adjusted), popular quote holds,
“We hold this truth to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”…
Beyond this simple phrase one may easily disenfranchise atheists, homosexuals, and /or agnostics. We may be reaching for too much, and it never worked in the fable titled “the dog and the bone”. In this story a dog with a bone in his mouth, caught a glimpse of his reflection in the water. In an attempt to get what he perceived to be the bigger bone he lost the very bone he possessed!!
But I digress…. I came across the amazing procession of the Filipino religious procession of the Black Nazarene ….. an extreme example of a culture dialed in to a VNRP system.
The Black Nazarene, known to devotees in Spanish as Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (abbreviated as NPJN, Filipino: Mahal na Itim na Nazareno, English: Our Father Jesus Nazarene) is a life-sized, dark-coloured, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross, believed to be miraculous by many Filipino Catholics. Originally fair or light-complexioned, it turned dark after it was exposed to fire on its arrival from Mexico. The image is currently in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines, where it is venerated with the weekly Friday Novena Masses and several annual processions. The most famous of these is on January 9, celebrating its transfer (Traslación) and enshrinement in the Basilica, and is attended by several million devotees.