From Cross to Manger
Noah's Ark
Pre-Islamic Hajj
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tibetan Buddhism
Plato's Atlantis: Found
Drinking to Remember: A Conclusion

The Via Dolorosa leads to Calvary, the site of the crucifixion.  There is little doubt that this historical trauma cauterized the hearts of a generation of early Christians; many details of the Calvary experience are, I argue, psychological responses to the event rather than the event itself.  Jesus passes through a narrow road with a small retinue of Romans who soon will pierce him.  It is an analogue...

A narrow road leading to Calvary and beyond.

...for this even narrower passage, the fallopian tube, where a contingent of male sex cells have made their rendezvous with the egg and will accompany it all the way to the site of implantation. 

This is the narrow reproductive road to life.

Famously, Longinus pierces Christ's side with his spear...


And then the oddest of moments, from a dramatic point of view:  The "beloved disciple" makes his sudden, disruptive appearance on the world stage, standing beside Mary, prompting the pronouncement:  "Mother, Behold Your Son."  It is the cry of the dreamer, not dying but quite the opposite, coming into existence.  And it is certainly not a "beloved disciple;" his presence only serves to lend justification for the assertion of a "son."  This is the same moment as the burning bush and the great howling of sheer identity:  I AM WHO AM.  Perhaps there is a discontinuity here?  Christ is dead.  How can he say, "Behold, your son."  The discontinuity is in the gospel itself.  It is the narrator of the dream who proclaims this son coming into being.  Just as the sign above the cross is also a cry of destiny and identity at conception. 


Longinus spear is a metaphor. Below, the reality.

...just as the ovum is finally pierced by the winner in the race for life.

The "beloved disciple" suddently appears, justifying the odd statement, "Behold your son."


The son. Behold.

What can a cell do after it is fertilized?  It multiplies.  Hence we have a tryptych of crosses, not one, but three.  The good thief and bad thief are not thieves at all, but the connection is clear:  They have robbed the initial cell of its very substance.  They are the twinning of the original cell.   


Now for the conflation of tomb and womb.  Our sad eyes drift from Golgotha to the "new tomb" offered by Joseph of Arimathea.  There is Jesus in his shroud, wrapped tight, there is Mary, and there is Joseph of Arimathea... but in a twinkling, it becomes a celibate Joseph and beloved Madonna untouched by his generous but rude hands, the "new tomb" the gentlest of allusions to a virgin's womb.   Suddenly, the tomb is swept away along with the sorrow and defeat, the shroud is gone, the whole scene redacted to a stable, a chaste couple, swaddling clothes.  Where is the cross?  Its planks have been recycled as manger.  In the air hangs the frankinscence common to birth and death and instead of the last act of a great defeat, we have the beginning of an new world order.  

The Eucharist