Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Easter means to me

I grew up in a partly religious family, but my dislike for authority and unnecessary rules made me go my own way after my early teenager years. It does not belong to the topic of Easter, but it is interesting to tell that there was already someone in our family who experienced the same: it was my grandfather by my father. He told the same story to us many times how dissapointed he felt when in the war priests were blessing their weapons in spite of the same laws which have been repeated by them so many times in churches ("You shall not kill".) For him it was the perfect proof of hyppocracy and made him dislike the church all of his life long. He was not a bad person though, because actually in the war he really had the chance to decide himself, and let somene escape instead of killing him.

In spite of all my doubts I do not have any problem with religious people, and I am sure that even now many of the stories what I have heard influence my way of thinking unconsciously. I sort of kept the "best of" things to myself, I did not threw everything out.

Easter belongs to these best of things to me. When I was a child we went to the village of my Mum to celebrate Easter. Countryside Hungary has been pretty religious that time, and the whole Easter week was a celebration each day symbolizing something else from Thursday until Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday we had big breakfast with ham, boiled eggs and scone which were blessed at the church in the morning. I like to remember these things, because there was something sacred in those days. Something which is universal, and over any religion. People were also talking about the pagan origin of the Easter symbols like the egg, and the whole Easter time represented, and still represents something mystical to me.

Then and also now it had a message about hope and rebirth. Rebirth in a sense of continuing to live in a renewed form after going through all the phases from rise to fall. A bit like metamorphosis. 

 'So was that how it ended? ' 
 'That is how it ended, disciple,' replies No. 118 as the woman approaches Ivan and says : 
 'Of course. It has ended ; and everything has an end . . . I'll kiss you on the forehead and everything will be as it should be . . .' 
 She leans over Ivan and kisses him on the forehead and Ivan strains towards her to look into her eyes, but she draws back, draws back and walks away towards the moon with her companion. . . . 
 Then the moon goes mad, deluges Ivan with streams of light, sprays light everywhere, a moonlight flood invades the room, the light sways, rises, drowns the bed. It is then that Ivan sleeps with a look of happiness on his face. 
 In the morning he wakes silent, but quite calm and well. His bruised memory has subsided again and until the next full moon no one will trouble the professor--neither the noseless man who killed Hestas nor the cruel Procurator of Judaea, fifth in that office, the knight Pontius Pilate. 
- Mikhail Bulgakov: The Maser and Margarita

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