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July 23, 2010

Window To The Invisible World

Filed under: Religion And Theology — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:30 pm

In Orthodox Christian Theology, icons are not merely religious works of art. They are very literally windows to another time and/or place – its not hard to see why as a child I hoped my bedroom window would also take me to other places. (Please see last week’s post on – “Window To The Visible World”.)

The mysticism of iconography describes how the icon is simply a barrier that separates us from the person that resides in the invisible world (the world at the end of time), a previous moment in time or a place that may no longer exist.

If you accept this premise, observing people kissing icons starts to make sense. The people on the other side of the icon’s surface are literally there with the people greeting them – just like a living person would be. And just like the living, those in the icon can be greeted with a kiss – all that separates us is the pane of glass or the surface of the image. Just like all that separates us from the invisible world is death.

This notion however, is almost impossible to grasp by the Western mind which can’t cope with things existing outside of time and space. It also doesn’t help that Western thought no longer includes the invisible world in its interpretation of reality.

Copyright © Vasilios Theodorakis 2010

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