A good point indeed, Stephen! Thank you!
I grew up Catholic, but I was lucky not to have a fundamentalist family. As we are descendants of Italians, it was a way of being in the Catholic context, disagreeing a lot with it, but getting very upset if someone dared to speak bad things about the Pope (by the way, long live to the, to some extent, progressive and extremely human Francis! ).
Over time, I learned mythology and saw that they are metaphors that connect us to very deep contents. I particularly like Campbell’s phrase that mythology is the religion of others.
Even so, this Saturday night touches me particularly, when there is for me the most beautiful and profound mass of the year. From cathedrals to tiny churches, the lights are turned off. The fire is lit outside, and it enters the nave with the procession preceded by the priest, whereupon the new paschal candle is lit with the new fire. A ritual of renewal of belief and faith in something greater that comes alive in each of us by the reenactment of Christ’s death and resurrection.
This week I was reading an excerpt from a book by the Jungian analyst Bárbara Hanna, and she remembered that the cross would represent differentiation through consciousness. It contains, as you perfectly said, the basic four elements of the whole quaternity. I particularly like this jungian notion, for it includes the feminine that is out of the cristian trinity (included, therefore, in the images of Maria). According to Hannah, the cross’ pole represents the act of taking a definite conscious line, of going straight toward a goal. However, it is only by the corporation of the unconscious, irresolute and undecided — in other terms, its opposite — that nature is united as we may become who we are truly meant to be. The individuation process.
That this Easter we can take the masks off our eyes and see that deep down, as you say, Christ and Shiva are in dialogue. But also Buddha, Mohammed and so many others. That we may realize that the fundamental thing is to become human, individuals, that is, without letting ourselves be divided.
Happy Easter for those who celebrate it, and a good holiday for those who are connected to other traditions.
The important thing, at this time when we are fortunate to be able to make religious choices and spiritual paths, is to allow ourselves to follow and therefore experience something that makes sense to us.