When is a bear not a bear? When it’s a Teddy. We are exploring metaphor and the innocence of the child’s mind, for children see metaphorically. I also brought in Avatar to help us with this inquiry. Where is the Sacred in a Profane world? For the child, his Teddy is sacred.
Let’s look at how we are able to enjoy movies as a back door into this question. We suspend disbelief that the movie is not-real when the lights go out, for it is only when we see the movie as metaphor—the movie is both real and not real at the same time—that we can enter into the movie as the movie and enjoy it. We can notice this for if someone talks to you during the movie, you get irritated because that suspends the metaphor and you are snatched out of the movie back into the profane world where everything is a meaningless IT.
So you can check this out for yourselves. The idea we’re attacking here is the sacred and the profane. The sacred is when something, a place person, or thing is larger than life; the sacred is transfused with the numinous, with Being itself, with presence.
Our modern dilemma is that science and conventional wisdom sees the world as profane, a material aggregate of stuff that in itself is imperfect and without meaning. This was pointed out in Avatar, when the Sky People (us moderns) saw the sacred Home Tree is just another tree or IT. Just pick another one, they are all the same.
The Navi were like children with a sacred Teddy Bear. The parent sees the teddy bear as just an IT on the Walmart shelf. You lose that one, get another one. they are all the same. But for the child and the Navi, you cannot replace the Sacred.
And yet, metaphorically, the Sacred is just another IT, nothing divine, nothing special. Logically, we cannot hold the sacred and the profane together as One, for logically the teddy must be one or the other. In our conventional wisdom, the teddy is just an IT, and you can PRETEND it is sacred. But the child is not pretending.
So when Jesus said only children can enter the Kingdom of God, is this what he meant? The innocent mind is not a stupid mind, but a metaphorical mind who can see everything as precious and sacred, while at the same time knowing that nothing is separately special…For if you make one thing Sacred, you have made it profane at the same time. Do you see?
The teddy is both a bear and not a bear simultaneously. The world is both sacred and profane simultaneously. If you select anything from the totality as sacred, you have then created the profane. Conversely, if everything is profane, everything is sacred.