Into the Deeper Meaning And Deeper Still. A Touch of Christmas In July.

This will be a flight of fancy, a dive into the obscure. I don’t know exactly why I’m attempting to write this one, but I’ve been working on it for well over a year.
I have doubts that it will even interest you. Furthermore, I don’t even know how I’m going to address this subject, for I will try to take you into places I have not the words to explain. Maybe I will be given the words. Perhaps this is only for my own good, and possibly not even my own. 

“It is a fool’s errand”, I laugh inwardly at myself, “and I don’t perceive myself a fool, evidence to the contrary, yet, here we are.”
However, I’ve found that my doubts are often wrong, and you might find a touch of something familiar in it; something of value. You, yourself might be able to redeem this post by your intelligence and wise contemplation, kind reader! Give it a shot. If you have to quit, or skip to the ending, I thank you for trying.

 ~   ~   ~

Okay . . . I was watching one of my all-time-favorite movies, a Christmas-oriented animated film, for the umpteenth time last December and I noticed something strange part way through: Every time I watch it, new facets of ever deeper figurative meaning stand out for me. I realized that I instinctively seek what I call The Deeper Meaning! TDM (It deserves an acronym, right?) is a term which, as I will try to show, has itself a much deeper meaning than appears on the surface. “It’s a talent, I’m good at this,” I thought, “but, no, it is more of a gift I’ve been given.”
But how can I share this “gift” for the benefit of others? What good is it if I can’t? Of what benefit is this The Deeper Meaning? Is it only for my good alone? It seems as though that might be the case right this moment. But I hope I can bring this forth for the good of others, too. (No, I don’t think I’m the only one with this talent, this gift. I’m certain many have it! I also realize it could be different in degree and substance for everyone.)

The Catalyst

You’re going to laugh, but the movie I was watching was The Polar Express (TPE – another well deserved acronym!), a film that is loaded with symbolism. Have you seen it? It purports to teach “the real meaning of Christmas”, but barely skims the real truth of that subject. The Real Truth is there, hidden, intentionally or not, deep in metaphor and simile. 

William Broyles Jr., one of the film’s screenwriters along with Robert Zemeckis, hints that the Real Truth is there in the film by intention. He notes: “We all go through that passage… to that world of adulthood where that magic and wonder is gone — or maybe deeply buried. As we enter the Christmas season, this is a good time to rekindle a sense of wonder and awe of our Creator and Savior. The Polar Express is a great holiday film with a story even the youngest child can understand — and a profound message about faith and belief that no adult can miss.”  (I added the emphases)

However, a viewer needs some previous knowledge of that Truth, of that wondrous Christmas story, then one needs to dig into the film to expose it. A few years ago, I drafted a post about the symbolism in The Polar Express, but didn’t post it because I found that there had already been volumes written about it. I just didn’t want to join the Department of Redundancy Department. 

So, you’re wondering “why do I like that movie so much?”
“For several reasons, and for reasons beyond reason,” I reply. Back in early December, 2004, I reached my pivotal day: The Day-I-First-Believed! Suddenly, my life, my world, my belief-system took on a much deeper, more profound meaning! Maybe you have experienced that life-changer. If not, you can at least imagine the elation and rejoicing that takes place in that moment of saving transformation ( All the angels in Heaven immediately rejoiced for me. That’s scriptural truth! ).

Back to the point, it was no more than a week later that I volunteered to chaperone my young son’s class field trip to see the new Christmas movie coming out. It was one of the first screenings of The Polar Express! His mom and I had read the book version to him,  so I had a basic idea of what the movie would entail, and not only that, but my son and I were steam-locomotive buffs and the big 2-8-4 Berkshire type steam engine (Know-It-All-Kid in the film calls it a Baldwin type for some reason) became one of the main characters for us. Anyway, the movie was far, far, beyond the book! As a brand-new believer, my head was still spinning anyway. I was astonished! For example, a short way into the movie, the Conductor tells “Doubting Boy”: “Sounds to me like this is your crucial year. If I were you, I would think about climbing on board (the train of faith)!” Similar thoughts of a spiritual nature had been racing and swirling through my mind only few weeks before! And, as I watched, spellbound, I realized that the real meaning of the movie was actually not about belief and faith in Santa Claus, a.k.a. The Big Man, but belief in Jesus Christ, the real Big Man, and faith in Father God. That, combined with the fact that, in my childhood, I actually heard Santa’s sleigh bells on the roof late in the night one glorious Christmas eve, (don’t scoff, I really did, I’m absolutely certain!) it’s no wonder watching TPE two or more times a season has become a delightful tradition for me. Like the main character in the movie, I still hear the Bell of Belief ringing clearly, in all its figurative senses.

But, despite the whole prologue above, The Polar Express isn’t the central subject of this writing, it’s only the catalyst.

TDE Illuminated

Watching TPE was only where I first had an embryonic realization that the gift of The Deeper Meaning was present. Other examples of that realization, awareness, and discovery, come to mind:  movie plots that are interesting on the surface, but compellingly profound underneath, or, where love wins out against “impossible” odds; music that carries one beyond where you are, (for me, there is nothing quite as transcendent as a large choir backed by an immense pipe organ); natural mountain scenery so lovely as to make the heart beat quicker, yet being the mere covering of a splendor lying unseen to the eye, yet visible to the spirit; poetry, stories, and books that are enthralling, transporting one away from this world; a symphony orchestra playing a timeless classic; art which evokes invisible, yet powerful, emotion; a relationship which transcends all expectations;  building, crafting, or creating something beyond what you thought you were capable. That is Deep Meaning, and Deeper Still . . . can you think of some special things that take you to the Deeper?

I have written, or tried to write, of such things before, (The Reflection, for example) and here is the thing, here is the point that is so very difficult to make using mere words: The Deeper Meaning is more than merely looking deeper into figurative speech, metaphor, or simile. It is deeper than the elation of hearing soaring sopranos and booming pipes. I must tell you The Deeper Meaning is not the end result, it is only the beginning! It should lead even deeper into the hard-to-fathom Deepest! And that is where it leads me, even though I don’t think I have ever quite gotten all the way there yet. (I will, though, yes, I will!)

In everything I write, or make, or build, there is a deeper meaning. I try to put it there intentionally. That is my way as a creator. Few people see that there is something else/something more there, but I’m always gratefully amazed when a reader does. And so it is, I believe, with Creator God.

Further Illumination of TDM,
Which Is Meant To, Itself, Be Illumination,
Through Words, Ideas, and Examples:

I want desperately to get my meaning across, to illuminate The Deeper Meaning, but mere words can’t seem to express that, or else it is merely my poor command of them, but here are some words and ideas He gave me that might help :

The  Deeper Meaning is: 

Profound!
Joyfully received

Innermost, intimate revelation.
Personal and private (to share sometime later, maybe)
Non Superficial
Intensely heartfelt
Perception of the Soul
Emotionally astounding

Profound immersion in that which is:
Concealed
Secret
Hidden
Veiled

Often mysterious,
Esoteric
Obscure
Complex
Weighty
Enigmatic
Incomprehensible
Inexplicable
Perplexing sometimes
Abstruse (difficult to understand)

 

In addition, I think The Deeper Meaning is:

Transcendental – spiritual, of the nonphysical realm
Abstract – existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.
Unprovable – unable to be demonstrated by physical evidence or argument as true or existing, yet known to be true in your spirit!

An undefinable quality, or a state of being.
This quality, this “state of existence” was always there, but now I have a name for it – The Deeper Meaning – finding the true nature of this sense of wonder.

Here’s the thing, and by that I mean here’s another point:Something has been created, something made, and it contains The Deeper Meaning. That Meaning could have been incorporated intentionally, or it may be present intrinsically, hidden inside the complexity of something’s own existence.

Things that have been created to contain TDM intentionally:
All the examples I listed above where I find TDM.
The Polar Express
movie, of course!
Lord of the Rings books and movies.
Anything written by C. S. Lewis.

My own life!
Life in general!
The Creation of Adam, a painting by Michelangelo.

The Universe!
 On a higher level, The Bible!
(To name but a few)
What contains its own intrinsic TDM
inside the complexity of its/his own existence?
A huge choir singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus accompanied by the Wanamaker Pipe Organ at Macy’s in Philly.
Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon National Park-

Rocky Mountain National Park

Marriage

Baptism

Time

Communion

To name only a few real good ones.


And, on an infinitely higher level,
The Deeper Meaning exists intrinsically in:
The Holy Trinity,
God The Father,

Jesus,
The Holy Spirit,
Christbirth,
The Crucifixion
Heaven,
and, again, The Holy Bible.

 

The Importance of Mystery and Wonder;
Of The Unseen and The Spiritual;
Of Faith and Belief;
Of “Magic”.
There really is a message here if I were only smart enough to explain it!

You see,

We are always trying to discover the True Nature of things. We use tools to look farther into the universe, and further into the unseen. Searching, always delving, and looking beyond, behind, underneath, inside; wondering who is backstage, what is “in the wings”, wondering how things happen – cause and effect. We try to use reason and logic, yet we, many of us, have a strong sense of the unseen, yet close, spiritual “world”. That is what tapping into The Deeper Meaning is good for. It leads to greater appreciation of things in both “worlds”, and it leads to something else – The Deepest Meaning – the True Nature and Character of our Creator God!

Who is God?
Why did He create the world?
Why did He create you and me?
How did He do that?
Why does He love us so much?
How can I be aware of Him and detect Him in all circumstances?
How can I be near Him Always?
Pursuing TDM could and should help with the answers.
Life is filled with wonder (Oh, Lord, let me never lose the ability to find it!).
I think wonder is akin to “magic”. There is a certain “magic” in childhood, and by “magic” I mean wonder and excitement and joy; mystery and curiosity, romance, delight, pleasure, and fun, and, as in childhood, the life “beyond”, the unseen life, is even more “magical” if you but look for the Deeper Meaning, stop, look, listen, and gain Faith to believe.
I, myself, though an older believer and an elder one, staunchly participate in and defend a “magic” life of wonder and excitement, and joy, mystery, romance, and delight! It is part of The Life To the Fullest Abundance He came to give us! Thankfully, there are some other defenders of this way of looking at life, and many of them are authors of children’s books. They mentor and guide the young ones, and indeed all of us, in the arts of wonder, curiosity, and the adventure of not knowing but wanting to know. They, whether aware of it or not, plumb The Deeper Meaning.

Mystery is also akin to “magic”, and, as scientists have pointed out again and again, the universe is a mysterious place that goes far beyond our capacity to understand it. The universe is filled with “magic”. How much more “magical”, then, is the unseen spiritual world? Belief itself is mysterious, in my book. The One in Whom I believe is the “embodiment” of “magic” and mystery, wonder, romance, and love, Himself!

Catholic theologian Leonardo Buff has put it: “We never ‘catch up with’ reality itself. The real nature of mystery always evades our attempts to conceptualize it, and escapes the nets of our language and symbolism. Its depths are never plumbed. Mystery is always linked to passion, enthusiasm and all great emotions, in short, to life’s deepest and greatest impulses.” TDM dives into this mystery to embrace it, to learn it, and to know it.

Finally, As We All Breathe A Sigh Of Relief:

I have had doubts about this; there have been roadblocks and loads of distractions. Yet, I have felt urgency bolstered by the encouragement of one dear soul – only one! And of course that of the HS who has never left me alone about this task. He wants it, for some reason, and that’s good enough for me! I have faith, and believe it will be fruitful and this basket I hold out will not return empty.

As for you, if you have “made it” this far, dear reader, of having to redeem this post, I release you! You can take part in that if you like, but The Real Big Man has already done it, as He promised me long ago.

I wanted to shine a headlight on a film that gives me joy – my Polar Express, catalyst for a reaction of such depth. And, like the sleigh bell in the film, representing the “first gift of Christmas” and symbol of the  true spirit of Christmas, the gift of The Deeper Meaning is much more than just an idea. When looked at through the eyes of a joyful heart, a heart of love, it becomes an instrument, like a bell, confirming the beauty of belief. Like boarding the imaginary train that travels to the North Pole, belief and faith can’t be forced, but the environment for encouraging “getting aboard” can be enhanced and lovingly set in place. I “got aboard”, and I still hear the cheerful ringing of the little bell of faith, belief and wonder, and I always will! It is, indeed, quite magical!

Here, I have described some things of deep importance to me. I told of how I came to recognize it, what I think it is and does, something of how it works, where it can be found, how it is useful, where it can ultimately lead one, and the unending, precious benefits of pursuing it. The Deeper Meaning! I want to bask in it, let it pour over me, roll in it, dive into it, let its current take me and wash me into the Deepest of All Meaning!
I would like to, somehow, stimulate the desire in you to look for it too – if you don’t already have it (chances are you do). When you decide to take that journey into The Deeper Meaning, keep right on going and it will eventually lead you into the Deepest of All Meanings – To The True Nature of, the divine substance of, the essence of the Maker and Source of all Meaning, The Very Center of Creation, and to the very Heart of God, Himself.

And Merry Christmas in July!
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. My Father's Child
    Jul 31, 2020 @ 16:14:58

    I LOVE this!!

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