> For several years I have admired the elaborate God's Eye hanging in
> the room of a reading teacher colleague. This year I asked if I could
> borrow her God's Eye to see if I could make one like it and then have
> students make one. She is a Jehovah's Witness and became alarmed when
> I called it a God's Eye. She wanted to know more about the background
> and said she night not want it in her room anymore. I sent her a
> description/definition that I got off the internet. After I was
> through with it and had a student return it, she threw it in the trash.
> I thought about the other artworks that we make - like the Huichol
> yarn paintings. And I'm sure we do more, of which we don't even
> realize the origin.
> I'd like to re-visit this topic. Comments?
Shakespeare said it well: "What's in a name? that which we call a
rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." I'm fascinated that
this woman appreciated and enjoyed having this object in her room until
it was labeled with a religious term. For her, ignorance was bliss.
When I've had to discuss the significance of objects like sacred masks
or mandalas, I use the term "beliefs" instead of "religion." Pretty
much the same meaning, but without the semantic baggage.