Saturday, 21 December 2013

ped x-ing or hand-jive

The X in X-mas comes from an initialism of the Greek name for Christ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, a shorthand employed by Biblical scholars and others to abbreviate things to do with Jesus or the Cross (writ both large and small—Celtic monks in Germany monasteries incidentally invented a lower-case script with punctuation for the Greeks to make reading easier) and these signs and signals are reflected in the iconography of Jesus and the saints in hand-gestures that amount to a sort of finger-spelling. These poses, each understood to audiences in a specific way, were in turn a traditional and long-established system of rhetorical gestures used by speech-makers in Antiquity to cue their listeners to something important or to mark a transition.

A parallel supplemental language is to be found in the mudrās of the Buddhist tradition, which while having symbolic significance in their portray are moreover a kind of digital yoga, each pose and arrangement having a specific mental and physical influence on the practitioner—not to say that these similar gestures, used as rites and sacraments, ingrained in Western depictions of religious figures do not necessarily have a more profound meaning and stimulus about them, as well, nor that Eastern orators and choreographers do not have a vocabulary for grandiloquence in speeches neither.