“In algebra, the letter ‘x’ is often used to represent an unknown quantity or variable. Similarly, in English, x represents the unknown, as in X-rays, which baffled their discoverer, and Malcolm X, who chose the symbol to represent the forgotten name of his African ancestors.”
For those of you who did not attend the workshop last Saturday and even for those of you who did, it is not at all ironic that we named the story of WUUC that we are yet to create or live into, “X.” By the way, the only reason that we did not come up with another name was that we were limited by time agreements to end at a certain time. When stumbling around the Internet after reading more about the meaning of “X,” I found the above definition of the letter. But “unknown” means anything but a void. Rather it is spacious, filled with potential, limitless possibility. It denotes exploration, research, and adventure.
I also loved the one of the definitions of the symbol of “X” that Board member Karen Hyams found: “soul of the world.” Says Wikipedia:
“The world soul (Greek: ψυχὴ κόσμου, Latin: anima mundi) is, according to several systems of thought, an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to our world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body. The idea originated with Plato and was an important component of most Neoplatonic systems…
Therefore, we may consequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all relate.” The “X” represents the two bands that come together to form the soul of the world.
How cool is that?! Now, I am not arrogant enough to say that WUUC is the soul of the world. But given our conversation on Saturday that included the concepts of “power” (authenticity and full engagement with life and connection with others) and “love” (as in Agape or Big Love beyond the self and for others and the world), I became intrigued. What if the two bands that come together at WUUC to tell our story are power and love which form the soul of the church? Or, what if WUUC’s story was titled “Empowered by Love?” Empowered to do and be for one another and the world?
All of this may be pushing a symbol too far. Or trying to make it okay that “X” is the placeholder for our story until we come up with a title. But frankly, I am grateful for the knowledge that “X” contains the unknown. And that it is the embodiment of our 7th principle: “ Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Peace, Shalom, Salaam,