Station VIII: What Comes After Us

Jesus consoles the weeping daughters of Jerusalem, at the eighth station. The concern has shifted from the self outward, and from the here and now into the future. The pilgrim is able to perceive eternity, as represented by the lemniscate, or figure 8. Eight is the number associated with accomlishment, and legacy. What will we leave behind? What comes after us? We understand that life doesn’t end with our demise, but continues in its various forms and for generations.

Jesus says to the women, “Do not weep for me, but for your babies.” My gross summarization of his statment, is that life goes on. Don’t get caught up in a momentary failure or difficult situation, because it, as everything does, will pass. Jesus’ physical existence would come to an end, but generations would follow, and new life will be celebrated again and again. And Jesus understood, as the pilgrim has also realized at this point, that life–that enduring spark connected to God, never vanishes.

In the Grotto’s sculpture, one sees the lemniscate not in the Roman numeral, of course, but in the crown of thorns, and the rope around Jesus waist. The artist has taken care to make prominent the figure 8 in this particular relief; I don’t think this was an accident. Heading back down the chakra line, we’re at the brow chakra, which enables us to see clearly events on any given timeline. We are no longer short-sighted, but have the vast perspective of time without beginning or end.

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