The distinction between strength and power.
As we discover how these terms are far from synonymous we find ways to use their differences as a heuristic.
Strength is an attribute. It is something we gain through direct application of effort. Its extents and limits are known to the body – and can be kept in mind if we attend to the body. Strength gives us the vitality required to resist whatever impinges on us. If we confuse our strength for power and attempt to "throw our weight around" we find that it is too quickly sapped in the process and too hard to regain. Strength supports and is fed by whatever wisdom is available to us.
Power is an external force we think we control. This control is an illusion. Thinking it is ours, we are easily drawn into believing we can go farther. We overextend. We leave the dynamic of strength and wisdom behind to chase after power. This actively wears us down at the same time as it presents us with an enthralling delusion of immense capacity. The seeming ease with which we appear to wield power disconnects us from the demanding calculus of its costs.
Crucifixion was an ultimate act of humiliation. A punishment reserved for those held in profound contempt. It's every aspect intended to break the spirit as well as the body.
Symbolically, crucifixion is the penalty for finding one's self caught between dualities. It enacts our untenable and fatal condition on the "horns of our dilemma." It also points to how we may get beyond the grasp of intractable dualities.
The way it does this is itself another paradox.
Following this path through humiliation we arrive at the source of life.
This lesson is proclaimed all around us. It hides in plain sight. Its meaning obscured by the very efforts made to announce it.
It is both profound and essential and also just a moment in passing. A sign of a transition to be let go of as soon as we pass it.