Both religious icon and secularized sculpture or painting possess a kind of medicine power that might be drained by too-familiar association.

This might also be a cultural idiosyncrasy, though, no? What about those religious objects of a lot of Native American or tribal African culture, where people wear or constantly touch or even, like the Aborigines, of living and wandering in? One of the big things I don’t like about the whole Judeo/Christian/Muslim philosohy is this distancing of ourselves from god, so much so that god has now become this amorphous, abstract, impossible-to-fathom construct in our imaginations, of which we must feel guilty when we don’t accept it. It also means we don’t have to take responsibility for our “imperfections” when things go wrong, as if there is some kind of perfection somewhere. I feel the same way about art. Personally, I love a life and outlook that requires us to engage fully in the the world around us, with all its beauty and ugliness, joy and pain. To me, that means using our senses to know it as best we can. Awe can be a wonderful thing, but not if it removes us from fully understanding and engaging un our lives and the life of the world around us.

My opinions, of course!