The Meaning and Symbolism of the Palm Cross

The Meaning and Symbolism of the Palm Cross

The palm tree stands tall and iconic, its presence a testament to endurance and fortitude. With its robust trunk, it anchors itself firmly, radiating a quiet strength amidst its surroundings.

Throughout human history, palms have been revered and held in high esteem. The ancient civilizations harnessed the benefits of date palms, utilizing them for shade, nutrition from their fruits, and as a valuable resource for construction. The palm leaf has always been simbol kemenangan achieved with honor and sincerity, a symbolism evident every time its fronds dance gracefully with the breeze.

Drawing from ancient Greek lore, the palm leaf was an emblem associated with Nike, the deity representing victory. It was customary for champions of the Olympic Games to be honored with these very leaves, further cementing their significance.

The Historical Roots of the Palm Cross

In the ancient realms of South and Southeast Asia, the scarcity of paper was palpable. Yet, the rich tapestry of their cultures and narratives demanded a canvas, and dried palm leaves became their medium of choice.

Dating back to the 5th century BCE, and perhaps even before, civilizations stretching from the Middle East to Vietnam harnessed the resilience of palm leaves for recording their tales. These leaves underwent a meticulous process of drying, smoking, and shaping into rectangular slabs. Eventually, they were bound with twine, crafting them into manuscripts that bore witness to their times.

Significance of Palm Sunday in Palm Cross Symbolism

In the days leading up to His resurrection, Jesus made a monumental entry into Jerusalem. Instead of arriving as a dominant force on a horse, He chose the humble path, riding in on a donkey, embodying peace over power. This serene procession soon took a tragic turn when, by the week’s end, He was captured and crucified.

For Christians globally, this significant Sunday is commemorated as Palm Sunday, marking the onset of the sacred Holy Week. As Jesus made his iconic entry, his devoted followers blanketed his path with palm leaves, emblematic of his peaceful yet victorious journey.

Now, on Palm Sunday, the tradition continues as believers hold aloft palm leaves, echoing that historic procession. In regions of Europe, where genuine palm leaves were scarce, alternatives like tree branches were used, giving rise to other names, such as Yew Sunday.

Cultural and Spiritual Importance of Palms in Domestic Settings

Palms might not tower at their full height indoors, but as houseplants, they’re a favorite choice. With their remarkable vertical growth, they can add a sense of expansiveness to rooms, transforming even narrow spaces with their verdant presence.

Though thousands of palm species exist, only a handful are commonly found as indoor plants. These are typically adaptable to rooms with moderate to good lighting. Ensure their soil remains moist but well-drained to prevent root rot.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, palms are renowned for their air-purifying qualities. Areca, Dwarf Date, and Bamboo palms, for instance, are listed by NASA as top performers in removing airborne toxins. Be aware, however, that palms can be susceptible to spider mites. Regular misting of their leaves can help in managing this issue.

Take caution when considering pruning a palm. Their growth originates from a central stem, and cutting it for height control could be detrimental. If your palm reaches the ceiling, consider gifting it to someone with a more accommodating space. As for yellowing or browning leaves, be patient before removing them; palms are known to extract vital nutrients from these aging leaves.

Philosophy: The Path to the Meaning of Life

The Path to the Meaning of Life

Philosophy probes the profound questions concerning human reality, God, and nature. It challenges what is accepted unquestionably in society, shaping our minds to perceive the distinction between a general worldview and our personal perception of the world.

Philosophy must be experienced, not mastered as one would memorize a physics formula. Aristotle had his own physics, dividing the universe into two parts: terrestrial and celestial. But pondering how Aristotle arrived at this division, with the terrestrial formed from a combination of water, earth, air, and fire, is the spirit of philosophy that must be embraced.

Philosophy should encourage its students to disagree with Kant, considering current situations that differ greatly from past philosophical speculations. Kant, for instance, argued that whoever emits CO2 into the atmosphere must pay compensation. Yet, we may reconsider Kant. This ethical responsibility could not be applied to 18th-century CO2 emissions since scientific data were not available to show that CO2 emissions were harmful.

From a general moral theory standpoint, an individual might be less accountable in a situation where they are epistemically incompetent. Or a robot helping an elderly woman in a hospital does not diminish her dignity. Philosophy must critique that the Lapindo mudflow was not caused by surrounding earthquakes (bogus science) but by drilling beyond the earth’s allowable layer (genuine science). Philosophy observes that human smuggling isn’t inherently wrong if an African immigrant is forced to pay a smuggler to reach Europe to earn money for their family.

Each generation indeed gives birth to its unique philosophical perspectives. I remember the logic lectures (Marian Talbot from Oxford and Otto Gusti Madung in 2014); deontic logic states that deception is wrong. Thus, do not deceive at all, while temporal logic reveals that formulations constructed in the early 2000s might be less suitable now.

Philosophy should make us realize that studying philosophy is not merely about naming philosophers and expressing their exact thoughts. Philosophy should provide a reason to study and even correct Kant, “samen met Kant tegen Kant,” reminding us that philosophy is an excellent science for continuous individual and collective historical reflection.

One may memorize the classical utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and the developments by John Stuart Mill but may fail to apply Mill’s teachings in their study room. Bentham stated that if a pig’s satisfaction is 90% and Samuel’s is 50%, the pig’s must be far better.

However, Mill argued that it’s better to be a dissatisfied Socrates than a satisfied fool, distinguishing intellectual satisfaction from reading a novel and physical satisfaction from eating red rice. But, in the context of Flores, Mill could be offensive to small farmers with no time to read.

Or one may know Aristotle’s moral theory perfectly: knowing what to do, doing what’s right, and doing it for the right reason, but may still fail to do what’s accepted as right for the right reasons.

I conclude by drawing inspiration from Parmenides: “Only one story of this journey remains: that something exists. On this path of the journey, there are many signs about existence: that is complete, unique, perfect, and never cracked” (Parmenides: The Way of Truth). Philosophy is a lifelong pilgrimage that can only sustain itself through continuous, uncracked subject exploration, and it exists. Philosophy is the path to the meaning of life.

The Art of Understanding According to Schleiermacher


The Art of Understanding is a term declared by Schleiermacher in his hermeneutics. He saw hermeneutics as the “Art of Understanding”. Understanding is of course different from knowing. Those who know have not come to understand.

Understanding is the activity of capturing meaning. While knowing is nothing more than the act of gathering data. Data can be known by something, for example: genes, neurons and computers, while meaning can only be understood by someone. What does it mean to “understand” and why is this activity considered an “art”? We will find the answer in the philosophical ideas promoted by Schleiermacher.

A Glimpse of Schleiermacher’s Life

This time I would like to invite readers to philosophize with Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768–1834). Schleiermacher is known as a philosopher and founder of modern Protestant theology who lived in the Romantic era. Romanticism is nothing but a movement critical of the enlightenment of the 18th century.

Romantic thinkers saw the progress of Europe’s science, industry and technology at that time as a decline rather than progress of civilization. On that basis, romantic thinkers were more interested in myths, traditions and religion as objects of interpretation studies. They try to explore the meaning behind this ancient wisdom and then live it anew. Schleiermacher was deeply influenced by the Romantic movement.

Schleiermacher was born on November 21, 1768 in Breslau, Silesia in what is now Poland. He grew up in a Protestant family. His parents even planned that Schleiermacher would be prepared as early as possible to become a preacher.

Schleiermacher then entered into a seminary in Barby/Elbe. At the seminary, Schleiermacher became acquainted with philosophical literature, theology and non-religious romances. This made him confused, between becoming a preacher or a scientist.

This hesitation prompted Schleiermacher to pursue philosophy, theology and philology at the University of Halle. There, he even – for the first time – became acquainted with Kant’s critical philosophy. From the time Schleiermacher taught at Halle in 1805, he began to concern himself with hermeneutics. He died in Berlin on February 6, 1834. Since then, Schleiermacher is known as the founding father of Modern Hermeneutics.

About Hermeneutics

Budi Hardiman in his book entitled “The Art of Understanding: From Schleiermacher to Derrida”, emphasizes that the term “Hermeneutics” is actually not a term that has just appeared in modern times. This term can even be traced in the religious culture of ancient Greece. Hermeneutics etymology is related to the figure of Hermes, who mediates between gods/goddesses and humans.

In Greek mythology, Hermes served as the party that conveyed the messages of the goddesses to humans. However, before Hermes delivered the message, he first understood or interpreted the message for himself. After he understands the intent of the message, then he articulates the intent of the message in a language understood by humans. The gap between the sender of the message, the sender of the message and the recipient of the message must be bridged by this activity called “hermeneutics”.

Hermeneutics in English is called “Hermeneutics”. This term is derived from the Greek word, namely: “hermeneuein” which means “to translate” or “to act as an interpreter”. The activity of translating one language into another is actually nothing but what we call “Hermeneutics”.

The activity of translating is actually not just exchanging a foreign language into our own. More than that, translating is interpreting so that it can be articulated in the taste of our language. In other words, translating is the activity of capturing meaning according to the author’s intent in a language that readers understand.

It should be noted that early hermeneutics was nothing more than an activity carried out by clergy in order to interpret sacred texts, such as holy books. This activity aims to reveal the meaning of Divine Revelation written in sacred texts. The different ways or methods of interpreting then give birth to different and even contradictory interpretations.

This happened in the early development of Christianity. Since its inception, Christianity has been peppered with hermeneutical polemics. The Christian congregation in the city of Alexandria has a way of interpreting the scriptures that is different from the Christian congregation in Antioch.

The divisions that occurred in western Christianity, namely: between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers were rooted in different ways of interpreting Scripture.

So, since when did hermeneutics become a philosophical problem? We should be grateful to the thinkers of the renaissance in the 18th century who brought out hermeneutical activities from the medieval religious cage. If the medieval clergy limited hermeneutics to the interpretation of scriptures, the Enlightenment thinkers extended the field of interpretation to profane texts. Enlightenment thinkers even looked at the scriptures the same as other profane texts. In the minds of enlightened thinkers, sacred texts are no more special than other texts.

Enlightenment thinkers uprooted the sacredness of the books considered sacred by medieval clergy. Enlightenment thinkers wanted to go beyond radical medieval ways of interpreting a text. In other words, they use rationality – without being driven to strengthen their faith – in order to grasp the meaning behind the sacred texts. That’s what Schleiermacher will do.

The Art of Understanding a la Schleiermacher

We first understand what Schleiermacher meant by the term “understand” (verstehen). According to Schleiermacher, understanding is nothing but the activity of capturing understanding (verständis). While understanding is the result of the process of understanding. The object of understanding activity a la Schleiermacher is none other than language. However, please note that

What is captured from the language is not words as far as words or sentences as far as sentences. In everyday life we often try to catch the meaning behind the words of people who are talking to us. Because for Schleiermacher, the spoken word is never separated from the thoughts of the speaker.

He further emphasized that humans do not think about the same thing, even though they use the same word. A philosopher and a doctor both use the word “human” but their perspectives on this one word are of course different and even contradictory.

Understanding in Schleiermacher is thus the activity of capturing what is thought rather than the grammatical meaning of the language being spoken by the speaker. Therefore, we need to distinguish between “understanding what is said in the context of language with its possibilities” and “understanding (what is said) as a fact in the mind of the speaker”.

Hermeneutics a la Schleiermacher actually tries to capture what the speaker understands by the word he is saying. In everyday life, we often encounter discrepancies between the text and the intent of the text, between the words and the thoughts of the speakers, and between the text and the author’s intent. This gap tends to give rise to misunderstandings.

Misunderstanding then has the potential to cause racial, social, religious conflict and so on.

Then why is understanding a la Schleiermacher considered an art (Kunst)? In order to understand this term, we first need to distinguish between two types of understanding, namely: “understanding spontaneously and understanding with effort”. Understanding spontaneously can be felt in our lives every day. We will easily understand the words of our parents, because we are born and live in the same social, cultural and religious environment. In this context, we understand each other spontaneously.

However, Schleiermacher did not develop such a hermeneutic. The starting point of hermeneutics a la Schleiermacher is nothing but a misunderstanding or lack of mutual understanding. For Schleiermacher, misunderstanding characterizes modern society. Modernity, which is characterized by a plurality of ways of thinking, ways of life, religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs and ideological pluralism, is prone to misunderstandings. Or in Schleiermacher’s words, “in modern times, misunderstandings are inevitable”.

Misconception has become an indisputable fact, in modern times.

Schleiermacher further emphasized that misunderstandings are often caused by prejudice (Vorurteil). Prejudice occurs when readers or listeners feel their perspective is superior to the intent of the author or speaker of the word.

Therefore, understanding in this case can be said to be an art for two reasons: First, because efforts to overcome common misunderstandings are always using “sophisticated” methods and not just spontaneously. Second, because overcoming common misunderstandings is always done with certain rules. Art, in this case is defined as ‘smartness’. This is the same as when a music artist produces beautiful harmonic tones.

The art of understanding is thus the activity of capturing meaning (with sophisticated methods) to overcome common misunderstandings. What you are looking for is the thinking behind a

Expression. In this sense, hermeneutics is nothing but the art of listening rather than the art of speaking, the art of reading rather than the art of writing. Schleiermacher asserted that hermeneutics is nothing but the art of thinking and therefore is philosophical in nature.

With that way of thinking, Schleiermacher made hermeneutics a method in order to capture the meaning behind speech or writing. The use of hermeneutics methodology is not limited to specific texts. For him, all texts, whether spoken or written, can be interpreted in the same way. In fact, interpretation has become an ability possessed by every human being.

Schleiermacher’s art of understanding is nothing but an attempt to capture the meaning of text (written or spoken) both from a grammatical point of view and the objective condition of the writer or speaker. If the writer expresses his thoughts through writing in the form of sentences, then the interpreter tries to use the language (sentences) to understand the mental objective condition of the writer or speaker.

Thus, the interpreter is able to understand every writing and utterance based on the perspective of the writer or speaker. According to Schleiermacher, this kind of hermeneutical methodology is effective in overcoming misunderstandings in modern social, cultural and religious life.

Benefits of Studying Philosophy

Benefits of Studying Philosophy

Philosophy is knowledge and intellectual investigation of all phenomena in depth. In studying philosophy, one is required to have the courage to learn various unusual terms and to understand various long and complicated reasonings. When deciding to study philosophy, you must be able to think logically and openly.

It should be noted that reading philosophy books contextually is still difficult for ordinary people to understand. Therefore, to study philosophy through text, it is necessary to study the basics of logic first so that you are trained to think logically and systematically. If you are used to it, studying philosophy will be fun.

Think Critically and Logically

Teaches to Think Critically and Logically

Studying philosophy certainly has various benefits. One of the most commonly known benefits is teaching them to think critically and logically. Philosophy itself is a means of testing scientific reasoning, so as to make a person critical and careful in his field of knowledge.

Critical thinking will prevent someone from being solipsistic and thinking that his opinion is the most correct. In addition, by thinking critically and logically, it will be easier to filter fake news. The mind is also more open, thus avoiding intolerance.

Find Value in Life

Helps Find Value in Life

The next benefit of studying philosophy is that it helps discover the value of life. It’s no secret that someone often asks what is the meaning of life and what do we live for. By studying philosophy, such questions will be easier to answer.

Philosophy is able to provide understanding and views about life and the world. This is what makes it a source of inspiration and a guide for life in various aspects. By finding the values of life, a person will become wiser in dealing with all the problems that are being faced.

Developing Science and Technology

Developing Science and Technology

Studying philosophy apparently also plays a role in the development of science and technology. Please note that the philosophy of science provides the foundations for life as well as other sciences. Therefore, the philosophy of science is useful in developing science and technology whose existence is able to make life better.

Philosophy of science apparently is not only useful for neutralizing various findings of knowledge but also thinking about how this knowledge is useful in life. Thus, science and technology are not only present for the benefit of humans, but also for the benefit of nature. Studying philosophy makes a person able to understand science as a whole and use it as a basis for learning.

Various Flows in Philosophy that Need to be Known



It should be noted that in philosophy there are various schools that need to be known. One of them is the flow of rationalism which adheres to reason. This school prioritizes reason as the only reliable source of knowledge because reason is the most important tool in acquiring and testing knowledge.

Reason has the ability to solve various life problems. Rational understanding argues that truth is in accordance with evidence-based on facts, not from experience alone. The purpose of reason here is logical thinking, so that all logical things can be confirmed to be true.



The next stream that needs to be known is idealism. Idealism is a school of philosophy that prioritizes the soul. You could say that idealism is the opposite of the flow of rationalism. Because in the flow of idealism assumes that knowledge where psychological processes are subjective.

One of the philosophers with the flow of idealism is Plato. According to him, the mind is the original image of a spiritual nature and the soul lies between the original image and the image of the world that is captured by the five senses. It is this view that makes idealism often seen as the opposite of realism.



Empiricism is the next philosophical stream that needs to be known. This flow emphasizes the role of experience and downplays the role of reason in acquiring knowledge. Unlike rationalism, which only relies on reason, empiricism requires sensory evidence to determine truth.

The flow of empiricism is guided by the experience that has been passed. According to this flow, knowledge can be obtained through experience with the intermediary of the senses. It should be noted that this truth based on experience has succeeded in having an impact on the field of law and human rights.



The next current in philosophy is materialism. It does not require grandiose and abstract propositions, the flow of materialism adheres to facts that are clear and easy to understand. Materialism holds that something that is stated as a fact is a material.

The material itself can be interpreted as materials, objects, and everything that appears. Material-oriented people are called materialists. A materialist is more concerned with material things and leaves aside everything that transcends the senses.



Positivism is the next trend in philosophy that needs to be known. This flow is a perspective based on science or oriented to natural science. So it can be said that positivism focuses on real facts and overrides things that are outside reality.

It can be said that positivism is close to empiricism because they both believe that knowledge is based on experience based on the senses. The figures of the positivism school argue that humans will never know anything more than what they have seen and found based on real facts.

Learn Philosophy by Reading Philosophy Books

Reading Philosophy Books

Understanding philosophy is not only for students majoring in philosophy. Those of you who are interested in various aspects of life can explore it through various philosophy books.

Therefore, on this occasion, we have some recommendations for philosophy books that can be a reference for you.

Many say philosophy courses are difficult and complicated. Apparently, philosophy teaches you how to seek truth, ideas, and knowledge in this life. By studying various philosophical studies, many insights will open up and of course, you can also write down ideas, discuss and then debate them with your friends or lecturers.

You have to start reading philosophical works, not just reading one work of a philosopher. But must explore the thoughts of various philosophers.

There are several books in the form of novels that can bring you closer to philosophy. Both for beginners and for professionals who want to deepen their philosophy.

Getting to Know Famous Philosophers

Famous Philosophers Aristotle


The first philosopher who is impossible to miss for those of you who want to study philosophy is Aristotle. Aristotle has contributed so much thought to science, including religion. So many religions in the world harmonize their religious teachings with Aristotle’s thoughts.

One of his thoughts that is widely used today is the theory of the syllogism, namely the method of drawing conclusions from two premises containing facts. Not only that, but Aristotle has also studied and contributed a lot of knowledge in various fields of science. Among them are art, literature, government, economics, society, and others.

Famous Philosophers Plato


Plato was one of the three great philosophers from Greece, along with his partner Socrates and his student, Aristotle. Plato’s most famous thought is the Trias Politica. According to Plato, to achieve a good government, it means that there are three things that a state needs to have, namely the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies. This is stated in his book entitled Republic.

Plato’s thinking was finally used by every country that upholds democracy to date. Apart from writing about government, Plato also wrote about metaphysics, ethics, and education. All of his thought contributions provide additional knowledge for education today.
Paul of Tarsus

For Christians, the name Paul means a prophet or apostle. His name is Paul of Tarsus. Tarsus itself is a region in Turkey at the mouth of the river Tarsus Çay in the Mediterranean Sea. Paul was a loyal follower of Jesus from Nazareth. Paul’s meeting with Jesus occurred when Jesus was on his way to Damascus.

Paul wrote the story of his journey and thoughts based on the life of Jesus Christ. Until now, many of his thoughts have survived and are used by world Christians.

Famous Philosophers Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes

Turning to France, there is the name Rene Descartes. The great name of this philosopher is due to the contribution of his thoughts which are so great. Descartes’ name is also called the founder of modern philosophy and of course also known as the father of modern mathematics. Descartes’ first work entitled “Regulae ad Directionem Ingeni” was his unfinished work.

In late 1968, he had a disagreement with Chandoux, another well-known philosopher of the era. Descartes’ concept of science is very different from Chandoux’s. Because, according to Chandoux, science can or can only be built from various possibilities. However, for Descartes, knowledge can only be built based on facts or strong reasons.

As a result, there is a lot of knowledge that is present, thanks to Chandoux’s previous thoughts which have begun to be doubted by many parties. Descartes’ thought is what is called rationalism.

Famous Philosophers Confucius


In China, there was a thinker who was considered the Great Teacher named Confucius. His teachings about morals and goodness teach his adherents to always live harmonious life. Confucius was known as someone who loved to learn. Even Western thinkers like Leibniz and Voltaire were also inspired by Confucius’ thoughts.

Confucius’ teachings became a “religion” for people in China and East Asia called Confucianism. In China itself, Confucianism is called Confucianism. Therefore, for followers of the Confucian religion, Confucius is considered a prophet.

Confucius’ teachings are so strong and influential in East Asia such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and throughout the world.