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Some things need Perspective

Are you a cup half full or half empty person? When I was young, I was a cup half-full person. When I got older, I slowly became a cup half-empty person. But after I became a Christian, I became a cup completely-empty and completely-full person. Let me explain. It’s based on Relativity; you know Einstein’s theory. Relativity is the thinking of a comparative relationship between things. A benchmark is to be chosen to compare all things to; a zero point from which all other things are measured.

The problem with this is, in the physical world, all things move or change, including the speed at which light travels, against which we compare the passage of time and massive distances, so space. Well, if the speed of light was thought to be a constant, but since it was able to be measured, it has now been found to be gradually, minutely, slowing. So, all our measurements become theoretical again instead of based on an established truth.

Then what does this do for the average person’s confidence in science? I guess that depends upon whether they’ve really navigated their everyday life by foundational science. Most who claim they believe in science rarely refer to science in their daily routine or even consider it at all in the mix. Accordingly, they’ve just used ‘so-called scientific truth’ as an ideological weapon to deflect other’s perceptions of reality. It is a religious agreement they fall back on when challenged to think of what is real. Yet the irony is, all of that is based on relationship, hence relativity, the part they disregard.

That’s the problem with habit; it can blind one from truly being scientific, from observing when things have changed. Not unlike the problems many experience in personal relationships, people can bury their heads in the sand, anything to avoid acknowledging things have changed. This can mean people have changed, circumstances have changed, or our awareness and understanding has changed. So, if we want to be honest, our responses to things need to change. But to be honest, we’d much rather stick with the status quo; it’s really a kind of laziness we then defend.

Interestingly we spend way more energy defending how things have been excepted than acknowledging and adjusting to what is now known. Ah, denial, the old invested gamble. One more day, one more step in a direction, leading people into darkened tunnels rigged to collapse because of short-range thinking.

Short-range thinking; when everyone in the world thought the earth was flat, certainly a result of short-term, two-dimensional processes. This was during the time of both Christopher Columbus and Martin Luther, contemporaries who challenged the status quo and changed the world.

Going along with the majority had controlled people’s relationship to reality, even though reality itself had not actually changed. In the past, the church has fallen victim to this pattern as well. They thought and taught the sun revolved around the earth. When Galileo challenged the assumption, the then known science world radically resisted for their reasons. The religious man-made version of the church, with its paid indulgences, rights of passage and power to excommunicate, fought back for their own reasons.

They were protecting their own investments and personal gain, to their chagrin, at the attempted expense of the truth, and for a time, this was an incredible expense.

Reasoning can be sound in our brain patterns, but information can be wrong, and so we can get trapped in whatever we’ve been taught and never think to give it a second thought or look. To be truly free, we must be able to reexamine the past through to our own immediate present and be able to extrapolate the implications on our decisions for the future.

So where’s the good news in all this? This same quality can stabilize us and help us not give up something real, like relationships. Recently, in Palmer Park, in Port Perry, our son James Joseph Green, as part of the crew assembled to record the goings-on of the Port Perry 150 celebration, heard many words come forth about unity, growth and good relationships between peoples of this area, not the least of which was from Chief Kelly LaRocca (Chief of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation – of the Anishinaabe), Erin O’Toole (Leader of the Conservative Party and Official Opposition in the Federal Parliament), and Lindsey Park (Conservative MPP for Durham Region and Parliamentary Assistant for the Attorney General – Ontario). Many affirmations and genuine expressions were shared about how peoples of all groups have collaborated and moved everyone’s larger group agendas forward.

While there is always more good we can do, we must remain cognizant of the perspectives of the past and build in wise directions forward, never betraying the good hearts of our fore-parents. It’s using a benchmark or a relative (pun intended – relative) point from which to compare. This is how society remains stable and grows smoothly, including true Indigenous society.

This reminds me of part of the Great Peace or the Great Binding Law approach; a Haudenosaunee (/Hoden-o-shawn-ee/) or Iroquois Confederation, Aboriginal perspective, used to evaluate decision making. It’s not unlike what many Indigenous cultures carry in their considerations of things; you see, they still value what’s gone before. The basic tenant is this: We must always think of the effect of our decisions on at least seven future generations. But, as an extension of this thinking, we must consider the choices of our ancestors to at least seven generations before. Tell me where this connection ends. If those, four generations earlier, were considering seven generations before them and valuing seven after them, then we, today, are intrinsically tied to the considerate decisions of even further generations of our people.

This sounds like the good values of many cultures around the world; our people, our history, and the integrity of LIFE matters. Notice the word ‘integrity’ comes from the same root as in the word ‘integrate’. To be interrelated. Huh, it seems the Indigenous people had a more practical version of relativity before it was ever revealed to Einstein.

If, there is no stable thing to measure against in our perception of reality, all of life comes up for grabs. The combination of denial and despair presents the idea we can do whatever we want because there is no reality and so really no consequences. The lazy, short-range view easily jumps at this choice, the reason why divorce is so rampant in our world today. If that’s not the fruit of a bad investment pattern, I don’t know how to show you.

What we need is a point of reference, which won’t change, yet remains relational, respectful, and nurturing. This is God, not religious behaviour.

In Malachi 3:6 it says, “I am the LORD, and I do not change.” GNB So, because God cannot be influenced by lesser things and is not subject to the weakness of change, this means the moral entity we call God is Truth itself. The Bible further supports this. Continued on page 16

Written in John 14:6 it says, “Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life;” ” and further in Hebrews 3:18, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” both from the GNB. Indicating his nature as the unchanging God.

Some people say, “Image is everything.” Some say, “Perception is reality”. To this thinking, I say, “Image is only perception, and perception is actually only a perception of reality, NOT reality itself.” If we make the mistake of thinking our impression of things is actual reality; we claim our perception is perfect.

Written in John 14:6 it says, “Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life;” ” and further in Hebrews 3:18, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” both from the GNB. Indicating his nature as the unchanging God.

Some people say, “Image is everything.” Some say, “Perception is reality”. To this thinking, I say, “Image is only perception, and perception is actually only a perception of reality, NOT reality itself.” If we make the mistake of thinking our impression of things is actual reality; we claim our perception is perfect.

I have a friend who is of Aboriginal descent, and he has lost the sounder way of thinking. His Adage, “If I never expect anything good, I will never be disappointed.” Sad really; if he could get out of his small life, foot-in-front-of-him approach and get into the greater life God has intended, he would see things radically different. Our tiny little one-life, single-moment, point of view cannot truly trump the grand scheme of things just because we want our own little immediate perspective to be served.

None of us see perfectly or has perfect insight. The Bible admits this freely. In 1 Cor. 13:12 it says, “For the present we see things as if in a [darkened] mirror, and are puzzled; but then we shall see them face to face. For the present the knowledge I gain is imperfect; but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” WNT This refers to the ultimate perspective and accountability to respond, in healthy ways, to life, which we all carry. The fact is, the Bible acknowledges our desire to be self-sufficient as a failing and something which is not of our making, but also admits we do compound its failings so.

Traditionally, Indigenous cultures deal with those who do not have the public good in mind, by turning their backs on them; this is not done with a calloused heart but with the view of redemption. When a person is left alone, they are vulnerable to attacks of imagination, the elements, and very real predators. A position many have experienced today with the sense of isolation during Covid. However, most individuals would eventually turn back to the community, making restitution for the negative effect they had on others. This would help restore the offender to a sense of equilibrium and a more healthy social understanding going forward. The community would gain a constructive, less self-absorbed member. Win, win.

As I have given my life to the control of Almighty God, I have emptied myself of any quality I may have considered as having any real value, except those which He conveys to it, and then through it to society around. I believe in the value of your life and its eternal place in the long view of things.

We here at The Standard are particularly sensitive to the atrocities unleashed against the 215 TK’emlups te Secwepems Nation children, whose lives were so dramatically disrespected and integrity violated, in Kamloops B.C.

I come from a family of the Kanien’Keh’a:Ka (Mohawk) peoples, yet, I am sure I can say safely, “All peoples everywhere, of every nation, regret this disrespect of these lives, and desire these kinds of actions never occur again against any person of dignity. That includes every person of every people.” Let’s look beyond the actions of this twisted, self-absorbed, seemingly, non-human time in our history, and do not give it any more power by nursing this harmful spirit’s effects.

I pray to the Creator; for all peoples to consider the implications of any actions one contemplates and allow that to arrest, within themselves, any action which would harm another. This is the nature of the Great Peace and of the Creator Himself who came and died to free us all, from the power of resentment and retaliation to take our hearts. God richly bless your cup, remember when it’s completely empty, it is still completely full; we do need air as well. Perspective.

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