"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Cosmology and Family Heritage

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A friend recently mentioned a line from a Lee Maracle novel, “How do you begin to tell someone their world is not the only one?”   In the after-effects of Synod and some transient despair around the question of reconciliation, I’m clearly seeing that the real root issue is an inability, or an unwillingness to understand that other cosmologies or world views perceive the world in radically different ways.

This is not a question of degree, as in I think that is light blue while you call it teal.  Rather it would be like you saying that’s a chair and me saying no, its a grandfather…or you saying the Grand Canyon is the result of geology and erosion, and me saying no, Creator made it as the place from which all life came.  Do you see?  We’re not even talking about category errors, but rather a completely different way of perceiving what is around us.  It is not an academic question, but a question of being.

In spiritual matters, this has been plain to me for most of my life.  I have tangible perception of spiritual realities that most people aren’t even aware of, and I’ve encountered and seen things that can physically act in our reality but are invisible to most people.  This used to weird me out, but I’ve come to accept it as a particular part of God’s gifts for me to use in ministering to His people.  I’ve met others with similar experiences, just as I’ve met others who have physically perceived the Holy Spirit as a forceful wind that pushes on them.

When I describe those things to someone who has never had that encounter, they usually look at me like I’m unhinged or conclude that I’ve misinterpreted things (“there’s more gravy about you than the grave” as Scrooge said to his dead friend).  This is what I mean about fundamentally different world views…it is nearly impossible to even cross the divide to understand what is being spoken of.

But that is true in many aspects of reality.  I could write out the wave equations for an electromagnetic wave propagating in a waveguide from first principles, and solve them to demonstrate that there are discrete modes of propagation which can be defined by the electrical and magnetic wave maxima and minima.  Unless you have an advanced degree in electrical engineering, or had carefully studied the field, you would probably look at me in disbelief.  It’s a reflection of an old adage, any technology sufficiently advanced will appear as if it is magic.

So why is it so difficult to transition between cosmologies, to actually walk in another person’s shoes literally?  I think because it involves the need to completely remake ourselves into the being who can see differently, which is something only done with much pain and willingness to accept risk to the existence of the self.  This is not an easy journey, and you can’t make it happen just by reading a few books or a few blogs.

My experience of a couple decades of embracing my family’s suppressed indigenous history has been exactly that sort of journey.

More later…


Written by sameo416

July 14, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. This is so beautifully written. Thank you. There are those to whom God has gifted a sensitivity to the spiritual and I would venture to also say, the emotional realms. I believe it is so there are those who can feel and understand how someone else’s shoes fit and what it is like to walk in them, glimpsing the nuances of the journey; feeling the rocks, pebbles, grass, smooth pavement and potholes underfoot. There are far more ways of seeing than with the eyes and unfortunately, there are many who choose not to even use their eyes to see what is right in front of them. Seeing and blindness are opposite ends of the same scale.


    July 15, 2016 at 12:20 pm

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