Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thinking Out Loud





I was thinking (no wise cracks!) and it occurred to me that there are similarities between photography and life.




Both require a certain degree of focusing. And the outcome for both can be directly dependent on what the focus is 'set' at. For example:


I was at a funeral on Tuesday. My cousin's husband died. 




While sitting in the church waiting for things to proceed, Ron and I were looking around the building from our pew.


It was quiet.




It was one of those 70's buildings where it was wide open and airy with a very tall a-frame/cathedral (quite appropriate I must say) ceiling.




I looked up. And directly above me was a HUGE crucifix with the body of Christ hanging from it. He was dead, and hanging towards us.




Having grown up in the Roman Catholic religion, I used to take all this for granted....the statues, grand churches etc. 


On this particular morning I couldn't help but be a little overwhelmed by the image of that body  hanging just ahead of and above us.




It wasn't an endearing image, nor was it soothing in any manner. To be honest I found it to be a bit disturbing.


I began to wonder what the rationale would have been to place this crucifix there. I can't imagine it being anything but scary and bewildering to children....and maybe some adults.




Here is where the 'focus' comes in. In the past this would have sent me in the direction of blaming  the church for so many things in my life.


Instead I decided to go in another direction, or have a different focus setting.




I think religions in general have something very important to offer us. I just wonder and question sometimes the manner in which they choose to do this.


Maybe it is 'age' that has changed my focus somewhat on a number of things that used to infuriate me.




I still feel the passion I had back in my youth about certain issues but I have changed the focus........less anger and more compassion.





14 comments:

  1. Hi Jim,so sorry to hear about your cousin's husband passing on...I agree, "focus" is a mayor tool in changing our perspectives on an about things that happen in life.

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    1. Liesl....I agree with you.....focus can change itr all.

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  2. As you know, I am in a different church frequently. It is interesting to contemplate the differences that I see in each one. I too, have learned not to judge or blame. Only accept and try to understand. I am there to celebrate the life that has ended. Not to judge. Not to be converted. But yet, I walk away from each one a little changed. I like to think, a little more compassionate and understanding. In each one, I see the beauty and the sense of belonging that the members have. And for them, it's a wonderful thing.

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    1. Stew....I too felt very connected to the church when I was younger. I miss that very secure feeling I had back then. But I am 'finding my way' using a little I learned from the church along with other things I learned along the way. You are in a very advantageous situation with your job.

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  3. Hmmm...still pondering what you've said here.

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    1. Pat....there is a lot to ponder when it comes to religion. It is a very integral part of being human.

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  4. I love what I learn about you here, Jim. You inspire me. Thanks.

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    1. Mitchell.....I am still in the process of 'learning about me'! lol All I know is that the '60's child' in me is still alive in me and kickin'!

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  5. I am also sorry for the loss of your cousin. But I agree with you, less anger and more compassion is something we should all strive for...

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    1. Kim....thanks. My cousin will be lost for a while but she will find her way. The compassion you show your dogs on a daily basis is truly inspirational.

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  6. JIM. . .I have been sitting here for a while after reading today's post on focus. . perspective on religion and this phrase about religion "Pat....there is a lot to ponder when it comes to religion. It is a very integral part of being human."

    Interesting. . . "a very integral part of being human". . .I've been considering your choice of the word 'integral'. . and the various forms or aspects of words originating from that root-word. . hmmm. . .you are saying without 'religion'--- in the meaning of "this bond which connects us with others and ultimately The Other",--- we are missing something/ something is lacking in our being fully human.

    Human psychology, especially from a Jungian view, will strongly support that premise. What's the thing Mme Bouvier says often enough? hmmm. ." The proof is in
    the pudding." Considering the glimpses of yourself you give us in your observations, your idea about integrated anger leading into compassionate living and loving is extremely important in aspiring to being fully human. And the teachings of Jesus, recorded in the Gospels, show us the path to being fully human. Religion is not about making us angels but helping us to be fully, compassionately human.

    This saying from the early church people "He became like us [fully human] that we might become like Him."[our lives and loving fully integrated ."anger to compassion" as you wisely point out.

    Thanks, Jim, for sharing your theology. ;-). . . ..justin

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  7. Justin....thanks for your observations. I do feel that religion/spirituality is an important factor in being human and most come to realize this at some point in their lives.
    I agree that Jesus is one of the very few humans who taught this through their teachings in an effective loving manner.

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    1. I guess that could be a good thing.

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