Ours is an individual experience. What we see, feel, hear, taste, smell – it’s all subjective. We think we each see daylight or feel snow the same way, but do we really? Experiences are rated on scales – Scoville scale of heat (spiciness), Mohs hardness scale, lumens/lux/candela/footcandles indicating brightness – but can we really know if our bases are the same, if we’ve all got the same starting point?
We know from the Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church that light is about enlightenment and warmth is about love –
The sun in the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is within that sun. The spiritual sun radiates heat and light. The essence of the heat it radiates is love, and the essence of the light is wisdom. That heat and that light have an effect on people’s wills and intellects. The heat affects the will; the light affects the intellect.
(True Christianity 75)
….Does someone who is more enlightened and living in more love experience a warmer, brighter summer day than another? Does someone who is struggling with her faith and living more selfishly experience a longer, colder winter? More seasonal affective disorder? It doesn’t seem so – it can be a brilliantly sunny day outside even when I’m feeling dark & crabby inwardly. I doubt that everyone in Canada experienced a severe dip in their spirituality alongside this winter’s cold snap …. or did they??
If we were to jump down this rabbit hole even further, we could discuss whether anything that we perceive is absolute or real. As I sit at my kitchen table writing this, I’m feeling a little chilly on this <what feels subjectively to me to be> cool summer’s day; the sky is gray and rain is threatening. ….But is it really? Does everyone perceive it the same way? I recognise that others will be quite comfortable in this temperature – that often has to do with how much natural insulation a person has and how fast their heart beats (I’m low on both counts); but I think we’d probably all agree that the sky is gray, and if it rains, we’ll probably agree that it’s raining. But, well, will we?? Where’s the line? At any point is it all subjective?? That leads me to thinking about the natural world that we live and spend so much of our conscious, waking time in, vs. the spiritual world where our spirits are and which is really real,……..
That’s where my brain starts to falter and I worry that I might blow a gasket: that’s too heavy, too deep, too huge for my mere little natural brain to compute. (Ha, notice those adjectives? those subjective adjectives, ‘heavy’, ‘deep’, ‘huge’? There’s no getting away from them, in this space and time oriented natural world in which we live!) I find thinking about all this stuff really fascinating, albeit to a point. But wow, what if we really do perceive things differently based on our own personal spiritual state — which, after all, really is our real self….??
….What do you reckon??