Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
All is vanity, the back and forth reflection of a reality that is shared insofar as it is self-shared. I’m rubber you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and comes back to you, except we’re all rubber, everything is rubber, a universe made out of rubber and we wonder if God has given us protection? Bashing ourselves against shards of shattered perspective eventually leads to self-perfection. Minor digression.
There are three flowers on the table, all of the same species, but one is red, one is yellow, the last one blue. My dog looks at them and sees three identical flowers. I look at them and see three different flowers. Which of us is correct?
The only answer that can hold water is that we’re both right (and both wrong); the flowers are at once the same and different. What I and my dog are individually experiencing is not some concrete reality, but different perceivable ranges on the spectrum of information available. Could the dog benefit from color vision? In certain circumstances, of course, but that is not to say that his interpretation of the flowers is incorrect, or deficient, any more than my own view is wrong or deficit. That is to say, mine and your view of the flowers is undoubtedly “wrong”, there is a whole universe of information entailed in the flowers that we do not directly experience. Granted, technology can greatly augment our capabilities, but it is still true that we have a finite amount of attention that we can pay to our various sensory inputs, so at some level, there is always a tradeoff to be made, some facets of the situation must always be ignored. If I choose to look at the flowers in ultraviolet, I will form an entirely different impression of them, under x-ray, another impression, etc. etc.
So it is seen that the reality we see and express is not in fact a representation of what is actually there, insofar as it is actually an expression of what we are and believe. The ideas and descriptions we put forward are less representative of what actually exists (how could anyone say anything meaningful about something which is separate from oneself?), and moreso a judgement of the internal landscape the speaker experiences.
“This is stupid!”
No it is essential, only you cannot understand how so, so where is the real stupidity?
“This is evil!”
What is evil? The deprivation of good. What is good? Existence. If it exists how can it be evil? Where is the real evil then?
The problem of change then arises. If everything is Good and Right and Pure, and all criticism is in fact self-critique, then what can be said or done to affect meaningful change? Is paradise really a static system, an unchanging hell?
Yes and no. The only thing better than a Heaven that never changes would be a Heaven that always gets better, so that is what must be. But how do you “get better” when everything is a matter of perspective? Isn’t the question proving false the answer?
Yes, if there wasn’t an ultimate perspective from which things could be judged. Just as the totality of a human enterprise can be gathered from its constituting parts (employees), so can God be thought of as the totality of everything in existence, everything which acts and can be acted upon. For such an Entity, Its self reflection, Its judgement of reality, would not be flawed or incomplete. By definition, God’s understanding encompasses everything, His attention is infinite. How God defines reality IS still a reflection of His attributes, it’s just that His attributes happen to be an unending, and therefore perfectly descriptive of what is real (and unreal).
Although cause for great comfort, this fact does cause its own irritation: if we ourselves are incapable of accurately assessing the world, if we really are just fulfilling our own internal monologue, then how do we go about forming an accurate picture of our actual surroundings, rather than what we see and directly experience?
Well, as we’ve already established, there is only One able to judge right. Our only choice seems to be to listen to Him.
But how can we tell what He’s saying when we can’t trust our senses!
Trust. Belief. Faith.
These things appear necessary.
My custom, in this particular, is so well known, that the very schoolboys cross the alley on tiptoe, betwixt the hours of four and five. My cell is the very dwelling of Morpheus. There is indeed a bawling knave of a broom-man, quem ego. But this is matter for the Quarter Sessions.