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July 1, 2021

Appreciating Life means Seeing the Tiny Details & the Bigger Picture.  

In this dualistic world there are two philosophies competing for our attention.

Both of them are correct, and both are flawed at the same time.

Let’s use some examples from historical figures to illustrate the point.

Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh viewed the world in a certain way, painting with their “glasses off,” while scientists such as Einstein and Tesla saw the world through microscopic values, almost infinitesimally with “glasses on.”

Two different viewpoints, neither wrong, yet illustrating a fundamental point of philosophy, that being; sometimes one needs to see the world through softened focus, and other times through narrow focus.

When I view the visage in front of me with my glasses off, I do not see the fallen leaves, the detritus, the broken limbs of trees, the long grass, or the unpainted fence. What I see is a yard that is completely in touch with itself and at peace with the world.

Should I view the garden with my glasses on, I would see the fallen leaves, the uncut grass, the unpainted fence, and the fallen branches—chaos to some people.

One of these viewpoints is based on nature, the other based on human interpretation of “perfection.”

Which is more correct?

We could spend hours, and hours, and a lot of money, making the backyard perfect—fertilizing and cutting the grass, trimming the trees, painting the fence—and repairing everything to absolute perfection, but what good would it do?

Who are we doing this to impress, more so, why?

Does the fence need to be detailed and painted precisely every year?

And how long before the paint builds up before the fence has to be replaced?

Does every last leaf need to be picked up off the lawn so that it remains pristine, and for who?

And what about that annoying woodpecker? Am I supposed to hunt it down and kill it so it stops annoying me?

There’s nothing wrong with perfectionism in the way Albert Einstein or Tesla explain the deeper meanings of things, but while we’re here why don’t we enjoy everything without our glasses on, and let stuff be?

Let the grass grow a little longer.

Let the paint peel a little bit.

Let the kids cut their shins and get their hands dirty in the garden.

Let the crows caw without pulling out a .22.

Yet at the same time:

Trim the grass because it needs cutting in order to grow.

Paint the fence occasionally, as it will help preserve the wood.

Pick up the nails and sharp objects from the garden, and pull weeds.

Toss out grapes for the crows and feed the other woodland animals.

I’m not suggesting that we should see everything through rose-colored glasses, but perhaps we need to pull said glasses off to see the greater beauty surrounding us.

Have you ever seen “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by the painter Georges Seurat? I spent a great deal of time studying it at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I can tell you this is a magnificent example of what I’m talking about.

From afar, the scene is a wonderful and placid picture of a sunny weekend day by a lakeshore, however when viewed up close, each of the images presented is made up of tiny little dots, perfect in each way, and coloring.

It is one of the most marvelous paintings I have ever seen in my entire life, and a perfect representation of what I’m speaking about here. I recommend, going online and finding a high resolution picture of this. Zoom in, and you’ll see that each pinpoint and pixel are differently colored and shaded.

Then zoom out to see the whole picture in its entirety.

This is life.

We seem to be nothing but pixels, but beautiful pixels nevertheless.

If we zoom in too close, we lose sight of the whole picture, yet seeing it from afar we cannot appreciate the total perfection of who created it in the first place.

In the end it’s all about appreciation and thankfulness for seeing the whole picture, and yet being able to create it with such precise perfection.

Believe it or not, this is a core Crux teaching about what life is really all about if we would but sit and look within to accept what is true.

~

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