January 21, 2022


Half-dome, Merced River 04/27/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Yosemite National Park, California
We find the way
by trusting ourselves
to the emptiness
and walking.

The catch is that we cannot
use this method for our
own personal gain, profit and pleasure.

We belong to the way.
The way does not belong to us.
We cannot manipulate and control
any outcome.

No agendas, no opinions,
are the twin rules of the way.

The upside is that this is 
the greatest adventure of our life,
with benefits and glories
far outshining anything 
we could come up with on our own.

We have to hand over the keys
to our life
when we step onto the way,
and belong to the way all the way.

We trust ourselves to the way,
and start walking.



Cotton in the Field 01 10/25/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Back Roads, South Carolina
The way we see things 
is just the way we see things,
and has no necessary connection with
the way things actually are.

Even the phrase "actually are"
depends on the way we see things.

Color-blind people have to
take someone's word for it
that what they see isn't what
"actually" is the case.

The people who had Jesus crucified
were getting rid of a trouble maker.
They weren't killing God,
or even the "Son Of God."

Why do we see things as we do,
and not some other way instead?
Rural people tend to vote Republican.
Urban people tend to vote Democrat.
What does were we live have to do
with the way we see?

So, what gives with thinking
the way we see things is the 
right way to see things?

It is only the right way to see things
where we LIVE!!!

Where we live and who we hang out with there.

We see things the way the people we like see things.

It has nothing to do with the way things are.

But we act as though it is absolute fact.

It is only uneducated, unconsidered, unexamined OPINION!

We don't think about it.
We just take someone's word for it.
Taking something on faith
is a magical process 
whereby everything we take on faith
amounts to taking someone else's word for 
what we take on faith,
and it becomes an ABSOLUTE FACT
the moment we take it on faith.

And having doubts is the worse thing possible.

We cannot have doubts about the way we see things.
To have doubts is to be cast out.
To be expelled.
To be discarded.
To be ostracized and isolated.
To have no friends.
To have no community.
To have no place to belong.
Just because we thought about
changing our mind
about the way we see things.

The way we see things is sacrosanct.
Our only connection
with the people 
who see things like we do.

Pope Paul III held the power of death
(Being burned at the stake)
over Copernicus
because of the way Copernicus saw the solar system.
Copernicus recanted and "changed his mind."

The fear of death in one form or another
keeps people in their traces,
forbids "free thinking,"
and maintains the balance and harmony
of the group that sees things as they do.

The stuff we make up
holds power over us
our entire life long.

But the truth is
we can't be sure of what the truth is
unless we take it on faith
that the way we see things
is not the way things are,
and conduct experiments
to verify/validate the way we see things
other than by asking the people we like
how they see things.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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