Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It is from heaven that strength comes

How ironic it is that I work for a company whose trade mark slogan is ‘Because size does matter.’ I did not come up with that one, thank God, but the clever chap who did still loves it. Does it sell machines? Who knows, but it does raise eyebrows. We make automated measuring equipment and saw systems that help improve efficiency and lower costs.

Because size does matter? What’s that supposed to mean?
Well, you can give it any meaning you like, some will be true, others false. Yes, if you’re a cabinet-maker you want your pieces the right size. That’s what my company offers, a machine that does that. But slogans like this are of limited meaning, and in the real scheme of things, they mean practically nothing. How’s that for size?

In an odd sort of way, size is really nothing but a function of our sensibilities, our perceptions, our thoughts, which are themselves sizeless.

The universe of an ant, its dimensions, its speed of movement, its duration of time, is no smaller, no faster, and no shorter than the universe of a man. The universe of a star, if such objects have consciousness (can we say they don’t?), is no larger, no slower, no longer than the universe of a man. At every gauge or scale of physical reality, it is perception alone, the consciousness of measurement, that recognizes ‘size.’ That’s why I’ve always thought it a nonsensical argument to say ‘How can you believe our tiny planet in the infinite universe so important that it alone hosts human life?’ Well, why shouldn’t it? And what has that got to do with size, number or location? This point has already been better examined by C. S. Lewis than I could ever hope to do. All that I want to emphasize is that this is not a trivial and unimportant idea, but a foundational one.

Size not only doesn’t matter, but it actually is not a valid basis for gauging anything but physical characteristics. This orange is large, and the other small. But without cutting them both open and tasting them, I cannot tell which is sweet and which bitter. Perception makes all the difference.

This has wide application to human life, wider than we imagine, but we keep the notion at arm’s length, because it is so terrifying.
More terrifying than the idea that we are a small planet with sentient life forms cast adrift without provision or protection in an infinite and dangerous universe, is the idea that we are a small, populous world of spiritual beings who have a personal Creator, Owner and Judge, with whom each of us has personally to deal, and that our choices, not our sizes, matter.

Forgive me, brothers, for this ramble.
We read in the Anagignoskómena, in 1 Maccabees,

‘How can we, few as we are, engage such overwhelming numbers? We are exhausted as it is, not having had anything to eat today.’ ‘It is easy,’ Judas [Maccabaeus] answered, ‘for a great number to be routed by a few; indeed, in the sight of heaven deliverance, whether by many or by few, is all one; for victory in war does not depend on the size of the fighting force; it is from heaven that strength comes…’
1 Maccabees 3:17-19 Jerusalem Bible

So, size doesn’t matter in the world of the acts of God, maybe only in the facts of nature, and though we appear to belong to one universe, our minds are eyes that see into another. And somewhere we’ve heard that ‘we will become like Him, because we will see Him as He really is.’ That sure gives a new twist to the saying, ‘seeing is believing.’ No, it doesn’t give the saying a new twist, it abolishes it altogether. There’s a new saying now. ‘Seeing is being.’

And that is just the beginning of another Story.

The graphic at the beginning of this post really is quite illuminating. Click the image to enlarge it fully. Studying it over in detail with the thoughts here presented in mind does help illustrate them in a way mere words cannot. I'm not sure of the source, but it looks like a 2-page spread from a science magazine.

No comments: