One of the things I miss the most about my new digital camera is that it has an automatic focus. It won’t let me focus the camera, rather it does the focusing for me. Many years ago I got totally into my old Pentax for about a decade and shot a coupla thousand pictures of everything imaginable. What made the pictures most interesting, besides composition and content, was my ability to direct the viewer’s eye to one particular point of the picture. The ability to focus that old camera made my pictures real personal impressions of life’s moments.
These days, with my digital camera, it decides where the eye should look and that makes my pictures more into what I would call ‘snapshots’ as opposed to artistic choices of my own personal points of view.
Now I often forget my camera and even when I do remember to take it, my pictures are seldom interesting to me. Even when they’re in focus, it’s not my particular focus, it’s the camera’s focus. When I do get a good picture occasionally, I just consider myself lucky that the camera and I agreed.
What we choose to see in life, the way we see life, the way we experience life is all a matter of focus. I witnessed a traffic accident a few years back, and in the aftermath, when the cops were interviewing several people who stood on the same corner and witnessed with me, I was amazed to hear the different recounts and completely disparate recollections of each witness.
Each of us, standing in the same spot, had a different focus, and so told a different story.
Whatever the reason we go through this experience here on Planet Earth, and I sometimes think the whole reason we’re here is to find our way back to our true spirituality, some of us get very lost and make little progress and some of us actually spend some real time moving in the right direction.
Those who progress are simply better focused on the right idea and those who wander and even get lost lose focus and go down the wrong paths.
I had a Sunday School student several years ago who was just an terrific all-American kid – bright, spiritually curious, a good athlete, a sweet and gentle person, and an Eagle Scout with a great future before him. He’s now in Leavenworth Prison locked up for life on a horrendous murder charge. He was guilty – no question about it.
I believe he simply lost focus.
The crude creations of mortal thought
must finally give place
to the glorious forms
which we sometimes behold
in the camera
of divine Mind,
when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal.
Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms,
if they would gain the true sense of things.
How can we stay true to our true selves? I believe that each of us is God’s perfect child, but some of us get off the track and lose our way.
It happened to me. I spent a decade of my life with a drug addiction, and though some of that decade was very focused and my career successful, over all, looking back, I was completely out of focus and totally barking up the wrong tree. I know now that I wasted a decade of my life wandering about.
When I dropped the drugs finally for good, my life got immediately better as I re-found my focus.
Where shall the gaze rest
but in the unsearchable realm of Mind?
We must look where we would walk,
and we must act as possessing all power
from Him in whom we have our being.
Mary Baker Eddy, the author of the words of this song, had a very special sense of focus. She saw through the material picture into the unsearchable realm of Mind and captured the truth of being in her understanding of life.
All of our spiritual leaders have this ability to see beyond the material picture, beyond matter, into the infinite and eternal.
These lofty people are made of no different stuff than you or me – same skin, bones, basics, just like us, but they had a clearer focus. They focused through God’s camera and chose through His lens what they wanted to study and investigate. They chose through their own particular points of view what they wanted to experience and the way they wanted to live life. It didn’t mean that they had it any easier – Ghandi didn’t have it particularly easy, nor did Jesus, but they stayed in better focus throughout their lives and learned to focus through the way that they lived. They acted as possessing all power from Him in whom they had their being.
Acting that way gave them that power.
As mortals gain more correct views
of God and man,
multitudinous objects of creation,
which before were invisible,
will become visible.
I think this verse is about practice. As a musician I know the necessity and the value of practice. Wanna get better at what you do? Practice. Wanna be successful? Practice being successful. Wanna be fulfilled? Practice being fulfilled.
Focus on what you know in your heart to be the right choice, the right road, the right direction and then practice walking on that road and you will lead a better life and you will grow in your being. That is an absolute truth of life.
Gain a better focus and you will begin to see things through your life’s lens that you never saw before – not material objects, but spiritual ideas that will in turn give you even more powers of focus.
You could say the same about any great artist. Any great human being for that matter.
When we realize that Life is Spirit,
never in nor of matter,
this understanding will expand
finding all in God, good,
and needing no other consciousness.
And when you get your focused point of view clearly in mind and then can live that self-completeness, consciousness changes. What you are conscious of, changes. And human consciousness, what we are conscious of humanly, dissolves into nothingness.
We then live only in our spiritual consciousness. I believe that’s what happened to Jesus when he ascended. He simply let go of his human consciousness and rose to a higher form of consciousness – became moment-to-moment conscious of only his true spiritual self.
Did that make him God? No, that made him the Christ consciousness. He became totally conscious or focused on his Christly spirituality and the man Jesus dissolved back into the illusion that it always was in the first place.
Rather heady stuff to write a song about, I suppose, but why not? I chose, about two decades ago to move on in my writing to deeper pursuits than “I want you, I need you, I love you “ songs and so here I am, focused on hopefully a higher body of thought.
I thank Mrs. Eddy for pointing down the road, for giving me a focus that seems like a wondrous direction in which to spend my time.
I have deeply enjoyed the collaboration.
Even More Inspiration
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