Frames of Reverence

By Adam J. Pearson

In relativity physics, we talk about “frames of reference.” A frame of reference is basically a point of view from which we are observing something. What if we had a correlative or analogous concept for spirituality?

I would like to coin a new concept, which I call “a frame of reverence.”

A frame of reverence is a view of the world in which something or someone is seen as sacred, awe-inspiring,or worthy of reverence.

Different religions present different frames of reverence. In Wiccca, the frame of reverence centers on a Goddess and God and their activity in nature. In Hinduism, there are many frames of reverence centered on different deities. Atheism tends to focus its frame of reverence solely on the natural world and a deep scientific understanding thereof. Chaos Magick uses a technique called ‘paradigm-shifting’ to adopt and drop belief systems at Will; they essentially adopt and drop different frames of reverence as suits their purpose. Even political perspectives sometimes present frames of reverence; nationalism, for example, reverences the nation as an idealized entity. At many points in American and world history, particular world leaders have become figures of reverence in the frames of reverence of their followers, sometimes explicitly, as in the deification of Augustus in Rome and the Pharaohs in Egypt, and implicity, in the way many American presidents have been seen throughout history. 

The idea of frames of reverence can be an interesting catalyst for self-reflection:
What does your frame of reverence include? What does it exclude? Can you expand it? Can you contract it?


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