In this talk we are looking into the meaning of being Special. Is specialness Relative or Absolute. What is the difference? When death or tragedy happens, everyone works together, and everyone is special. When there is no threat of death or deconstruction, specialness reverts to Relativism. Our specialness then depends on our status, function, and height over others. Our UP depends on others being Down. Relative specialness happens when we lose reference to the Whole that includes all the parts.
When the world fragments into warring parts, every part strives to be special, to be the Unique One that has no second. All we can hope for is for a moment in the light of Specialness, like winning the lottery. A mass shooter or Terrorist gets one moment in the Sun of Specialness. Individual and groups all strive to be the Unique One without a second. We get our nod from Yahweh in the OT who said to have no other gods before Me.
When we return from the hospital our friends and family make us feel special. We didn’t do anything. Why is that? All life is special, and when death threatens, death reminds us that we are all special. And so we honor that specialness with flowers, visits and food. Then everything returns to relative specialness. But for a moment we were absolutely special. Absolute specialness is felt when you don’t do anything to deserve it. When you deserve the medal of specialness, this is relative specialness because you have through effort made yourself rise above the others so you are, for a moment, the Unique One, which is the meaning of being special.
But absolute specialness is totally different. You are special because you are alive. You are special because you are a mundane not-special you. You didn’t have to do anything to earn it. Works did not earn you this grace, this love. So when Jesus talks about turning the other cheek or loving your enemy, I think this is what he is pointing to, the absolute specialness of everyone, even your enemies.
Absolute specialness is the absolute specialness of all the parts in a whole. It is the reference to the whole that makes the parts special. When that reference is lost, each part then tries to become special in order to restore the Unique Whole. There must be the ONE. When the Whole as the One breaks down, anarchy is loosed as each parts struggle to become the One without a second.
When we are sick, death unites us and everyone is absolutely special when the reference is to that which unites all life, which is death.