Absolute or Relative (Choose the Better Way)

Absolute or Relative (Choose the Better Way)
Absolute or relative (choose the better way)

Strident (oil) by Polly Castor

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the important difference between the absolute and the relative.

God is by definition infinitely absolute, free from limitation or restriction, independent and undiminished, without imperfection or fault, completely pure and unmixed, straightforward and uncomplicated.

On the other hand, whatever is relative is a mixture of elements, and is therefore comparative, complicated, and often contradictory. For example, the human consciousness is relative.

Prayer is returning thought to the absolute, instead of merely trying to fix things on the (sometimes mucked up) relative plane of existence.

Of special note, the absolute is where healing happens. Healing occurs when the ever-changing human perspective of things surrenders to the control of God, the omnipotent divine Mind that made and governs all as good.

A few days ago, I got a chance to prove the power of turning to the absolute, instead of wringing my hands in the relative. Just after having a pretty decent attitude about being highly inconvenienced while not having power or internet for a week, my blog crashed. The last time that happened, I got all balled up in the discouraging appearances put forth by the relative perspective, and it took two weeks to get it back. You may remember. This time, even though I couldn’t post, or even see twelve years of daily posts, I didn’t freak out. I remained an unruffled calm, simply because I made a difficult, but conscious choice to.

I stayed above it, contemplating the situation from the absolute perspective, instead of a crippling position of justified frustration. Mind you, a negative reaction seemed honest and warranted; I certainly didn’t deserve another road block. But as I advised in my blog post of a couple months ago, I responded instead of reacted.

I chose to think out from the standpoint of God (the absolute), instead of struggling humanly up to it. This was an incredibly better approach. From this point of view, I was positive my needs would be met, and I gave my full, conscious consent for a quick resolution. And since thought governs experience, that is exactly what happened. I didn’t miss a day of blogging, and only got out Friday’s post a little late. You may not have even noticed.

What seemed to be going on (in this case a thwarting, disempowering frustration) and what is really going on (God’s care without lapse in meeting every human need exactly and directly) were diametrically opposite things.

This shift has many applications in this weird pandemic year, where life feels vulnerable, isolated, and uncertain, exacerbated by an undercurrent of political concerns. As we follow through on what we need to do humanly, we can avoid getting sucked down into negative, unproductive feelings, and instead get really comfortable contemplating –and counting on– the absolute Truth instead.

Discerning spiritually (absolutely) instead of humanly (relatively) you too will notice much better, quicker, more satisfying resolutions. I encourage you to give this a try!

Absolute vs relative, the difference between the absolute and the relative

Praise Him Like I Should (oil) by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Diane W 4 years ago

    Love these colours and the strong contrasts Polly!

  2. Mary Beth Williams 4 years ago

    Thank you for this post! So helpful and I will use it for praying about the communities in Iowa who seem to be under impossible conditions. It’s hard not to be impressed with the picture, but I know there are no degrees of severity of a lie.

  3. Joseph D Herring 4 years ago

    I think the absolute,as you describe it, sounds identical to Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover. Such a Mover is radically different from the biblical God of the prophets, e.g., Jeremiah. The biblical God is full of pathos, never apathetic. About such a God Paul could say: ” God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      I mean the absolute as in the kingdom of heaven where there is no pain and no tears.

  4. Sue Krevitt 4 years ago

    Your heart-sharings are so fine, so good, Polly.

    Your Stand for Truth in the agggressive face of what the false material senses screamed as un-fightable… is a great example for us… me, anyway! I am humanly a strong individual, generally (ie, “don’t mess w me folks!!”)… but when aggressive belief roars in, i sometimes–too often!–wimp out! So… Thank you!

    Last night here in Santa Cruz on the CA coast, we had a highly unusual lightning and thunder storm… all night! Set off our smoke alarms!! Rain, hail, thunder, flashes, bolts…. after two days of 100 degree heat, power outages, etc. What did I do, (along w praying to know divine intelligence, God, did not send it!) I got out your poem entitled Animal Magnetism, which is printed n hung on my BB. This settled me right down! I enjoyed the wild display, w/o “fear ‘n trembling.” (Bible)

    So, gosh…. Thanks, Polly!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      Glad to hear.

  5. Dee 4 years ago

    This is one of the BEST explanations of one’s understanding of God I have seen in a long time. The image paired with the text was spot on!


  1. […] grateful for having power and internet back (see here) and the blog restored (see here). I’m grateful every time computers and lights and refrigerators and freezers […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Send this to friend