If the product is the thing that is meant to be related to, and not the human producer, then it is meant to enhance a different relationship. Such as when St. Paul says that Jesus is the cornerstone, he takes for granted people’s relationship with cornerstones. Cornerstones are created to provide safety and stability, not for relationships with constructions workers, merchants, or governors. Ideally, the workers, merchants, and governors wish to serve the people’s needs, not to exert power and extract things from the people. Yes, they are compensated, but that’s another subject. Ideally, payment is gravy.

So if a person thanks a cornerstone, the builder should not get jealous and demand recognition. He built it so that the people could be at ease with their environment, not with him. His compensation should be for the ease of those with whom he is more closely related, as himself. Whom is he related to? Those he chooses to be.

But shouldn’t people thank builders? Yes, but that is another level. If one gets caught up in thanking Mr. Sherwin Williams and keeping that relationship in front of their eyes whenever they admire their ebbtide walls, then that seems a bit weird. Sherwin Williams wants them to enjoy the color, not him personally, though he may enjoy the indirect relationship of enjoying their ignorant enjoyment.

Sherwin Williams chose to be a facilitator to bringing order out of incomplete chaos. He did not invent order. God invented order. He established how people respond to color, how color reflects light, how color reflects things about himself. The Church uses color to it’s optimal revelatory capabilities in her icons through color’s symbolic and ontologically psychotropic effects. These effects invite and facilitate relationship with God.

Therefore when one is thankful to a color, they are simultaneously directly thankful to God, the one who dwells in the dynamics of color, whether the person is consciously aware of this connection or not. Is there such thing as a bad color? No, but colors have to be in the right context so that they have a harmonious relationship with the other colors and the intention of the setting. Can a setting have wrong intentions, such as a red brothel? Yes, but the color helps clarify the intention, even if it does elicit a Pavlovian appetite. In another setting, the same color stands for blood or royalty, and elicits respect. Red is meant to arouse. People react strongly to it, which aids in motivating one to stop blood loss, for example.

Back to personification of things. Poets personify creation and make long tributes to it. It can seem almost blasphemous and unwarranted the praise and worship they heap on created things, sometimes to the neglect of the Creator. But I don’t think people can properly love God without loving his creation as a prerequisite.  We are material and live in a material world. It is in the created milieu that we learn as infants how to relate to ourselves and to others. We develop the ability to bond first with created things. God is not absent from these things. Learning to worship the source helps us not have wrongfully passionate relationships with the things. Learned ascetic practice later in life helps us to sever and redirect and attach these established umbilical cords to God. The poet’s bonding ability is perhaps the strongest.

 

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