i’m amazed at the human ability of selective see-ing. We see what we want. We see what we look for. We see what we fear or what we love. And we think that in seeing, we somehow KNOW the truth. Tonite, i’m here, with my own truths, pondering that seeing and knowing are two very different things. And yet both seem to have our adamant ego assertion behind them, a kindred sort of blind-faith from us in the infallibility of our own eyes and minds. Once we see something- with our own eyes – well, it must be. Once we learn something, or logically deduce such, we think we Know it, and therefore can rattle it off at intervals to others and ourselves. Add to that the whole scientific theory, and we’ve built our own system of knowing based on repetitive seeing/observing. It’s so ingrained in us it just boggles my mind. I could go off … human observation is not the end all be all of the universe, etc etc.
It has its place, don’t get me wrong.
But sometimes our unquestioned belief in our ability to ascertain reality from what we observe – whether patterned or not – gets us into real trouble. And can create heaps of blind sheep out of us. For instance, when we see someone we’re close to in a certain way, based on their behaviors, for so long, that we completely miss when they have actually changed and broken a pattern of behavior. We don’t see the change, the growth, the shift – we see the pattern we expect, assume, have seen before. Sometimes this is our own protection. Sometimes it is wishful thinking. Sometimes it is our laziness and lack of attention – because we think(!) we Know them so well. And in this, we are no longer seeing the person that is before us. That is with us. You might even say that we are so blinded by our own notions of them that we aren’t really with them in the now at all.
And then there’s the blindedness of selective seeing to appease our own desires and pleasures. This can be a gift, in our ability to forgive and overlook our nearest and dearest for their less-than-desirable qualities and habits, as we choose to see their best characteristics and features. But this can also be a sickness – of individuals, and even of groups of people.
We want to know desire and pleasure and good things and beauty so much that we often fail to see the dirty mucky alley of truth in the eyes of the native, just behind that tourist table of flashy souvenir stuff… because it just might ruin our good time, or require us to adjust our own ways, or threaten our concept of our own entitlement and… wait, hold us accountable for our choices and perception and ways of living? (Of course, the secret is that sometimes, those alleys hold hidden treasures of their own…)
We selectively see the people we love, the places we go on vacation, the litter on our roads and in our water, the hurt around the world, the places we shop, the news sources we keep informed by, the natural world, and – maybe most importantly – ourselves. In this selective seeing, we see more of what we choose to, and we create a basis of Knowing that sits with us building our presumptions, our perceptions, our friends and relationships, our expectations, and our own ability to grow and allow those we love to grow freely in our presence, too. This is powerful stuff. It’s hard to see the shit, to admit to it, to let in the vulnerability of imperfection. The danger isn’t the vulnerability, though – or the threat of the shame or guilt we might feel – or even the mess of it. And seeing the difficult truths does not have to remove your choice to be joyful in life.
The danger is in Not being Aware of the power of our mind to instantaneously start building assumptions and beliefs with everything we observe, take in and expose ourselves to. Not just the bad stuff we choose not to see, but also when we choose to only see the good stuff, or our way. Without awareness we are turning off our own lights, looking in only 30 degrees of a possible 360, shutting out the fresh air of the diversity of this world. We have to keep turning our heads, checking our own light bulbs and illuminating from as many different angles as we can, windows open wide – and maintain the momentum in our bodies and spirits to keep going to the window over and over and over again.
Stop going to the window and you might forget that it’s open, let alone what it looks like out there (in here), and even more importantly, that it’s always Always changing… with the seasons, different every minute, everyday, if you just… look… a little… closer. There are infinite layers to time, to nature, to each of us, to all that is.
|Bird Organic. Original mandala. 2011.|
Your heart and your mind and your life and your love and your people will all shine a little brighter if you keep your lights on, your eyes open and your mind vibrating with awareness.
So, Yes, choose what you see. Choose what feeds your spirit. Choose what will dissolve the stagnancy of misconceived “Knowing” and allow our amazing shapeshifting world and selves to manifest flow for you. Choose as wisely as you can. Just don’t let seeing become a false sense of knowing. Know only that we know no thing really, but that we are graced with the ability to sensually experience our beautiful world and selves over and over again, different everytime, new everytime, if our souls are open to the real seeing.
(P.S. I don’t “know” this for sure, it’s just what i’m seeing/feeling now)