One of the latest evoke words is the word “seeing”.  Seeing in a very basic sense is using the eyes to observe something that is in its line of sight. In that sense seeing is a very simple act and is not open to too much interpretation.

However, seeing, if you take a broader standpoint, is a much deeper process of observation and includes other senses and processes.  

The phrase “seeing is believing” refers to a much more complex process then just visual observation. It implies that there is an intuitive and perhaps analytical process involved and it also implies that to fully see the situation you are presented with there needs to be an additional process undertaken.  In other words, what is seen is analysed by using other senses and thought processes.  Another phrase that is often quoted is, “what you see is what you get”.  This implies that there is a certainty about what is seen and that “seeing” is somehow fixed in its outcome.  Both of these sayings could imply that there is not only something concrete in the process seeing, it could also infer that seeing is perhaps inflexible and not pliable.  However, I believe that ‘“seeing” is subject to additional processes and that these processes, lead by thought, mean that it can be subject to layering, personal perspective, and misinterpretation.  It is far from rigid, but it is also far from correct.    

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Personal stuff:

l for one know that my views and perspectives around “seeing” are subject to personal perspectives and my own historical experiences.  I try to see the world with open eyes and I then process it using an analytical mind.  However, I often look at situations that are occurring and I analyse it to the point where it resembles something that’s been in a blender too long.  Seeing, to me, is more that observing visual stimulus, it has become a process of seeing situations and scenarios as they arise but then a process of dissection occurs.  In other words, I “overthink”.  Even in the process of writing this I find myself trying to lay down in words what I deem “seeing” to be however this is layered with a desire to make what I write thought provoking and well-constructed.  Seeing is no longer a physical and instinctual act; is it an intellectual process and one that can be over worked.  

Even now I am walking the dog, speaking into a memo taker and I am failing to see the world around me.  I am trapped in the intellectualisation of the word “seeing” and I am not experiencing pure connection to visual stimulation that is around me.  The birds, the changing leaves on the trees, the dew on the grass.    

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There is a balance in everything and a deep need for humans to feel settled and to find equilibrium.  Our actions, indeed everything we do, has centre point, but it is easy to see it tipping one way or the other.  This can ultimately lead us to become uncomfortable, unable to find balance and in some cases truly disconnected from our Own True Nature.  We see ONLY what our mind wants us to and this can disconnect us from what is truly there.  

We have stated at the beginning that seeing is more than purely a visual mechanism, there is a underlying human (EGO) element to the concept. Seeing comes with a large helping of EGO and this baggage, or should I say mental processing, can either be good or bad for us.  A balanced application of “seeing” ends up with openness and joy; incorrect ‘seeing’ brings about disharmony and tension. 

I think we can all relate to the example whereby a situation that has been observed has either been misinterpreted, due to layering of personal perspectives or we have incorrectly seen what has been occurring, because we weren’t looking and this ultimately has brought about tension.  I think we can see that “Seeing” isn’t rigid, fixed and infallible, it can be wrong.

While we have discussed the word seeing, and the interpretation of what that word means to us as individuals, in a broader sense it reflects our relationship with concepts and the reality of things around us. In other words, “seeing” is simply an example of our relationship with thought and the reality of the world that surrounds us.  We are presented with stimuli and real-time experience all of the time and this emerges from sensory input.  When we have the first opportunity to see it, at that point it is as pure as it can be.  However, the reality is that it has already started to be altered.  At the point of sensory contact, it has started to have its nature changed by our previous ’experiences’ and personal ’perspectives’.  It has already been shaped to our way of seeing things.  That said we do have within our grasp the chance to remove the shaping of our “seeing” experience which will lead to a purer version of how we see the world around us.  

We are therefore charged with the task of trying to “see” the world around us with non-judgemental filters. Our aim is to not lay down layers of judgement, perspective, opinion and a warped view of what we are seeing upon the arising experience.  It is easier said than done and it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing the world through a filter that has been constructed from experience and built up over a long period of time.  Our task though, if we are to find balance, is to try and experience life with as few filters as possible.  Life will present itself in whatever way is meant to happen, our task is to see what arises non-judgementally and navigate the narrow path of life with as few bumps and scrapes as possible. 

It is possible, through mindful awareness, to see life unfold in all it is beautiful glory. It is possible to experience what it presents with open eyes and an open heart. It is within our control to be able to see what is laid out before is, in the present moment, and make a choice of which direction to go.  Life will happen and will unfold before our very eyes. We can’t change what is presented to us or allow the mind to change our view of what is being seen.  In pure seeing you have the power to take the next step knowing where you will step.  You need however to be open to it, openhearted and non-judgementally aware of what is being in front of you.  Only then will you be free from poor vision and a warped view of the world.  

To recap:

  • Seeing, in the purest sense, is the interaction between an object of perception and our awareness of that object. In other words, we experience some sensory object and become aware of its presence.
  • Seeing however can be subject to layering of judgement and human experience.
  • Seeing, therefore, is not always perceived as it is. It is a object that can be misinterpreted.
  • Life, that is visual, auditory and tactile experience, will present itself ‘as it is’ and it is through “experiencing” it clearly that we see the real world around us.
  • The world, and its unfolding nature, is out of our control. Life has a flow and of course that will unfold moment by moment, and in a way, it would appear, is uncharted and unscripted. 
  • Our opportunity to positively ‘change’ the course of life is through seeing what our next possible step is, what route can be taken and what our next step should be.  This can ONLY be taken with surety if you realise that clear vision is needed in order not to step in a rut you simply can’t get out of.   

 

Jonathan

Author Jonathan

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