Seeing — true seeing — is done with the soul, not with the eyes. For we can look at someone and imagine we see him or her when all we see is his or her outer shell. Inside everything, all that is, there are complexities that cannot be fathomed with the eyes. Can our eyes look into another person’s heart? Can we read another person’s thoughts simply by looking at him? No. And there are thousands, possibly millions of things that we look at each day; yet, we do not see most of them.
This casual glancing is something we have become so accustomed to that we apply it to everything — that is, to people as well. To a certain extent, looking is more pleasant than seeing as it requires much less effort on our part. We are not called upon to imagine or conjecture when we merely look. It would be rather akin to reading the summary of a book instead of reading the book itself. A few details of what we look at may be so obvious to the eyes that one cannot help but notice them; but, anything that isn’t plainly obvious eludes us.
Even life itself is something that we oftentimes only see the appearance of. Some of us look at our lives with such a casual glance that only that which we cannot avoid noticing is a reality to us. Yet sadly, that which one blatantly acknowledges is often that which is least significant. We speak of looking within to understand ourselves, but what good is merely looking if we fail to see?
The world encourages us to race through life rather than savoring every moment. When we do take time for being instead of merely doing, others may well regard us as lazy. After all, what could be more slothful than doing absolutely nothing at all? Isn’t activity supposed to be at the core of living? Isn’t our life supposed to be mapped out, planned, managed as one might manage a corporation? Staying busy is what we must do. We must run to and fro all the time, remaining in constant motion. Otherwise we might have time to see ourselves, our lives, and the world around us. We might become aware of the dissatisfaction within us. And how would we cope with it once we came face to face with it?
We have been taught that nothing can cure our dissatisfaction inside. Thus, to stay consciously blind to it seems to be the only reasonable alternative. But what does blindness give us? A temporary escape from ourselves and life? Perhaps, some of us lack the courage to confront things as we might have to if we truly saw them as they are. Maybe our illusions seem to be the only light in the darkness of our discontent. But if this light remains intangible, of what use is it?
Illusions may give us comfort but they will never give us truth. In fact, more often than not, they cast a veil over the truth. And when the veil is removed — not by us but by life — we feel as if part of us has been destroyed. But has it? If we were able to overcome the fear and the need for security that led us to create the illusions in the first place, would we not finally be able to see not only ourselves but everyone and everything else as well?
Those of us who continue to look without seeing are blind. But it is we who have blinded ourselves. Even if an outside force leads us to the point where we can merely glance at things, we are still the only ones who can alter this. For we are the only ones who have our particular set of eyes through which we can see the amazing world around us — if, that is, we choose to.
This essay and all written material at My Odyssey is written by Sascha Norris. (C) Copyright 2012 by Sascha Norris. All Rights Reserved.