To See Without The Shadow Of Yourself

=== – Daily Quote ===

Seeing is a very complex affair. One sees casually with one’s eyes and swiftly passes by, never seeing the details of a leaf, its form and structure, its colours, the variety of greens.

To observe a cloud with all the light of the world in it, to follow a stream chattering down the hill; to look at your friend with the sensitivity in which there is no resistance and to see yourself as you are without the shades of denial or easy acceptance; to see yourself as part of the whole; to see the immensity of the universe—this is observation: to see without the shadow of yourself.

Letters to the Schools vol II, pp 30-31

=== Thoughts ===

I guess I jumped the gun last night since this is basically exactly what I wrote about, but it’s useful to hit this subject as many times as possible since it’s one of the most important issues in modern life.

Either way let’s discuss the difference between seeing something the “normal” way, and actually seeing it. The same issue applies to all the other senses: sound, smell, touch, and taste.

When you look at your wife,  your girlfriend, or your boyfriend, sister, brother, or whoever- what do you actually see?

Do you see the shape of their face? The color of their eyes? The shine of their smile? Or do you see the person who you’ve spent so much time with, shared memories and experiences with? The person you’ve loved, fought, and done everything else with?

Are your ideas about that person getting in the way of your sensory perception of them? Are your memories clouding your senses, and keeping you from seeing them as they truly exist?

Or are you one of the very few people who can put all that aside and simply look; without the shadow of the past, without your conclusions, your ideas, your judgments and interpretations.

When you look at the world, do you see it for what it really is? Or do you see it reflected in the mirror of your predetermined beliefs, your images, and your prejudices? Are your conclusions getting in the way of seeing things as they truly exist?

It’s important to practice looking without all of this baggage, because we’ve been trained to do just the opposite. We’re trained from birth to bring in all our knowledge about the past into our dealings in the present, but is this really necessary? Is it helpful? Is it proper? Or is it destructive?

Of course it’s destructive! What could be more destructive than this divisive interpretation and abstraction from the real, this subjective and selfish clinging to the personal, this refusal to be responsible, and this creating and clinging to self-constructed images?

Try it some time, putting all that aside, and simply looking.

It’s quite an experience, to see things as they actually exist.

You might even be shocked by what you discover…

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