Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SEEING GENEROUSLY – What Goes Around...

At first glance, vision may seem like a simple one-way transaction. We open our eyes. An image goes in and gets processed by the mind. If it's something important, it may move us to feel or do something, or it gets stored somewhere for future reference.

In fact, it's easy to think of all our senses like that—merely taking in sensations. But it doesn't have to be that way. Consider touch. I mean we generally see, hear, taste or smell anonymously—without any involvement of the thing we're sensing.

But when we touch something, it always, automatically, touches us back. Until recently, I thought touch was the only one of our conventional senses that could
do that.

As soon as you begin to let go of objectives and schedules, turn off the cell phone and truly notice, something begins to change. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if seeing were more like touch? It's hard to imagine, because we've gotten complacent in our seeing. We expect to find our images delivered effortlessly to us on screens, often while sitting alone or at least in our own little worlds. With virtually no contact with the actual things depicted on the screen, it's kind of a sad exercise in anonymity.

This consumption mentality of seeing affects even the way we perceive real stuff. For example, we seem to prefer looking at things we already know. Like so many TV re-runs, their familiarity soothes us, keeps us company, actually turns off our minds. Nothing's really new. We give nothing, we invest nothing and, one could argue, we get nothing.

So what is seeing generously? What does it look like?

Is our seeing all it can be?

It may happen unconsciously. Let's say you're looking at something—an animal, a sunset, another person. If, at that moment, your mind has its foot on your spirit, you won't be especially moved. But as soon as you begin to let go of objectives and schedules, turn of the cell phone and truly notice, something begins to change.

When we see things in this way, we grow, our consciousness grows and the world becomes a more mindful, loving place.

At first, it may be just small increments of investment, feelings like appreciation or satisfaction. That's okay; it's a start. But then, if you can allow yourself to be curious, the way you were naturally when you were a child, the transaction starts to truly transform. Now your seeing's become a gift, not just to yourself, but to the person or thing you're curious about.

When we see things in this way—not just with our eyes, or even our mind, but with our heart and our spirit—we grow, our consciousness grows and the world becomes a more mindful, loving place.

Have you ever noticed the way a person lights up when the conversation turns from the typical self-promoting, cocktail party chatter to genuine interest in something that really matters to that person? You know, when "Me, me, me…well, enough about me. What do you think about me?" turns to "What about you?"

When we see someone that way—or when we wonder at one of Nature's miracles—that's a blessing we give to that person, that creature or that thing.

That is how seeing generously looks and sounds. Seem familiar? It should; any five-year-old can do it. And that's the point. You already possess this gift. All you have to do is dig it out, wrap it in joy and give it away.

Do you see generously? We'd love to hear about your ideas and experiences!


jean said...

Beautiful post! Seeing is so important to me as a poet and an artist. One of my teachers said that to truly draw something, you needed to touch it with your eyes! Then the entire process becomes like meditation and you lose yourself in what you are seeing.

Jeffrey Willius said...

THanks, Jean. Your teacher was wise, and you've obviously taken the advice to heart. I like your meditation reference, since touching anything, really being one with it, is an expression of the most profound kind of presence.

Carol O'Casey said...

Thanks for this thought provoking post, Jeffrey. Seeing generously requires the giving of our self but it is in this shedding of self that truly brings light.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Thanks so much, Carol. I couldn't agree more!

richmiraclefiles said...

Hi Jeffery
I liked your idea of seeing things generously because"When we see things in this way, we grow, our consciousness grows and the world becomes a more mindful, loving place".
That is so right.In fact as we grow older we realise how important it is to be generous,and genuine as well.So often we gloss over the opportunity of doing little acts of kindness,including smiling at someone,patting their kid,or their pets,or even appreciating and complimenting.
Someone rightly said "everyone in the world is moving around with a placard tied around their necks saying 'please appreciate me'" and that is all we need to do to lighten up someone's life.

Jeffrey Willius said...

How wonderful to see you here, Mona! I love what you say about small acts of kindness. And I can tell from your wonderful blog that those acts must be directed at ourselves too. Either way, it relates to seeing generously -- except in this case maybe we could call it BEING generously. What do you think?
Thanks for your thoughtful comment -- hope to see you back this way again soon!

Anonymous said...

Words....like the senses are pointers to that which is sensational or full of wonder. The senses then lead us to a focal point which then invites us to connect with it. If merged with, the sensational is achieved. A spark of life ignites us. Ideally, whatever catches our attention with the senses is supposed to be investigated because our intentions led us to that moment. The senses therefore deliver that which we have interest in. However, people often ignore there senses and therefore do not grow and receive wonder or that which is sensational. They avoid life and have become stagnated. Therefore, when that which is sensed is not explored further, disease unfortunately sets in.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Welcome back, Bern'e! You guys have been on such an amazing journey of wonder these past few months, it's no wonder you're so in touch with the phenomenon! You know of what you speak...

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