Walking Lilly the dog just after 6 a.m. this morning I was looking up at the gray sky and suddenly given the understanding that just stopping to inhale the silence beneath all the flutter of leaves in the cool breeze, the punctuated song of birds, the movement of clouds, and the occasional passing car is to breathe in the fragrance of Presence. What a gift!
I see Lilly doing her sniffing, and snuffling – interpreting all the rich smells she excitedly explores each time we walk. As if she’d never smelt the world before. I wonder if we saw the world as new each time we walked out our door, what couldn’t we “smell” anew?
We have known that as a species we habitually see the familiar as the first thing we “see”. It is this very familiarity which blinds us to newness. Take our drives to work. We usually take the same route each day, and if not, the same usual alternate routes. When we first drove these routes our unfamiliarity with each detail of the route kept us alive to the richness of the sensory input. However, seeing through our eyes, which are directly connected to our brains, causes us to be dictated to in our understanding of sensual input by the default mechanisms of the mind. After we have named all the objects around us we essentially become blind to them when reencountered.
The mind has an insistence of naming everything it sees. This naming automatically downloads a list of associations and definitions which in milli-seconds “reads” all that can be “known” about the object of perception. Whether fish or fowl, man or beast. The mind scrolls down a screed of information which numbs the mechanisms of perception to the possibility of escape from this default process. This emphasizes the difference between looking and seeing.
We might look at the world around us but we do not “see” it.
Seeing is being vulnerable to the unknown, allowing a radical suspension of judgment so that what we look at is not overlaid by the knee-jerk info-slaughter of the minds drive to control all interpretation by naming it even before we are aware of autonomically naming what appears in front of us.
Seeing is walking out of our habits of numbing ourselves to the naked reality of life as it dances in its generosity of self-generating perfection all around us all the time. We hide from the ever changing genius of life’s creativity by trying to create a false sense of security by serving the minds hunger to control all perception and understanding by colonizing all perception under the cloud of its omnipresent insecurity in the face of the unnameable.
We hide from the ever changing genius of life’s unscripted creativity by trying to create a false sense of security by serving the minds hunger to control all perception and understanding by colonizing all perception under the cloud of its own mania for paranoia and self-serving. This is the ego-self’s manipulation of perception to serve its own limited view of the real so as to preserve its status as the micro-center of the universe. A center without substance or wholeness. We look at those around us with the lenses of familiarity which prevent us from “seeing” anyone prejudged by this default tyranny of the mind.
To walk each moment into the next moment without imposing a preconceived perceptual-conceptual framework upon the unconditioned nameless reality of the world is to walk with wonder and with no fear of what may namelessly appear next. It is to joyously walk on the razor’s edge of love creating flagstones appearing from nothingness as each foot falls over the abyss of oblivion, walking into the “blessed uncertainty of divine providence” to use Mother Theresa’s words.
God bless Lilly!