Inner Life

Seeing Differently

Judging from how many of us go to books, classes and teachers to learn spiritual truths, we should expect to be well acquainted with Truth and Wisdom, and know how to recognise them. We should find enlightened souls all around us. But we do not. Nor are most of us - no matter how deep our spiritual practice - intimate with the spiritual dimensions of being. Heaven knows, it's not for want of trying.

It's not that we cannot find Truth, but that our usual ways of looking and experiencing do not allow us to see it.

"It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing." – Carl Jung"   (The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung).

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand" (Matthew 13:11)

 

Wanting and intending to know, and accepting the ideas of the Divine and Oneness might point us to the path of transformation, but they are not enough. We must experience for ourselves, viscerally and intimately, the profound and inner shift to a new level of awareness that transforms our consciousness, and if we are to continue to grow, we must experience it over and over as consciousness becomes more and more refined, more expansive and awake.

"He who has eyes to see, let him see, and he who has ears to hear, let him hear."   Matthew 13:13

What are these “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”?

They are metaphors for spiritual awareness: both the willingness and ability to recognise the Truth before us....not just the daily truths that are honestly spoken, but the fundamental Truth of our spiritual nature, which is Divine. 

We like to think we know this Truth, but the majority of us do not. We try to see it, and some of us may even catch a brief glimpse of it, but too often, we fall back into old ways of seeing and thinking ... because we are not transformed. The Truth is right here before us, we are told, but for all our efforts, most of us do not really see it....nor will we until we are change our ways of seeing.

Rackham_goose2
Most of us are like the boy in the Grimm brothers' story of the Goose Girl. 
In this story, a misused princess disguised as a goose girl speaks daily with the head of her dead horse, who laments her suffering. Every
day she combs out her hair which shines as brightly as the sun (symbol of higher or awakened consciousness), and every day when the boy tries to pluck a hair, she summons the wind to blow off his hat and carry it over the fields.

He knows this is strange, yet all he sees is an irritating goose girl. Like all of us who do not know the language of soul, he remains blind to the mystery being revealed to him, and to its invitation to step into greater awareness. 

Fortunately for the princess, the king (symbol of the Self) recognises the truth and marries her. 

 

“You cannot see Me with your present eyes," Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita,"Therefore I give you divine eyes.”

Just as those who do science must learn to see and experience the world in new ways –that is, scientifically - those who would be awakened must learn to see with more spiritual eyes.

Ordinary mind, the mind of the material self, is perfectly attuned to outer reality. Used properly, it enables us to function according to the laws of this reality at a much higher level than we presently do. To experience spiritual reality, however, we must engage spiritual dimensions of mind, with their unique attributes and processes.

We do it unconsciously in dreams, intuition, inspiration, sudden insights, and those unexpected moments when we feel totally connected to nature, others and the world - but we can learn to do it consciously. And that requires opening our inner gates of perception, and accepting what enters.

Most of us, though, are easily frightened or angered by anything that doesn't fit our beliefs about what is possible or real, that doesn't come through ordinary channels. Instead of opening itself to the unfamiliar and allowing itself to experience the mystery of the unknown, the conscious mind blocks it out, shunts it into our unconscious to remain hidden.

But eventually, even the most rational, materialistic seeker of Truth might come to a door where sensory perception and reason fail. Often, this occurs in times of crisis, or in those dark nights of the soul when we feel terribly lost.

LancelotGrail

 

 

(We come to a door that can only be entered by those willing to leave familiar ways of knowing behind).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When this happens, we might try to climb back onto familiar ground where things used to make sense, and refuse the opportunity to see things more truly. But some brave or desperate souls will accept this sacred invitation to accept not-knowing, walk through the wide open gate newly humbled, and surrender mind to the deep mystery of Self, of Being ... asking Who am I? What is this?

Eventually, if we keep asking, answers will come. And what do we do meanwhile?

Unknown



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Transpersonal Psychologist, Spiritual Mentor/Counsellor, Artist

Mary Carter
The Typepad Team

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