Tuesday, August 17, 2010

True Seeing


not a world to possess but a way to see
looking slantwise at just the right angle
everything's the same yet utterly different
we must go blind to our everyday eyes

not a noise to make but a singing silence
we live by a music which can't be heard
when the ears inside my ears are opened
these chains that grip my heart will break


How do you know but every bird
that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight,
closed by your senses five?

-- William Blake --


     We live in many different worlds. One is the everyday, sensory, material experience of tangible things, practical activities, survival priorities, and inescapable laws of cause and effect. Another however, is eternal, invisible, mysterious and profound, a realm of Infinite Spirit interpenetrating our lives at every point--although we're usually blithely unaware of its existence, since it's hidden so transparently in plain sight.

     Our soul's primary challenge isn't simply to awaken this vital spiritual dimension; but also, through a long and arduous journey spanning many lifetimes, to learn at last to place the imperatives of Spirit uncompromisingly first, no matter what. This is the soul's supreme task and everything depends on our accomplishing it--even as we lurch distractedly along, enmeshed in the most secular, cynical and drastically materialistic civilization in history.

     Here's the reason we must become deaf to our everyday ears and go blind to our everyday eyes. Our ultra-commercialized culture bombards our minds, senses, emotions and instincts relentlessly through the overwhelming and ubiquitous assault of the Information Superhighway. By every advanced technological means available we're seduced and manipulated to focus our undivided attention on external rewards and addictive possessions--to such an extent that the very existence of an internal, transcendent, Spiritual Reality is largely forgotten or even outright rejected.

     As the poet/artist William Blake wrote: "We always believe a lie/ When we see with, not through, the eye." What he meant was this: our true locus of meaning, value and wisdom doesn't originate in what we perceive with our senses, as vivid and even enthralling as that can be. Rather, significance only evolves from inner vision, that limitless universe of our unfettered, far-ranging creative imagination. This interior cosmos, at its highest, most intimate source of illumination, is the essence of the Eternal Spirit.

     The polar opposite direction from the material, sensory, pragmatic, everyday world--that's where I must go to acquire the distance, perspective and insight I need to ratify my own identity and engage more effectively with the events and forces constantly impacting it. Otherwise, as the saying goes, I can't even see the forest because of all the trees.

     Invisible Spirit is the messenger of content, meaning, purpose, direction, pattern, relationship and understanding. Without its wise teaching and clear guidance I first flounder and then drown in a chaotic sea of objects, hungers and sensations destitute of all those indispensable qualities. Only when the ears inside my ears are radically opened, will I discover a music which can't be heard. Only after I go blind to my everyday eyes, will I finally begin to see...


1 comment:

  1. I love this poem! A new favorite of mine :)