Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Seeing

The faculty of seeing truth, in particular the truth about our own behaviors, both inner and outer, illumines our path toward liberation. This inner seeing, if accepted, repeatedly exposes the manifestations of our egoism, which withers slightly each time the light of seeing strikes it. The faculty of seeing has this power because it intuitively knows right and wrong. Seeing penetrates our illusions and recognizes any hint of egoistic self-centeredness, not only in our speech and actions, but also in our hidden thoughts, emotions, and desires. Seeing sees all.

Why then, with the benefit of our ability to see, are we not already free of egoism? Because seeing the manifestations of our egoism for what they are means seeing many of our motivations, thoughts, and actions revealed as unbecoming, unattractive, petty and ugly. These sobering revelations cause us great discomfort, because they clash with our carefully constructed and well-protected self-image. At that point we brush aside, reject or ignore what we see, effectively insulating ourselves from the power of seeing. So, although this faculty continually sees, it lies buried under layer upon layer of self-centered attitudes, desires, and attachments. And with our egoism hidden from view in our very center, we remain identified with the surface instead of reclaiming our depth.

Seeing depends on consciousness, but the conscious energy is not the essence of seeing. For that we must look to our will, to the one who sees in us, who sees us. This willingness to see, this seer is none other than our own conscience, our deeper self.

To reopen this channel, to regain the light of the seat of seeing, we must leave the darkness of the seat of egoism, for we cannot sit in both places at once. When we lapse into ego, we want no part of seeing, for it only interferes. But when we relinquish our ego priority, we inevitably begin to see our self-centered actions, inner and outer, and thereby weaken their hold on us. The key is to be ready to take note of and accept what our seeing faculty shows us. The more we open to seeing, the more we see. The light dispels the darkness and makes us whole. The very event of seeing our own attachments and identifications loosens their grip.

Seeing is crucial to our path. If we honor it and continue to honor its promptings by changing our inner and outer actions accordingly, it will do its work of purification. By actually reforming our inner and outer behavior in the light of what we see and know to be right or wrong, we eventually become the one who sees in us and take a great stride toward our perfection. In that process, we shift our emphasis from the seen to the seer. The stronger our will to see, the more established as the seer, engaged in seeing, the more we rise out of entanglement with what we see and even with what we do not see.

In the book of Genesis, the primordial act of creation occurs when God says “Let there be light.” Discoveries in modern cosmology indicate an immense explosion of energy and light at the moment of creation. In seeing we connect with that light, both the well-known outer form of ordinary light, as well as the inner light by which we see within ourselves and see in depth. In the penultimate stage of the spiritual path, the realized person sees uniquely in the utter glory of the Divine Light.

But along the way we must not ignore the basic difficulties we see. If we see we are doing something that is wrong, or that we are feeding and nurturing egoistic thoughts, attitudes, and emotions, then we need to let go these unbecoming manifestations. By doing so, we honor the one who sees, we establish true inner integrity, and we respect and move toward our higher self.


        

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