Sharon McCutchen | unsplash|
What do you see? only a beautiful happy baby or the future of society?

How do we See?

            When we see the word “see,” it conjures up looking with our eyes and brings up the cliché “Seeing is Believing.” But our eyes only see the reflection of light waves off the surface of the surrounding objects. Once we see this light, our brain processes it and develops a mental picture. However, there is much more to see than this interpretation of the light waves in our brain. For example, if you see red it could have many meanings: Stop, someone is hurt, or I recently painted the building. To really see requires being present at the moment, observing what else is going on, interpreting through your lens or frame of reference, and then determining how to react.

To put it into mathematical terms, we must integrate the signals from all our senses (external and internal) to determine what we see. If we don’t train ourselves to do this, we will miss most of what is going on in our lives.

How do we become more observant?

         Becoming more observant is about seeing with more than just our two eyes. The center for action in June 2017,  published an article about “The Third Eye.” In this article, two early Christian philosophers wrote that humanity was given three different eyes: the eye of the flesh (thought or sight), the second was the eye of reason (meditation or reflection), and the third was the eye of true understanding (reason.)

            Do you see with one, two, or three of your eyes? One reason we have such a “them and us” society today can arguably be because we don’t apply or have lost the use of our third eye (reason.), Q’anon, a conspiracy theory, relies on the lack of this third eye in individuals to allow them to believe their tenants. Many eastern religions take this third eye even a step deeper into the metaphysical and spiritual realm.

The second eye.

         The second eye requires us to pay attention and see the entire picture. To do this, we must train our minds to become more attentive. The easiest way to do this is through a practice of meditation and mindfulness. Once we see with our eyes, we must then search inside ourselves to focus our attention. We must fully know who we already are as a person and be fully present at the moment to see.

            Being mindful means, we are paying attention to who we are, where we are, what we are doing, our feelings, what is happening, and our thoughts. We are taking in all our informational inputs and putting them together so we can see the whole and not just some parts.

         Practicing meditation and mindfulness increases our higher cognitive skills by learning how to focus our attention. Sherlock Holmes portrayed attentiveness at the highest levels. But we all have varying levels of attentiveness from being oblivious to what is going on around us, to being highly aware of where we are. Meditation and mindfulness help us move from obliviousness (seeing just the superficial) towards the Holmesian traits of (seeing what most others never see.)

How do we meditate?

         Beginning to meditate is easier said than done. But a simple way to start is to close your eyes, breathe in, hold for a moment, and then breathe out. While you are doing this focus your mind on the air as it moves into and out of your body. Let your mind become still other than feeling the breath. As you become better at this, then turn your mind into a mind of stillness and silence. Start with just 5 minutes each morning and night. Eventually, you will move into a state of mindfulness where we learn to accept and appreciate our place in the world, be proud of what we do, and you will learn to ignore the useless noise around you.

            Our world today is a cacophony of interruptions and noise. Telephones, social media, text messages, kids, flashing signs, etc. Daily noise inundates us and comes so fast and furiously that we have grown immune to it; it is just noise-of no value. Meditating and becoming more mindful will help us control this endless noise. We don’t really have to answer the phone every time it rings. It is unnecessary to immediately read our email. We have to learn how to be in control.

Your Lens

         Equally important is knowing your lens or frame of reference through which you see the world. What is your frame of reference? Does it need changes? Really, seeing with all three of your eyes takes a great deal of self-knowledge, attention, and being present.

How to use your third eye?

 We see each other through what the metaphysician calls, the third eye, we know each other on a level beyond what our physical eyes can see. Marianne Williamson.

  • If we all start using our third eye, it would be a very different world. We would question what people told us. Using reason, we would not jump to conclusions. Labels would not be used to exclude people.
    • Start Meditating so you will know your inner values and biases.
    • Pay more attention to your third eye.
    • You will learn how to calm your mind, so you are less reactionary and more thoughtful
    • Focus and be in the present more often
    • Control your emotions rather than letting them control you.
    • You will learn to focus on today, which is real, be able to ignore the past which is over and to not stress about the future, which is only a figment of your imagination today.

Many people meditate in order that a third eye may open. For that, they feel they should close their two physical eyes. They become blind to the world. But the fact is that the third eye will never open. We can never close our eyes to the world in the name of spirituality. Self-realization is the ability to see ourselves in all beings. This is the third eye through which you see, even while your two eyes are open. We should be able to love and serve others, seeing ourselves in them. This is the fulfillment of spiritual practice. Mata Amritanandamayi.

         See with all three eyes: the eye of the flesh (thought or sight), the eye of reason (meditation or reflection), and the eye of true understanding (reason.)