A talking doggie heard a sound. He said, “Master, did you hear that?” The master replied, “Doggie, there you go again hearing sounds that are not there.” Replied the doggie, “Master, just because your ears cannot hear them does not mean my ears do not hear them.”
When we say that we do not see something a certain way, we may be making an unintentional confession. The Confession? “I am not attuned to hear something so true but unable to be heard by persons who have not become attuned to hear it.”
In The Trivialization of God, Donald McCullough quotes Freeman Patterson, a noted Canadian photographer. Freeman tells about barriers that prevent him from seeing the best photo possibilities.
Letting go of the self is an essential precondition to real seeing. When you let go of yourself, you abandon any preconceptions about the subject matter which might cramp you into photographing in a certain, predetermined way. …
When you let go, new conceptions arise from your direct experience of the subject matter, and new ideas and feelings will guide you as you make pictures. (Edward K. Rowell, Ed., Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, 182)
All the great Teachers of contemplative spirituality have made one thing clear, on which they agree whatever their religion or culture or time: If you want truly to see something, you must get yourself out of the way of the seeing.
Merle Mees observes, “In the spiritual life, just as in photography, being preoccupied with self is the greatest barrier to seeing. But when we get past it, we catch glimpses of extraordinary beauty” (Ibid.).
A church member visited her Pastor. Pastor, she spoke, “I just don’t see things the way you do.” The Pastor pulled out some pairs of eyeglasses and picking up one with lens of green tint, he said, “Put it on.” What color is the world you see? “Green,” replied the woman. He gave her some eyeglasses with blue tint. She put it on. The Pastor inquired, “Now, what color is the world you see?” “Blue,” retorted the lady. The Pastor did this with several eyeglasses of different tint. Finally, he spoke, “Well, is it not true that the color of the world depends on the color with which you look upon it? And, then, is it not the same world? Friend, one of the greatest acts of pride and lack of love in religion is that so many persons reduce the Truth to how they see truth and judge as wrong another who sees the same Truth, not wrongly, just differently.”
Once a man named Jesus said to a thief hanging on a cross beside him that the thief would that day be with him in Paradise. Jesus did not give the thief a plan of salvation or a theology lesson, question if he was right in his moral practices, tell him he had to agree with a certain view and interpretation of the Scripture, find out if he was in regular attendance at the church, inquire whether he tithed and, also, prayed regularly, or present him a creed to fully agree with. Jesus just welcomed this thief into Paradise: What subversive Grace! Why? Jesus, looking through the eyes of God, was able to “see” him differently than anyone else at Calvary that day. The churches would have more persons seeking Christ if more of us professing church members followed the example of Jesus on the cross. If only we would get ourselves out of the way to “see” other persons, not as we are comfortable seeing them or been taught to see them, but as Christ could and did “see” the thief.
The way we see those most unlike us either judges us as Christlike or condemns us as selfish.
A Repentance Deserving To Go Unheeded
Costumes we wear
Of religion, time, and custom …
Some attached to this
Forget the Essence
Some, enjoying the varieties of the Sun,
Can dance among the different rays with freedom and glee.
There are those who can see in the eyes of another
An Essence free of sin, free of right.
Passing beyond the dualities of beings,
One sees the oneness of Being.
Behind the smiles of faces,
Some can see the Face.
There are many lips of flame
Arising from one Fire:
Some trace the flames
And cast the self in the Fire.
He who thus sees as one dead to self
Sees as only the Self, and cannot repent.
There are repentances asked for that should not be heeded:
One is to repent of such Grace that arises from seeing another
As he who sees and no longer only other.
He who has tasted of the Ocean
Will never call it a pond.
He who had imbibed sweet Wine
Will not blaspheme by calling it water.
He who has experienced union with God and all others
Will not reduce such vision to please another.
—Brian K. Wilcox
Written to the love of Christ, who sees all with the Eyes of God. May I always be true to the Truth, and see with the Eyes of Christ. Amen.