It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henri David Thoreau
As soon as we open our eyes, we look
Our eyes are like a lens, relentlessly clear and sharp.
A lens registers everything in front of it, whether you zoom in or out.
But, what do you see?
Visual perception is a gradual process, that always starts with a first contact; very direct – an impuls, a resonance. Perceived by you only, very personal and unique.
You see something, out of the blue.
Then you look further and feel.
You feel it with your eyes – what is the texture, what do I hear, what do I touch?
Allowing the process of letting it in
When allowing this gradual and direct process, the direct sensory experience, letting it in, you have real interest. You commit to what takes place. Both with the object of perception as with yourself. A vivid experience which show its full flavor and texture; you experience the whole communication.
You really see.
Sometimes you jump up and down with your attention instead of experiencing the fulness of the sensory perception. You see something, you touch it, bounce into a sharp edge, you let it go, you come back to it and start an inner dialogue. Which mostly starts with naming what you see, hear, taste, or touch; ‘It is a…’ And then; ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it’, ‘This is not right, it should be different’,’I have seen this somewhere last year’, ‘It really looked better there’, ‘It did not look so good’, ‘I better…’ or ‘I better ignore this’, etc.
This tendency of restless jumping as soon as we see something we all are familiar with, And so turns our visual perceptions slowly into our daily reality as we know it.
The relative experience
As we receive a visual perception and feel we make it personal, we start forming opinions and beliefs; ‘I like it’, ‘I buy it’ or ‘I don’t feel like it’, ‘I don’t like it’. This process takes place in a fraction of a second; very fast, simple and all the time.
The absolute experience
As we feel our visual perception, we stay with the experience of seeing, as it is. We touch it how it is.
Then we be the visual subject, without needing to accept or reject. In this qualitiy of stillness there no need for forming opinions of taking our internal dialogue very far. We just keep our undivided attention at looking, seeing and resting in being. Still and calm.
Like a frog in the middle of a pond sitting in the rain. The raindrops fall on the frog and he blinks his eyes, but remains motionless. He does need to jump in or out the pond.
Photo ©Hèlen A Vink, Zandvoort, October 30 2015 Zandvoort