January 2008 · Vol 5, No 1
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Seeing with Presence

When the mind is silent, it enters a world which is far beyond the mind.
Upanishads

Awakening forms a bridge between the inner and the outer worlds. When the senses become engaged in the moment, sensory messages, or ‘impressions’ as Ouspensky called it, flow inwards to the Self. To a certain extent, one can detect whether one is awake or asleep by this inward flow of impressions; one is knowingly aware of the external world rather than lost in the many I’s. The more one is present, the more the unified, realized Self receives from the external world. Without presence, sensory impressions remain superficial. With presence, the higher Self becomes the explorer of a new world.

Using the eyes to ‘see’ consciously can bring impressions directly to the Self. One develops the discipline of looking intentionally through the eyes at objects, fellow human-beings, art, nature. Time usually lost to imagination one uses to study the details of a painting or the intricacy of a flower, or watch the fullness of each moment in waiting for a bus. One becomes the impartial observer of many wonders. ‘From the eyesight proceeds another eyesight,’ says Walt Whitman, referring to the mystical vision of the Third Eye.

Impressions are the material of creativity. A painter studies the changing landscape, the movement of bodies and objects as subjects for a canvas; a theatre director arranges light and shadow to emphasise the dramatic nuances of a play; a poet uses the seemingly random events at a bus stop as material for a poem. Yet more importantly, one uses impressions for awakening; seeing with presence focuses the Third Eye.


Related thoughts:

The seat of the spiritual eye is between the eyebrows.
Hindu texts

The cloudy film was wiped away, and the waking eye of the Self wiped out my nonexistence.
Al-Farid

Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to the eyes of the soul.
Ovid

I question not my corporeal or vegetative eye any more than I would question a window concerning a sight: I look through it and not with it.
William Blake

In every man there is an eye of the soul which is more precious than ten thousand bodily eyes.
Plato

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things
William Wordsworth

Another seeing rises behind the eyes.
Rumi

There can be no gazer until the heart’s eye is opened.
Al-Ghazali

Printed by permission of the Swiss Literary Archives / Swiss National Library, Bern.

From the mystic vision of his early poems, Rilke learned how to see with presence (Neue Gedichte), and afterwards, with Third Eye (Duino Elegies); “The world that is looked at so deeply wants to flourish in love.”


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Please visit the site at www.beingpresent.org

From the content:
- Awakening
- Our Spiritual Path
- Our Spiritual Teacher
- The Fellowship of Friends
- Newsletter back issues


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Fellowship of Friends, Inc. (a non-profit religious corporation) P.O. Box 100 Oregon House, CA 95962.
Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved. No part of this newsletter may be copied, reprinted, or reproduced in any form without written permission from the Fellowship of Friends, Inc. (The images included here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for any other use.)