We see everything but we do not see ourselves
If the world we see in our head is not the real world but an image of the world formed – and most probably deformed – by our brain; and if those images are our ‘maps’ of reality, then it may be a good idea to conduct some basic reality checks about those maps.
The first one is asking ourselves whether we do not miss out on vital parts of reality and checking if what we include in our field of awareness really covers everything there is to see.
Let’s do that right now.
Sit back and look around you. Do it. Do it and tell me something about what you see.
Depending on where you are standing right now, you are now becoming aware of the room you are sitting in, the walls, the windows, the furniture’s or the street or the view in front of you if you are outside or whatever are circumstances that surround you in at that very moment. Good. Everything normal so far.
But hold on a moment. Look more carefully – isn’t something missing to your description of this present moment reality? Something really important? Could it be that you are leaving something really crucial out of the map of reality that you are drawing in your mind?
Yes, there is – and that vital element is YOU!
Look again at the picture you are seeing in your mind’s eye and realize that, apart from your hands, feet or the tip of your nose, the thing that is not included in your image of reality – for the simple reason that your eyes do not ‘see’ it – is yourself!
You are aware of all the ‘things’ that are to be seen but unaware of the one who sees them: the observer; your own self.
If this statement does not shock you, you have not understood what it says – read again.
As long as you look with your eyes, you are aware of everything around you, close or distant, but you are not aware of yourself. Why is this and why is it a serious problem?
The worldview that your brain in painting for you from the data forwarded by your eyes starts at the surface of your eyes, in exactly the same way as a picture shot by a camera shows you everything that stands in front of the lens but not much of the photographer himself – apart from the style of the picture of course.
This is how a camera works; this is how the mechanism of physical perception works.
The big problem is that if you are using maps of reality that do not include yourself; if you, the living being that is at the origin of your choices, decisions and actions are not visible in the field of your consciousness at the time when you are making choices, decisions and initiating action, you are living with a huge and potentially very dangerous dead angle.
If it is the case, then whenever you need to find a cause or a solution to your problems, where do you look? Probably everywhere, except in yourself. You see what everyone else is doing but are blind to what you, yourself, are doing.
This is how we end up chronically complaining about things, blaming others or being obsessed with fixing circumstances, changing people and fighting external enemies – because we fail to recognise our own input into the problems that plague our life.
Now, let it be clear that you have no chance of making the right decisions if the maps that inform you are flawed to the extent they miss the most vital part of the territory they are meant to describe – your own inner world and the dimensions of beliefs, attitude, motives, habits, perceptual bias, etc.
And again, this is not that we are ill intentioned or dishonest by nature – it is only an issue of vision, a problem of perception.
But this apparent manufacturing defect affecting the way we perceive things is not inherent to our consciousness – it is a result of the way we misuse it.
Most of us have been taught that it is our eyes that see but this is not true. They are only cameras recording whatever is presented to them and sending it to the brain. They do not ‘see’ as such.
It is the inner eye of attention that sees.
Unlike the physical eyes, the inner eye of awareness does not record anything but it is very acutely aware of everything that goes on within the space of consciousness.
It sees the things and events of the world projected on the screen of consciousness* for what they are – subjective representations of reality that do not only informs you of what is happening on the ‘outside’ but also allow you to read and assess what is taking place on the inside – the way in which you react to it.
You now have a much more objective and ‘real’ representation of reality that provides you with reliable information about three things: the external terrain, your own thoughts, attitudes and motives, and the relationship between yourself and the world around you.
* To be more precise, we should say, “It sees the events of the world projected as holograms in the field of consciousness”