Is it not what I am doing all the time? Right now, I see the computer screen, the desk, the cup of tea, the window and the tree out there. This is the normal way, seeing the world as a compilation of objects. But lets try again, right now, as I am reading these words – actually - seeing black signs displayed on a white plane, and these signs become words, words which have meaning – how does meaning come about? - and as I am looking and wondering, the activity of my mind slows down, a sensorial space opens up, in it the body appears, breathing, sounds, light - and this acute sense of space in which all this is happening. In this unfocused, open seeing the body and its feelings are surprisingly present, as if seeing is also breathing, as if seeing is sensed and sensing is seen, a movement that is aliveness and presence itself. The objects, so dominating at first, take second place as the activity of thought slows down. The “tree” out there is a living something of intricate shapes, colors, light and depth felt right here.
Without the superimposition of words and knowledge – what is it that is seen? What is it that takes existence and form in the process of seeing? And what is seeing itself, what is its source? Forms and feelings unfolding in a field pervaded by a subtle sense of “this exists”. It feels as if one touches that fine line where the world comes into being. And this being is one spacious continuum, the meaning of inside and outside has faded away, no separations to be found anywhere - one pervasive space of seeing filled with this, constantly touching the subtle line where the known dissolves into the unknown, and where from the depths of the unknown recognizable forms and shapes appear. This unfolding continues as long as there is no need for understanding or assurance. When that need becomes dominant then there is the fascinating re-appearance of the world (and the me) in the form of thoughts and things. “Thinking what is” creates the inner and outer world of one thousand things. “Seeing what is” dissolves the what and the seer into living stillness.
In life both these modes are needed. Both of these modes exist, often overlapping one another in varying degrees. In western culture the mode of knowledge and self, probably because it is such a powerful way of managing everyday life, has been so emphasized that it stands for reality itself. But it is a reductionist, falsely objectified and fragmented “reality”. It misses essential dimensions. Seeing is needed to re-establish the balance.