February 9

  

Today's Quotation:

I have walked with people whose eyes are full of light but who see nothing in sea or sky, nothing in city streets, nothing in books.  It were far better to sail forever in the night of blindness with sense, and feeling, and mind, than to be content with the mere act of seeing.  The only lightless dark is the night of darkness in ignorance and insensibility.

Helen Keller

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I close my eyes very tightly and try to imagine what it would be like to be blind.  I know that I never truly can imagine just what it would be like, for I've already spent many years seeing and I would have the memories of vision there in my mind.  The blindness of not seeing would be a tragedy for those of us who have experienced the visual splendor of our world.

But what have I missed in life even though I can see?  What has passed me by because of my insensibility, my unwillingness or inability to see the world around me and the people in it?  Helen Keller is willing to accept physical blindness for what it is, but she calls us to task for not seeing even though we have the physical capability to do so.

Literary works throughout the ages have explored the concept of blindness--probably the most famous is Shakespeare's King Lear.  He knows his daughters as his daughters, but he's completely blind to their true natures because he refuses to know them deeply and truly.  In the play, he ends up actually losing his eyes as a result of his ignorance and blindness.

If we can see, we take what we see for granted.  If we can hear, we take things like music and the wind in the trees for granted.  If we can taste, we take flavors for granted.  We work ourselves into a state of ignorance of the true nature of things, and we lose our ability to see past the surface of people and things.  Being busy and being in a hurry can make this process even more drastic.  Since we're not physically blind, shouldn't we take full advantage of the gift of the sense of sight, and actually see the world in which we spend our lives?

Questions to ponder:

1.  Think of some things that you see regularly, but don't really "see."  How long after we buy a new piece of artwork for our home, for example, do we stop noticing its beauty regularly?

2.  Can you think of any exercises you might do to notice things more?

3.  What does it take to "see" past the surface of a person?  How does seeing "cure" us of ignorance?

For further thought:

Why do some people always see beautiful skies and grass and lovely flowers and incredible human beings, while others are hard-pressed to find anything or any place that is beautiful?

Leo Buscaglia

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