Oh, say can you see?

Are you aware of your sense of sight?

Something lovely to gaze at, in case you need an extra incentive to answer this week's question.

This seems like a strange question, perhaps. The answer can feel like, well, of course I’m aware. But stay with this. Read the following three-part experiment, then try each part before proceeding to the next.

Find something to lay your eyes on. Let it be something rather benign, not too compelling. Now, as you take this view in, bring awareness to your sense of vision. Notice that you are in the process of seeing. Take this notion in. (Stop here and do this.)

Now begin to notice how seeing can actually have a variety of qualities. There is depth of field, and a range of focus from wide to pinpoint, as with a camera. There is direction and speed. There is the very musculature responsible for these capabilities. And beyond the simple mechanical functions that a camera possesses, there are conscious characteristics. There is a range of intensity with seeing. There is energy, a little or a lot, going into the very act. What else? (Stop again, and do this. Look around, try a few of these out to see what they are like.)

Can you notice, continuing this exploration for a bit, whether this all is taking place independent of anything cognitive happening, prior to analyzing, deciphering, labeling or evaluating?

What is seeing, and why bother noticing it like this? What is it like to pay attention to it as described, for a little while?



4 thoughts on “Oh, say can you see?

  1. by focusing on seeing, we put some distance between our vision, and the commentator that usually quickly follows. seeing the magic of the world before any labels or judgments arise. this is quite useful.

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