Excerpt About Eyes

Veils of Our History Obscure Our Seeing

When we look at something, we do not see with fresh eyes, we see through the veil of the totality of our past. When you look at a table or at a person you know, at yourself, at your life, at your future, you do not see them with fresh eyes. You do not see anything with openness. You look at things with all the ideas and feelings and knowledge and memories of the past. So you are looking at reality through layers of dead matter. So you see darkly, as if through many heavy veils. You do not see reality at all; you see that deadness, and after a while you take that deadness to be reality. You believe it so completely that that deadness becomes even more solid and real. So what you wake up to every morning is deadness again. Once you can see reality, when you wake up in the morning you won’t see anything you’ve ever seen before. When you can truly see, perceive, and taste something, you will see that you have never actually seen it before. Then you know you are looking without your mind. But as long as you recognize something, in the sense of remembering it, in the sense of giving it names and labels, then it is not reality yet and you are not yet truly seeing. To penetrate to reality involves a process of unlearning, a shedding or a dropping-away of mind, getting rid of all that we know.

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