Friday, August 10, 2012

Seeing is not Believing

We are conditioned from birth to think without reservation that “seeing is believing.”  We place complete trust in our senses and what our senses in conjunction with our brains show us.  In fact, the word evidence comes from the Latin, videre, meaning “to see,” in the sense of proof by appearance.

While all the time, we can see only with true vision, looking through the eyes of Christ.

First, here are examples of the interaction between the brain and the senses.


But for all the eye’s extraordinary ability, seeing is a function of the brain—humans’ visual cortex is more developed than that of any other mammal.


Our brain processes sounds a thousand times faster than images and registers sounds even as we sleep.  This constant bath of noise affects everything from our concentration to our health.


In a part of the brain known as the anterior cingulated, tastes get married to an emotional reaction:  disgust for rotten meat, say, or delight for a sweet strawberry.


With hundreds of nerve endings in every  square inch of skin, your body functions like  an antenna, receiving a constant stream of information  ranging from the firmness of the chair you’re sitting on to the heat of the sun through the window.


And because smells are processed by the same part of the brain that handles memories and emotions—the temporal lobe—we respond to them with rare intensity.  Decades later, a passing scent may summon a memory of our first-grade classroom, one so vivid that we seem transported across time and space. (Jennifer
Kahn, What Your Nose Knows, Parade Magazine, July 29, 2012), pp. 6-8

If we weren’t so caught up in habit, perhaps we could learn to listen to reason.

Reason would tell you that the world you see through eyes that are not yours must make no sense to you. To whom would seeing such as this send back its messages? Surely not you, whose sight is wholly independent of the eyes that look upon the world.  If this is not your vision, what can it show to you? The brain cannot interpret what your vision sees. This you would understand. The brain interprets to the body, of which it is a part. But what it says you cannot understand. Yet you have listened to it. And long and hard you tried to understand its messages.

ACIM, Chapter 22.1.2:3-12

Now, perhaps, we can be more reasonable and listen quietly to a part of our mind untouched by the roar of the senses.

Reason will tell you that our projections must have been seen through a vision not of the body, and communicated in a language the body does not speak. Nor could it be a fearful sight or sound that drew them gently into one. Rather, in each the other saw a perfect shelter where his Self could be reborn in safety and in peace. Such did his reason tell him; such he believed because it was the truth
. 9:6-9

No comments: