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Looking vs. Seeing




Looking is easy.  Anyone can (and anyone does) do just that.  They can easily look at separate things…. things at a distance.   But seeing is another matter.  Seeing — real seeing — involves perception beyond all of that separation that you genetically inherited over eons of time (i.e., generations of experiences) or obtained from storing what was personally learned; it exists beyond what was gathered from accumulated learning.  Seeing is not from accumulation; it surpasses and is phenomenally much more than what mere accumulation can offer.  Most people look at what they were taught to recognize.  Seeing cuts through barriers, surpassing them.  Seeing puts the unfeeling, obtuse notion of “me” separate from “everything else” aside.  But a lot of people are afraid to feel.  They don’t have the courage or the moxie to feel.  Real perception melts away the self and allows compassion to flower (beyond a dead consciousness).  Real living involves real seeing… real perception.

Looking is easy.  People, who merely look, throw bombs.  Real perception — instead — is deeply compassionate.

Don’t be just anyone.



Silver-Spotted Skipper with extending proboscis … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

30 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. And I’ve noticed that the more I see, the more I see, and the more I notice. Attentiveness to what’s around us can become increasingly instinctive, and it’s so delightful when it happens.


  2. Decades ago I was in a program that took inner city teenagers to the redwood forest. A few of the kids did not know that wood to build houses came from trees. They only knew and saw concrete and steel.


  3. This is beautiful, and it made me cry. What a better world it would be if we all stopped to see. I used to look, but the last few years have taught me to see, because I know how precious life is–not just mine, but the lives of everyone and everything. I see birds and study their behavior. I see deer and talk to them, convincing them that I’m not scary, and they let me come closer–one day I hope to actually have one allow me to touch it. I see the circle of life which is sometimes difficult to watch, but I understand now that it’s how we see–not what we see–that makes us who we are and how we deal with the difficult things in life.


  4. Wonderful lesson! Seeing takes practice and time and an open mind. People rushing and glued to digital media will struggle. Ah, so sad what gets missed.


  5. I didn’t notice the difference between looking and seeing. Your comment impressede a lot. Thank you


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