There are three types of eyes for us to see the world and live in it.
The first could be our physical eye. It is one of the key components for survival. It is our sensor that perceives the natural world around us. If there are any obstacles in front of us, this eye can detect them.
It is also the eye to see everything and everyone as a set of binaries such as friends and enemies, pleasures and pains, safety and danger, even beauty and ugliness. It could be also one of the primary sensors for us to see the scale of the world and the universe we see.
Because of this eye, we can’t help but seek for the size and age of the universe. Spacetime catches us and we miss the eternity. We can’t help but ask questions such as where we came from and where we are going? Ego catches us and we miss God.
As long as we rely on our physical eye only, life is difficult with a series of challenges. The world acts as the external threats where we constantly search for a safe place for peace, or for the solutions that bring us to a safe place for peace.
Seeing a series of those binaries, we indulge ourselves with temporal pleasure, beauty, and comfort as if our search looks endless if not hopeless, superficial, cynical, narcissistic, or nihilistic.
The second could be our mental eye. With this eye, at least our survival instinct would no longer control and dominate us. We have realized that the world around us is not necessarily threats alone. We can seek the mechanism of the world and the universe, which could be not necessarily against but for us, with us, and part of us. Life is still difficult. But we are not so pessimistic. We think we can overcome it. We could be life and life is us.
We are rather optimistic in relying on our wisdom and knowledge to understand that the universe itself evolves with us. Someday we could make the complete alignment with the self-consciousness of the universe.
We still see the world and the universe as a series of binaries such as friends and enemies, pleasure and pains, safety and danger, even beauty and ugliness. But we no longer instinctively react them. They no longer overwhelm us. We can be our sober self that mindfully controls our instinctive reactions on these binaries.
Life is difficult and yet there is a set of solutions. With our mental eye, we are optimistic, sober, mindful, rational, and emotionally stable – positive and hopeful.
And the third is our contemplative eye. It is the eye that can transcend all the binaries above-mentioned.
For those physical and mental eyes, we still see the world and the universe in front of us and outside of us as the object that we have to behold and manage. If that is the case, the eye of contemplation is rather blind. It is not the eye in the sense that both physical and mental eyes are.
This third eye no longer believes that there is such a thing as the world and the universe that our physical and mental eyes see with a series of binaries. It doesn’t see them as the real face of what we call the world and the universe. For this third eye, these binaries are rather an illusory surface.
If so, what this third eye is supposed to see? It is the eye that tells us that our eyes are mere sensors.
The physical eye is the sensor that can see the world and the universe based on our survival instincts. As long as we rely on this sensor, we can never see the things that this sensor can’t detect. In the same manner, our mental eye is the sensor that can see the world and the universe based on our mental, intellectual frames. As long as we rely on this sensor, we can never see the things that this sensor can’t detect.
How can we overcome the limitation of these sensors? After all, sensors are sensors. Introducing a new set of sensors could perhaps widen the things we can detect and we can detect more. But we are still in the limitation of all possible, potential sensors.
Paradoxically, accepting the very limitation of all possible, potential sensors, and surrendering the very nature of these sensors, we could scarcely stand at the perspective of the so-called sensor-less dimension – the sight of no eye.
With all possible, potential sensors, at least we can believe there would be the possible whole beyond what they can detect. What all sensors could do is to provide us the limited parts of this whole.
It could, therefore, lead us to a realization that sensors can never provide us the whole picture as they are sensors after all. What our eye can teach us is what this eye can see only. Our eye can never see what our eye can’t see. The “eye” of contemplation is such a realization.
Surrender all sensors. Beyond sensors, with our subtle sense of Emptiness and Oneness, we could see His will. Don’t think. Don’t feel, either. Surrender all sensors. Only in doing so, we can pray for God’s will naturally, spontaneously, and wholeheartedly. We don’t seek anything but His will as we are nothing and He is everything. We could be everything only in the way He is everything.
Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski