I do not have ‘four-eyes’; I have six.
Since I was a child, I have been wearing a pair of prescription glasses to correct my vision. I am lost without it, and have come to see them as forming a part of me. Sometimes, I don’t even realise it’s there (like looking for my glasses when I’m wearing them).
However, since I was born until now, I am also wearing another pair of invisible glasses that warp my vision.
In fact, everyone was born with these invisible glasses. Very few feel it’s there because they have become so accustomed to it. Even fewer ever learn to take it off.
So every day we walk around with these glasses on, and we peer through them at the world thinking our vision is correct. Over time, dust falls on them and clouds our vision. Cracks form and we think our life is falling apart. Colours start to emerge on them that make us like or hate the world around us.
We start to believe that what we see is true and real, and we even begin arguing with others over the colours of the world, “The world is blue!” “No, it is red!” without realising that it is only so because one person is wearing blue glasses, and the other person is wearing red ones. The world itself lies beyond the frames, untouched and unseen.
Sometimes we are able to see life through someone else’s glasses, to understand why they do what they do and why they are the way they are. Yet, to really know, we first must recognise that we are still wearing our glasses looking through theirs.
If anyone tried to tell us that what we are seeing is not real, but merely a coloured perception created by our mind, we may think they have lost their minds or we may even become defensive about the reality that we see. This is because to us, the world behind the lens is the only world we have seen.
Soon, not only do we see the world outside with these coloured lenses. We begin to look at ourselves with the same dirty and cracked glasses. We start to see our flaws and we don’t like what we see. So we don’t like ourselves as a whole. The tears well up and leave spotted marks on our lens that we carry with us throughout the day.
Just imagine if you were able to take off those glasses – even for just a moment – and clean them. Wipe away the grit, the dust, the grime. Wipe away the hurt, the guilt, the anger, the sadness. Seal the cracks to see the world as a whole again, instead of in pieces.
Or even better, imagine if you were able to take off those glasses forever. To be able to see the world for what it is, to see others for who they are, and to see yourself for the person you have become. To see all this so clearly, and not be clouded by your perceptions, intentions, misconceptions, fears, expectations, disappointments, and negativity.
Just imagine what you would be able to see.
Just imagine if this became a reality…to see reality for what it is.
Inspired by an analogy used by SN Goenka at his Vipassana Retreats
12 Sept 2011
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