In my thinking, each of us has the profound responsibility for understanding our own actions and recognizing what essentially drives us to make the choices in life we make and to fathom the reasons why we have taken the path we have elected to take. The extent to which I can choose freely, I am the arbiter of my own fate. Limitations are often imposed upon us by politics, economics, natural disasters and health issues; this is to be expected. And yet, even under extremely dire circumstances, significant choices can be made.
Speaking of humanity, another of my sleepless early-morning revelations is in regard to what I see in others – family, friends, associates, colleagues, acquaintances. What is the difference between seeing and really seeing? What is there when I strip away all the prejudices and remove all the convenient stereotypes and filters?
It is easy to convince myself that I know someone when, in fact, I may not know that person at all - or at least in any substantial way. Once we have gone beyond that transient age of true innocence, each one of us, in my opinion, attempts to project an image of ourselves that we have learned brings us a modicum of comfort whether or not this persona necessarily leads to success in life. Quite ironically, it often robs us of the power inherent in being.
To truly see another person, I need to deconstruct all the self-deluding preconceived notions I may have and plunge beneath the layers of appearance that the individual may be hiding behind to find the true self. For me, this requires quieting the mind and listening carefully, deeply and looking directly into the other person’s eyes - the true portals to the heart or essence of being.
The same practice that needs to be applied to self also has great value in perceiving those with whom we interact.
This manner of seeing requires a great deal of effort and focus, but I can conceive of no better way to truly comprehend my place in the world.