“The eye through which I see God,” wrote Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart, “is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”
Reality is more than what meets the eye.
Our perspective shapes and limits what we see. Our prevailing mood of the moment, our sensitivity to criticism and our present tolerance for humour all shape how we will receive a light-hearted insult from a friend.
Over time, as couples become too familiar, they talk a little less – and listen a lot less – than they should. They practice mind-reading with varying degrees of accuracy. They assume a lot more than they check out.
No wonder we think the worst of one another when we keep one another waiting, forget something important, toss out the other’s favourite things or unconsciously commit a dozen other infuriating acts.
We stop living happily ever after when being together is a competition of my needs versus your needs or what I give up versus what you give up. We can’t win in a game of who’s right or who does the most.
When we look at one another, we usually do so through the eyes of the ego. From the perspective of our smaller selves – largely concerned with our personal needs, we judge the world by how it might threaten us or satisfy our needs. When we look at others this way, we see only superficially and even them through the filter of our own interests.
The alternative is to see with the divine eye – to see deeply, to see through our own egos, needs and wants. This is the eye of love unconditional.
This is how a parent sees a newborn child – perfect, beautiful and worthy of love. A parent’s vision may be clouded when that child is seen as an extension of his or her own ego or when the egos of parent and child clash. In the battle of our little selves, we become myopic and lose sight of the soul.
To see another with the divine eye is to look directly into the soul, recognize real beauty and feel deep compassion. When we recognize another in this way, how can we not express unconditional love?
An exercise in happiness: How do you see yourself, your life and your relationships today? If you have been looking with the critical, nearsighted eye of your smaller self, take a step back – a really big step back.
Look in the mirror and see yourself as you really are: perfect with your unique and human imperfections, emanating real beauty from your core, and worthy of unconditional love. See – and feel – the divine within you, and live from that higher self.
Look at your own life – past and present – with compassion. Look at the problems of this day from the perspective of a lifetime.
Look at each person you meet today as a newborn baby – your baby: perfect in human imperfection, beautiful as they are and worthy of love.
Which is the greater spiritual experience: to see the divine in another (and experience unconditional love in your own heart) or to have the divine in yourself recognized by the other (and receive unconditional love)?