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Eyes are Last to See

I got new frames for my prescription glasses this week and wanted to share a glimpse about the eyes. 🤓

The eyes are an intriguing and valuable organ in the body and can even reflect a person’s health. In The Wisdom of Maimonides, the author sources how even the great Jewish sage and physician, Maimonides, would look carefully into the eyes of each patient in order to determine the illness. Also, in foundational Jewish texts like Pirkei Avot 5:19 (Ethics of our Fathers), it’s said that “the disciples of our father Abraham possesses a good eye…”

Furthermore, the eyes can give insight into where a person’s attention is and what a person’s intentions are. In What Every Body is Saying by Ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro (interview I did with his colleague Anne-Maartje), writes that “the eyes can be very accurate barometers of our feelings because, to some degree, we have very little control over them.” He also discusses how the pupils will dilate when we like what we see.

Interesting, so our eyes reflect what may be going on internally, but that seems to show that the eyes are more so windows or projectors. So, what truly sees?

The eyes don’t see. Actually, the eyes are the last to see. The brain sees.

In the brain there is the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which filters information in the brain and blocks out other information in the brain. As talked about by American Lawyer and motivational speaker, Mel Robbins, we each are the one’s that program that filter (!). How we choose to perceive our lives and the situations we experience determines, to a large degree, what we see. There is a quote I often hear from Dr. Joe Dispenza, but just now found the original source in the Talmud:

“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”— Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)

Note: The above translation is not very accurate. It still applies, but on other sources Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani's words are translated differently on Tractate Berakhot 55b.

In order to cultivate ‘a good eye’ we must work on our personality, which consists of thoughts, feelings, and actions. In Kabbalistic language, these are referred to as the garments of our soul. The thoughts we think, feelings we feel, and actions we take are a reflection of how we see the world. And, as mentioned earlier, the eyes can show our inner well being and intentions.

The eyes will simply present to you that which you choose to see and your state of being. If you’re in a mood of grumpiness or stress, you will likely see events that affirm that mood - things not going your way, additional stressors, etc. If you’re in a state of joy and gratitude, you will see events that affirm that mood. Even if an unpleasant situation arises, you will see the good in it or how to respond to it effectively.

The choice is ours. How do you choose to see the world? “I think the most important question facing humanity is,“ writes Albert Einstein, ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.” (Full quote here).

Also, the the emotional state of being we’re in signals the genes in our bodies to express a certain way, which then programs cells to make proteins consistent with that state of being.

How do you see yourself? Is there a difference in how you see things around you with how you see yourself?

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