Dear Friend,
The richness and complexity of the vision of vision in our souls is astounding and wonderful. I am writing this during the lunch break at a conference on The Search for Humanity in Contemporary Art, so I have a list of visual thoughts in my notebook from listening to the presentations.

The phrase that stands out and grabs my eye (I) is “onlooking.”  LOOKING ON!  In your soul what do you rest your I on?  Or do you bring your visual consciousness only to what your eyes see in the material world?

Let’s add a few more prepositions. Not only looks on, but also looks out, looks in and looks away. From our inner life, we look out, in and on seeking the light of truth, beauty, and goodness.  At the same time we may look away from the shadows cast by falsehood, distortion and ill will. 

Are these looks out, in and on a mere glance or a penetrating gaze? A glance is quick and provides no deep value, but it can capture your momentary attention and invite you to return later for a lasting gaze with more attention and intention.

Gazing lets the I penetrate, see through and beyond.  Gazing lets the object be reflected in the heart of the subject. Gazing often changes the one gazing.

Do you choose to gaze so you can see through and beyond the surface?  This is a serious question as it indicates a real responsibility and a certain fearlessness.

This act of soul seeing requires practice and discipline.  It also requires a willingness to be surprised, shocked, even frightened.

You can see how it is very, very helpful to have worked with and developed your sensitivity to the soul’s touch, well-being, self-movement, balance, smell and taste, to maintain a strong sense of self before you start looking on what lies inside our skin, out in the world and deep in the realities of another human being.

This week choose an image to gaze on.  Spend a few minutes each morning and each evening, in dawn’s early light and in the growing shadows of dusk, seeing what you can see. This object can be an idea, a work of art, your own hand, a tree, the sky outside a particular window in your home or someone you love.  The question in your heart is “What am I seeing? What is the shape? how many colors? what shines brightest?  what am I not seeing? could I take another perspective? How does this object reflect me? reflect God? What does this image ask of me?

Gaze on, my friend.  See what you can see.

Of course, if you look away, you might never see what needs to be seen. You may overlook the essential?  Are you afraid? Of what?
Here’s looking at you,