During this week you’ll see others as sacred and priceless and feel connected with everyone working to decrease global suffering.
See others from a deeper place within you.
I ask an audience of over nine hundred people, “How many of you know someone in your life who is priceless to you?” Every single hand goes up. The chances are all of you can think of someone who is infinitely precious to you. You are also infinitely precious to someone. But that’s not how we look at each other. Why?
It is because we have limited instruments—both our sensory organs and our minds. Let’s first talk about our sensory organs.
Our eyes are phenomenal, yet they have several limitations. Our eyes adapt well to the dark, but below a threshold, the light photons, even if they induce a chemical reaction on the retina, don’t create a neural response. We can only see a narrow spectrum of light that ranges from 380 to 720 nanometers. We have blind spots and are blind to our blind spots. Our eyes can’t see anything behind our heads. Further, when you scan the horizon on a flat savannah, you can’t see beyond 3.1 miles, because the earth’s surface curves out at that point.
Our other senses are also fabulous but limited. We have a narrow range of hearing, both in terms of intensity and frequency. We can’t hear all the sounds our puppies or dolphins can. Our noses are a million times less sensitive than those of dogs. Our taste buds, at least in research studies, can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine.
Like our senses, our minds are also phenomenal yet limited. Our minds are restless and irrational. We are biased and unaware of our biases, and we often make quick (and incorrect) decisions based on limited information. We can’t integrate the total picture, and we are poor at using simple mathematical and statistical principles in our daily lives.
With those limits to my senses and mind, I see people around me very superficially. I see them as a means to an end. I don’t see them in their circle of love, and I truly struggle with finding the sacred in the annoying. I am a work in progress.
If I could see further into the future, I would recognize the transience of the mighty, the preciousness and power of the subtle, and the indestructibility of the virtues. The virtues transcend time. People a thousand generations younger than us will rediscover and find peace through gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness, just as people a thousand generations prior to us did. I will also see the circle of love that surrounds each person.
I shouldn’t allow my eyes and my mind to set the limits for what I can see. I should see others from the deepest place within me. Once I do that, I will see each person surrounded by a garland of loved ones. I will see each one of us as a sacred, priceless being, and not just a transient blob of condensed energy. Such sight will make me and the world around me kinder and happier.
May you see the depths, deeper than your eyes can show; may such vision help you see others as sacred and priceless beings.
@AmitSoodMD (on Twitter)