By Kenneth Daviknes Hansen
Originally published Dec. 24, 2011, on iEvolve.org.
This entry was written by my student and friend Kenneth Daviknes Hansen. Kenneth is not a native English writer or speaker but I think his core intent is clear in this long journal entry. To be read by mystics only! — MG
This is a text that conveys a visual view of enlightenment – the awakening from ego identification as seen through my own eyes. It is a free flow of consciousness written by Kenneth in his diary and not a formal essay. The first half of the essay was edited after the initial diary entry and the second half was not.
First there are the perspectives and the clarification:
We are talking about the 1st-person awakening to the enlightened view of reality. This is the 1st-person view of both inside and outside when they awaken and realize their true nature. When talking about this experience in the language of perspectives, this is a first-person experience as well as 3rd-person experience of the 1st-person. One realizes that one is something more than ego.
When one has the realization of oneness with what you see — the expression of this in terms of how to understand it will express itself through various cues that will make the understanding and indeed possibility for realizing oneself that there is in fact naught any distance whatsoever in what comes to be the relationship between the one observing (the 1st person) and the one/that which is being seen by the observer. Here the distinction between 1st person and 3rd person will be crucial because we are all observing from the 1st-person while within this 1st-person what we see is the third person, and the observer is what we call 1st-person. So to be clear we are always seeing from within the 1st-person.
There are five expressions of what we can term the 1st-person realization of oneness with what you see. Before I proceed for the sake of full disclosure I want to share that I am writing based on my own first-person experience interpreted through 3rd-person categories of enlightenment thinking.
When you have a realization of oneness it often expresses itself through various cues. These cues point to the understanding and make possible the realization that in fact at the essential level there is no distance whatsoever between the observer (1st-person) and that which is being observed (3rd person). We are all observing through first-person and that which is observed to the extent that it can be communicated becomes available to a broader population as a third person reality. However all third-person reality is paradoxically seen differently by every first person. At the same time in the awakened or enlightened experience there is not any distance between the one observing and the one /that which is being seen by the observer. There are five expressions of what we might term the first person realization of oneness with the visual field.
First as George Bishop* has also pointed out, length is perceivable as a line. When we willfully turn the line towards the eye, we can only see the end of the line. The distance becomes depth and cannot be seen.
When we wondrously examine the definition of distance we realize that distance requires two points to be present so as to be perceived. However when one is relating to an external object the requirement of having two visible points cannot be met. One can only see one of the two points necessary for the visual distance to arise, which is the object of observation. The person that is seeing cannot see the eyes themselves and therefore is no distance perceived.
Secondly when we are wondrously examining the definition of distance the necessary requisites are that two points will be present so as to be perceived. However when one is relating to an external object – in one sense you are not seeing distance – as two visible points are not available – as one can only see one of the two points necessary for the visual distance to arise which is the object of observation. The person that is seeing cannot see the eyes themselves and therefore is no distance perceived.
Thirdly we have the fact that one eye is seeing the object that is under observation from a distinct angle. While the other eye is seeing it from its own angle. The image produced in the mind is a collaboration of the two individual images. Two distinct images however have been formed, each one focusing on one point when observing an external object — and as such seeing that point from their own angle, as such seeing the point from their own distinct 3rd person, which is exactly the realm of distance, where one sees two points (second person) which constitutes distance.
To give an example as to what I mean: when holding a finger pointing towards your eyes and seeing that each eye see one side of the finger. The eyes together see the length of the finger, whereas if one were to focus on the finger with one eye one would only see the tip and not its length. This shows that even as the two images in our mind, from the two eyes, are formed into one, the given of having a unique angle to each eye remains true do not perceive distance directly with our mind but by the fact that each eye steps out of a 1st person direct perception of a point (which is the minds merging of the two) and looks at it (from an angle) in the 3rd person. True.
Now an expression that is grounded in a basic intuition that what we see is not over there, rather as we see the objects what we see will be over here. Or as one might say “in here”. In you. Take an observer standing at a distance while observing what we will say is a tree. The tree as we see it is at a distance towards the observer, but to the observer (1st person) what he see will be the photons and light rays that are emitting from the tree and towards his eyes. So quantum-physically we have that what the observer is aware of visually will not be the observed tree as we see it from the 3rd person, what he or she sees is the tree’s emitted light that hits his eyes. That is; in the light’s raying from the tree towards the observer there is no visual distance, as we can understand from the observers point of view! This is the 1st person, where there will be only oneness and no separation, what the observer is aware of is visually the photons as they enter the eyes’ lenses and hits the retina of his or her eyes and as such is as close to the observer as they can get.
As a fifth and final expression of the way that enlightened visuals express themselves comes from the definition of distance and the recognition that between objects is but a vacuum of empty space. Between literal objects there is an absolute nothingness that can show us how the very definition of distance implodes on itself and results in a nullification of itself: “We define distance as the amount of space between two things or people.” As the definition suggests we need the amount of space to define distance. To say such a thing will then equalize with saying, “Distance is the amount of absolutely nothing.” which is in itself contradicting the very basis of the definition. The amount of nothing to my best knowledge will equal the very same thing: nothing. So to the definition of distance, which suggests the separation of objects, we can say that the definition does not hold standard. There is no thing there to be measured as to what regards distance. We therefore need a new definition of the way that we understand separation in the 3rd person realm, which is an other theme. To say it shortly we then have to involve the sense of touch and see it together with the sense of sight: In practical terms distance pertains to the sense of touch because if a thing is at a distance towards us we might not be able to touch it, or if it is up close we are at chance of bumping.
The actual seeing of this view and way of perceiving space, is a beautiful experience that gives pleasure and delight, when seeing that space is one and that what we are looking at is in deed not at any distance from us, that what we see we are one with, when we see that and at the same time realize that we do experience them as being at a distance we might very well unlock a fascinating perception of space that makes seeing and watching ever so directly and wonderfully so.
There are sources from Chasidism that shows how using sight, as a spiritual practice is possible.They warn us not to use the sight of beauty to self-indulge rather use it as a way to reach God. Kabbbalah teaches that there are seven kinds of thought that may be transformed into its source, which can be called God. The method that they suggest is that what you have of a thought whether it is love, glorification or other of the seven kinds of thoughts the method is that what you are having of an experience is but a part of the World of that thought. “When you eat something that gives you pleasure, think that it is but a part of the World of Delight. and “then you will find pleasure al [Hebrew] (lit: over) God. .. as it were.” Ascending to the very source.
“Avoid gazing at material things that are attractive. To indulge your desire. For that type of looking is self-worship. Which is like worshipping idolatry.”
Regarding when seeing a thing: “Think to yourself: “Whence came the beauty and form to this vessel. … Its beauty and form. are the spiritual and vital reality of the vessel, which is a Divine portion from Above [for the vitality of all physical things is a Divine portion from Above].” The footnote of that same page does contain the note that: “Nidah 31a: a persons beauty comes from God.” “Likewise when eating, bear in mind that the taste and sweetness of the food derives from the vitalizing force and sweetness of above, and that is its vitality.. It follows then that the Divine vitality from Above is to be found everywhere” For as it says through the same paragraph as sited: an object has a vitality that is evident through its having “existence and durability.”
Photo Credit: GeometerArtist