Seeing-A Meditation for Lent, Day 9

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!—Matthew 6:22-24

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
But the heart has its seasons, its evenings, and songs of its own.—Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter

About 15 billion years ago, or slightly longer than it’s been since you left that Styrofoam container of Chinese food in the refrigerator, there was this thing which is really not a thing because there were no things yet, called a singularity. In the singularity, all energy and matter were infinitely compressed into an infinitely tiny ball, until it exploded. Thus began the universe as we have come to see it. Or, as Genesis 1:1 put it, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”eye-1986661_640

According to both the models of quantum mechanics to ancient creation stories, there is a center of the universe, from which everything flows. There are even newer theories that say quantum mechanics is bunk and there wasn’t a Big Bang but a whole bunch of Big Bounces that made a lot of universes, each of which presumably contains both physicists and theologians with ideas of how it all started.

Whether you believe that right after the Big Bang/Bounce, quarks gave birth to protons and neutrons and birthed photons or that God just flipped the switch/said “Let light exist,” you have to admit that there is light. And you probably believe that its source is external: energy creating by burning the fossilized remains of plants and animals from 120 million years ago and the photons streaming from the nearest star through your windows.

But you’re only partly correct. Because according to the spiritual traditions, there is another source of light, an internal one. Jesus talked about the “lamp of the body,” which, when you are focused on the needs of the world and not external religious devotion or the pursuit of “treasure on earth,” shines out like a beacon of hope to a world badly in need of hope. Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist traditions refer to a third eye or “divine eye,” with which one perceives reality as it is, not as the physical eyes see it. Or as the Grateful Dead put it, “wake up to find that you are the eyes of the world.”

That kind of sight, the deep inner sight of true knowing, allows you to see deeply and fully—and allows the world to see through you. It’s a pretty nice way to wake up.

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