When you were a child, did you ever close your eyes and imagine flying like a bird, or picture what was at the end of a rainbow, or shut your eyes to make a wish while you were blowing out your birthday candles?
As adults, we take a workshop with Tony the empowerment guru who has us close our eyes and visualize where-we-want-to-be-in-five-years, or we complete our yoga class with our eyes closed as the yogi leads us on a guided meditation.
Why with our eyes closed? Can’t we get there with them open? Does sight somehow prevent us from fulfilling our wishes or reaching the higher plane of our inner-universe?
While we’re asleep our eyes are closed and those vivid dreams appear, sending meaningful messages to ourselves. Sight is turned off even with our eyes wide open via a daydream, where we are transported to the outback thousands of miles away from the boardroom.
When we listen to a book on tape or read a novel, sight isn’t a factor. Instead, the spoken and written words spark our imagination, our mind’s eye surveying the colorful images and landscapes in our head. Our imaginings can sometimes be so potent that they leave us disappointed in the movie made from the book. Perhaps what we see is trumped by what we think.
You also get more out of your other senses when you’re sightless. We may hear more of what someone says because we don’t get distracted by something we see going on around them; you tune into the tone, tempo and rhythm of what they’re saying and pick up the meaning between their words. Touch becomes more satisfying as you check out the shape, weight and texture of items (and people too if you get lucky!). Your sense of smell is heightened into a fragrant blossom when you’re not distracted by the beauty of the flower.
Certainly we all want to see, but sight does come with its limitations. It shapes our immediate thinking and can create a barrier to our deeper self. If we don’t see the fancy car they drive, or the short skirt, or the missing teeth, we may indeed become a little less timid or shy or snobbish and a little more relaxed and real with the people we meet.
If pictures were eliminated from online dating websites, what would be the outcome? Pandemonium that leads to better results?
Going on a ‘blind date’ implies risky business. Sight unseen may lead to disappointment. However, let’s face it, when you’re on that first date, you’re looking your best and on your best behavior; sight may actually be misleading if we don’t begin to get beyond that scrubbed and shining first impression. Half of all marriages wind up in divorce, usually for reasons that don’t meet the eye. When you’re blind, you focus on the voice which can be a better lens to the soul. For the record, all my dates are blind ones.
Sight can certainly promote discrimination, triggering those biases we carry in our heads when the people around us look and move differently than we do. When you’re blind, you don’t prejudge the abilities of the guy you just met in the wheelchair.
If most of the world was blind, things might be more peaceful. There’d be less discrimination since color of skin wouldn’t trigger aggressive actions. War would be reduced and possibly eliminated since we wouldn’t be able to see the enemy, or at least take accurate aim.
Perhaps the world would be a little less hostile if we all were a little more blind.
When you do without sight, there are plenty of advantages. Everybody speaking on the phone is virtually blind: how convenient it is for those who have home-based businesses to strike deals while sitting in their Jockey shorts.
You save a lot of money when you’re blind. You tend to buy only what you need. You’re not tempted to grab the stuff around the checkout counter of the grocery store, or the items down the aisles of the drugstore as you head back to the pharmacy, or the attractive sweater you don’t need but have to pass by in order to get the pants which you do need.
So we dutifully and happily shut our eyes and let out a long sigh as we hunker down into our yoga mats, improving our mood, muscles and digestive systems.