Expand your vision
Part 1: Open the doors of perception
What this video is about
- You don’t need to close your eyes to go within and connect with a deeper nature of reality (as we are so often asked to do in meditation, to avoid “visual distractions”). In fact, in doing so, we shut the doors of perception and reinforce the core duality underpinning the human condition: the duality between the inner and the outer, the spiritual and the material — between Heaven and Earth.
- Keeping these doors wide open allows us to transcend this duality, seeing the spiritual within the sensory: in Aldous Huxley’s words, “the miracle, moment-to-moment, of naked existence”.
- We don’t usually see it, because the incredibly complex visual processing mechanisms of our brains are constantly at work, filtering the visual, sensory “input” and using our past experiences to present the conscious mind with a simplified and coherent picture of reality, a picture it can grasp. As the neuroscientist Eric Kandel puts it, all we see we see in our mind’s eye.
- The whole system is not fine-tuned to allow you to see with “beginner’s mind”, with beginner’s eyes — but rather, to keep you grounded in the familiarity of the past, so that the conscious mind can sustain the illusion of control it is so attached to, the illusion that it sees reality as it is and fully understands it. It is as though the whole system works in such a way as to feed the mind the limited view of reality it “thinks” the mind can process and comprehend.
- But we have experiential proof that our minds are capable of seeing reality beyond these filtering mechanisms, a much richer, infinite reality, a reality where the sacred, the divine is present within the sensory… This is our evolutionary potential, the emerging next leap in the evolution of human consciousness.
- And Art — the art we truly see, and let sink into the very core of our being — opens a unique path towards this new way of seeing, towards unlocking our evolutionary potential. It relaxes the default processing mechanisms of the brain and lets us to see through the artist’s eyes — a radical expansion of our visual experience, which allows the mind to accept and embrace a deeper, truer reality.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite... " -- William Blake
Here is a reproduction of van Gogh's chair:
Spend some time with it, contemplate it deeply, seeing it as a deeper insight into the nature of reality than we “normally” have access to. And then, throughout your day, pause to look at your chair — can you see it afresh? Can you see it with van Gogh’s eyes? Can you see its infinite, ever-present and ever-changing, fluid, naked beauty?
About the author
My name is Elena Maslova-Levin, I am an artist — but, first and foremost, I am a humble spectator, in awe, amazement, veneration of the whole evolutionary unfolding of great art through the eons of human evolution.
This ever-present, and intrinsically synergistic field of art is what gives me my power as an artist, and in this series I invite you to expand your sense of vision by deepening your inner connection to this field.