Seeing is conceiving
Read and do this exercise step by step before looking at the follow-up questions. Your “innocence” will give this exercise just a bit more “kick”. The follow-up questions-if read beforehand-will reduce the impact of this exercise. This also means that you should read and do each step of the exercise before you read the next step’s instructions. Each step takes a few seconds.
Step One: Close your eyes and pretend that you are a camera on a tripod. Your goal is to take three pictures of your immediate surroundings. Like a camera, your eyes will open rapidly (for about ONE second or less) and then close again during which time your head rotates to the next “shot”. Do this rapidly-doing all three shots in less than five seconds. Your eyes should only be open long enough for the “shot to register” or “for you to see what there is to see”-just a glance.
Step Two: (Did you do Step One? Don’t read this until you do.) Now repeat the above process, but this time, on each shot, you must name at least two objects in your view before you can close your eyes. Do this as quickly as you can, and then close the eyes and rotate to your next shot.
Step Three: (Ditto on the “innocence” proviso) Now repeat the process, but this time, on each shot, you must determine which object in your view is definitely one of your LEAST favored of all the objects you are seeing. Then close the eyes and rotate to your next shot.
Step Four: (Ditto) Repeat the process, but this time, on each shot, you must determine which object in your view “you like more than most of the objects”. Then close the eyes and rotate to your next shot.
Step Five: (Dit) Now repeat Step One again with the intent to “completely turn off” your identification processes, your judgment processes and even any recognition processes. This can be done with some practice. Play with this. Try shorter periods of opening the eyes to prevent the mind from having enough time to “get it together” to have an “opinion” about the input coming from the eyes. Then “graduate” and see how long you can get your eyes to be open before “serious thinking” about the view is started by the mind. Count yourself a success if you can get to the point where you can keep your eyes open as you glance about the room, rapidly changing views, and be convinced that for the most part you are not on a “naming binge”.
Ask yourself,How did I feel when I closed my eyes? What relaxed? Did I “miss” my visual input? How do I use “closing my eyes” as a psychological tool?
What would it be like to be able to close my ears this way? My sense of touch, smell, taste?
During Step Two, how close to the center of my visual field were the “two named objects”? How often do I “center my sights” during ordinary use of my eyes?
What do I do with my eyes when I want to think about something other than visual input? Is there a way that I can do this same sort of thing when I want to just “be” while “thinking experiences” are occurring? Can I “put aside” paying attention to thinking like I can put aside attending to visual input?
How much work is it for me to “think” about what I’m seeing?
What is easier for me, deciding something was or was not a “favored” object? Is this how it also is in my daily life with my other judgments?
What percentage of my “ordinary use” of my eyes involves naming, judging, identifying, and separating visual input into individual objects?
How easy would it be for me to see a group of persons I know without the mind “going nutzoid with processing”? Can I “just see” them?
What would the payoff be for me, if I use this mechanism as a psychological “warning light” to tell me when I’m “really being triggered” by my input? What would I want my mind to do if the alarm goes off?
How is it that I am so comfortable with “so little” “verbal” processing of the visual information actually happening in my daily experiencing? Typically, what is my attention being placed upon if my mind is not producing thoughts about visual input? How often am I completely “blind” in this manner?