Reviewing The Ambiguity Of Seeing

 The Ambiguity: What you see is all you see; all you see is not all there is.

What you and I see is our view of reality. It is well acknowledged that we don’t see everything. The ambiguity of seeing reminds us that we are “visually impaired” observers. We can’t see the whole; we only see some of the parts. This blog is a plea to illuminate the imagination of the mind’s eye in order to expand the way we see things. This imagination is called vision. The mind’s eye is where imagination and vision reside.                                              The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.Helen Keller

In 2007 I wrote a series of 30 essays, “The Process of Illumination, Looking At The Way We See Things.” I was asking readers to pay attention to the way they see things because the way they see things makes a difference in the way they do things. Today I am asking readers to pay attention to the ambiguity of the way they see things. Notice what you see, andwhat you don’t see; and include some vision.

Remember: Your view of reality is your reality. Everyone doesn’t have the same view or the same reality. This is a fact that we seem to forget. Yet it is the cause of much human disagreement. This is where vision may be helpful. Vision is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.Synonyms: Creativity, inventiveness, innovation, intuition, insight, perceptiveness. Dictionary.  

Once again I will utilize the iceberg metaphor to understand vision. Using our imagination to vision the iceberg metaphorically as a way of seeing, shows us that we only see the tip — part of the whole. Most of the rest is hidden. But most of us can imagine what the hidden part of an iceberg might look like. So we can admit that we don’t see what is hidden but can imagine/visualize what we don’t see looks like. Vision is the art of seeing the invisible,  Jonathan Swift.

Although our imagination, like our believing and seeing, also has the problem of subjectivity, we at least know it is in our mind’s eye. We could create some interesting visions of the hidden parts. And maybe our creative scenarios could become prophecy. “Ones vision is not a road map but a compass.” Peter Block. Illuminating the mind’s eye could become a useful strategy for overcoming our limits as an impaired observer. Without vision, you rely only on what you see; and what you see is not all there is.

 “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

                                                                                                                Mark Twain




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  1. Marianne says:

    It is hard to see our own beliefs and how they effect/create our reality. It is next to impossible to help a person “see” any differently for him/herself. I’m am thinking of Trump and how hard/impossible for anyone to effect his view and belief about his reality. We can all see how biased it is, but there seems to me no way to enlighten him to the danger he is creating in our country. I guess another person who believes in him would say that I don’t see clearly. We live in dangerous times for our democracy, and I think I see proof around me. It is not just my bias—-I don’t think.

  2. Beth Lyon says:

    Hi HB,
    Always interesting to hear your thoughts.
    Please use my email, not Ron’s.

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