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Being Conscious

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

Unless I am really paying attention, much of life remains hidden from my eyes. Being attentive to the fascinating world around us is something that great photographers practice. You and I have seen their pictures. Every day there are marvelous scenes opening up right in front of us. Unless we take the time to see them, they pass by, perhaps never to appear again in exactly that exquisite dimension.

Some philosophers and spiritual guides, Christian and otherwise, speak of how important it is to become more and more conscious, to come awake from being “unconscious.” In a sense, it is to break through the mundane walls that we allow to be our limits. It is to see the beautiful glint in the eye of someone you love, or even in the eye of a stranger, perhaps in a moment of delight when a grandfather is having breakfast with a grandchild in a restaurant booth near you. Perhaps it is to be aware of a tiny ground squirrel like the one pictured here. Something here for just a moment.

There are all sorts of occasions when our consciousness can become someone else’s, too. When two sets of eyes meet. That mysterious moment when I see you, and you see that I am seeing you, and I see that you are seeing me seeing you. This can be a moment for giving. For instance, when I am walking down the corridor of a nursing facility, and an old person is sitting in a wheel chair, parked in the hallway. As I pass by he or she looks up at me. In just that one or two seconds, if I look that person in the eye, and show that I do see them, and perhaps smile, we are both conscious of each other for just a second. It can be a gift, being conscious together.

I want to be as conscious as possible. To be awake to the wonders all around.

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