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The Third Eye

“The loss of the 'third eye' is at the basis of much of the shortsightedness and religious crises of the Western world, about which even secular scholars like Albert Einstein and Iain McGilchrist have written.”

Richard Rohr

Say what? The third eye?

I thought this was a term from our Yoga chakra practice!

This just goes to show the limits of my experience with the Spiritual practices of our world.

Rohr describes three different ways of seeing, as described by 11th and 12th century philosophers, Hugh of St. Victor, and Richard of St. Victor. They described the first eye as the eye of the flesh (thought or sight), the second was the eye of reason (meditation or reflection), and the third was the intuitive eye of true understanding (contemplation).

Rohr describes the third eye as “knowing something simply by being calmly present to it" (no processing needed!).

Personally, I find a lot of the philosophical stuff very confusing, especially in light of my experience with meditation and contemplation. Well, it is no surprise that I am confused, really!

However, I am able to rest comfortably with some simple experiences:

Ego: a manifestation of my mind, a very dangerous place to be without supervision.

Higher Power/God: The universe is all the evidence I need of God, whether in person with you, observing life in my back yard, or the giggles of my grandchildren. Enough for me!

Sobriety/mindfulness: The simple paradox of my responsibility and God’s grace in action. Well, maybe this one isn’t so simple, but I am growing to accept it.

My daily practice of life is the stuff of simply being calmly present to it.

Here is some evidence:

I listened to three generations of kids laughing from their souls over a simple card game. These were my wife, my daughter and my granddaughter.

I listened to my wife and her friend laugh like crazy fools while they were falling out of their canoe. I witnessed the joy of foolish joy.

I was sad. I trimmed a branch out of one of our trees. There was a robin’s nest with a beautiful blue egg in it, broken.

I cry. My son and his family will soon move to South Korea. Enough said.

There is no processing of these emotions, experiences, relationships. I take them with me to the restful waters. You are all there with me. We are simply there together. No words needed. Our presence is deafening.


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