We see what we want to see …

By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah, NSW

I had quite an eye opener of an experience the other day. And eye opener is the appropriate term here, as it showed me firsthand and very tangibly what I had known for a long time about how we use our eyes.

I work as a book editor and a colleague had sent me two lines of a text with a typo in it to add to my collection of errata for its second edition; I had quickly skimmed the email and gleaned that there was an ‘r’ in the wrong place.

When I got back to the email a couple of days later I ended up staring at those two lines for a long while; I just could not spot the typo. May I add here that I have a lot of experience in this area; you could say that I am a pro. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not see the typo. There was no ‘r’ out of place, no matter how often I examined these two lines of text. And here they are:

They key to any minor or major problem is

to find the simplicity that has been ignored.

Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, Volume II, ed. 1, p 367

I was very puzzled; extremely puzzled and confused. How come I could not spot this simple and straightforward typo, one that somebody had already pointed out?

I kept looking at the text, looking and looking and looking. And then something must have shifted and when I looked at it again, I could, all of a sudden, see that the typo was in the first word and that it was ‘they’ instead of ‘the’. And thus, it now reads:

The key to any minor or major problem is

to find the simplicity that has been ignored.

Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, Volume II, ed. 1, p 367


What had happened? I had certainly ignored the simplicity of just seeing what was there to be seen and while I had been looking for the aberrant ‘r’, gone into the pursuit with the intention to find and track down this ‘r’, my vision had been very narrow, blinkered and aimed solely at the one and only thing, hunting down this elusive ‘r’. This had rendered me completely incapable of seeing anything else outside my narrow focus.

Or, to put it another way: I had gone into the looking, staring and searching with a preconceived idea, a judgment, an opinion, an image of what I was going to find, i.e. an aberrant ‘r’.

Taking a broader view, this is in no way trivial – it means that we only see what we want to see and don’t and can’t see what we don’t want to see; but what really happens is that we have actually seen it and everything with and around it but have just as quickly dismissed what does not fit the picture of what we are expecting to find. If someone says the earth is flat, then no volume of scientific proof will sway them otherwise until such time that they are ready to see beyond their belief system and conviction and thus willing to more truly see.

In other words: while we will all eventually see the whole truth, it is always by choice and, most importantly, in our own time. The perceived blinkered stubbornness or ignorance is a mental construct, a mental cage that has rendered the senses incapable of seeing what there is so obviously to see – in the eyes of those who don’t wear the same set of blinkers.

Back to the eyes: can we now see that we make them look for clues, information, material and especially confirmation of what we think we already know, are comfortable and familiar with and will even defend and fight for?

We use our eyes to pull ‘evidence’ in to support a past choice, no matter whether that choice is only a moment or years, even lifetimes ago. Vision has become part of the scaffolding that holds everything up and together and makes it, in our opinion and within our set of beliefs and images, mentally congruent.

We then use the eyes to reject anything that does not fit the picture, does not fit in with what it is that we want, demand and absolutely need to see. The term ‘confirmation bias’ describes our tendency, if not straightforward and linear urge, to favour ‘evidence’ and clues that fit our preconceived idea of what we deem is true, fervently need to be true, so that our picture of the world stays intact.

We use our eyes to feed the illusion that we are right and others are wrong, that our way is the right way, and even the only way, that we are separate from and different from other people, when in truth we are all one and the same.

In conclusion, here is a quote from Sermon 55, The Way of The Livingness, by Serge Benhayon, also the author of the quote above, as delivered in Wollongbar on 16 December 2017:

“Our senses are not truly or not predominantly responding to life,

they are displaying what they are pitched to experience.” (Serge Benhayon)

When we start to use our sight and other senses to respond to life, guided by what we feel, before and above all else, then we will start to develop true sight, which comes second and confirms the knowing of our inner-heart and the what is, the place where we are one.

Read more:

  1. Seeing is believing – or is it? 
  2. Seeing the whole from the heart


779 thoughts on “We see what we want to see …

  1. “what really happens is that we have actually seen it and everything with and around it but have just as quickly dismissed what does not fit the picture of what we are expecting to find.“ Wow, I have to wonder how much of my life this is going on in. I recently clocked how sore my eyes became when watching someone in my life, I wanted to squint them and they stung. I have recently realised there were things there I didn’t want to see, and even when I tried to be open to understanding what that was, I had an expectation of what I thought it was likely to be, so I couldn’t access the true cause of my sore eyes around this person. I have just today understood what that is and it’s not what I thought it was. It didn’t fit with the version of life I preferred. I have to wonder how much we extinguish our own vision health over time by this practice of filtering what we see, based on what we want or are comfortable with.

    1. In my experience, our vision changes according to how we use our eyes, in line with how much we are willing or not willing to see.

      1. Thanks Gabriele, in my experiences I notice there is a hardening, like a slight physical contraction of the eye when I don’t want to see something, which I feel must accumulate as tension in the tissue of the eyes and affect my vision.

      2. Great observation and it would certainly have an impact on the eye muscles and over time change the shape of the eyeball, thus leading to refractive errors.

    1. I agree – attempts at persuasion only lead to resentment and delay, in the bigger picture of many lives.

  2. Gabriele I searched for the error and read the sentence with the ‘y’. I had set myself this picture of how it needed to read and missed it too.

    I’m learning more and more how the senses are here for more than the physicality. For instance, my ears have been a “problem” since I was young and it is in the past two years or so that I have realised the ears can feel just as much as they can hear. I now am able to pick up from a tone of a voice, when something is off. It is far from perfection but learning to use my senses from this place, is far preferable to how I used to live.

  3. I did exactly what you did, so I can only thank you from the bottom of my bottomless heart for sharing this as it opens up a whole new way of seeing because I am clearly highly influenced without clocking it!!! So now to bring that awareness into my movements and see what else comes!!

    1. We are being manipulated by the way we have been taught to use our five physical senses at the expense of our sixth sense.

      1. Gabriele there is so much emphasis on seeing, smelling, tasting etc, we are continually manipulated. That sixth sense is never nurtured unless you are bought up in a family that knows how to. It makes absolute sense the reason why a baby will cry when it is born as it senses so much around it, and I can feel the over whelm it is surrounded by as a newborn…

      2. It must feel like an assault nearly, the way we suddenly find ourselves outside that which cushioned us, to a degree. Feeling it all we always did, of course.

      3. We are taught in education to look for something, usually one thing or something specific, we aren’t fostered to just receive in full everything outside of ourselves with our eyes. We seem to impose quite strongly over the body including our own vision, assuming the body is an apparatus for us to use our way, not to learn from the body and feel how it naturally does things and let it take the lead and collaborate with it.

  4. You have unravelled something for me here and I can feel I will need to sit with it for a bit to see what it reveals! There are so many parts that stood out but the most revealing for me was how we see so that what we see fits “our preconceived idea of what we deem is true, fervently need to be true, so that our picture of the world stays intact.”

  5. That is exactly what I was doing … looking for the ‘r’ that should not be there!!!! Definitely ignoring the simplicity .. I wonder where else in life I am ignoring this?

    1. I have found that once I have become aware of my blind spots, I discover more … and more … and more.

  6. I found this blog very supportive and confirming – we are also picking up far more than what we realise and this is to be appreciated. Once we are open to knowing that there is more then what is on offer will show itself.

  7. It’s the same for me when I am unsettled and I am looking for an answer or an understanding, I’ve already narrowed my focus and the true answer can’t come through, as soon as you look for something it’s like putting on blinkers, you cannot see and know everything. The key is really to stay open.

  8. The beliefs or pictures we hold can be very revealing or quite shocking to say the least. To get a sense of the force of the hold over me is supporting me next time round, to pause and speak up about how I am feeling even if things don’t add up, in order to support me further or more deeply rather than to ignore and keep things to myself.

  9. It seems, from reading what you have shared, and from my own experience that we do not use our eyes as they are created to be used; we try to control what we see, or sometimes do not want to see, instead of allowing the images to come to us as per the eyes natural inbuilt function. And with that controlling we are missing out on so much that is being presented to us, and then wonder why we didn’t see what was actually there. Our eyes are so amazing, but it is obvious that we know very little about them, other than we use them to see, and if we lose our sight, that is devastating.

    1. We abuse our eyes by making them look out like hunter gatherers in a way they were not meant to – to the detriment of how we are in and with life and our physiology.

      1. Beautifully put Gabriele, I can really feel in my eyes what you were saying about ‘looking out like hunter gatherers’ and in turn they have stopped doing this and feel far more gentle, but how many times in my day or in life do my eyes look at like ‘hunter gatherers!’ A great reminder to all.

      2. I have never considered this way of looking and interestingly as I consider it now I feel trepidation in my body. For me, that trepidation can only mean that something has been busted and there is an opportunity in front of me to be more aware, so bring it on I say because if I have been using a sense and corrupting it then I have been reducing its communication and what a waste that is.

    2. Yes, it is devastating because it means we are not actually seeing and then mourn a deviation. Chances are we see better when we use our other senses than trust the deviated one that we have come to rely on as truth.

      1. We are best served when we use our sixth sense and then the five physical senses as a confirmation of what we have seen, heard, smelt, tasted or touched.

  10. Someone sent me an email the other day and I saw in it many changes to the way I have been organising a particular meeting. For clarification I sent an email to the source of the email and she replied – that is not what the email says. I read it again and she was right, I had completely read it wrongly, yet the night before I had been convinced I was right. Always energy, we see what we want to see, or rather, don’t see what we don’t want to see.

    1. That’s a good experience to share Ariana, the same has happened to me, so I have to ask myself if I see with my heart and receive the truth, or do I see with projections and hurts, etc?

  11. Reading this expanded on something I was mulling over last night. Reading the book Time, Space and All of Us: Space there was a part about how much are we missing when we are educated to look rather than receive. I feel the answer is in learning to feel before I see more because what I feel is what is received rather than going outside of myself to feel.

    1. We have the most amazing ‘apparatus’ for deep and rich perception within us and we forsake it in order to go outside of ourselves and pull in what suits us, a poor, paltry and limp copy of the vastness that is available. The access to vastness is within, we go in first before the expansion unfolds.

  12. I am also aware of how I use my hearing, responding very often with what I want to hear. However I am learning to pause when something is said to give myself a moment to hear everything that is being communicated to me. We can miss out on so much when we dismiss with our senses all that is there to be received.

  13. I agree, the blinkers affect all our physical senses and also our level of comprehension; we continually erect no-go-zones in an effort to shore up our defences and stay put.

  14. I have often been surprised to re read an email to discover my typing errors that I have overlooked at the time. It just shows me how often I only see what I want to see and not what is actually presented for me to see.

    1. Same here; I understand that our mind fills in the gaps, makes it look like what is there in front of us is how it should be, above board, all i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Now what does that say about the way we look at the world? Is that truly seeing or a kind of minding the mind’s business, i.e. seeing things through the filter of how we want and need things and people to be?

    2. What a great conversation, are we truly allowing the truth to be seen and received, or do we project our version of what we would prefer to see? And if we did see life exactly as it is, wouldn’t that then be a greater call to responsibility?

  15. And we have such a clear responsibility to be super duper honest with ourselves about what we do and do not want to see or hear. Any filter we apply is something to be very aware of – my experience is that it tends to be a reduction of the all that is on offer.

  16. It is extraordinary how we can miss something so obvious – it’s the same as ‘I/we cant see for looking’. As long as we choose to wear ‘blinkers’ and only see what suits us, we will always miss the bigger picture of what is actually there to be seen, right in front of us.

    1. Yes, we can’t see for looking because looking is the attempt to draw something in, to make it fit a certain image at the time we want it, to confirm a preconceived idea or held belief. In effect, we turn around within the circles of our self-created bubble and get very upset when we are shown the illusion it all is.

  17. What you shared here makes so much sense Gabriele. Recently I found myself liking an advertising campaign that in the form was ‘cool’ and fit with the right standards about what a good design should be but the message felt not right when I shared it with a friend, who made me question about my perception about it. I realized how blind I was by just fixing my view in the form and techniques and not going deeper in to my senses. I could understand why, in the art school no one encouraged us to feel first then seeing second. All was based in what was right in a composition level or what fitted in the art industry or what some few called ‘artists’ said what good art was about. So it is good for me to come back to the years in school and question all what I’ve learned. It was great as I could learn the abilities to approach a design project but now I’m realizing about there was a missing link, my connection with my inner-heart and what I really see from this space. Feels very different to what I saw before…a work in progess to explore.

    1. You make a great point here: we disengage and let our senses, in this case the eyes, decide how something is; but in order to do this, we must have parked our sixth sense elsewhere, sidelined it in fact because it and we know what is true and what is not true. With clairsentience, we cannot be fooled.

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