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


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

  1. We dismiss what doesn’t fit our picture, this is for sure what we all used to do. We see life as we want to see it. Which is in a way that satisfies our spirit.

    1. We doggedly move and live within a close range of what suits us, of what confirms our preconceived ideas and judgments, of life and of people. And thus, we effectively stall our evolution.

    2. But nevertheless we will feel the truth of our experience, no matter how much we polish it thereafter. Hence, our body is the marker of all truth, as Serge Benhayon has quoted many times before.

  2. That final quote from Serge Benhayon is quite revealing. In that how we see and walk through life is based purely on ourselves, and all of our choices. There’s that not so little word – responsibility that is highlighted here.

  3. An eye opener into our choices and what we choose to see or not. Beautiful offering so much opportunity to makes changes to our lives and see the truth honestly from the wholeness of who we are.

  4. ‘…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 determination to see or look for what we want to see, brings me to the understanding that there has to be an openness to us, a spaciousness in the way we ‘see’ or rather, let the information be picked up on – by our whole body and not just the focus of the eye… May be this is where the term ‘reading’ energy comes from.

  5. Serge has totally nailed it with this pearl of wisdom
    ‘The key to any minor or major problem is to find the simplicity that has been ignored.’ – When we are caught up in our problem or issue then we don’t see the answer that is standing there right beside us, very clear and obvious to connect to. So it just goes to show the game as when you are in your ‘funk’ there is no way of seeing in and it can perpetuate and spiral out of control.

    1. Being in your ‘funk’ – I hadn’t heard that before; that kind of funk gets very gunky though, doesn’t it? We end up not seeing the forest for the trees.

  6. What we focus on is what we see: do we look for the mistakes, the complication, the lack, the not there or not done yet, or the beauty, the simplicity, ease and natural flow of life? Even if we have always focused on the negative, it doesn’t dictate the future and doesn’t mean that we are condemned to only see that in the future. What we see is a choice, from moment to moment.

    1. A moment to moment choice and alignment indeed – do we look for the ‘what is not’ and have that confirmed or are we open to receiving the ‘what is’ that unites us?

  7. Gabriele, I am constantly reminded of this blog when I find myself looking at or for something specific – because in the process you become so narrow visioned that you can easily miss all the other magic that is there to be seen when you are only focused on the one thing. Thank you for highlighting this and reminding me of the more natural eye/vision we have when we let go of the focused intensity that I can so easily fall for, especially as I am a very visual person.

  8. I love this example Gabriele, when our ‘vision’ has parameters or a framework placed on it we miss what is truly there. As I read the above and was trying to find the ‘r’ I was blind to the ‘y’, and yet when I looked away and looked back without expecting anything the ‘y’ stood out as clear as day. A great lesson for life, not everything is as it seems.

    1. No further explanation needed – when we see without expectations, looking becomes obsolete and life is stripped off its ideals and projected images.

    2. We can apply this to any aspect, view, belief, hurt,expectation or reaction – trying to find ‘x’ I was blind to ‘y’

  9. It’s true, we do see what we want to see and this is made particularly evident when we hold ourselves in stubbornness and demand that the world act according to our pictures.

  10. I have to admit I have terrible trouble seeing things at times because of the way my brain works, I can look in a drawer for a pair of scissors and not see them when they are actually there and then by looking in a different way they magically appear.

  11. When we see something that disturbs us, this tension we feel can actually feed the very ‘thing’ we see, convincing and confirming it in a negative feedback-loop what we think we see, reducing the clarity and capacity to see deeper or beyond the superficial tension. It often takes one to step away and come back later to look with ‘fresh eyes’ to see the bigger picture.

  12. What you are essentially saying Gabriele is that we can create our own reality around us we will not see beyond and in that be trapped in our own illusion of what we don’t want to see convincing ourselves we are not avoiding or being irresponsible with how we are living. Quite a massive and hugely important topic when you really break it down

    1. Massive indeed and meaning that we cannot control, coerce, proselytise or otherwise convince anyone as we all see what we need and want to see until we are willing to receive more and move towards true sight.

  13. It is amazing how we can blinker our sight according to what we are expecting to find and great to be more aware of this to then work on being more open to truly receive the full picture of life so to speak.

  14. ‘…while we will all eventually see the whole truth, it is always by choice and, most importantly, in our own time.’ This is so important to remember, and this is helping me to let go of the investment and need for others to see what I can see, because when we impose truth and love onto others, then our intentions are definitely not from love.

  15. I was surprised to have been fooled by such an obvious typo as this, but it just proves to me that if my total focus is in looking for the wrong thing or rather something other than truth, then I will overlook the truth that is staring me in the face.

    1. Which demonstrates more than anything that we get to the truth in our own time – when we are willing to open our eyes more fully.

  16. It is true we can choose what we want to see. Take a mess in our homes, we actually get used to seeing the pile of whatever and are able to dismiss it until one day we wake up and actually see the mess and want to do something about it. It just makes me wonder what else and to what extent can we walk past something and think ‘I’ll deal with that later’.

    1. I mislaid a notebook six months ago, couldn’t find it anywhere. Then a couple of days ago I decided it was time to tackle the muddles on my desk and instead have a clear and clean desk to sit at and hey presto, the missing notebook was under a pile of papers and it was literally only a few inches from my laptop, but unseen to me it had ceased to exist.

    2. This mess you are referring to Julie, is what I am looking at right now in my home. I find I receive a different perspective when I take a photo of my house and see it through a lens, even though it is a 2D image, what is revealed in a photo is very interesting. It shows up the angles and relationships of objects, which I often miss when I walk past an object or when I place something down on a bench without thinking about how it affects everything else. The messages we receive through our eyes can often be glazed over but if we connect to how we feel in our body, it can be more difficult to miss.

    3. I love what you share here about our willingness to walk past mess and not do anything about it because after a while we don’t even see it. If I go away for a few days, it’s always very revealing to me the quality (or lack of) that I come back to.

      1. We normalise the aberrant and the disturbing, all for the sake of not rocking the boat or standing out from the crowd. Safety and security count more than truth and society as a whole and everybody individually suffers the consequences.

    4. I also, get this sense that when we walk past a situation be it a mess in the house or a conflict outside of the home, we also make a conscious split-second choice to walk on by and dismiss it as if it is someone else’s problem.

      1. We go against what we know fair well is our responsibility and pretend we have not seen or noticed it.

  17. Sometimes we can get so absorbed in the details of something that we lose sight of the bigger picture. In a situation such as this, there is much to be missed as although the details are important, they can become self absorbing at the expense of others.

  18. We can resolutely be blind to something if we so choose, especially if we stand in a position of defence not wanting to see another point of view, or the fact that we may be in error.

    1. Defensiveness is a huge factor when we refuse to see what is right in front of our eyes; and this defensiveness is mostly based on pride and the refusal to admit one has got it wrong.

      1. Which at the end of the day is a protection of not wanting to feel the hurt underneath that has caused us to want to shut off in the first place. The pride and refusal to admit one has got it wrong gives us permission to not uncover the fact… for if we did admit we got it wrong, space is left for the hurt to come up and be looked at.

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