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


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

  1. We see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. The worst thing is that we say whatever we want to say. Stopping before we speak is a great way to live and being open to seeing and hearing truth is also so supportive.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I had a vivid dream the other night which I found interesting and saw it as a confirmation. I was looking in the mirror, and I looked at my hair, and it looked as though it was going thin on top. So I looked closer, and it looked even more sparse, and then I looked even closer, and I was bald with no hair at all. I told my husband, and instantly he said ‘The closer you look, the more you see’.

    1. Interesting – the more openly and without images and preconceived ideas we look, the more we certainly see; if not, we just get fed what it is that we want and need to see to keep our world view intact and not get any smashed pictures and their associated hurts.

  6. When we choose to only see what we want to see, we can miss out on so much. It is a direct reflection of how little or how much we are choosing to see truth or not.

    1. And it is always a choice, whether we like to hear and admit that or not. Nothing happens by accident or because it ‘just happened’.

  7. What I find fascinating is that at times things can appear so difficult and unfathomable but then when the fog clears the answers are all there. In these times we have to read what is in the way and then we can see things from another angle.

    1. We need to reclaim the simplicity that is innate rather than fall for the complications that grate, provide friction and support everything that has been created.

  8. We do “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 world is full of examples of how we go along with this, accepting lie after lie to avoid taking responsibility for how we are living.

  9. The fact made very clear that we see what we have already chosen to see before we see. I get shown this often when I am with someone and we share what it is we are seeing… our perceptions and pre-conceived ideas affect what we see. I am sure that if we strip back all the layers we have accumulated, we would come back to the purity of seeing the one and true view.

  10. That is an eye-opener to realize we see all And then quickly dismiss what does not serve our picture about life.
    We make it how we want it to be.
    Untill one day we all have to open up to all again in our evolution to go home again.

  11. 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
    I wonder how many of us have experienced this at one time or another. Too many to count I imagine. I know I have missed things in my own life that have been blindingly obvious, by looking for something more complex than the simplicity before me, or even creating something that does not even exist instead of accepting the simple truth that is right in front of my eyes.

    1. We love complexity and complications for the identity they provide in return and don’t seem to mind the blood, sweat and tears that invariably accompany such endeavours. In creation, huffing and puffing are a valuable and esteemed commodity, frequently traded albeit superficially deplored.

  12. We see what we are looking for. It’s more effective – we think. It allows us to be a bit lazy. It means we miss out on a lot.

  13. Gabriele, I have had similar experiences where I was convinced I saw something and another was convinced the opposite had occurred. It’s quite incredible how we can feel very dogmatic about this but when we understand the eyes to feed the illusion, we can understand there can be a different way to view.

    1. It is also my experience that we will defend our view of things and people, our judgment and opinion, tooth and nail. It is as though they defined us, made us into something, gave us some substance. In other words, it is a game of and in creation.

  14. I absolutely love the simplicity and revelation on offer in this quote – applicable to all areas in life really: “The key to any minor or major problem is to find the simplicity that has been ignored.”

    1. Driving this morning I kept coming back to this fact – that we can choose simplicity in every moment and that when we do we are touched by something so much greater than our human existence. It is like all the complication we have created obscures our view of how simple things truly are.

      1. We have layered and burdened reality with mental constructs of how we want it to be – it’s like digging holes every morning and filling them up again in the afternoon, just to start all over again the following day. But should someone ask us why we do what we do or suggest we stop doing what we do, we don’t like it and defend this insanity to the hilt.

  15. It is actually not possible to see and feel everything – but what is possible is to then reject it. I have observed how I resist seeing the full picture at times but in fact this is the very thing I will learn from.

    1. You have made me curious – what is it we cannot feel in its entirety and why would it be so? What kind of exclusions are you thinking of?

  16. During an interview recently, about a vehicle accident I was a witness to, I really got to experience what I saw and what I thought I had seen. It was a very testing moment in time, as I was trying to be the best witness with the most accurate information, but it didn’t take me long to realise that everything I had seen was only a small proportion of what was actually there. I had a moment of annoyance at myself for not being able to recall everything but finally accepted that I could only share what I was sure of. A very valuable experience indeed.

    1. I have heard that regardless ofr the number of witnesses, each one has a different version of a certain sequence of events which goes to show how subjective and coloured by prejudice, opinion, images and needs our physical senses and their functionality are.

  17. Complexity is the plaything of the etheric human spirit who seeks to constantly create disorder from order simply so it/we can feel a sense of ownership and identification from it. In contrast to this, the Soul moves simply and wisely in tune with the universal order we belong to and never against it.

    1. Complexity and complications are the hallmarks of the etheric spirit, in stark contrast to the Soul which moves by and with the grace of simplicity within and for the all and has no need for recognition or identification.

  18. The other day I was taking some photos of some objects and was setting up some lights I have just for the job, and I needed my largest light stand that has a long arm to light overhead, of what you are shooting. I looked everywhere for the large stand! I keep all of my equipment in one place. But, I could not find it anywhere in the house or the garage. I found it later that night; it is what I have been hanging my bathrobe on for months. What else do I refuse to see in my life, if I miss seeing the big things?

    1. That is not only hilarious but very telling as well – and as you say, what is it we choose not to see when even the big things escape our awareness. What else is there to see and why don’t we want to see it?

    2. This highlights how we stop ‘seeing’ things that are so familiar to us. It is like we become blind to the everyday everything that is around us and it makes me want to wake up much more and not miss the opportunities right under my nose or take anything for granted.

      1. This is also apparent when we don’t take in and appreciate our surroundings at home anymore – like the picture on the wall in our bedroom that we might have chosen with much care but don’t ever look at for the inspiration and confirmation it offers. The same for ornaments and things we love, the teapot on the table, etc. etc. We just look straight past them.

  19. It’s true, we only see what we want to see. I have spent this lifetime not wanting to feel or see the ugliness man is capable of and yet by not being willing to see, we are in fact adding to the ugliness. Turning that around is not easy because there is the willingness to read and see the ugliness, but the feeling of numbness after years of ignoring things is so strong.

    1. Being numb to how out of hand and devastating our way of life truly is becomes our comfort; it is what we know and hanker for at the expense of the multidimensionality we can live.

  20. This is such an important article, even though its based on quite a simple observation. But applying this observation to a bigger picture we can start to see, as has been shared here, “that we only see what we want to see and don’t and can’t see what we don’t want to see”. We can get so caught up, even identified with how we see the world and how we want to see the world that we ignore the truth that is often in front of our eyes. But therein lies our dilemma for if we only use and rely on our eyes without all of our other senses working together, including that of what we feel, we will be deceived.

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