When we agree with someone, we are said to be ‘seeing eye to eye’. When we don’t see eye to eye, it can lead to a minor disagreement between two friends or a brutal war between nations.
But what is this eye that sees? And what does it actually see?
Just as a drum doesn’t do the drumming, the eyes don’t do the seeing. A drum is a vehicle for the rhythms played by the drummer, the eyes the vehicle for the seeing done by the seer.
Who is the seer? Isn’t it that which we call I? As in, I see?
Examining this I, we first discover the obvious: we each call ourself I.
What is this I that we so easily use to identify ourselves?
The common definition used by billions of us is that this I is made up of our individual body and mind, with all of its associated attributes of thinking, feeling, sensing, and perceiving. But these attributes are all temporary, ever-changing, and totally unreliable when it comes to discovering our real identity.
Our experiences of the body, mind, and world are constantly changing, but the awareness of, the knowing of these ever-changing experiences is ever-present and unchanging.
And this unchanging awareness is common to all of us. It’s as though life is a grand play, with one master actor able to don billions of different costumes and take on a multitude of roles. Beneath every unique costume is found the same actor, the same being, the same awareness.
If we look at the nature of this awareness, we discover that it has no limits or boundaries, no point at which it ends and something else begins. Or, in other words, that it is infinite. And if we continue with our investigation, we discover that there is never a time when it is not present. This being so, we can say that it is timeless, or eternal.
For a true coming together, especially when it comes to relationships, shouldn’t we be seeing I to I? Awareness to Awareness? It’s actually not a question of shouldn’t we be seeing I to I, but recognizing the fact that this is the way we see, the only way we see. If we remove our costume of the imagined individual self for just an instant, our true character, which is not a character at all, is revealed.
We think that we either see eye to eye, or we don’t, but in fact, we only ever see I to I, or aware presence to aware presence. You can tell in another’s eyes which one is looking at you. You either see eyes clouded by the limits of the conditioned separate self, or the shining eyes of pure awareness.
There is a new math, or perhaps it is as ancient as the stars: ‘I’ plus ‘I’ does not equal two ‘I’s. I plus I equals I. There is only one I, the I of Awareness, and you, we, are that: One Shared Being.
So even though we might appear to be strangers, we are really cosmic lovers: inseparable in essence, one without a second. To quote Rumi:
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.