Seeing Anew: Seeing with the Heart
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Seeing with the heart
In this video, the late theologian Ramion Panikkar uses the idea of seeing through a window as a metaphor for seeing the world. He describes that the cleaner our window is, the more clearly we can see our own world. However, what is even more key than having a “clean window” to look out of, is to look to our neighbors and ask them about what they see through their windows.
Panikkar’s metaphor of looking out of a window is incredibly simple, but deeply rich. When it comes to seeing the world it is not enough to isolate ourselves from others. When we choose to only see our reality from our perspective, and hold onto our convictions tightly, we are certainly able to see a part of the world, but it is just like looking through one window into the world for the rest of our lives. To see more clearly, we must learn to see not only with our eyes, senses, and body. Seeing requires an opening of the heart to see and hear our neighbor.
When we are able to “see through” our neighbor’s window and engage in the dialogue that changes and expands our vision, as Panikkar speaks of, we begin to engage in the act of co-reflection. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin describes co-reflection in his essay The Christic as the ability to “think with all other persons at the same time.” This process of co-reflection enables the human person to play an active role in the process of evolution. Seeing the world from a deeper center – the heart – the human overcomes the forces of entropy in the universe. The movement of the human person from reflection (looking through only one’s own window) to co-reflection (asking their neighbor about the view through their neighbor) solves the question of entropy for Teilhard; for the human person, evolution does not simply “happen to” him, but in the act of co-reflection, the human community has a hand in the process of evolution. Thus, the human person is not only a part of the outflow of evolution, but is evolution becoming conscious of itself.
It is important to know how to see the world around us well, but seeing with the heart calls us to a deeper unity, and to an active roll in the process of evolution.
A Video Message from the Center for Christogenesis
“How can learning to see anew help us to co-create a world in change?”
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