Seeing Anew: Seeing with the Heart

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Seeing Anew
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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New Creation is the Center for Christogenesis online magazine dedicated to deepening our awareness of God, Cosmos, and Humanity in a scientific age.

Ω Vision and Ω Spirit cover questions of the theology and spirituality of the Center for Christogenesis worldview. Other areas include our What is God Today? video series, the Visio Divina image gallery, a Resources section with videos and PowerPoints, and the latest from Ilia Delio.

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What is God Today? is an Center for Christogenesis video series featuring interviews with Ilia Delio on the meaning of the divine in the 21st century and what God is doing in our midst. Watch the Series

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A love letter to Ilia and Peirre Teilhard de Chardin Dear Ilia, I am so grateful to have found your books, your website, the Omega community and you, the prophet. Of course none of this was accidental. It all started with a car accident on my 21st birthday in 1968. I was driving alone at night, back to my job as a junior housemistress in a rural boarding school in Australia. Only my knee was badly injured in the accident but when I regained consciousness in the ambulance, I was aware of a terrible pain in my chest (bruising from the impact against the steering wheel before seat belts) as I struggled to breathe, it crossed my mind that I might be dying. I remember clearly thinking ‘what did the nuns teach us to do when one is dying?’. I was feeling pretty panicky by now and said the ‘Our Father’ as I was praying I relaxed with great relief because I knew from that moment (since never waived in my whole body conviction), that I actually, after all that teenage angst and doubt , did believe in God and more importantly that he/she believed in me. It was the greatest birthday gift I could have wished for . However it took about 15 years of ‘unfolding’’ to recognise the giftedness of this experience. The freedom of discovering that “faith” is not a noun but a verb of growing and becoming has given me licence to come and go, explore here and there, on and off. From Liberation theology, to the feminist project, sojouning with protestant friends and projects in social justice and ecological activism to Francis’ Laudato Si, the testament in scripture and finally home to the cosmic Christ and Teilhard de Chardin. Recently I get quite giddy, or ‘tipsy’, in awe and wonder at evolutionary creation and sometimes can cry at the privilege of being part of it. When I see an ant, busy about its business, or a weed struggling between the paving stones, I say to them,’even to be one of you would have been a great gig in this universe!, but to be chosen to be human through chance and natural selection, at this time of internet and DNA, to live in this country of security and more than my needs, to be a woman, a mother, grandmother and to have reached this consciousness of ’ unbearable wholeness’ and all that that means takes my breath away, like a car crash! Just one question. I don’t believe in “supernatural” any more. Is that heresy? The more I read about evolutionary biology and ponder on its implications for an evolutionary chistology, the more it seems to me that from the sub atomic to the cosmic scale, natural creativity, interconnectivity, communication networks, diversity, regeneration: have it all in hand. Thus the concept of ’super-nature’ is a tautology. I hope humanity can redeem itself, so that homo sapiens can continue to evolve into communities of healing and peace, but if not, then the infinite impulse will mourn the suffering and loss, but life is’ immortal and love is eternal’ (Bede Jarret) Resurrection goes on in the now, on the cusp of creating the future. Many thanks for your website. People like me need your company and inspiration. Patricia
Patricia Devlin
Monasterevin, co.Kildare.Ireland, AK
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