70-year-old Ed went for his annual physical. He told the doctor that he felt fine, but often had to go to the bathroom during the night. Then he said, “But you know Doc, it’s the most amazing thing. It’s as if someone’s watching over me. Some greater force puts on the light when I pee, and turns it off when I’m done!”

A little later in the day, the doctor called Ed’s wife and said, “Your husband’s test results were fine, but he said something strange that has been bugging me. He claims that the lights go magically off and on when he uses the bathroom at night.”

Ed’s wife said, “That blind fool! He’s been peeing in the refrigerator again!”

I hope to shed some light on the topic of vision. Of course there’s more than one type of vision. Let’s start with a visual illustration. Imagine you are reading an eye chart. The larger the letters, the easier it is to read. Try this quote from Helen Keller-

The only thing worse than being blind

is having sight but

no vision

Did you hear about the Czech man who went for an eye test. The doctor said, “Can you read the bottom line on the chart?” He said, “Read it? I grew up with the guy!”

Eye charts work to test physical sight. Some time, try this exercise with your eyes closed. Test a different type of vision- your inner vision, closely related to imagination. Visualize your future on an inner eye chart. Imagine your life one year from now. What do you want to see? Imagine your life five years from now. What do you want to see? You might need to squint to see some detail. Imagine life on the planet one hundred years from now. What do you hope it will look like? The further you go, the harder it is to see, maybe the smaller it gets in your mind. But it IS there, growing and taking shape before you are even aware.

It’s an important exercise. We spend a lot of time and money getting our sight tested and corrected, but we spend very little time on our inner vision. And, as Mark Twain said,

You cannot depend on your eyes

when your imagination is out of focus.

Imagination informs your IN-SIGHT, where dreams are born out of wonder’s wisdom. Give some focus to your inner vision because the most effective outer visions, actions and plans, emerge out of clear inner vision. Your inner sight has x-ray vision. It sees through limitations to the possibilities that stretch to the horizon of your mind’s eye. Go where it is leading you. Claim your power and follow your bliss. If you can see it, you can be it. Believe that an incredible and exciting future awaits you. The question is whether you are ready to claim your power and live your vision. (read on for more about inner and outer vision)

The cycle flows like this. The vision you have for your life and the world is directed by your conscious mind. Your conscious mind is shaped by your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind is sourced by your inner vision. It’s a circle of light. Some even connect this inner vision, often called the third eye or crown chakra, with the Pineal Gland, located near the center of the brain, one of the most primitive parts of the human brain. From an evolutionary perspective, this third eye probably preceded the two eyes we use for physical sight. It should really be called the “first eye”. It’s the eye with history, horse sense and heart.

As 14th century physicist, Petrus Bonus, said,

To look with the eyes

and see with the heart

is the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone.

The pineal gland supports metabolism and growth. The inner eye supports intuition, inspiration and imagination, which is how character grows. While we lose brain cells and our physical sight deteriorates over the years, our inner sight usually gets clearer. This is where incredible potential is born, manifesting a life time of experience and decades of inner clarity. Your children may be able to read road signs miles before you can, but your ability to read the signs of life are part of the wisdom of experience.

Physical sight is limited, even for those with 20/20 vision. Sight focuses on the middle of an image and misses most of what is around the edges, not to mention the texture and invisible subtext of a situation. Physical sight looks AT something or someone. Inner vision is interested in the process of seeing as well as what is being seen. It understands the role of the observer in the action of seeing. The unconscious mind delights in metaphor and art, story and emotion. This is why vision boards are powerful ways to shape your outer vision via your unconscious mind which is like a kid in a candy store around images and affirmations. (click here for details on how to use vision boards)

The idea of inner vision may seem self indulgent. On the contrary, the more clearly you see yourself, the more connected you feel to all other beings. I was reminded of the connection between seeing yourself and seeing others while visiting a Thai restaurant in New York. (Spoiler alert) It’s called Peep, and I found out why it’s called Peep when I visited the bathroom. After I finished my business, I turned around and, to my shock, was looking out at the whole restaurant. The one way glass leaves you with an overwhelming feeling of vulnerability. You expect to see yourself, and instead you see EVERYONE else.

The unconscious mind is your inner extrovert. The more you see of your own nature, the more you see yourself in everything around you. This is the basis for compassion, and vision. The whole world becomes an opportunity to see and mirror the seed of potential in all things. When you stare at light, you still see it when you look away. It colors all that you see. It’s the same when you focus on your inner light. When you look away, all you see is light. Just imagine if we truly saw the light in each other! Kindness would overcome all darkness and hostility would vanish. Anna Uhlich said,

My eyes are an ocean in which

my dreams are reflected

This is the first part in a series on the power of vision. The first point is that outer vision grows out of inner vision. Because the whole world exists inside of you in the form of potential, your vision includes all possibility. Once you see yourself for who you are, you see the world for all it can be. This is the basis for the most exciting and authentic vision. The second part describes the vision of squinting at your own sacred source. The third part looks at the lens through which we see the world and how it shapes vision. Part four addresses the problem of di-vision, or double vision, and how size relates to vision.

Get clear about your vision. Get excited by your vision. Get active making your vision a reality.

A vision that reveals your inner heart (your values and feelings)

and your mind (your beliefs and goals)

is the root of a satisfied life. June Kaminski

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  1. [...] This article is about creating vision boards. For more information on visions, see here. [...]

  2. Great post, Ian! Relevant topic, clever approach, wonderful quotes…I could go on. Nice job, and so useful for me today.

  3. [...] These are some of the questions I’m addressing in this series on vision. This is part two. The first piece looks at imagination and finding inner vision. The third piece looks at the lens you wear, and the [...]

  4. [...] How far does your vision stretch? Vision is all about what you see. It begins with what you see inside yourself (part one in the series). It includes squinting at your own sacred essence (part two in the [...]

  5. [...] shows through. This is the fourth article in a series on vision. Vision grows out of what you see inside yourself (part one in the series). It includes squinting at your own sacred essence (part two in the [...]

  6. [...] Vision- If You Can See It, You Can Be It Posted by MagMan on 15/12/2011 in Papers | Subscribe soulseeds.com – [...]

  7. I look forward to the rest of the series on the power of vision. I’m a very visual person and have a vision board, but I don’t actually see myself there. Your blog helped me to think differently. Thank you.

  8. Julia Hidy says:

    Very thought-provoking blog post.  I’ll have to go back and read the other three (assume it’s a series). 
    It’s interesting how two people can both see and envision two completely different things when viewing or experiencing the same circumstances.  What they will literally and physically see and interpret can be incredibly different.  The same will be the case for what they ‘envision’ their lives to be like later today or far  in the future.  The capacity to envision is like a muscle – it’s better to keep using it and ‘exercising’ it.   We do get much better at ‘seeing’ our lives in the future the more we practice projecting ourselves into our desired circumstances. 
    Our capacity to ‘see’ is also made greater or more narrow by also our openness to wanting to see, interpret and  engage.  We see and hear and sense what we want and are prepared to absorb.  This is also the case for our envisioning process.  It is all too easy for people to ‘close down’ rather than open up to ‘seeing,’ but it is this opening up process that is where we can move beyond our current awareness and conditioning.  It is a great challenge to stay open, particularly in new or upsetting circumstances, where our natural tendencies are to limit ourselves from being overstimulated. 
    Many people will see the surface or outer trappings and miss possible deeper and more telling clues.  By reading the energy of any particular dynamic, rather than simply the visual, we’d all ‘see’ so much more and understand ourselves and others better on levels that I believe will all help us far more as we spiritually connect and grow.  
    Look forward to reading the rest of this series.  

  9. Jenny says:

    I’m interested in discovering my imaginative  inner vision instead of just bumbling through my daily routine.  It’s funny but now that I look around with my eyes, all I see are things I want to change.  I’m completely bored with my house (which used to feel like a magical sanctuary!) and my body feels overweight and sluggish.  I want very much to live my life the way you paint the picture. 

  10. Hi Ian. Great post on vision. I have been reading a lot about the pineal gland lately, so I like how you tied what you were saying about inner vision to the pineal gland. The science I have read says that there are light receptors in the pineal gland, so it does work very much like a third eye, or first eye as you suggested, and it may be linked to vision-like experiences.

  11. Aj Joal says:

    A very informative and enlightening article. Its true that “If You Can See It You Can Be It. In fact in many asian meditation disciplines you are asked to focus on the third eye as if it was in the middle of your forehead. By doing so you clearly are able to visualize your dreams and hopes and achieve true enlightenment with regular practice.

  12. Fantastic website. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you for your sweat!

  13. Marielle says:

    ‘My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected’ Beautiful. I have heard that sometimes people who need glasses prefer not to ‘see’ the reality with their outer vision…

  14. brian says:

    GREAT article.  TY for sharing!

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