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What is seeing?

Rather than exploring one specific aspect of seeing (as in the “What is it that sees?” thread) could we explore seeing in its entirety? (And without getting lost in words/concepts.)

What is seeing?

We each probably have our own individual understanding of what seeing is, some more and some less in sync with Krishnamurti’s understanding. Could we find a working definition that we can all sign off on? Or if that’s too mechanical and reductive, a common ground so we’re not talking at cross-purposes?

I’ll kick it off:

Seeing, for me, is (something like) observing and understanding what’s really going on here/now.

How about “choiceless acknowledgement”?

Is understanding what is choicelessly acknowledged part of seeing for you?

“In the Indian tradition, the emphasis has always been on seeing, but it is a perception beyond the sense organs, an enlightenment beyond thought, an insight from presence. The real knower is not the mind, although the mind can be a proper instrument of knowledge. The mind needs to become free of the distractions which occupy it and prevent true seeing.”

– Ravi Ravindra, from The Wisdom of Patañjali and Krishnamurti

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I, the observer, can’t see unconditionally, so there is no seeing for I.

Does seeing mean understanding?

Only if there is no separation in time or space between the cause(seeing) and effect(understanding). Sorta like quantum entanglement theory. No space or time or property differential between distinct objects, or in this case phenomena.

A direct understanding remembered - ie, conditioning, observer-based understanding - has no more relation to direct seeing than a photograph to its subject, and even that degree of accuracy is probably uncommon in our ‘making sense’ of reality.

But something is going on besides sensory perception. Ravi Ravindra: Seeing is … “a perception beyond the sense organs, an enlightenment beyond thought, an insight from presence.” Krishnamurti might have called it intelligence.

Whatever that is surely is beyond the reach of the observer. For the likes of Krishnamurti, it may have been fact but for us it is theory. Or he may have been deluded for all we know.

Either way, what is fact for us is non-seeing, the conditioned response to stimuli. That is what needs to be vitally felt and communed with, no? A negative approach is what is called for when the detected is being brought into existence by the detector. Not a positive one born of speculation, there is no revolutionary change in that.

If something is unknown, both negative and positive approaches are speculative. For the former you have to know what X isn’t, for the latter you have to know what X is.

How to find out what seeing is without resorting to speculation or hearsay? By seeing. But wait, doing that is beyond our reach … !

And therein lies the dread Catch 22 of the pathless (non-)approach!

And, it might be that very negative approach, which also seems to result in the exclusive nature of “our limited mind”.

is it possible to bring seeing “into” existence…?

As far as I can tell, the why behind consciousness can only be speculation or hearsay.

even looking theoretically, if I was on a pathless (non-)approach, then I wouldn’t even need to ask what seeing would be. I would have nothing else.

(sorry to comment and ditch…! Will be back home in 3 days.)

Is asking "What is seeing? here a bit like asking “What is enlightenment?” to a Buddhist or “What is truth?” to a philosopher … an uncomfortability? Is the question being asked in the wrong way, trying to find a path to the pathless … or for the wrong reasons, curiosity rather than transformation?

I don’t see seeing as any of that. For me it is a ‘moving with’, which is perhaps real ‘understanding’? Not the understanding of thought which has its place. but not in ‘seeing’. A moving with what is there, awareness of thought, of sensations: hearing, seeing etc. It can include little or a lot. In trying to describe it, it is ‘creation’ itself, always moving, beginning, never ending. In its ‘seeing’ all things are equal.

A being with and moving with what is there … yeah, that hits the spot. Understanding more in its original sense of standing in the midst of. Presence.

Yes, it moves with the Now and is both effortless and choiceless…and recalls for me JK’s description of the flight of the eagle, as leaving no trace. But that image can lead to the belief that once the ‘eagle’ takes wing that it no longer lands. My experience is that it does. In fact it spends most of the time in one ‘tree’ or another!

“Just do it sir!” is JK urging the bird to ‘take to the air’? There’s no time like the present.

Yes! Other times exist in some way, the past as condition/cause, the future as becoming/effect. But the present holds a privileged role in the flow of existence, it’s the razor-thin crest of the wave.

To look subjectively: self is me.
To look objectively: self is organism.
To look nondualistically: self is consciousness.
To see: Self (and everything else) is Consciousness.

Are any of these points of view ‘truer’ than any other?
Is the source of a river truer than any point downstream?