Imagine you had the option of having an extra eye … installed in your head. Would you want one? And where would you put it? On top – so that you can always see the sky? On the back – like a back-up camera in a car?
There is a passage in Bhagavad Gita in which Krishna makes the following offer to Arjuna, a dejected warrior who is praying for meaning on the eve of a fratricidal battle:
“You cannot see me with your own eye;
I will give you a divine eye to see …”
Fact is Arjuna needed no extra eye. He already had three. That’s right: two to see out and one – the mind’s eye – to see in.
Same with you – you too are three-eyed.
And the curious thing about this inner vision is that it allows you to see out in such a way that you don’t just see things, but you see into things; you don’t just see others – you see into them.
“And how would I open this third eye?” you ask.
“By closing the regular two … ”
Case in point: blessed with an early morning of mindfulness today, I felt inspired to write down these thoughts, while chilling in my basement. I got up and on the way upstairs to my laptop, stopped to use the bathroom in the basement. I turned the light on and what I see is a centipede trying to climb a sleek plastic cliff of an empty trash can. It climbs and falls, climbs and falls. Was it trying to get out before I turned the lights on? I am not sure. Perhaps, exhausted after who knows how many hours of trying, it was just lying on the bottom of the trashcan. And, probably, when I turned the light on, it was jolted into action.
I have no fondness for centipedes. They are, frankly, repulsive little creatures, in my opinion. But I thought to myself: “What true hell this must be! To be alive – like this centipede – and stuck in the abyss of some unknown plastic conundrum, trying to get out and to no avail, totally unwitnessed in this life-or-death battle …”
I tipped the trashcan to the side to let the centipede out. It scurried away, feeling what … ? Relieved, bewildered, lucky, perhaps, as we too do when we survive a close call of some kind … ?
Without this third eye, without this inner vision that helps see into things and beings, we see beings as things, even when these beings are human beings.
Krishna says to Arjuna:
See my forms, in hundreds and thousands;
diverse, divine, of many colors and shapes.
I am not pitching you religion. I am pitching you awareness. See the difference?