Finding the Blind Spot

1999-5-23 09:55:00

There's nothing like a good visual demonstration to get your attention. Apparently, several of you couldn't see the blind spot. If it still hasn't worked for you, you might want to go to the second website I mentioned, and print out the dot and cross (or just draw them on a sheet of paper yourself) and do the experiment with the hard copy.

Rest assured, all people do have a physical blind spot, however, if any person would be the exception it would be Rick.

I'm glad you enjoyed Samu's excellent presentation on this subject.

Let me quote him:

"Usually the existence of this spot is difficult to notice, because the eye is normally constantly moving and absorbing light from different objects around us, thus the area that is unseen because of the blind spot changes all the time, and the brain is able to create the illusion of a full picture."

Notice that Samu states that we have the illusion that there is no blind spot, but that we are seeing the whole picture because "the eye is normally constantly moving and absorbing light".

As above so below applies here. Just as we have a physical blind spot, even so do we have blind spots on several higher levels. Samu and others gave some great comments, but I'll try and give some additional insights here.

First: Where are the additional blind spots located on the higher levels?

The next level up is the astral, which governs our lower emotional feelings, which are 99% of the emotions felt by the average person.

You have heard that "love is blind". Higher spiritual love is not blind, but regular emotional love creates some very hard to see blind spots. We have all seen a friend who is newly "in love" with someone we see is obviously a creep.

Why, we wonder, can this person not see what he or she is getting into?

The answer is simple. By focussing on the one object (lover boy) she becomes blind to other faults circulating around the guy.

Some of us have even seen an abused spouse who gets the hell beat out of her again and again. Nevertheless, she keeps her eyes focussed on the love that was and refuses to believe she is in danger, and stays with the guy on her own free will.

The next level up is that of the mind. You may have heard the ancient statement that "the mind is the slayer of the real". Why would this be so? Isn't what the mind reveals a true reality? Basically it is true that the mind is a reliable guide, except for one thing. The mind has a blind spot, and within this blind spot the mind has no perception. Because of this no vision spot, the conclusions the mind puts together are not whole (or holy).

We have all met the intellectual who just about drives us crazy with his big words and encyclopedic recitations, yet he seems to never make much sense. He sounds intelligent, but he never turns on that light of truth within our spirits. Often his conclusions just doesn't ring true to us, even though he seems very positive about them within his own little world.

A person may be very educated and logical, but if he has a flaw (blind spot) in his foundational belief system, then many of his conclusions will be wrong.

Example: Using the mind alone, an intellectual cannot prove there is a God, higher beings or life after death. If he thus concludes that life began at birth and ends at death, he will be blinded to over 90% of the truths available to mortal man.

On a personality level as a whole, most of us have blind spots. Let me tell you one that I discovered in myself.

When I was a teenager, I loved the early sixties music. I used to memorize many of the songs (Del Shannon was my favorite) and sing them around the house. At the time, I thought I had a great voice. When I listened to myself it sounded pretty good to me. In fact, I thought I could sing the songs about as good as the original artists. What amazed me is that my Mom, Dad and Sister constantly complained about my singing. I could not understand this complaining and wrote it off as a lack of appreciation for modern music. I ignored them and kept on singing, thinking that eventually they would learn to like the songs as I had.

Then my Dad reached a point where he had enough, and borrowed a tape recorder from a friend and brought it home. In those days it was a novelty to have a tape recorder, and up to that point I had never heard my singing voice played back to me.

He approached me with a mike and said: "Now sing that favorite song of yours."

I was eager to hear my "beautiful" voice, so I sang my favorite song "Runaway" for the family. It demanded a falsetto, so I thought I would really sound impressive.

After I finished the song, my Dad played it back to me with a knowing grin on his face. I couldn't believe my ears. I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. Surely the person on the tape couldn't be me. This voice on the tape sounded terrible, and when I hit the falsetto, the whole family justifiably laughed at my strange attempt.

After the tape was played and the "blind spot" about my voice was revealed, no one had to yell at me to shut up again. My ego was taken down several notches, and I realized that my singing voice had much to be desired.

I still loved popular songs and continued to sing them when no one was around. Then I eventually got my own tape recorder and practiced singing into it. Hearing my true self on tape allowed me to truly work on improving my voice. Later, I took some singing lessons. My teacher told me that I was her greatest challenge. During this time I probably tripled the quality of my singing voice. It went from terrible to about average, but I was grateful for the improvement.

The interesting thing about this experience is that through the use of outside viewpoints and an external player I was able to neutralize the handicap of my blind spot. Then, through the use of a teacher with greater knowledge and ability than I had, I was able to make considerable improvement. I realized that there were no limits to the amount that I could improve in this area, but my interests started going in other directions, so I am stuck with an average voice - and grateful for it.

This story should help us discover our blind spots on the various levels. When I heard family and friends complaining over and over about my voice, that should have told me something.

When the person in love hears from all family and friends over and over, "that guy is a creep and is no good for you", maybe they are seeing something you are not.

When the dreamer comes up with ideas that sound great to him, but make no sense to anyone else, maybe there's a reason they make no sense.

When Romeo thinks he's a lady killer, but all the ladies go out of their way to avoid him, maybe there's a reason for it.

We all know people with obvious blind spots to the extent that it seems to be a great mystery as to why they cannot see the fault in themselves.

Many New Agers tell us that everything is "within", but concentrating on going within will not eliminate the blind spot. It can only be discovered by going without. We must listen and consider comment and evidence from without (the tape recorder), and play it back and see how that which was without compares to that which seems to be within. As in the case of my voice, there may be a stark difference. If there is, we must be open to the possibility that we have a blind spot that needs to be revealed. Only when we become completely open to this possibility can we discover the real truth and begin to make some improvement.

For many, achieving the average is nothing to be excited about, but because of my struggle with my voice, I was more satisfied to have an average voice in the real world than I was when I had a superstar voice in my imaginary world.

There is just something about a real achievement in the real world that is much more satisfying than quantum leaps in an illusionary one.

The within part of ourselves is never going to come forth and broadcast the blind spot to us. We must listen to the complaining and contrasting voices without, and where there is consistency and repetition, there may be an opportunity of self discovery.

This is what we must do. Not see an insult, but opportunity.

We must also remember that there are extremes in all things, and on the other end of the spectrum there is the danger that one or two inconsistent voices can convince us that there is a blind spot that does not exist. Becoming convinced of a phantom blind spot can become as big of a handicap as ignoring the blind spot.

For instance, BJ, the other day expressed concern about my ego and motive. This did little, however, to make me believe that a blind spot was being revealed. Why is this? Because after thousands of postings, this was the first one to express concern about my ego.

A second reason that I did not take it seriously is that there were no specifics mentioned as to what I have done that is egotistic.

Now, if a number of list members who have grown to know me started telling me with repetition that they are concerned about my ego and are able to give reasons why, then I should at that point consider that I have a blind spot in that area. If I was to be suspicious with myself, I should ask my wife and friends what they think about my ego. If I get a few responses that harmonize with the group, then I need to take it seriously.

The alcoholic is a great example of one who has a big blind spot. Many of them who are in big trouble will just not admit they have a problem. Often times, the only way he becomes convinced is when all his family and friends gang up on him and all relate, one by one, the same observation, that the guy indeed has an alcohol problem and it is ruining all his relationships.

Even this does not always work, but it does at times. When successful, the alcoholic faces the fact that so many voices saying the same thing cannot be entirely wrong.

Like the alcoholic, we often resist with great effort any outside attempts to reveal our blind spot. Outside of our blind spot we may be geniuses, but within it we may appear to be blathering idiots to those who see truly and take pity on us.

Question: Do you think that we can retain our blind spots and still attain spiritual enlightenment?

Do you know of people who believe themselves to be enlightened that have obvious blind spots?