What does Vision ALONE tell you about objects?

I was looking at the refrigerator in my kitchen, asking myself what vision ALONE told me about my experience. I saw a lot of white color presenting itself (like the baby blue is in the above photo) before me (and a hum that was of course auditory in nature and felt so independent from the color. As if they were only connected by my thoughts which puts the pieces together and creates the illusion of a refrigerator.), when it hit me that I had never seen the back, rear sides, bottom, or the rear top of the refrigerator!

Then, I turned around and looked outwards toward my living room and noticed I couldn’t in fact see the back, or all the sides, or bottoms of ANY object! That my mind had simply filled it in thank you very much! Everything was ASSUMED to be a solid, separate, “really there” object, but in fact was never investigated. WOW! It can be quite stunning when it hits you that you NEVER see an object in it’s entirety, but only a portion of it depending on the angle you are looking from. Seeing this can be quite helpful in that it can remove a lot (if not all!) of the solidity and weight the mind tends to assume is present in objects, even though vision alone makes no such claims.

-Michael Jeffreys

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6 Responses

  1. This is a great and liberating insight, Michael!

    Indeed, not only do we never see all of an object, but sooner or later one must stop and think — what evidence does vision provide that you are even seeing an object in the first place?? I go into this very same issue in close experiential detail in my new book forthcoming from Non-Duality Press in November:
    _The Direct Path: a user guide_.

  2. Michael, Excellent. Plus, I love how you don’t end your status in: “But upon investigation, this is proven to be false!”

    Often with these realizations, we fall into the opposite extreme. I.e.: we go from solid separate objects to: There is nothing there!!”

    Even when it feels like there is nothing there, we don;t need to come to any conclusion about it. We allow the experience to be as it is without further interpretation. Sweet ♥. -Bentinho Massaro

  3. Very nice Michael and congrats on your new blog!! There are many different directions one can go in and I like your investigation! In emptiness teachings, it’s said that even though a refrigerator, for instance, cannot be found to exist as its own identifiable thing, not everything is simply made up (yes, Bentinho!) and objects can still function. After all, try not using a refrigerator! But it doesn’t have the concrete, separate existence that it appears to, like you say.

    Your blog is going to do very well! It’s very conversational! 🙂

  4. To me it’s interesting to speculate what our experience might be if other dimensions (depth) were immediately apparent instead of merely inferred to consciousness. For example, in a 3D computer environment one can get a sense of an entirely different reality where all sides of objects are viewable and accessible–what a different sense of space when as you say you can maneuver so that you can see from all perspectives. And there are some people who seem to be able to imagine that more clearly and vividly, like those who can solve the Rubik’s cube. But you’re right in that all of these different dimensions generally coalesce in normal space to a single perspective that we take for granted as “our reality” and conceptualize with our inner voice, thereby inevitably distorting what really and truely “is.”

  5. Fascinating thought that we never see an object in its entirety all at once. An intrigueing contemplation. Thank you for that.

  6. This can be so challenging to ‘see’, even though it’s all we see. Quite the paradox.

    Great post and deconstruction. It’s amazing how everything is available for inquiry, even our everyday surroundings.

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