Hold on, it’s a long one. I tried my best to edit, so thank you in advance to those of you who choose to wade through it all… but I promise, there are more pretty pictures* to help expand the view ;)!
(*see replies for information on art piece above).
Some really interesting things began to occur in my life when I started seeing the world around me without trying to look at it. Just what do I mean by that?
Seeing, for me, is what happens when I just give the incoming sensory vectors room to be experienced through my physical body while I am in a state of observation that I call “just being”. Looking, on the other hand, is what happens when the mind churn that makes up the identity of M starts up with it’s activity in the form of thoughts labeling, judging and linking to a past life story for reference points to tell me something about what I can see. Looking when seeing then automatically edits out any incoming vectors which are outside the range of the already known aspect of my currently contained experience of a past consensus reality. This is rather like the whole “can’t see a deer in the forest due to the trees”, or having tremendous static on a TV because the tuning for receiving a particular channel’s signal is off.
So with the desire to understand the experience of different ways of approaching how to see while still in a human body, about 8 years or so ago I started to experiment (and NO this was not done by adding any substances to the mix… to anyone who reads here from my drug testing work environment, I am happy to say that this girl’s pee is golden ;), so random test away! lol). I began taking pictures of the night sky with digital cameras. I did so with the intent to capture with a camera what could be seen when not looking. I started using the medium of photography because at it’s root, the camera is an object designed to mimic the human eye. I guess a bigger question also to answer is why did I start doing this at all ? Well there are several reasons, but the main one is that a camera can see without looking because it has no “conscious” mind of it’s own to interfere with the image that can and cannot be captured. (Well at least on this surface layer of the adventure it does not :)). What is recorded in this way is in the eye of a conscious beholder. I wanted to know what the awareness of this consciousness was potentially actually like.
When one uses a camera which has the capacity to capture the light bounced off “objects” in the infrared frequency range of the light spectrum typically experienced as being beyond what the human eye sees, and such a camera is then put into the hands of someone interested in focusing on expanding their conscious awareness with intent by seeing without looking past limitations, BOOM! Some unusual things can start to be captured by that camera in those hands (you can tell how well any digital camera can record into this light frequency range by doing a simple test… you hold a remote control of some type (TV, stereo, etc.) up to the lens of the camera and then while looking in the view finder on the back of the camera, press any button on the remote while pointing it straight into the lens… if the batteries are working 🙂 you should see a “red” light refraction pattern and if you do, the brightness of it will tell you how strong of an infrared filter your camera has… however, when you look just with your eyes at that very same remote while pressing a button without the use of the camera, what do you see?!? 🙂 ).
Originally here in this post, I began to type a big wordy paragraph trying to explain what happens with the light spectrum, the mind, the eye, the body, the camera and the externally shared energy field around the human body and objects in the world. It was long winded and had even more creative sentence structures than are usually available for consumption in the typical post here :). So to spare you the pains of wading through the creativity that can be the unique writing style of M, I deleted what I wrote. Instead I will send you to the experts who make a good stab at explaining the structural dynamics in plain English. Suffice it to say that the old adage that “one can only ever reap what they have sown”, definitely applies. The mental, emotional and physical state of the hand that holds the camera directly impacts what CAN be captured “on film” at times as well. A good resource for details on the dynamics of this is a book co-written by physicist Klaus Heinemann and theologian Miceal Ledwith:
Getting back on track… so it was that in seeking a deeper understanding, for a period of time in my life I found myself almost daily taking pictures of the night sky with a digital camera while working on seeing without trying to look for what could be seen.
On the first night I ever took pictures with my intent set like this, I asked some specific questions about what was going on during the phenomenon of seeing without looking using the lens of a camera. I think I felt inspired to do this because over my whole life I have felt what I can only describe as being a watcher, or a loving presence that travels with me. However, in my life so far, never had this presence moved past my sensory experience of just feeling it’s presence. As an “educated” person grounded in a traditions of Christianity and of western culture of logic, rational thought and science, just what was I then doing there pointing a camera into the darkness night after night? And why did I not feel crazy at the thought of doing it?
Well, my mother had a younger brother that died the month before I was born. He was just sitting watching TV on a couch in the dorm at the university he was attending and quietly, he passed on to the next adventure… death at age 18 with no determinable cause. When I was a child and I asked my family to tell me about this uncle, he was always described in a way that I interpreted as him having been experienced as a “whole”, round and deeply feeling peg in an otherwise square-ish, “unwhole” family. As I also felt rather a round alien in myself at the time, and not quite fitting in with my family when I was little at other times as well, this caused me to wonder a lot about this uncle. Had he died only to become some type of a “guardian angel” looking over the also deeply feeling little M who had arrived here on earth just after he left? Could that explain the feeling I had of something or someone often being around me as a kid?
As a little girl, this feeling of a presence was always experienced as being just out of sight, as if moving in my peripheral vision or in my blind spot remaining largely unseen.* So it was with experiences like that in my life, that the part of M that was firmly rooted in religion that is religious and the religion that is hard science :), has not ever been a hard place for me to put on pause. The life experience potentials that the thought constructs of religion and science offer, are patterns of expectation which are still there in me, but they are ones I find that can also be experienced as holding still somewhere on the back burners in my awareness at times. For this reason, I have just never felt that uncomfortable with, or have felt the foreignness of allowing far out contemplations or activities to take a spin around on the dance floor of my ability to have an experience with them. I think I can come close to saying that within reason, I have always been willing to do something new and to try anything at least once when I can feel my watcher with me as I make the choice that feels right for me at that time (my religious tradition might also call this having the Holy Ghost or the light of Christ… science might call it an energetic unified field state of awareness similar to that of something like electromagnetism… when I was little, it was possibly just my Uncle Kent helping and watching over me :)).
(* see reply below for a link to a PDF file for the work of Rupert Sheldrake on the sense of being stared at).
However, before I head off on any more tangents here…
The first night I spent ever taking pictures with this “seeing without looking” intent, because of those unseen presence experiences in my life to date, I thought to ask verbally out loud to “see the one that I felt was with me all the time”. This is the very next photo I took after asking to see this:
this photo is in no way altered other than providing this area zoomed in on
Just what is it that showed up in that picture?!? I do not presume to answer that question here for anyone else, or even for myself, for that matter! I only ask that the reader, to the best of your ability to do so, suspend looking at the picture for a moment and try to just see the picture. The outcome of doing that for me, was that as a result of this picture taken that first night (with my curiosity now REALLY peeked) continuing on with taking more and more pictures I traveled.
I was fortunate during this time in my life to have one of those rare rare rare homes in NYC that had an outdoor private terrace accessed only from the opening of french doors right out of my apartment directly onto the roof of the building next door. I could stand out there under the stars unseen, in complete privacy, in the middle of the city on any given night. This meant I could snap pictures, undisturbed, to my heart’s content. These are a few other photos captured at this particular apartment during that same time frame:
I will mention (for the benefit of those who have not ever taken photos with an intent like this before) that most often, the photos taken right before and right after photos like the ones shared here, are usually completely “normal” in appearance. They often show only the black background or the night sky. I also will share that the pictures posted here were all ones taken on crystal clear, dry nights. The only difference from any other crystal clear, dry night, is they are pictures that were taken with a camera held by a hand with an eye intent on seeing without looking.
Another detail worth posting I think, is the fact that also during this time I started noticing a very interesting behavior with my cats. I already had noted how from time to time my cats would individually race around the house, acting like they were chasing or being chased by something that I could not see (I call it chasing “ghosts” when Luke does this even still today… his ears flatten back against his head and he runs full speed ahead going so fast that his paws slide out from under him as he takes corners :)). However, when taking pictures with the specific intent of seeing without looking, I now noticed how there were times that the cats would simply sit stock still just staring at one spot in what appeared to my naked eye to be empty space, but really in a position seeming like that to them they were intently looking at something they could see. So, I started taking pictures when they were doing this (I now actually believe that animals are gifted with seeing while “just being” all the time :)). Here is a picture resulting from a moment captured with my cat Max demonstrating this:
It was incredibly exciting to me to find such a concrete way to begin dancing with an awareness of consciousness in what was available to be seen just beyond the “normal” perceptions I had allowed into the flow of my day to day life so far. At the time, it felt like a “proof” for some expanded consciousness of sorts.
Foolishly, I will admit, in my exuberance to share this expansion potential with other people, unrequested by them, I attempted to foist this experiential tool for growth upon a few others, too. I shared these pictures and experiences with others who I thought might appreciate them. The result is that now floating out there in my life today are some people who thought I finally had lost it! I think they felt they had lost the M they knew to the dark side of religiously unapproved, non-scientific, woo woo voodoo. To this day, I suspect that there are some people that think that I am a complete and total nutter. 🙂
By contrast today, if you are looking at these pictures and reading these words here now, you have usually found your way to this blog by your own volition. You are here because of choices you made and by your own doing. Past a few mentions on a facebook page that is no longer active, I do not usually link or publicize this little blog in any real way. So, as you choose a picture advertized on the home page of the blog, you open it to find potential gifts awaiting in a post that you choose to read for yourself. And as you are reading these words here in this post now, welcome to the table of reading about the potential for an expanded experience of something you may be ready to know… seeing without looking… with these accompanying words left waiting here for you to read. In my mind, this means these are pictures and words meant just for you to find :).
However, mostly as an indulgence (and it is not like this post isn’t already long enough there, long winded M -lol), I will share one more story as an example of the folly of attempting to share words and opportunities for growth with people before it is their time to receive or discover them:
I asked a dear friend from my childhood to do a long distance, time travel picture experiment with me. I asked him to go out into his back yard one clear night and to think of me as he took a picture of the night sky with just the top of his home’s roof line left remaining in the bottom of the frame of the picture for spacial orientation. In my mind, right as I was typing this request in an email to him, I stopped. I took a moment and closed my eyes and saw myself standing on the left side of the roof of his home, looking back down on him as he stood in his yard thinking about me. I pictured him in my minds eye with a camera in his hand at the very moment in the future that he would take the picture I was requesting he send to me. However, in the email I did not share any of the back story of this request with him. Instead, I just stuck with telling him to snap a picture while thinking of me and email it on back to me when it was done. (aside… So just how important is the state of awareness of the hands that hold the camera, to the outcome of the picture that is created??? Interesting question to contemplate).
The result of this particular experiment with my friend was that floating above the left of the roof in the picture he sent me was a beautiful, faint, translucent little opalescent rainbow speckled orb! Was that the first portrait of my being awareness in nonlocalized consciousness when I projected it in my imagination into his picture taken in a shared future moment??? Or was it pollen from some bush in bloom? lol
When I wrote back to this friend pointing out this orb object in his picture and telling him what I had done beforehand when I requested he take it, I fully expected in return to encounter curiosity and some wonderment. You see, this is an intelligent, open minded man who I have known for over 30 years, whom I have always loved and with whom I have experienced deep, tangible connections (for example, after years of no contact, there will be times that all of a sudden he will appear nightly in my dreams, repeatedly on the run each time I sleep… this will happen over and over until I actually contact him in my day to day waking life and check in with him… then, just like that, the dreams with him in them will stop! ?!?… this has happened many times over the span of our 30+ year friendship).
However, instead of any real, deep interest from him regarding this orb in the picture, in response I got the equivalent of a website link about taking pictures with dust on camera lenses and information that amounted to thoughts about how our alma mater was doing in the current college football playoffs. 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of that particular picture to share here in this post due to a complete archived email purge done some years ago.
Eventually we all learn our lessons. Today, I diligently try to love others just as I find them and to gracefully tip toe a bit more often so as not to awaken those who are wishing to still nap at any given moment in time.
(BTW, B, if you ever read this, know that I completely adore you. I understand why I don’t ever hear directly from you anymore and I don’t ever hold it against you. I am not offended and I have in check the immaturity of feeling being disappointed in you… yes that was M and HER own expectations of you heard from back then :). Your silence in the recent years doesn’t ever stop me from loving you from a distance, or from still floating my bad little self over the roof of your house to say hello from time to time -lol- a statement left here COMPLETELY in the spirit of fun).
Eventually, over time and with practicing taking photos with this seeing without looking intent, I began to discover that one does not need the camera as a tool or crutch to experience seeing such visual phenomenon from the expanded light spectrum. When the mind is quiet and not looking, the eyes can begin to allow seeing what is actually there all on their own, as well. Stories of a few experiences with my directly seeing are for another post maybe one day. Quite honestly, in my corner of the adventure that is living life as M, I still hit up against some illusions as the fear factor steps in, because one cannot always pick and choose what is seen without looking. It takes some practice that I do not yet have to learn to gracefully turn “on” and “off” seeing with ones own physical eyes in that state of expansion.
Was that a bump in the night I just felt? BOO! ~lol~
Joking aside, in all seriousness, there is a reason that many of those beautiful Tibetan works of art contain images that would be right at home if seen in a movie like Disney’s Monsters Inc. But what about when they are seen actually floating on the ceiling of ones bedroom??? Is it time to call for a trip to a padded room?! (Yes, I can lol, sitting in the light of day with a computer screen in front of me, grounding my body to terra firma ).
So, orbs and phantasmoplasm-esk mists and monsters and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! …all part of sharing my experience of what started as just seeing without looking through a camera.
But ultimately, at the end of the day, what can having and sharing experiences like these truly mean if one does not then allow them to impact the way we think and live in the world at large? How does seeing without looking impact the way we experience living on a day to day basis while in line at the grocery store?
Starting down the road of really seeing without looking is not really for the spiritual questioning weekend warrior. The truth is that with experiences like this, we cannot ever use them for the stepping stones that they are meant to be when the focus of day to day seeing is always still mostly done while caught up in looking for what the score of the next upcoming football game will be! Nothing wrong with football, but with that as ones focus, it will remain one of the only balls our eyes will ever see… ra ra sis boom bah, cheering for the home team, GOOOO COUGARS!! lol
We are all at our cores just exactly like Neo from the movie The Matrix in his moment of choice as he sits in that car with Apoc, Switch and Trinity. When the gun of expanding truth comes to the head, forcing the choice of seeing without looking or staying looking to see, some of us just repeatedly choose to get out of that car on those dark, rainy nights and walk back down the road that we have already traveled. But where that road leads is only ever into the light offered by our past experiences. It is comfortable. It is known. It seems so safe. It is an understandable choice made by much of humanity. It is a collective consensus reality consciousness as it currently is trying to keep it’s foothold in controlling our lives and limiting in experience the ways we believe it is possible to actually live seeing as authentic human beings on this planet.
Here at seeingM however, I long to keep diving in the deep end and slam the door shut behind me as I buckle the seat belt, because when the woo woo of extraordinary potentials is allowed into the driver’s seat, there is no road that can ever contain the eternal journey of expanding creation and discovery into the unknown. The CURRENTLY unknown, I might add. It does not mean it is not real, it just means it is not known or experienced yet :).
Seeing without looking… from shooting bullets, to dodging bullets, to the truth of no bullets we go!
Phew, thanks for hanging in there with the wordy, story laden M today.