Seeing with religion

I spent some time with a friend of a friend the other day and had some really interesting conversations.

He brought up something I had never really thought about. We talked about perception. How when we see things, our eyes aren’t outwardly “seeing” things. Rather, the outside passed through our eyes and is inwardly interpreted and perceived or visualized by our mind. It took a little while for me to understand this, but the more we talked, the more it made sense.

When I used to think of how a blind person interprets the world, I used to imagine that they just saw blackness or darkness. But that’s not true. We don’t see because we have eyes, we visualize using our sense of sight. So people who do not have the gift of sight visualize with their other senses. The blind can still see the world, but their mind visualizes in a different way using sound, smell, or touch.  As someone who visualizes with my eyes, I can not even imagine the way the world looks to someone who visualizes with a different sense.

For me this paralleled with religious beliefs. Different beliefs are like different sense which we use to perceive the world in our mind. Whether our minds use Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism, religion is just a tool to inwardly perceive the world around us. Christianity does not outwardly perceive the world in one set way, rather it acts as the eyes which the mind uses to visualize the world. Likewise Buddhism acts as a different sense, touch perhaps, and for someone who does not use sight, Christianity, the world is still “seen”, but visualized through touch.

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