What makes us believe the things we physically see? Does this have a parallel with the things we believe in—or “see”—spiritually?
It’s about perception.
Before that is sensation. We must sense something prior to perceiving it. Something must awaken us to the presence of things in our world.
Why is this important?
Seeing and believing, and believing what we see, is critical to life—they make life worth living.
An Important Realisation
I realised this as I reached the toilet one dark night without even fumbling, despite my gauntly scattered half-awake state. Rubbing my eyes, I lost vision momentarily.
It’s interesting how much we depend on our sense of vision when things are even pitch black. As my sight dithered I suddenly realised sight is everything to a sighted person, yet to a blind person it’s nothing.
But sight is not just a physical thing—it’s most fundamentally spiritual. Spiritual sight, and no less equilibrium, is everything to both the sighted and blind.
When we see physically, the information goes into our minds and the brain processes the imagery, through which is produced perception—how we see our world. Even in Christian circles there are many different formats of visual perception that people see, making logical to them what they see.
It’s necessary that spirituality, besides some fixed bases, is flexible, pliable.
God Gives Us Perception for a Reason
If we see things the way we do, we do so for a reason. Importantly, atheists and agnostics see their worlds the way they do for compelling reasons, even though we might be compelled to think they’re fooled.
Their perception is every bit as real to them as ours is.
God is the founder of all this. How ironic is that? God creating ‘room’ for unbelief purely out of Divine love that issues free will with heavenly abandon... such is God. We cannot figure it.
The way we see is important. It makes us who we are.
Why would we doubt what we see? Why would we despise it or deny it or run from it? It’s there for a reason.
This gets us back to a basic premise—the one we began with. What we see we’re best served believing, otherwise we fall for a form of what psychologists call cognitive dissonance—the experience of confusion between what we see and what we do.
Believing what we see is about believing truth, so long as we fit what we see also with what the broader world (and God) validates as truth.
It’s our purpose for life.
Believing what we see will compel us forward to where God’s got us going, for surely we run our own internal validations over what we see, disproving some things and approving others.
The main thing is, we must believe what we see spiritually—and believe in why we see it. It’s taking us somewhere important and intentioned, if we’re discerning correctly.
It really is everything to us.
The Lord is leading us by the instant. The seeing instant is everything. Trust it. It’s all we really have.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.