Hanging out with Tim makes me realise how much negativity I carry around with me.
That's not a bad thing.
I have a friend back home who thinks he's always really positive. His philosophy on life is that you should always find the positive, block out the negative and live to the fullest.
Sounds like a good philosophy, and it would be were it not for the fact that he's not a very happy guy a lot of the time. He just thinks he is.
That might sound like a terribly arrogant thing to say, and perhaps it is, but if you met him you'd know what I mean. He's the kind of guy with a raging temper, who's sense of moral condemnation is always poised on a hair trigger.
It's almost like he blanks out the negative even in himself, making him think he's happy when he spends 90% of his time complaining, criticizing or attacking something he hates.
He gets under my skin, as I'm sure you can see from this post.
The eye doesn't see itself, you see?
He can't see himself. Not really. And so who he thinks he is he sees through the same filters as the ones he uses to see the world. It's crazy, sometimes I think he's profoundly unhappy... but he has no idea. He thinks he's on top of the world.
The traps we build for ourselves, eh?
Why do I bring up my friend?
Well I'll tell you. Because he is my friend. I love that guy. Love him to death. He's an awesome dude, but he's awesome for none of the reasons he thinks he is.
The eye doesn't see itself.
I realise that I have carried a weight of negativity with me. I know this, and I guess at some level I've known it for a while.
But I only see myself through that negative filter because the negativity we carry with us is imbedded our very faculty of perception itself.
And this includes our self-perceptions.
So how could we know? How could I know that basically everything out of my mouth has some kind of critical aspect to it? Some form of bitchiness, of negativity?
The eye doesn't see itself.
But then of course, there is a power that transcends this truth. The power of empathy.
And empathy, to me at least, means more than the sharing of feelings. It means the sharing of perspectives, and perspectives are everything.
The whole universe, seen from one certain perspective, is inches away from salvation and needs only a nudge.
How do I know this?
Because all perspectives exist.
And it seems that the process of self-actualization, sorting yourself out, becoming whole again, healing... call it what you will... is not in fact the process of changing your perpective for a better one.
It seems instead to be the process of fusing perspectives.
You see, all the identities that people agonise over, hate, love, desire, defend - they are all no more (and no less) than perpectives.
People often believe that changing their lives means abandoning their true essence - but this is not the case.
It is the broadening of your perception to allow you to occupy both perspectives simultaneously - and realise that in truth, there is only ever one perspective.
So... this thing with Tim. When I hang out with him I realise, not with self-loathing, but with genuine surprise, how pervasive my negativity is.
It's fascinating, because yesterday I simply had no idea and now I do.
You see, even though the eye does not see itself, the eye does not have to.
There are many perspectives walking around the world, and some of them are extremely close to the source of perspective itself, reality itself. Some people (not nearly enough, but they exist) look at the world and they don't have a filter of judgement.
They just see.
And when they look at you, they see you so clearly that you see yourself.
Which, God willing, is all you really need.