This process continues as each subsequent image incrementally enlarges our vision, often taking us in surprising directions. An object becomes part of a toy village, the village a placard on the side of a bus, the bus embedded within other scenes viewed eventually from an airplane~~and then beyond even this heightened perspective. We think we know what we’re looking at~~until we turn the page.
And thus, a powerful truth is conveyed in a very simple way. Our viewpoint is limited. At any time, we are seeing so much less than all there is to see, and what we do perceive is colored by many factors and subjected to instantaneous and largely unconscious interpretation. As I seek to bring my own vision into alignment with the message inherent in most schools of spiritual thought, this simple book serves as a reminder and suggests an approach to handling life’s challenges.
For example, if I respond with hurt and anger to the actions of a loved one, I can remain frozen in that scene, or I can consciously “zoom out” to a larger perspective. I can expand my vision a bit to see the other person within the context of his or her life, temperament, and personal struggles. I can also regard my own responses in a similar light.
I can enlarge my viewpoint further by seeing this incident within the fullness of our entire relationship, including the potential growth we consistently offer one another through smooth times and difficult.
I can extend my awareness again, seeing our interaction as a particular example of the human dilemma experienced by all who work to blend personal perspectives with the needs of a relationship.
Expanding further, I can recognize the play of opposing energies contained within this incident as one expression of the tension~~the yin and the yang~~which runs through all aspects of life and nurtures new possibilities into being.
And I can zoom out to a place beyond my powers of comprehension and touch at least the edge of the Mystery often called God. From this vantage point, although I cannot fully understand it, I can choose to see the small and seemingly insignificant incident that provoked me as one reflection of that vast, unknowable Force which lies beyond and within all things. And I can also choose to rest here for a time, nurtured by the Ineffable.
While playing with my viewpoint in this way could be an effort to avoid hurt and anger, I can also zoom out in order to place these emotions within their true context. My reactions are not nullified; they are honored as part of a greater whole. Anchored in this larger perspective, I am more likely to take helpful action when I choose my response. Regardless of the outcome, though, this incident has already taught me much through this process of progressive expansion.
Reaching for the largest perspective we can attain allows us the best chance of acting consciously, of choosing wisely. This, it seems, is all that is asked of us.