Clean the lenses…then *look*

So today I had to get up early to head across town to the dentist’s office for a standard teeth cleaning appointment, and then from there, I went for a bit of a hike up around a local landmark here in LA called the Griffith Park Observatory…

My day so far has consisted of this (this is neither me nor my dentist, by the way, but this pic does capture what my morning was like...)...
My day so far has consisted of this (this is neither me nor my dentist, by the way, but this pic does capture what my morning was like…)…
...and then this (again, not my photo, but the views I saw earlier from the hills near the Observatory looked like this).
…and then this (again, not my photo, but the views I saw earlier from the hills near the Observatory looked like this).

After I got back home, it occurred to me that my day’s events can be seen as a sort of real world, literal version of a very valuable process: namely, clean the lenses through which you perceive the world, and then observe…

Now, you may be objecting that we don’t see the world through our teeth, and so my analogy collapses in upon itself right there in my dentist’s office…  However, setting aside for the moment timeless expressions about giving one’s “eye teeth” for things of great value, and also setting aside the fact that doctors and patients have now successfully triumphed over blindness on multiple occasions via procedures in which the patients have had their own teeth outfitted with lenses and then surgically implanted in their eyes — as in the story you can read here — I’ll still maintain that the analogy works…

Obviously, cleaning literal lenses is a great idea, as looking through blurry, crusty ones is challenging at best, and an impossibility at worst.  What I’m getting at here, though, is the idea that cleansing those things most important to us in life — our bodies, our homes, our cars, our land, our storehouses of information — puts the Universe on notice that these things are important to us…they matter to us…and therefore, we matter to us.  These things represent media through which we and the world can interact (sort of like lenses through which we can see and be seen, yeah…?).  And I believe that when we put the Universe on notice in this kind of way as to certain stances we mean to take, the Universe will often jot the information down, and then readjust its approach to us, maybe by likewise imputing greater value to us and to that which we prize, and maybe even by helping to increase the value of said prized items…  This won’t always happen…but I do feel that if you dump on yourself or shortchange yourself, the Universe (as well as individuals who inhabit it) will often follow suit, and just as surely, reinforcing your worth in the other direction (i.e., positively!) in the eyes of the Cosmos (and its denizens) can result in your own high marks being reflected back at you.

The Universe often functions like a mirror...what will you hold up to its reflecting surface...?
The Universe often functions like a mirror…what will you hold up to its reflecting surface…?

So if all of this is true, then any actions you take toward cleansing yourself or your primary personal possessions — those things that collectively help to comprise the overall avatar that you forge for yourself, for use in your travels through the world — serve to notify all of Existence that you value yourself, and you value the components of your avatar, enough to invest whatever energy is needed, in order to push back the always encroaching forces of entropy and decay that assail each and every one of us, every moment of every day.  Your efforts will be noted, and the Universe will respond.  And also, you will respond.  Sometimes you may need to establish a program of such cleansing, a more systematic campaign, before you can discern any change for the good (especially if you’ve been lax about such sprucing-up-and-polishing practices for a significant period of time), but it will happen.  It’s not easy to clear away accumulation, clutter, accretion, plaque, detritus — if it was, the Universe wouldn’t care about you doing it — but sooner or later, in small ways or maybe in large ones, making the effort will pay off.

And so even as I do totally suggest such literal/metaphorical cleansing, I also just as totally suggest following up with a post-cleansing moment of real observation.  You don’t necessarily have to cart yourself off to whatever passes for the rooftop of your city as I did today (although it’s certainly not a shabby idea whatsoever!), but I’d recommend setting aside a bit of time, whether it be a few minutes or a few hours, to ponder, survey, ruminate, contemplate, maybe meditate…look out over the vistas of your life, breathe deeply, and see what thoughts or images may come to you.  I’d urge you not to try to force anything to come, either — just relax, if you can, and stare into space, or close your eyes and stare at the trillions of inarticulate little firings of your rods and cones across the endless field of your inner darkness…whatever you prefer and have time for…

And it could be that nothing will come, and that’s completely okay…but it could also be that some seemingly random, totally unexpected thought or image or idea will pop into your mind from utterly out of nowhere, and that you will have been able to perceive it because you put in the work that it took to first clean your lenses.

That, then, is my suggestion for the day: clean your lenses…and then look

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