By Brianna Wiest

The new thought age has conditioned us to fear meditating on anything we do not want or find disturbing, and in the process, we have lost a very crucial tool. It is a stoic practice to imagine and working through worst case scenarios, as it is what makes you fearless – not what attracts you to the fear. Your energy, in this case, is going toward the answer, not the problem.

Sight creates image, and ego attaches to image. It does not attach to sound or touch or smell the way it does to sight. It is image that induces feeling and sensation far more than any of the other senses do. Unfortunately, this oftentimes works against us. So much of our social cognition – and anxiety – is created through sight, as is our self-concept, and romantic choices, and so on.

Though blindness is a condition and not an art form, meditating on the reality of what people who cannot see live with is both humbling and liberating.

So close your eyes and imagine your life as though you could not see it.

If it no longer mattered what you looked like, what would you wear? Who would you spend time with? If you could no longer take photos or update your status or see what other people were doing, what would make you content? How would you feel about yourself, if all you could do is feel yourself? Where would you spend your time, if the only stimulants you had around you were sound and smell and touch?

Who would you love, if love were only a measure of who you liked being next to, or speaking with? What would you do with your time, if you could not work?

How would you find your autonomy, if your independence was hindered by a lack of sight? Who would you trust, if you needed someone near you at all times? How would you feel if you were the person holding up the check out line, while others whispered comments, eager to return to their busy and important tasks for the day?

What would be art to you, if art were not something you could see? How would you groom yourself, if you could not see yourself? Where would you live, if you could not see where you lived? What objects would you keep, if anything other than the essentials would be nothing but clutter that stands in your way?

What would you care about, and what would you do, if your life weren’t bound up in creating a lovely image that other people could consume? Would you realize that you were free from what so many people do not even realize controls them – ideas, images, illusions. What if the things we consider to be great tragedies, great losses, are profound teaching tools, and meditating on their affects give us the answers that we were seeking all along?

What if we started wearing what felt nice rather than what looked nice, and spending time outside with our eyes closed, and listening, rather than judging and summing up and trying to respond. What if we let ourselves love the people we like to talk to, and what if we felt gratitude for the work we are still able to do? What if we realized how much of our lives are created just by one of our senses, and what if meditating on the loss of it made us realize that what’s real in this world is certainly not just what meets our eyes?

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