The Eyes of Humanity part 1
When I used to live in the Bay Area on the West Coast I would occassionally walk the streets of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. I would notice a lot of people who lived on the streets...their houses were their layered old clothing, cardboard or old tarps. and their residence during the evening were parks, concave storefronts or if they were lucky they would perch themselves over heating grates. Some were always seated in residences...others at favorite corners, alley ways, entrances where they could "panhandle" to the greatest numbers of people...others just wandered...some purposefully still others aimlessly. Many would carry the stench of the streets and body odor with them...for some this cloud would extend several feet out from them. And many of the ambling ones would push shopping carts in front of them...filled and overflowing with their earthly possessions: old clothing, sacks of food and an array of treasures found on the street. And you could hear some coming from a block away: yelling at other pedestrians...or apparently at invisible beings...or maybe just yelling at memories. And their faces...dirty, scared, unshaven and ruddy and swollen from the cold...or alcohol.
And eyes...my goodness...all kinds of eyes to look into if one dared: the eyes of guilt, incredible anger, sometimes rage...the eyes of despair and defeat...and mostly, just mostly, the eyes of fear. And the motions of the eyes: Some starring straight at you like headlights as if to say..."Here I come so get out of my way"! Others furtive...darting here and there and only occcassionally in someones's direction. Many would stare straight ahead...in a seeming trance. And other eyes just looked down...upon their own hands and laps or upon the pavement in front of them...
One time I stationed myself at the underground Mongomery BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) one of the first stations that opens into the city next to the bay. From my viewpoint I could see both commuters leaving the city after working a full day there...as well as a few street people postioned to received the maximum "toll" possible.
Gosh...what a study in contrast between the well attired business men-women... and the dirty and disheveled people of the streets.
And yet I looked into the eyes of the business men and women and shoppers also: Many had hypnotic...trance like stares, looking in front of them, wherever they walked...just like horses with blinders on. Other eyes were furtive, darting around, occassionally stealing glances. Other eyes of anger...even contempt for others. And yes...many eyes of fear...contracted eyes...eyes that were afraid to look...much less see.
So the eyes are much the same...hmmm. Interesting. And how about me. I can honestly say I have owned all of those eyes: Eyes of anger, despair, guilt, sadness....but mostly eyes of fear. And you?
As my teacher, Emaho, used to say: Although our culture, our personalities, our income and even our dress and disguises may vary greatly, we are much the same on the inside. The eyes give it away.
So, who really are the unfortunate ones? One perspective says all of us. How fortunate can any of us be if we have not tasted happiness, well being and genuine peace? And authentic love...forget about it. Ya...forget about love...
Yet there is another perspective...another way to live. Thank God there is.
But right now...before going into the other perspective...right now is a good time just to sit with what appears to be...even if we would rather not...just sitting...with what the eyes reveal: anger, sadness, guilt...and yes fear...a seeming endless feast of fear.
Be with all of this. Look at all of this from the perspective of your Heart. Look upon all of it with Love.
Loving you, Jim and Jimi.