We as humans are such visual creatures. Our eyes are constantly taking in information as our brains work hard to process and distill the many sights into an image of our world that does not overwhelm. Generally speaking, wherever our visual attention goes is where our mind goes. In yoga, we train the visual focus using drishti (focal point or gaze) for a reason. We want to make sure we are in control of where our attention is going instead of letting our eyes simply lead us astray.
Interesting, as dominant as our visual senses are, they are really not that great. Think about all the things we cannot see. For example, our eyes can perceive but a very small spectrum of vibration in the Universe. The vast majority of vibrations are outside our spectrum are not visible to us. This does not mean they do not exist. For instance, vibrations in the ultraviolet spectrum and infrared spectrum can be seen by special cameras (and some other creatures) but are totally invisible to us. We have also designed instruments to perceive other vibrations such as gamma rays, x-rays, and radio waves. All around us, these invisible vibrations are ever present but we are unaware of them because we cannot see them. Imagine for a moment what it would look like to be able to see x-rays and gamma rays. Things would look a lot different to us.
Even the waves that we can and do see do not always paint an accurate portrait of the world. The classic example of this phenomenon is in optical illusions, which can trick our minds and our brains into seeing what is not there.
The horizontal lines appear to bend towards the center but are perfectly straight.
Energetically, our visual experiences are governed by the masculine energies running through us. These are the energies that feed on logic and reasoning but because the eye can be fooled and cannot really see everything, relying too heavily on our visual experience can render us imbalanced.
On the other hand, our sense of hearing cannot be tricked. There is no such thing as an audible illusion. That is, we cannot trick our hearing in the same way the eye can be tricked. Unlike our visual senses, our hearing is ruled by our inner feminine energies, which feed on creativity and love, without the need for logic and reasoning. So given a choice of what to believe: eyesight or hearing, I will always go with hearing because it’s way more trustworthy and closer to my heart.
All of us, even men (I’m a grown man myself!), have both masculine and feminine aspects of our soul. Often young boys are raised to be strong and suppress this side of us, but it does not mean it’s not there. It just becomes underutilized and for many men they forget how to tap into that side of them. I have found that the easiest way into this feminine energy is through the ears, whether that is in the creative form of music or sounds, or simply tuning into the sounds around me. When we take time to listen to sounds without getting caught up in the visual experience, that is when our creative channels become more open. We all would like to be more creative in my experience.
I have numerous methods of meditating to bring about awareness of this side of us and most involve closing my eyes. But for many people, just tuning into the ears at the beginning is enough. During this time of shifting energies post Mercury retrograde, I think it’s time that we start listening more and seeing less, thinking less and feeling more, and loving more and rationalizing less. Start by listening and go from there. You will notice an instant shift from the mind into the heart when you let go of the visual and move towards the audible experience of life.