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Monday, 15 September 2008

Senses and SenseAbility – 7: Seeing

Senses and SenseAbility – 7: Seeing

SENSE OF SEEING is the function of eye. Seeing, when one is looking, witnessing, going beyond a cursory glance, reveals many facets of an event. Perhaps one may discover roots of some great event in an ordinary one. Fr example, Galileo watching a chandelier swing back and forth at the Cathedral of Pisa or Newton looking at the falling apple, or Dronacharya (of Epic Mahabharata) demands a thumb from Ekalavya as his fees [a dakshina or deed of gratitude] for being an absentee guru.

The descendants of Ekalavya, the Bhil tribe do not use their thumb even to this day. This is his living memorial that signifies Aryan atrocities on the aborigine communities. The aborigine, then, though assimilated in the Aryan society, its purpose was to add a service class, which was identified as Shudra caste. Even in the free democratic India the discrimination continues. In the era of Industrialization in India the peasants are now facing the onslaught of elimination. In the last decade, between 1997 and 2005 about 150,000 farmers have committed suicides (Ishwari Prasad, “Significance of Farmers’ Suicide”, Janata, Vol. 69, No. 32, August 31, 2008, p. 3-8, Mumbai), one of the reasons is farming is no more sustainable.

Such a seeing or watching or witnessing also combines other senses. The whole body becomes an eye, as in archery, which has iconic dimensions in eastern cultures. Or for example, a cricketer who throws or hits a ball: be alert or miss the target.

Observing (without malice, likes-dislikes, taboos or judgments) during even the ordinary routines such as, seating, reading, eating-drinking, walking, traveling etc. or watching the people watching TV, the ordinary activity of seeing becomes an action, which could be a creative action.

Such an action, which involves self and the outside, has values of entertainment (leisure) and education both. No investment. No time schedule. No rules and regulations. No legal curbs (in case you don’t intrude in other’s privacy). No losses in time-money-health… on the contrary, by being alert the senses become sharp.


Scientists say all animals received vision some 540 million years before now (identified as Cambrian Explosion); they were in the sea then. It is said the vision brought great change in their lives also: the conflict between the pray and the predator accelerated (see: Andrew Parker, ‘In the Blink of an Eye’). “Pikaia”, our remote ancestor, survived: thus we are.

In modern times the sense – vision – has overtaken even other senses. ET-IT has taken this change to great heights. We live more and more in virtual reality than ever before through canned visuals, canned music, canned games, canned wars, canned education… on cell phones, computers, TV screens… The worst victims are the youngest, younger and young generations in the increasing proportions. The poor little ones, who have not yet seen even a smallest fraction of real world, are trapped by the game called virtual reality. It is happening before our eyes but we don’t see or notice it.
A few decades ago the children were provided with toy-guns and toy-cars. Now as they grow a little they are with violent games in the Vice City or Road Rash or Sports of cricket or football etc. on the TV mast, and quietly Porn enters…

Neither parents (citizens) nor educationists nor the planners, and never the governments of any brand, dogma, right or left or fundamentalist ever think of play grounds for the children of different ages within their neighborhoods. And they boast of holding Asian Games and Olympics: indeed the height of hypocrisy.

A true story of an extreme case of a computer-nerd

“Y”, a young man, is, or now was, a student of engineering in second year. His father – a professional engineer, mother – a high school teacher, sister – a medical student. Y spends hours on computer, almost an addict, many a times late at night, while other family members are fast sleep. (I don’t know what he was looking at, and don’t want to know). His eye sight was very low from childhood. On one fateful day, or perhaps night, Y’s both the eyes started bleeding profusely, it was a hemorrhage. The veins busted. There is no remedy. Y is permanently blind. I don’t give the names for obvious reason. Hid kin should have informed all their contacts and the public about the gory incidence as a warning and caution. Precisely because the cause is absolutely foolish, though unfortunate and sad it may be. The educated could be ignorant in many, many ways.


Vision – inner vision, light, an eye, eyesight etc. – has been a subject of visionaries and scientists, of metaphysics and scientific discoveries… There are a great number of volumes on vision written by scientists and pundits; great schools of theories have been founded; great monuments have been erected.

Yet vision is still elusive, still a mystery, and the mystery deepens with every invention… Reading about them my eyes have gone foggy, but in vain. No salvation. What am I to do? In my ordinary life I must find my own answers. When I took and followed an advice and took a curative measure I saw the ‘Rainbows’.



© Remigius de Souza. all rights reserved.

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