Seeing with our Third Eye Luke 9:28-36

eyeSeeing with the third eye is not an alien experience, in fact it’s something Christian mystics have spoke of for centuries.  First eye seeing is our actual sight, essential, but there’s more than what we actually see.  Second eye seeing allows us to see so we can know and understand, also needed, but there is more to life than correct information.  Third eye seeing builds on the first two eyes, yet goes further.  It happens when our heart, mind, and body are simultaneously able to see beyond what is front of us and more deeply than what we can know.  It is a moment of deep inner connection, and can involve both profound joy and profound sadness.  When we see with the third eye, we want to shout praises or sit in utter silence.

Peter, James, and John have a “third eye” moment on the Transfiguration Mount.  The story is recorded in all four gospels and occurs as Jesus reaches the heights of popularity.  At the peak of fame, Jesus will drop a bombshell after coming down the mountain; wanting to make sure his celebrity status doesn’t wrongly drug them.  He will tell them of sufferings he must undergo.  They were about to hear that Jesus must go to Jerusalem to die, and this was contrary to what they expected to hear. Mount of Transfiguration

Knowing his disciples were about to be thrown off balance, he shares with them the rest of the story.  They are privileged to see their master and friend in clothing whiter than white; chatting with two heavyweights.   This comforts them; helping them feel assured they weren’t forsaking the God of Moses and Elijah.  As they prepare to live the last chapter of Jesus life; this experience would leave little doubt among the inner circle that Jesus belonged in the company of God’s select.

They would follow him faithfully down the mountain as his popularity waned until he was arrested.  Surely, in the back of their minds was this third eye moment even as they begin to abandon him.  This experience must have been with Peter as he denied knowing Jesus in the courtyard where Jesus was tried.  They’d been given a glimpse into the significance of Jesus, his mission, his future and theirs too.  For all of its strangeness, it prepares them for the coming days of Calvary; reassuring them the road of suffering they were embarking could lead to a greater redemption.

First KissA first kiss lasts for a fleeting second; but signals a new world.  Not quite yet adults come together in an awkward embrace and quivering lips touch.  The moment gives them a glimpse into knowing something they didn’t know.  Our first kiss is a short-lived moment measured the ordinary tick of a clock.  The first kiss is also a larger moment when we become aware there is more to life than we presently know.  We all need “first kiss” moments, to see beyond what we currently know with the limits of our eye and mind.

Life can be a tromp in a jungle of responsibilities, tangled with vines of obligations.  So, we seek relief; watch TV, do a little work, or enjoy a big snack.  Those things settle us down.  The after-effect does nothing more than exchange our anxieties for a dulled sensibility; allowing us to sleep for another night.  We all share such an under life, at times it is almost bearable.  We need clearings in our lives, so we can see with our third eye.

The movie “Shadowlands” tells the story of C. S. Lewis weighing the risk of loving one he may lose.  Lewis must decide if he will marry Joy Gresham, who would soon die of cancer.  The film depicts his struggle in making the choice to love and grieve.  Lewis knew if he remained single his heart would remain shielded from knowing the depths of love learned in loss.  So, he chooses to love, knowing if he did not, he stood to lose so much more. CS Lewis

We have heard it said, “It is better to love and to have lost that to have not loved at all.”  Not until Lewis lived it, did he know fully what that meant.  This was a third eye moment for Lewis as he acquaints himself with a deeper dimension of love that reveals itself through the pain of losing one you love.  This experience peeled back the layers of insulation that prevented him from knowing other genuine qualities of love.  We see him discover the great magnitude of divine love that is revealed in a willingness to share in human love, even if it means deep and painful loss.

Third eye moments tend to orbit around the sphere of death and suffering.  People who have walked to the edge of the valley of shadow of death seem to lose their fear of dying.  It doesn’t mean they are healed of their illness, but they speak of being healed of their anxiety about life and death.  They sense they’re in hands greater than their own; comforted by the prospect of a coming encounter with life beyond life.  They possess a confidence God is with them and will go with them.  These are third eye moments that allows them to face life singing a new melody with a hopeful harmony.

RestWe spend a lot of energy trying to live as safe as possible; fending off anything that might require them to experience pain.  This sense of trying to protect self limits the possibilities of experiencing third eye moments.  Life isn’t a search for a jungle-less existence, but rather the search for a few clearings in the midst of the jungle.  Christ walks with us in the jungle of our lives; and when we need it, we are given the gift of seeing a glimpse of God’s glory, and our purpose in shining the glory of God in our world.

Third eye moments are not reserved only for dramatic moments of life and death.  They can be moments when we come to a clearing and experience: a needed peace about a matter, rest for our weary bodies, shelter from a brewing storm, a quietness that gives us relief from the noise in our lives, a healing from a wound that has remained open to long, or we get our bearings before we take the next step.  Third eye moments give us time to make needed repairs, make a mid course correction, or a complete change of course, so we can start over again.  Usually after third eye moments, we can see and hear things we could not see or hear before the experience.

The text notes two conditions that readied Peter, James, and John for this third eye moment. Psalm 46 10

  • First, they were a part of the inner circle; the ones closest to Christ.  We remain close to Christ by retaining a childlike quality as we encounter the Word, Christ-self and Christ’s words.  We also draw close to Christ in the presence of Christ’s body; nurturing together the cherished spiritual parts of our lives. 
  • Second, they were the ones who went with him to the place of silence, solitude and prayer.  We are not waste our time trying to draw near to God; God is already near.  We just need to be still; opening ourselves up to the heart of God, who will give us moments when we are able to see with our third eye. 

Third eye moments are not optional; they are required stops in life.  If we don’t seek them, they seek us.  They usually will find us: in a unsteady state of mind, in a room of caregivers because we can no longer care for ourselves, alone with no one to turn because we have cut ourselves off from required supports every person needs to navigate life, before we breath our last.  We’re to seek third eye moments, so they don’t have to come looking for us.  So we are to prepare ourselves; humbling ourselves to have a guide to direct our steps.  Guides have different names, spouse, minister, mystic, book, mentor, counselor, parent, or child.  We are to do what it takes; third eye moments are necessary pit stops in life.

Phone BoothRemember phone booths and phone books   Phone books can be hard to read in a phone booth at night.  You can end up looking like an awkward gymnast with one foot in the booth and the other foot outside trying to hold the book under a street light.  That back bending exercise is unnecessary.  The best way to read the phone book at night is to go inside and shut the door and the light will come on.  Friends if we will shut the door of our lives, the light will come.  Now, we are ready to see with our third eye.

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Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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