(Source NASA, Public Domain. Texas at night from the International Space Station: Houston, lower right center; Dallas-Fort Worth, upper center; San Antonio, left center; Austin to the right of San Antonio; Port Arthur, lower right; Galveston, lower left.)
Really great Lunar letter from Bri this month, titled "Seeming, Being, and the Courage to go Deeper" Go read it if you haven't, and come back here and this will make more sense.
I remembered where I first learned about this. I was 15, and I took part in a training that was, I guess, ‘post- EST’ called the Sage Experience taught by a guy named Brandon St. John. Brandon explained that we essentially don’t ‘see’ very clearly by default. That mostly, we have what he called ‘pictures’ of things that we build up, and often don’t change as new information comes that might contradict or modify that ‘picture’. In time, we tend to see and respond to the ‘picture’ rather than the ‘thing itself’. So I have a friend, but I can easily slip into the default, and base my interaction on my ‘picture of my friend’ rather than the real, living person (or spirit, etc., as what are people but spirits in bodies?).
I think this is a large part of why people can freak out when someone close to them is having a major life change, especially a spiritual one. The new behavior clashes with the picture, and the ‘viewer’ experiences cognitive dissonance. This can also happen when we cling to particular moments in time. Someone is angry with me once, or for awhile, and so I start to view their actions through the lens of ‘these are the actions of a person who is angry with me’ which may not be true at all, or not in the way I ‘picture’ it.
On the spirit level, I see this in ‘locking down’ a spirit or deity to a specific mode that we have learned about. The 'picture' of Odin is a great example, where there is a camp who ‘picture’ him mainly through a ‘war god, father god’ lens, and another that view him through a ‘master shaman. witch father’ lens. The ‘reality’ may be both, or neither, or other, but we can’t know that if we keep him locked in a picture rather than experiencing him in his fullness in the moment.
I’ve been working with a really interesting ‘creature’ for a few days now. It’s kind of cool in the way a virus can be cool…and nasty in the way a virus can be nasty! But it keeps showing me things, because I let it. I haven’t locked it down into ‘one thing as I first perceived it’. As it changes (or as my perception of it does), my helpers give me more and more information and approaches to use to do what needs to be done with this being. At this point, my initial ‘picture’ has shifted radically, and I expect it will continue to do so.
For myself, I know that much of the suffering I have experienced has come from this picture vs. reality thing. Trying to make others fit into, or understand them, from a faulty picture. Trying to understand myself from a faulty picture. Trying to be an image rather than a reality. That old ‘round peg in a square hole’ when the peg isn’t even a peg, let alone round. And the hole? What hole?
Blessings to you & yours-
note: the title is from a fine song:
“Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?
Well Dallas is a jewel, oh yeah, Dallas is a beautiful sight
And Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light
Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?"
-------from 'Dallas' by Jimmie Dale Gilmore