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Page 147

Even in sunny California, most people never look
at the sun. They know it's there and think they know
what it looks like, even think they've been looking at it
all their lives. Wasn't it, after all, a friendly yellow
spider, hung just left of the chimney smoke or above
the green or orange tree in all their childhood crayonings?

What else is always there that we assume we see,
but never look at? I've spent an entire evening
chatting with people, none of whom ever looked
directly (eye to eye) at any of the others
or met my own (perhaps dazzling?) eyes.

And I've faced, eye to eye, others who were not
seeing me. Stand on any busy street and watch
those who pass. Nearly all are looking at something
other than what their eyes see -- and if you look at them,
you can see this: that they do not look at
what their eyes see, and cannot see what they do look at.

From time to time a person looks at what he sees
and is startled, as if by sudden waking from a
persuasive dream. Sometimes I wonder
if I've ever been awake, knowing times
when, after great exhaustion, I've fallen into deep sleep,
then, waking, been told by a puzzled spouse
that while I thought I slept, I got up,
answered the phone, held a conversation
and went back to bed.

For some of us, life is learning to see
what we look at and look at what we see.
But many spend their lives (life after life),
each blinded by the sun of himself,
which he never looks right at.

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