For not only that we might act, but even when we intend to do nothing, we prefer sight, as we may say, to all the other senses.
Aristotle, Metaphysics

This year the fireflies have been stunning. Last night my wife and I were mesmerized; we just sat and looked. And we wondered. This morning the sun has risen with a striking red hue; indeed it often does.

How can one express the joy of seeing? Sometimes we must just stop and be amazed by what we see. But then again, isn’t seeing itself always something to wonder at? And of course there is seeing, and then there is seeing.

The statement that seeing is believing is imprecise. Seeing is different and better than believing—if the object allows of being seen. Some things simply must be believed, since they cannot be seen. At least not now.

Other things can be seen now, with our eyes, or with our deeper, rational vision; or with both. The glory of seeing with our eyes reminds us of the activity that is ultimately human life at its height.

There are many things that are not given us to see today. Sometimes that is very painful. Yet there are always some things that are given to us to see. And it is in our power to turn our vision toward good things, and to rejoice in them, and to be grateful. This starts with our eyes, every day.

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great, has been considered by many to be the greatest ancient philosopher. Metaphysics is his study of the deepest aspects of reality.


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