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.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

Why We Must Start Planting, Again

“Of the art of acquisition [of food] then there is one kind which by nature is a part of the management of a household, in so far as the art of household management must either find ready to hand, or itself provide, such things necessary to life…” Aristotle, Politics...

read more

In Praise of Hand Work

“The hand is a tool of tools.” Aristotle, On the Soul Recently I was watching a blacksmith work. I was mesmerized. There is something so satisfying and so fitting—indeed, so human—about the ability to do that kind of work. What most struck me is how glad he must be to...

read more

Giving More Praise

“Some men are thought to be obsequious, namely, those who to give pleasure praise everything and never oppose.” “And while for its own sake he [the man virtuous in social interaction] chooses to contribute pleasure, and avoids the giving of pain, he will be guided...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest