View from the botanic garden

Mystical Magic Eye - See the 3-D Dinosaur!

a spiritual essay by Thomas Razzeto

For an easy-to-print Adobe Acrobat PDF version of this essay, click on this link.

See the 3-D Dinosaur!

Can you see the 3-D dinosaur in the picture above? With a little guidance and practice, most people are able to see the 3-dimensional image pop right out. While there are several methods that you can try, here is what worked for me.

Focus on a point that is farther away from your eye than what you would normally use. You don't cross your eyes, blur your vision or soften your gaze. You keep a sharp focus at the deeper distance. One way to do this is to pretend that the computer screen is a window that you need to look through without even noticing that it is there. Try putting the tip of your finger to the side of the screen but about 10 inches farther away than the screen. Then move your finger behind the screen while focusing intently on it. Of course you won't be able to see your finger once it goes behind the screen but you should pretend to still be looking at it. When you get it right, a 3-dimensional dinosaur will pop right out of this artwork that seems to hold no meaningful images at all.

A book containing many of these computer-generated images was published in 1995 and it was called Magic Eye. Since then, there have been several additional volumes. You can find more information on the Internet including many more examples and additional methods for seeing the images. Just search for “magic eye images” and have fun!

So why do I bring this up? Well, this reminds me of seeing the mystic's view, which holds that God and creation are the same reality. I like to use the analogy of water and ice because ice does not just come from water; it is the water, but it is in a different state. This gives rise to a completely different set of properties, which might even trick some people into thinking that water and ice have nothing in common at all. That is, of course, until they see the ice melt! In the mystic's view, God is the invisible, formless Source of all things and creation is the physical and spiritual form that the Divine Awareness emanates as. Once you intuitively see this, you know.

Similarly, if you have been able to see the dinosaur, even if only briefly, you know for sure that you have seen it; no one can convince you that it is not there. But if other people don't see it, they might think that you are imagining it. Let's explore this idea a little further.

Let's suppose that this image is over your city and it's so big that it fills the entire sky. Suppose that all throughout history, everyone thought that it was only a meaningless mass of colors without any recognizable figures. Then one day a little boy and girl look up and proclaim, “We see a dinosaur in the sky! We see a 3-D dinosaur!” They are brother and sister and their parents have no reason to think that the children would lie about this, but since no one else has ever seen this, well, the parents become concerned about their children's eyesight and take them to the eye doctor.

The doctor gives them every test in the book and the results are perfect. Not a speck of trouble anywhere. Then the parents and the doctors get the idea that maybe the reason other people don't see the image is that other people aren't looking for it carefully enough. So everyone starts to look for the dinosaur and, just to be sure, everyone gets their vision checked, but no luck. Only the two children are able to see this mysterious creature, which is now taking on mythic proportions.

Disappointed that they haven’t been able to see the dinosaur themselves and frustrated that they haven’t resolved the situation with their children, the parents now have the best psychiatrists come to evaluate the children. This brings both good news and bad news. The doctors find no indication of any personality disorders, but they conclude that the children are hallucinating. The logic seems as solid as a rock. No one else can see the image, yet the children say they see it. It must therefore exist only in their minds. But the children know the truth of the matter even though they have no way of logically proving it to anyone else since the proof comes in the form of a direct personal experience. All the children can do is repeat that the dinosaur is really there and encourage people not to give up trying to see it.

This example points out the difference between seeing something and recognizing it. Obviously, everyone that looks at the sky sees the same image and the dinosaur is always there. So in that sense, they see it. But only the people who look deeper into the image in just the right way recognize that the image contains the dinosaur. Everyone sees it but not everyone recognizes it. Likewise, everyone sees the physical world that is all around us but few people recognize it as the divine presenting itself in a disguise.

It is most common for people to look at the world with great interest while paying virtually no attention to their own awareness, which is what actually holds all of these perceptions. As long as their awareness is “working” as expected, the focus is on the people, things, and events that are perceived, not on this power of sentience. Our attention is immediately off to where the action is in the exciting world around us. In this way, the profound nature of our awareness is overlooked, and the liberating treasure of recognizing what this awareness actually is escapes most people.

(By the way, your awareness is always working perfectly. It even accurately perceives the distorted images that arise due to alcohol, drugs or injury to the eyes.)

Mainstream science holds that the material qualities and chemical processes of the body and the brain give rise to our awareness. In other words, the material world is the foundation of reality, and awareness is a byproduct that comes forth from it in order for all sentient beings to be alive and aware. In this view, our awareness depends on the body.

But what if it is the other way around? What if awareness is fundamental? What if your awareness is unconstructed and everything else is created within your awareness?

Honest scientific research into subjects such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, spirit communication and past lives all point to a nature of reality that is profoundly different from what is commonly believed. Our common daily experience shows us that there is a link between our body and our awareness. Past-life research shows us that while there is a relationship between our awareness and our body, our body is not the source of our awareness. The true nature of the self is beyond the body. Our amazing awareness is not even visible to us and yet we know it exists because we experience the world through it. Our awareness exists not as an object of any kind, but simply as awareness itself.

Of course we all see that our bodies were born into the world, but is it not also true that both your body and the entire world was born into your awareness? Our awareness holds everything that we experience. Our awareness hosts our entire personal reality.

And the mystic carries this even further. A mystic understands that the awareness that looks out of your eyes is the same awareness that looks out of his or her eyes. What is seen is different but the awareness is the same. But there is only One Awareness, that of the eternal divine essence. And this formless, unseen Awareness is what creates and animates all of life!

Everyone knows that they are aware; this is self-evident. But similar to seeing but not recognizing the 3-D dinosaur, most people don't recognize that their awareness is their fundamental, unconstructed self. What you think of as your personal consciousness is simply the One Awareness - the Divine Awareness - looking out through your own eyes! This is happening to you right now and it has been happening since you were born!

What was created when you were born was not a new personal consciousness but a new viewpoint from which the One Awareness experiences the world! Your personal consciousness is really one and the same as the Divine Awareness even though your personal consciousness appears to function as your own individuated consciousness. But this is an illusion; the Divine Awareness does not grow new branches or cut itself into pieces. The Divine Awareness never changes and can only be whole. And yet through the mystery of creation, the One Divine Awareness presents itself as if it is many separate consciousnesses associated with many separate bodies.

Your unconstructed self is the Divine Awareness; you are not the sentient being you have considered yourself to be all your life! This Divine Awareness is the only reality that was not created. It is the source of all of creation and it is the only witness to it. This is your true fundamental self and it is looking out of your eyes right now!

It's like there are billions of hand puppets on earth, all apparently different people, animals and plants. But when we see beyond the illusion of separateness and correctly perceive the full picture of what is really taking place, we see that there is only one puppet master with billions of hands animating it all. What a miracle! What a mystery!

Take some time to really think about existing in the most fundamental way as pure, open awareness, this open capacity for experience. Perhaps you will be able to focus deep enough in just the right way and recognize that this pure awareness is your true identity. This is the awakening that the mystics have been talking about throughout the ages. So keep trying. Don’t stop until the true nature of your fundamental self pops right out into your clear understanding, just like the 3-D dinosaur!

The End - Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this essay, you might enjoy my book:

Living the Paradox of Enlightenment.

Living the Paradox of Enlightenment

Here's some of my other work:

  • My main website is here.
  • All my spiritual essays are here.

In truth, I honor your divine nature, Thomas Razzeto

Thomas Razzeto's bio and email

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