“To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour”
– Auguries of Innocence (William Blake)
I finally understood why William Blake’s poem was entitled Auguries of Innocence. Innocence is the original nature of creation before it was distorted through the eyes of men. It is the freedom from judgement and conceptual reality. To see through the eyes of God is to look with innocence into the unalloyed essence of creation.
There is a superficial level of perceiving the world through the mind by way of conceptual understanding. Concepts, framed by words, serve to dichotomise a world that was created in unity. By using the concept of ‘I‘ and ‘you’, we naturally draw boundaries between each other and define ourselves as separate entities. These concepts are created by the mind which holds on to the illusion of control and knowing. In truth, the mind is incapable of comprehending the deeper nature of reality beyond mere concepts. By perceiving the world through concepts, we remain trapped in the illusion of Maya which conceals the deeper spiritual truths. Concepts do serve a purpose if applied in the right way, for they help us to define what we are not. Self-realisation is then a process of unlearning these concepts.
Beyond concepts, the truth can only be perceived if we first give up our superficial knowledge of the world and acknowledge that we know nothing about the absolute nature of reality. We then delve into the unknown that exists beyond the comprehension of the mind. The unknown is intimidating to the mind which clings on to the illusion of knowing, yet emancipating for the soul. Beyond the mind, there is a deeper level of knowing that transcends language and concepts. This can be felt and experienced directly with the soul when the mind is silenced.
From that place beyond the judgmental mind, perhaps we can learn to perceive the world in its fullness again. As Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV) Without the veil of judgement, perhaps we can directly experience what William Blake meant when he said “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything will appear to man as it is: infinite.” We will begin to see God in everything if we learn to perceive the world with innocence again.
p.s. Leave a comment if this resonated with you. I love to hear your stories!
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This reflection gave me so much peace. I too find myself drawn into the old but excited for the new.…
I love this post! I also grew up in a culture that praises the outcome of suffering. Agree with your…
What an excellent article–insightful and rich! Thank you for sharing with us! Namaste
Everything may be a path but some paths should be avoided.
Nice post. Bob
You write like a true Buddhist. Hope you find enlightment without suffering. Namaste.
It is through the dark that we find our light. I love this thank you.