I was speaking with friends recently, trying to understand what was happening in the relationship between the three of us. There was clearly something stuck. What was going wrong? We were three good friends who have a lot in common. We have known each other for many years.
When it came to my turn to address what was up, I was surprised at what poured through my mind and through my words. Not seeing clearly? Find a new lens! The following ideas streamed through consciousness into the room.
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There are three lenses through which to see the world. They are all relevant to a human life.
The first lens is the personal. This lens focuses on your own immediate human experience—how you think and feel, how people and events are affecting you, and what is happening in your physical body. For obvious reasons, this is an important lens. After all, you could starve or find yourself homeless if you didn’t look through this lens.
There are less obvious results that come from failing to look through the personal lens. You might not notice that you are working too hard, or that you have a building resentment about something, if you didn’t look through this lens. You might notice that you are being triggered by a particular person for a mostly illogical reason, or that you are emotionally exhausted. If you didn’t look through the personal lens, you wouldn’t have the information necessary to do something about any of these issues.
The second lens is relationship. It is the lens that brings into view the experience of another person. What are they thinking? Both the stated and unstated parts. What are they feeling? How are they doing? What do they need from me?
The second lens makes us aware of the personal as it relates to someone else. It is hard to establish positive work relationships or positive love relationships if you fail to look through the relationship lens. You might end up being socially inappropriate and out of sync as you work or play with another person. As a result, the people around you may withdraw, or show aggression that might seem to come from out of the blue to the person who is not using the lens of relationship.
The third lens is creative context. This lens lets us see and understand the creative factors related to the sphere in which we are working. It contains a view of the immediate world in which we are living and creating—the place, the people, the projects, and the basic elements of creation that are present.
The immediate creative context could include such things as the purpose that brought you together with other people. It could include the creative concept for a project, the support you are receiving from others, the financial flow, and the cultural climate in which you are operating. If the creative context is building a house, it includes the blueprint and the construction skills that are at play. If the creative context is a legal practice, it includes the law of the land.
Beyond the immediate elements of the creative context, there are ever-widening circles of context for anyone’s life. There is the context of the town or city, the nation, and then the global context. There is a stellar context, some of which is articulated through astrology. And then there is a spiritual context. This is more than a person’s relationship with a particular religion or spiritual path. It is the actual relationship with the invisible source of life, and from the invisible source of wisdom that is available from within us.
What are the implications of all this? We need all three of these lenses to live a creative life. All three lenses are needed to be a conscious human being.
Many people have only a fuzzy, partial view of the personal lens, and not much more. They are not even aware of their own feelings, and they become unconscious about what their physical body is telling them.
Others become obsessed with what they are seeing through their personal lens. For these people, It’s all about me! The awareness of the personal obliterates awareness of the other person in a relationship. And it obliterates awareness of the creative context in which the person is living.
It is a rare person who is not only self aware—seeing clearly through the personal lens—but also aware of what they see through the relationship lens and the lens that lets them see their unique creative context. This person is moving into mastery. They are becoming a creator in the spheres within which they move.
If you are like most people on Planet Earth, you are struggling through these issues in the living of your life. You are seeking mastery in the middle of the muddle that is the current reality of the global culture. When we are wandering, trying to find the answer, we can create a bad experience. Most of us human beings have plenty of bad experience in our past. What do we do about that?
Have you ever noticed that the bad experiences in our memory of the past are transformed by a positive experience we have in the present? If we are simply repeating the bad experience in the present, all the feelings of discouragement, regret and shame that arise out of the memory are confirmed. If we are having a new experience in the present, seeing clearly through these three lenses, then the memories are transformed—or nullified. They are caused to be inconsequential because they are dwarfed by the monumental experience we are having now. The past is then transformed by the creativity of the present. And the future is then liberated. Our future is no longer based on the bad experience of the past. It is born out of the creative experience we are having now.
This creative experience is only available to a person when they see what is available to be seen through these three lenses: the personal lens, the relationship lens, and the lens that shows the creative context, which is the stage upon which the creative drama of our lives is taking place.
Not seeing clearly? Find a new lens.