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  • Andrew Field

Notes on Invisibility, part 2


In the last post, we talked briefly about reasons why we see people, art forms, and the world invisibly, meaning we don't see them at all.


This morning I want to talk about some implications of this, in regards to people.


If we cannot see others because of our fear, that also means that often we don't see the people working the hardest, or the people working the least. If we take this a step further, we might not see someone playing mind games, and we also might not see someone actually doing their best, because both bullies and original artists write in the margins. Therefore it is often hard to sniff out a rat, just as it is hard to sniff out original work, because both are sneaky, both are cunning, but the ratio of ignorance and cunning is different; or, better put, the intention is what matters. If the intension is to do good, then good will happen. If the intention is not good, that is a bully.


How do you know if one's intention is good? How do you know if a person whom one can't see is a bully or a friend? Well, how do you hear their thoughts? I don't mean just the way they interact with you socially, outwards, vocally, spoken-wise, but what is the script you've internalized from that person? Is it a script that helps you to flourish? Or is a script that you find demeaning, that prevents you from becoming your best self?


If it is a negative script, we can ask ourselves, is this person I am seeing invisibly - that is, not seeing for who or what they are, or what they are doing - playing a role in this negative script? And, if one is living with that person, I would probably say, "yes." The people we live with at home affect us, in the end, more than anywhere or anyone else. Shalom begins in the bait, as they say.


If we want to root out the rats in our lives, we have to start becoming aware of how we see ourselves, and the role that our scripts play in that self-image. Our self-image is like the part of our heart that knows what we need or want, a kind of picture. But people will not like that we listen to our hearts, because many people don't, and doing so makes them feel insecure. Then, rather than recognizing and acknowledging this in an act of genuine humility - intention - they start to play mind games, but invisibly, which makes this sort of nonlinguistic behavior even more pernicious.


If you slaughter a cow, you slaughter a cow. You see the blood, you hear the moan. If you play mind games, you are worse, because your act is more insidious. You're harder to root out, which means you did more wrong. When a rat is sniffed out, the community then needs to step up and slaughter it. When the rat is gone, the community can continue with their lives.


Allen Grossman said that a poet maintains the social order. He meant that people who can see the invisible are better able to get rid of the bullies in our way, so that we can see the people who were rooting for us the whole time.

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