Here’s one of those seemingly random and inconsequential facts about the human body: your nose is always in your field of vision. Cross your eyes. See? It’s right there, right where it’s always been, centered as a ridge just below and between. And yet uncross your eyes again, and it’s gone.
I read that seemingly random and inconsequential fact about the human body about a half an hour ago. Now, I can’t stop seeing my nose. Nothing has changed about me or my field of vision. The only thing that’s different is that I know my nose is there now. I’m aware of it, just as I’m now aware that the only reason we never really notice our noses is because our brains basically edit them out.
That last point—that our brains edit out our noses—is maybe what’s bugging me most of all. I can’t let it go.
Blind spots are things we all no doubt learned at some point in our schooling, but also something that gets misplaced as the years wear on. They are considered meaningless when it comes to real living, like the Pythagorean theorem or the capital of Turkey—trivial things that lose their value in an adult life that revolves around keeping one’s head above water. But I think this particular bit of trivia is very important indeed, if only because it teaches us so much about ourselves. It means that the world we perceive isn’t the world as it is, isn’t even really the Truth at all. It’s just our brain’s best interpretation of Truth.
So now I’m wondering what else I’m missing when I look out into the world. The human mind is a wonderful instrument. It is capable of pondering the mysteries of the universe and solving our most pressing problems. It has built pyramids and skyscrapers. It has mastered fire and agriculture. And yet even that wondrous lump between our ears can’t process everything that is going on around us. It must filter the things we do not need in order to focus upon the things we do. It’s the important stuff that the mind allows us to see. Or at least, what our minds consider as important.
Which has gotten me wondering—what other blind spots do I have? I’m not talking about the ones that affect my brain. I mean the more important ones. Ones that affect my heart. What am I missing not in my world, but in my life? What things are there that I don’t always think are important but really are? How do I spend my time, and how can that time be better spent?
Am I chasing after something that I believe will add to my life but will instead only lessen it?
Are the priorities I’ve set for my life the same priorities God has set for me?
Heavy questions, all. But it’s the hard questions about who we are that require hard answering. After all, it doesn’t bode well for us to move through our lives half blinded. Not just to the world, but to ourselves.