We all know what it means to see as if for the first time, but it usually takes something special to happen, some significant event, before we do it. What if, with practice, we could look with fresh eyes more often?
“We look at things always with old eyes. You come to your home; you look at it without looking at it. You know it – there is no need to look at it. You have entered it again and again for years together. You go to the door, you enter the door; you may unlock the door. But there is no need to look.
“This whole process goes on robot-like, mechanically, unconsciously. If something goes wrong, only if your key is not fitting into the lock, then you look at the lock. If the key fits, you never look at the lock. Because of mechanical habits, repeatedly doing the same thing again and again, you lose the capacity to look; you lose the freshness to look. Really, you lose the function of your eyes – remember this. You become basically blind, because eyes are not needed.
“Remember the last time you looked at your wife. The last time you looked at your wife or at your husband may have been years ago. For how many years have you not looked? You just pass, giving a casual glimpse, but not a look. Go again and look at your wife or at your husband as if you were looking for the first time. Why? Because if you are looking for the first time, your eyes will be filled with a freshness. They will become alive.[…]
“They say nothing is new under the sky. Really, nothing is old under the sky. Only the eyes become old, accustomed to things; then nothing is new. For children everything is new: that is why everything gives them excitement. Even a colored stone on a beach, and they become so excited. And everything is a new world, a new dimension.
“Look at children’s eyes – at the freshness, the radiant aliveness, the vitality. They look mirror-like, silent, but penetrating. Only such eyes can reach within.[…]
“Any object will do. This technique is just to make your eyes fresh – so fresh, alive, radiantly vital, that they can move within and you can have a look at your inner self. See as if for the first time. Make it a point to see everything as if for the first time, and sometime, suddenly, you will be surprised at what a beautiful world you have been missing. Suddenly become aware and look at your wife as if for the first time. And it will be no wonder if you feel again the same love you felt the first time, the same surge of energy, the same attraction in its fullest. But look as if for the first time at a beauteous person or an ordinary object. What will happen? You will regain your eyesight. You are blind. Just now, as you are, you are blind. And this blindness is more fatal than physical blindness, because you have eyes and still you cannot look.[…]
“Look at everything you pass as if for the first time. Make it a continuous attitude. Touch everything as if for the first time. What will happen? If you can do this, you will be freed from your past. The burden, the depth, the dirtiness, the accumulated experiences – you will be freed from them.
“Every moment, move from the past. Do not allow it to enter within you; do not allow it to be carried – leave it. Look at everything as if for the first time. This is a great technique to help you to be freed from the past. Then you are constantly in the present, and by and by you will have an affinity with the present. Then everything will be new. Then you will be able to understand Heraclitus’ saying that you cannot step twice in the same river.
“You cannot see a person twice – the same person – because nothing is static. Everything is river-like, flowing and flowing and flowing. If you are freed from the past and you have a look that can see the present, you will enter existence. And this entry will be double: you will enter into everything, into its spirit, and you will enter into yourself also because the present is the door. All meditations in one way or the other try to get you to live in the present. So this technique is one of the most beautiful techniques – and easy.”
Abridged from Osho, The Book of Secrets, Talk #21