A popular quotation from the the 14th Century Rhineland mystic Meister Eckhart, “The eye with which I see God is the eye with which God sees me” is a focus I hold in mind frequently in meditation. Like the Zen thought-puzzles, this phrase opens out with so many elusive meanings — and then into states of awareness beyond meaning (like bliss). Certainly one such meaning is in the pun in English (though this does not work in German, so not part of Eckhart’s original meaning) “eye” for “I.” Hence: “The I with which I see God is the I with which God sees me.” My experience of my own subjectivity is my experience of the general consciousness of the universe which is “God.” Indeed, my act of realizing that my consciousness participates in “God’s” consciousness is God seeing me. God sees me in my self-awareness because who is seeing me is “God.” – Toby Johnson
Thought I’d share this rather sweet reading from Ibn Arabi. It speaks to us about karma/action. It uses the metaphor of the mirror to explore the relationship between God and humanity, and between ‘our’ action and His. I am very much interested in all things Sufi, so here I am “ indulgent” of that which inspires…
When one looks into a mirror one sees oneself. Whatever appears on you appears on the image in the mirror. When you look upon your image in the mirror, your image is looking upon you. Naturally, the eye that looks at you from the mirror is your eye. Then, when the image in the mirror looks at you, is it not true that you are looking at yourself with your own eyes? If the name of the one looking is Ahmad, and if the image in the mirror could speak and say, ‘I am Ahmad,’ it would be telling the truth. Yet, as the image is reflected, so would be the words. It would not be the image that calls itself Ahmad, but the one who is looking into the mirror.
So if someone says, ‘I am the Truth,’ do not hear it from any other than from the Truth Itself, for it is not a man who says it; it is the word of Allah. That man who utters these words is nothing but an image reflected upon the empty mirror, one of the infinite attributes of Allah. The reflection is the same as that which is being reflected, and the words of the image are the reflected words of the Real One.
The void is a mirror; the creation is the image in it. Man is as the eye of the image reflected in the mirror; the One who is reflected in the image is hidden in the pupil of that eye; thus He sees Himself. Then:
’He is the One who sees: He is the eye.
He is the One who is seen’
(attributed to Mahmud Shabistari, Gulshan-i Raz)
Ibn Arabi, Kitab al-Ahadiyyah (Book of the One Alone)