There are some authors who in a single phrase can alter my world, inspire a paradigm shift or even simply elicit an “aaah, yes!” utterance. Sometimes it is John O’Donohue, at other times Mary Oliver, Shakespeare, Thich Nhat Hanh, Yeats, or Marcel Proust…. the list is growing, which is a good thing!
Yesterday — coincidentally? synchronously? — I came across these two quotes by the same author in separate sources, both of which resonated deeply within me.
“My destination is no longer a place, but a new way of seeing.”
~ Marcel Proust
“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is.”
~ Marcel Proust, in “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu” (“Remembrance of Things Past”)
These quotes seem to speak to different ways of seeing, the first perhaps suggesting that adopting a new perspective (or discarding an old one!) from within can lead us to new places or perhaps to seeing a world that was hitherto unseen.
The second is, to me at least, an invitation to see the world through the eyes of others — perhaps a call for increased empathy? — and a recognition of the multiverse of landscapes within our individual ways of being. Each of us treads a different landscape, home to us but perhaps foreign or unexplored to others.
Hmmm, maybe there’s a message here for me! Where have I accepted something as a “truth” that may only be a “belief”? Whose eyes can offer me a new understanding, a different interpretation? What do I need to look at through new eyes?
At this time of Bealtaine, and Samhain for those south of the Equator, I find my intuition deepening. I yearn for new insights. I want to look through new eyes and “behold the hundred universes”.