Third sight

third sight

Is there such a thing as third sight?

In a Faith context, first and second sight usually refer to “knowing” rather than physical vision.

I suppose first sight would be “head knowing,” the teachings we are given to guide us on the pilgrimage we call Life.

These are valuable maps and usually, a one size fits all.

As individuals, we are encouraged to make our own notes of experience on those maps.

At the end of life’s journey, I still have the same map but with my notes all over it.

And second sight?

I would call this heart knowledge.  While head knowing has words, heart knowledge does not.

We can’t describe what heart knowledge is. We can only say what it is like.

To talk about heart knowing we have to use metaphor, allegory, parable.

In the Gospels, we are told that Jesus spoke all things in parables.

In case we don’t get this, it is emphasized in Matthew 13. “Jesus spoke all things in parables. Without a parable was not anything he said.”

The double negative emphasis was the Aramaic way of stressing importance.

Jesus also used metaphor to describe himself. Think of the “I am” statements. “I am the bread of life.” “I am the true vine.” “I am the good shepherd.” “I am the door of the sheepfold.” “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.”

He was saying what his spiritual qualities were like.

Second sight is sometimes called intuition, but that does not adequately describe the knowing of the heart.

We all recognise the way second sight operates in us:

  • How often do we think of someone and then have them phone us?
  • What is the inner voice that warns us of danger?
  • When do we write something, read it for the first time and ask ourselves, “Where did that come from?”?
  • How can we escribe the prayer-soaked walls of a church or the Presence in the Mass?
  • We use feeling words such as “love,” “beauty,” “peace.”   but can we accurately define them?

Second sight reminds us that there exists a great reality beyond our limited sensory system.

Heart knowing takes us close to the experience of this reality.

So what about third sight?

This is even more difficult to put into words.

Third sight can come through accumulated experience of the second sight we call heart knowledge.

It’s a product of unexplained guidance, wisdom that hasn’t been earned, a knowing that there is no separation between me, you and it.

The Sacred Presence we call God is in everything.

It shines in the eye of a blackbird, is the essence of a flower, and the breath of a tropical storm.

It is the “Isness” in the coming and going of all life.

It is the pain that creates emptiness, and the growth that fills that emptiness.

The writer of the John Gospel had third sight when he wrote of the Word made flesh. “Through Him all things are made, and without Him is not anything that was made.”

Third sight is knowing that God is all there is.

  • Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator.
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