I grew up admiring people seeming to possess some wisdom and insight; seers and visionaries who could fill my imagination with understanding, help me connect dots that previously seemed disjointed, and focus my eye on a promising possible direction; on brighter realities to aspire toward achieving in days to come.
Some were brilliant teachers, storytellers, scientists, philosophers, writers, many were mystical seers and poets, a few were called shamans. I looked up to various ‘gurus’ who had transcended the humdrum monotony of common sense and reached a vision of the world worth living for and striving after—these were the people whose vision and boldness inspired me to work in the world to make things better.
Many of them I studied directly and many more I only learned about tangentially, because they had influenced or instructed someone I’d read, or were teachers of teachers that then taught me. Some I considered ‘ascended masters’ who had passed on to more lofty dimensions than life on earth, and some were authors, lecturers, artists, dreamers and movie makers who lived and worked to make the world a better place to live.
One day in meditation I was suddenly transported to another realm, another dimension; a separate reality. It was a huge valley containing many small cities and quaint cultures and it was filled with my favorite heroic visionaries and more. It was filled with the seers, mystics, gurus, way-showers, teachers, writers, and other enlightened wise ones that I had studied, admired, fantasized about, or tried to learn from. And there were also many more that I had never heard of, never had the opportunity or taken the time to learn from and many I had never even encountered.
At a quick, breathtaking glance, it was a blissful place I had somehow been magically transported to, and the richness, the potential, the opportunity this enormously glorious valley presented me with nearly overwhelmed me with its majestic beauty, sparkling potentials and dazzling realities.
After a couple of minutes I mostly adjusted to being there, regained some sober self-possession, and began to take advantage of what was apparently a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn as much as I possibly could as quickly as I could absorb it from those who obviously had the answers I was so devotedly committed to finding.
Many of these brilliant sages I knew and recognized from pictures I had seen of them and from books of theirs I had read. I felt like I knew some of them well—like my affection for their writings and for their insights made us friends whether they knew me personally or not. Their core passions and visionary insights, their sharp critiques and bright paths forward were alive in me, in my heart and in my spirit, and I knew they would recognize the lights in my eyes as kindred with their own. They had helped to ignite those lights in me so I felt connected to them in a deep and intimate way.
It was many years ago that I visited this valley, so I don’t remember the specific names of the people I encountered, and I only recognized a small percentage of them when I was there anyway. So I can’t include their names, though I’m sure you would recognize at least some of them if I could. I approached one brilliant seer whom I felt I knew better than most of the rest, and attempted to engage him in conversation.
I was full of questions: questions about what he could see now, about what I could do while I was still living in the world to take advantage of some of the brilliant insights we were both so passionate about, questions about his work I had come to challenge and wanted to understand more deeply. And I also brought to him my passionate interest in connecting with someone who seemed to live in the same world I did, who seemed to honor and appreciate the same values and realities I did; who seemed to be a kindred spirit.
When I reached him and was standing right next to him I could see he was profoundly absorbed in his vision, obviously trying to deepen his understanding and refine his knowledge, to perfect his insight and mastery of it perhaps, to make it more complete and effectively useful. I tried to get his attention as gently, politely and respectfully as I possibly could.
That didn’t work. So after waiting patiently for him to respond for a little while, I tried a bit more aggressively to catch his interest. He was so absorbed in his vision of a better world, a truer, greater reality, that I failed to reach him yet again. I just couldn’t seem to get his attention.
At this point, I was nearly desperate to make some sort of contact with him, so I tried to shake him out of his reverie. I tried shouting at him. Eventually I tried literally grabbing and shaking his shoulders and yelling in his face. Nothing. Not a spark of recognition from him that I was there. He was so completely absorbed in his illuminating vision that he could not recognize my existence as a separate person outside his skin. Maybe I was some symbol of something to him, and maybe not even that. Maybe I was a distraction, a phantom, or an irrelevancy… His vision of light, beauty and wisdom was all he cared about—it had become all-consuming for him. He may well have had no awareness of me at all. If he did, it was so slight I was sure he would never be able to remember me.
Alright, “maybe this isn’t a good time to talk to him”, I concluded inwardly. Well, more than that. It was simply impossible. I couldn’t do it. I tried everything I could think of short of physically assaulting him which seemed nearly unthinkable, uncalled for and out of line, and most likely would not have worked any better than what I had already tried. And I certainly didn’t want to hurt him. He was one of my heroes!
So I let him be and left him, heading off to another of my mentors I had recognized earlier a short distance east, knowing I would also enjoy talking with him and assuming I would have a much easier time making contact. As I approached him closely enough to see his eyes my confidence began to wane. He had that same illumined flame of glorious vision behind his eyes—of transcendent bliss, of exquisite beauty, insight and understanding—the same type of waking fire that had transfixed the previous sage.
And as I tried to engage him in conversation it became quickly evident that I was not going to be able to reach him either. I approached a half-dozen more illuminated seers and enlightened visionaries with the same results. I didn’t exert myself as hard as I had the first time, but I tried seriously to get even one little spark of any of their attention without so much as a molecule of success. Then I realized where I was. I was in The Valley Of The Blind Seers, where those whose visions of bliss, glory, light and love, were so bright, divine, inspiring and transporting, they had become stuck above time.
They had slipped out of the realm of ongoing interaction with others, had left dialogue and intimate personal relationships behind, having gradually glided into an isolated world of private revelation. Their connections to people and concerns outside themselves had eventually drifted away until they could no longer even apprehend the existence of another being similar to themselves—whether as a friend, an ally or a colleague—in a shared journey of exploration.
Disappointed, tired, saddened, and deflated, I realized this is what I had come to learn. My visit to this valley was coming to an end and it was time for me to leave. And when I left I was very determined to remember the lesson of The Valley of The Blind Seers, and to avoid blinding myself to others with whatever ‘superior wisdom’ I myself might attain or had already attained. I realized with an electric clarity that my enlightenment threatened to divorce me from life and living rather than helping me to bring some of the fruits of the wisdom I had gained into the world of practical reality—where it might have some beneficial influence on others—if I could just manage to avoid becoming completely captivated by the periodically blinding blaze of my solitary and potentially isolating vision.
Sometimes we get so locked into our preferred or habitual ways of looking at things, we don’t allow ourselves to see anything else.