The Creative Gaze
The Kabbalists were often referred to as mistaklim or chozim, roughly translated as the Looker or Seers. To get a handle on what that might mean, just imagine how we feel when someone looks at us with erotic, loving eyes. We feel energized, uplifted, and embraced. We become more vibrant, audacious, and alive. We feel safer in the world. The sense of alienation, separateness, and loneliness of our empty days and painful nights seems to lift.
The more steady the loving gaze is, the more we can steady ourselves and chart our direction and purpose on the path of being. It begins with the loving eyes of mother and father–our first lovers–and continues throughout our lives. Love’s eyes sustain us, nourish us, and connect us to the essential aliveness that courses through the universe. Being seen makes us alove and alive. The same is true of God. The gaze of the mystic sustains and even “creates” God.
Once a few years back, my son Yair walked into the room. He sat and started playing with his Gameboy. I began looking at him, but really looking, perceiving him, loving him, with all my heart pouring out through my eyes. I was seeing every beautiful detail of his being as he sat there innocently playing. Suddenly he started singing. Yair singing?! A rarity. Could it have been from my love pouring out in his direction? He got up and sort of danced his way out of the room. Yair dancing?!
Well, proper scientific data it is not. But it was enough for me. It was exhilarating! Since then I have done this practice in a thousand different places–in streets, lecture halls, pubs, churches, libraries and synagogues. As a result, the world has been much more full of singing and dancing. I realized that a loving gaze can transform reality. We call this in formal theology imatatio dei, the imitation of the divine force. Just as God looked lovingly into the darkness and there was light, just as God’s gaze made it good, so too can our loving perception transform darkness into light and chaos into harmony. Try it!
The Mystery of Love
Dr. Marc Gafni
Pages 125, 126
For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at email@example.com