Seeing Beyond Sight

Seeing Beyond Sight

There is a concept of blindsight. This phenomenon is when people who were blinded and cannot see consciously can still “see” subconsciously. With their eyes not working properly, they can still react as if their brain is seeing, pointing out to the science world that “seeing” is not just about the mechanics we know. When someone has blindsight, they will not see for example a ball coming at them, but can actually reach up and catch that ball accurately with their subconscious sight. They can be shown pictures of emotions that they are not seeing consciously and correctly say what emotions they are seeing. It means that sometimes parts of the brain that we have no clue is “seeing things” and which is not what science thought was the part of the brain that processed sight is actually taking pictures and recording data.

Tzaddikim, holy people, who refine their spiritual beings end up with even higher sight. They can see realms we don’t see. They can see from one end of the world to the other.

Story for our Spark, so we can “see” greatness is one about the Chortkover Rebbe. A journalist came to the Chortkover Rebbe and was trying to write an article about his personality. In the course of the conversation, the journalist was floored by how much of the world the Rebbe knew about, from current events too far away lands, as if the Rebbe had learned and traveled extensively beyond the walls of the Bais HaMidrash. The journalist was awed by this knowledge as he knew the Rebbe stayed within the world of learning and davening day in and day out.

During that conversation, the Rebbe talked to the journalist specifically about the Eiffel Tower. The journalist was impacted that the Rebbe spoke about it, because he hadn’t told the Rebbe but he had just finished writing a very long article that investigated and described just that structure. But then the Rebbe said something off. The Rebbe described a special window at the top of the Eiffel Tower that took in and refracted light, a special skylight that Mr. Eiffel had put in to the tower. The journalist knew nothing of the window and was sure the Rebbe was making a mistake. The Rebbe insisted there was such a window. The journalist insisted that HE was more knowledgeable about the Tower and there was no way there was that window.

After the meeting, the journalist decided to prove how right he was. True, he had never been to France and never visited the Tower, but he was an investigative reporter and had done his research well and thought he knew all there was about the Tower. He sent off communication to his friends in Paris and asked them to verify. The answer floored him. Yes, the designer of the Tower, Mr. Eiffel had actually installed himself an apartment and he had actually also installed a skylight, described exactly as the Rebbe had described it.

The journalist traveled back to Chortkov. He asked the Rebbe, “how ever did you know about that window?” Said the Rebbe, “I’ll tell you the truth. When davening with much devotion, at times my soul soars way beyond their room to above this world. Flying through there, I can see the world from above. When my soul was flying past the Eiffel Tower I actually saw the window.”

While you and I might never be able to reach Chortkover Rebbe’s spiritual heights and ability of sight, knowing that we CAN see beyond our limited current site might inspire us and give us the spark of motivation to daven with just a bit more devotion today. Can’t you see my point?