Pretty cryptic phrase and quite a twist actually from the way the thought is usually expressed. Ordinarily people tend to say it the other way around. As in “You know it when you see it.” Meaning for the most part that what you see is proof positive of how the world truly is. That what you see is more important than almost any other way of sensing things that happen.
Words about seeing things are part and parcel of our languages. All the way from seemingly innocuous phrases like “Hmm, I see what you mean” or I’ll take a look into that when I get a moment” or “Look here, you can’t be talking that way”
All those phrases depend for meaning on some form of seeing, but none of them really have anything to do with looking at things at all.
- You can’t really “see” what somebody means
- You can’t really “look” into something unless it’s a hole or a box
- You can’t really stop talking about something by “looking” at it
But there the words and the idea are, embedded in our communications to the point where it becomes difficult to talk about some things in some ways without using words related to vision. So it is pretty safe to conclude that people set a lot of stock in seeing things as a way of understanding.
But what about things you can’t really see but you know are real just the same. We’re changing a bit here from talking about those other phrases and thinking about ideas that are just as real as physical stuff, but don’t really exist in the physical world.
Things like sadness. Now you can probably look at someone who is sad and make a conclusion that the person really is sad by observing how they appear.
They are wearing a frown, crying maybe, shoulders slumped down, all tell tales signs that a person might be sad. But as far as really seeing sadness, that is not so possible.
It’s not like you are going to be walking down the sidewalk and see a sign in a shop window advertising boxes of sadness for 50% off today. But still you know that sadness is a real thing.
And how about the opposite number of sadness – joy. Now for sure, you could tell if someone is happy by their smile, their light-hearted laugh, their bouncing around when they walk. All good signs that someone is very happy. But still, you are not going to be looking in the closet and expecting to find a pair of joy hanging there freshly pressed.
But joy is still a real thing in our Universe.
These Are Common Ideas
We’ve been kind of talking about sadness and joy as things that most people understand. Pretty commonplace ideas in our world. In fact, they are so commonplace that people get used to looking for evidence of their existence. And interestingly enough many people wind up finding what they start looking for in the first place.
Now with emotions like joy and sadness, people get used to looking for something and when they find it they stop looking. Makes sense, kind of. It makes sense if you are looking for your wallet or your keys, no point in continuing the search if you have found the object you were hunting.
Then next time we look at a situation that is similar, our memory starts up again and helps find evidence of sadness quicker than the last time. And then we are right again. And this cycle keeps going and going constantly reinforcing itself until we just stop seeing any other possibility at all.
It is almost as if when you know sadness, feel it, understand it, you see it right away. Almost everywhere you look.
But On The Other Hand
But on the other hand, you can also use this idea when thinking about joyful things. If you saw somebody that was obviously happy, smiling, laughing, hopping around a bit and in general acting in a light-hearted way, you file that picture away in your mind as well.
And you connect those joyful ideas with what you observed was happening. And the next time you saw somebody acting that way you could reasonably conclude they were happy. And the amount of time it takes you to reach that conclusion each time gets smaller and smaller until pretty soon, you know instantly when somebody is joyful.
And then after a while (usually a pretty short one too) you start looking for evidence of joy first and because it is a true thing that people tend to find what they are looking for, you find a lot of joyful things happening.
It is almost as if when you know joy, feel it, understand it, you see it right away. Almost everywhere you look.
Our expectation of how the world is going to be colors every minute of our day. Kind of like when the Law of Attraction talks about like things attracting like, when you expect to see sadness, you generally find it, and when you expect to find joy, that is there as well.
And emotions being the sticky ideas they are tend to hang onto you and assist you in creating more of the same emotion in your life.
It Works the Same
Yup, this process works the same whether you are out hunting for reasons to be sad, or out looking for ways to bring joy into your life.
That makes it easy for me to decide which one I want more of in my life. Cool.