“We do a lot of looking: We look through lenses, telescopes, televisions…Our looking is perfected every day—but we SEE less and less. Never has it been more urgent to speak of SEEING.” Frederick Franck
Frederick Franck wrote these lines in his handwritten book, The Zen of Seeing, dated 1973. I have the page dog-eared and these words underlined. They were important 4 decades ago and they are important now.
It turns out, there is a huge difference between LOOKING and SEEING.
Looking is for survival and coping. It is a quick glance to assess the situation, to size up what’s in front of us. It works for triage and fast decisions. To figure out whether the stick on the trail is actually a snake or the stranger really only wants directions. As we come to rely on our looking skills for these kinds of situations, we start to think looking can be used for all kinds of other situations.
We end up looking at art or people or clients and making fast decisions that rob us of the experience of SEEING. We label good or bad and any other label we think fits. And, sometimes, once we LOOK and LABEL, we stick to our conclusion like it’s fact rather than SEEING anew every single time. When we SEE each time we encounter art or people or clients we have a chance to refine our ideas, our conclusions, and even our own sense of experience in the world.
If you are doing a lot of looking, you could be missing out. Your clients might be missing out, too. Read More… »