Seeing Like The Blind
Written by Ignacio
I recently saw a video where a small group of people were led to a beautiful beach and then were asked to describe their surroundings. Half of the members of the group however, were blind. The ones with no sight went into deep rich lucid detail of what they were hearing and feeling. They described in detail the smell of the water, the texture of the sand, the rhythm of the waves, and many more things, all while sitting in a chair. The ones in the group with eyesight ironically were only able to describe the obvious basic details like sand on the beach and the water in the ocean. They were shocked and surprised by the descriptions their blind counterparts mentioned because it took blind people to make them aware of things that were literally right in front of their eyes.
It's ironic that sometimes seeing and knowing too much about what's next can work against our sensorial experience. Once the people with eyesight saw the beach their brains Googled all the photos of beaches they had in their mental hard drive and simply said, "Yes, we're here at the beach, it's just like any other beach. Here are a thousand other beaches you've been to, no need to pay close attention to the details because you've seen this before." The blind people had no option but to focus on the moment in front of them and analyze all the inputs they were getting. As a result of this, they squeezed the present like a bartender squeezes a lime.
If I tell you that in two days I'm going to take you to the beach to eat lobster you will build anticipation and expectation. Your mind will build a vision of what to expect and by the time we get to the beach your mind will have loaded up so many different visions of beaches and lobsters that the element of surprise will be practically impossible.
If, on the other hand, I don't tell you anything and I take you on a surprise morning beach ride on a boat to a gorgeous deserted island where a local fisherman will catch and cook a lobster while I make you a fresh margarita and you bathe in the warm ocean water while watching a glorious sunset while monkeys climb the palm trees, your eyes, tongue, ears and other senses will be have no way of ruining the true intensity of the present moment. An experience is many times more intense when it's unexpectedly put in front of you. A few months ago on a Dreamcatchers trip I took a family of four to a small soccer field in a little beach town at 7 A.M. They didn't know why. At 7:30 we were flying on our private helicopter above an active volcano in the middle of the country. Boom. No anticipation, no expectations, just simple wonderment.
People don't like surprises because no one likes to find themselves stuck in a situation they don't want to be in. We've learned to live in a perpetual all-around defensive mode in which we push all surprises out of our life, the bad ones and the good ones.
When I take people on my blind trips I focus a great deal of my attention on making sure that they feel safe and incredibly comfortable. Once people can see that they are essentially riding a magic carpet ride they lower their defensive maneuvers and begin to accept each surprise with more and more anticipation. Many of my clients are executives and leaders who always need to feel they are in control. They are not used to someone else ordering their food at each meal, but in my trips, I make incredible food appear at all times of the day like magic. When my guests arrive at a restaurant there's no menus; there's simply a gastronomic odyssey awaiting them. There's no bill. There's no worries about tips. There's no thinking, only pleasure; joy and good conversation. In addition, I won't tell you what we'll be doing after any activity because that only helps intensity each experience by disallowing your mind from pressing the fast-forward button to the next item on the itinerary. I help you get stuck in the present moment because the present moment is a good place to be. I've got you, so you can do the important task of enjoying, because enjoying is the point of life. Experiencing is the most important task you have to do when you come on my trips.
Experiencing a journey with the 'eyes of the blind' is experiencing the joy of letting go and entrusting your guide with the ability to use the raw power of nature to surround surprise and delight you.