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Dave Brisbin

The Eyes Have It

Most of counseling is listening. Listening to stories that give you a snapshot of a person’s life at the moment, backstory, symptoms they are suffering, and some of the stressors causing the symptoms. But only some.

The stressors we can self-identify are the ones we can see outside of ourselves—circumstances, events, relationships that are creating pressure or pain. When a person says they have no idea why they are feeling the way they do or their feelings are far too intense for the stressors they are experiencing, there are stressors inside themselves where they can’t be seen.

These inside, “endogenous” stressors lie in the unconscious as core beliefs about ourselves and life, programs for happiness and survival put in place unconsciously as necessary reactions to outside, “exogenous” stressors experienced from earliest childhood. These core beliefs define our reality for us in ways we’re not aware. They force us to live in a world that no longer exists with fears no longer real, now creating or exaggerating fears that create obsessive thought and compulsive behavior patterns that create disruption in relationships that create more external stressors.

We can only see the world our unconscious defines for us, not free to live our moments as they really are.

We say Jesus saves, but we imagine he saves exogenously—fixing outside stressors and circumstances, paving the way for heaven. But looking closely at his teaching, Jesus saves endogenously—showing us how to clear our way of seeing, clear out limiting beliefs that block us from seeing that heaven is already here, as close as our ability to be present.

He said that the eye is the lamp of the body and when our eye is clear, our body is full of light. But when our eye is bad, we are full of darkness. Translated back to Aramaic, eye/aina is much more than eyesight—it is the way we see: our beliefs and attitudes, our entire worldview…all that endogenous programming.

Following Jesus’ Way of truth clears up the way we see life by stripping down our deepest, earliest beliefs. The ones that block our view of the truth that makes us free.


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