Superpower: Blessvision

One of the useful things I have learned from Japanese TV is that when a toddler makes a sincere effort to start on the path toward becoming an astronaut, they will begin shining with a bright light.

This entry may be offensive to atheists. You should definitely start with something even more general. There are many truths that are expressed in religion but that are actually relevant to all vaguely sane humans, such as “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. Anyone who actually tries this can verify it for themselves. But what I want to write about today will probably not make sense unless you are familiar with religion. So skip it if you can’t understand it.

I started this practice at a time when I was also getting into studying the books of Happy Science, so the two things have become a bit mixed together in my mind. But actually I picked this up from a modern contemplative Christian who mentioned it briefly in his LiveJournal. Basically, when you pass random people, try to silently say “Bless you” inside while focusing on them.

There are of course other expressions that can be used. Basically what it means is “may good things happen to you”. It is best to not be too specific about what you want to happen to them. The idea is not that you, the great and very important person, get to see it happen. The blessing may unwrap in the far future, at a point where they need it the most. Or they may just be spared some misfortune that they did not even know about. There are even events that are blessings in disguise, that don’t seem all that pleasant while they last. It matters not, just bless them, and don’t let them know.

I’ve been practicing this for months. Obviously I don’t compulsively bless every person in sight, at least not when I am in the city where people are swarming all the time. And I take time for other things sometimes, like reading on the bus instead of blessing every car we meet on the interstate. It is not something you do neurotically, it is an opportunity. Although it is in a sense a commandment if you are a Christian, for it is written: “Bless, and curse not!” and again, “but on the contrary bless; for to this you are called, that you may inherit the blessing.”

Now, doing this silently and briefly may seem pretty tame. I guess it is, but it is also very simple and does not take much time. You have nothing but your faith that it has any effect at all – on the other person. When it comes to yourself, it will definitely have an effect if you are serious about it and keep at it for weeks or months. Because when you bless others, it kind of seeps into your own substance. Same for curses, of course, but who would want to try that?

Now you may argue that this is a replacement for actually doing anything good for people. That is not at all true. It is a preparation for actually doing something good for people. It builds a mindset, an attitude where it becomes natural to bless others. And that means, at the very least, that it becomes less natural to try to take from them. You become more aware that other people are as real as you are, and you start thinking of ways in which your life can be useful for others.

OK, to be honest I am not sure how much of that thinking comes from looking at people to bless them, and how much comes from studying the books of Happy Science. But I am pretty sure the blessing is a fairly large part of it. So this is part of why I have turned around completely regarding work: I used to see it as divine punishment, and I looked forward to getting home and being alone, I looked forward to the weekend when I did not need to go to work. Now, I look forward to going to work on Monday morning, knowing that I will have an opportunity to turn my blessings into action, however poorly and incompetently yet. I may not be able to do much, but I can do it with the attitude of love and wishing the best for the people I try to help.

As for today’s title: There is a special state of mind that comes when you focus your attention on someone and think “I bless you on behalf of God who has an ever renewing ocean of blessings and loves you eternally. May good things happen to you from now on and in the future.” It is this state of mind we condense into the simple words “Bless you!”. What I am training at now is to condense this further, so that merely by looking at someone and recreating that state of mind wordlessly, I will be able to convey my blessing just with a glance. This is what I lightheartedly call “bless-vision”. I am certain that should anyone meet my eyes at such a time, they will know to some extent that they are being blessed, much as you notice when someone looks at you angrily or lustfully. But mainly it is a matter of efficiency.

My goal, which I admit is far from certain in this lifetime, is to be able to uphold a steady bless radiance, in which blessings radiate from me to every person and creature and thing nearby that can possibly receive it. That is obviously a pretty extreme goal, and as I said, not necessarily something I can achieve in this lifetime, especially since I have wasted so much of my life already and entered into a habit of wasting it continuously. But it should be possible. There are definitely people who live like these. This is what in Buddhist literature is translated as “compassion”. It is a love that has no object, but is given without conditions and without restrictions. But this is not something I can do, or more exactly be (for it is existence as love) and I am well aware that I am far from this.

Perhaps I am like a toddler who wants to become an astronaut. It is a fact that there are extremely few astronauts in the world, and will be for the foreseeable future. Very few toddlers grow up to become astronauts. But all astronauts have once been toddlers. So I intend to keep toddling. That is my plan, Light willing.