Tag Archives: seeing

Believing & Seeing

I hold it to be true that we see what we believe more so than we believe what we see.

But what is the basis of belief? Belief, to my mind, is grounded not in ‘knowledge’ but in disposition. The tools we use to believe are founded in the space of invisibility insofar as what we are want to believe does not have to have basis in evidence but in repetition. Belief is the constant cultivation of disposition to the extent that we massage our circumstances to fit or to contrast with our expectations.

Seeing is often thought to be believing but I say that it is not. What we see is always filtered through a machinery of vision that transforms rather than accepts objects/subjects at face value. The context and not the product of sight is belief. Mixing up the two is ordinary and necessary but limiting.

If invisibility is part of a binary, it’s opposite would not be visibility but disbelief. As I wrote yesterday about magic, we are asked to surrender our disbelief in order to enjoy the show. What this means is that magic works when we suspend our disbelief (that what we see couldn’t be ‘real’) and delve into that other-worldly (invisible) realm of belief.