Looking, Watching, Seeing, Sight
Vision, Perspective, Observing

Quotes for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo

Spirit of Gardening Website

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"The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
-   Marcel Proust



"The country habit has me by the heart,
For he's bewitched forever who has seen,
Not with his eyes but with his vision, Spring
Flow down the woods and stipple leaves with sun."
-  Vita Sackville-West 



"Colours change: in the morning light, red shines out bright and clear and the blues merge into their surroundings, melting into the greens; but by the evening the reds loose their piquancy, embracing a quieter tone and shifting toward the blues in the rainbow. Yellow flowers remain bright, and white ones become luminous, shining like ghostly figures against a darkening green background."
-  Rosemary Verey, The Scented Garden, 1981 



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"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view."
-   H. Fred Ale  



"Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain."
-   Henry David Thoreau  



"One sees great things from the valley, only small things from the peak."
-  G. K. Chesterton



"Life just seems so full of connections.  Most of the time we don't even pay attention to the depth of life.  We only see flat surfaces."
-  Colin Neenan 



"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."
-  George Orwell  



"The precision of naming takes away from the uniqueness of seeing."
-   Pierre Bonnard 



"Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
-   William Shakespeare  



"No object is mysterious.   The mystery is your eye."
-   Elizabeth Bowen  



"The eyes are the gateway to the soul."
-   Herman Melville  



"The microscope is man's noblest, supreme, and most far-reaching tool."
-  Adrianus Pijper 



"People follow shapes and masses of color and rarely look with the same attention at an object once it is set in our memory. We 'see' by symbols."
-   Raul Gonzalez  



"The eyes are the window of the soul."
-   English Proverb 



"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
-   Anais Nin   



"I shut my eyes in order to see."
-   Paul Gauguin  



"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens."
-  Carl Jung    



"Finally, I realized what makes my garden exciting is me.  Living in it every day, participating minutely in each small event, I see with doubled and redoubled vision.   Where friends notice a solitary hummingbird pricking the salvia flowers, I recall a season's worth of hummingbird battles."
-   Janice Emily Bowers, A Full Life in a Small Place, 1993  



"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."
-   William James  



"Don't overlook the obvious."   
-   Verna Reid     



"The soul that can speak with its eyes can also kiss with a gaze."
-   Author Unknown  



"The human doesn't see things as they are, but as he is."
-   Racter  



"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
-  John Burroughs 



"True confidence comes from realizing the view."
Tulku Urgyen



"We do not see everything in the environment in the complete, totally resolved, explicit character of the photograph. We, in fact, prioritize our seeing."
-   Burton Silverman  




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"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting -- a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."
-   Ralph Waldo Emerson



"Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see."  
-   Paul Klee  



"Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked." 
-  Ralph Ellison, Battle Royal



"If you go as far as you can see, you will then see enough to go even farther."
-   John Wooden  



"Equipped with our five senses - along with telescopes and microscopes and mass spectrometers and seismographs and magnetometers and particle accelerators and detectors sensitive to the entire electromagnetic spectrum - we explore the universe around us and call the adventure science."
-   Edwin Hubble   



"Look!  Nature is overflowing with the grandeur of God!"
-  John Muir  



"The soul never thinks without a mental picture."
-   Aristotle  



"Look hard at what pleases you and harder at what doesn't."
-  Colette   



"What is seen by the eye is transformed and colored by the vision of the mind."
-   Robert Wade   



"The artist alone sees spirits.   But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them."
-   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  



"I know I'm not seeing things as they are, I'm seeing things as I am."
-   Laurel Lee 



"All of us are watchers – of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway – but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing."
-  Peter M. Leschak  



"One eye sees, the other feels."
-   Paul Klee  



"Your mind is your best camera . . .  Go out and take some beautiful pictures."
-   Daryl Ryman  



January: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



"If you desire to see, learn how to act."
-   Heinz von Foerster, Observing Systems 



"The eyes envy the mind."
-   Chuang Tzu 



"Seeing is a gift that comes with practice."
-  Stephanie Mills  



"We eat light, drink it in through our skins. With a little more exposure to light, you feel part of things physically.  I like feeling the power of light and space physically because then you can order it materially.  Seeing is a very sensuous act--there's a sweet deliciousness to feeling yourself see something."
-  James Turrell 



"Subject is known by what she sees."
-   Allen Ginsberg, Mind Writing Slogans 



"Ears hear and eyes see.
What then does mind do?"
-   A Zen Question   



"Love is the state in which man sees things
Most widely different from what they are."
-   Nietzsche  



"As for garden photographers, how differently they see things.   With what ease the camera seems to compose a picture of great beauty with its discriminating lens.  The naked eye can't censor some ugly sight on the periphery of vision; the photographer takes the perfect shot and picks for us just what we need to see."
-   Mirabel Osler  



See the planes of light as shapes, the planes of shadows as shapes. Squint your eyes and find the big, fluent shapes.
-   Irwin Greenberg    



I really believe that there are things that nobody would see, if I didn't photograph them.
-   Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim 



We cannot remember too often that when we observe nature, and especially the ordering of nature, it is always ourselves alone we are observing.
-   G. C. Lichtenberg  



We are a landscape of all we have seen.
-   Isamu Noguchi  



One sees more with one's fingers than with one's glasses.
Man sihet jtzund mer durch die finger denn durch die brillen  



The whole of life lies in the verb seeing.
-  Teilhard De Chardin  



Nature comes home to one most when he is at home; the stranger and traveler finds her a stranger and traveler also.  One's own landscape comes in time to be a sort of outlying part of himself; he has sowed himself broadcast upon it, and it reflects his own moods and feelings; he is sensitive to the verge of the horizon: cut those trees, and he bleeds; mar those hills, and he suffers.  How has the farmer planted himself in his fields; builded himself into his stone walls, and evoked the sympathy of the hills by his struggle!  This home feeling, this domestication of nature, is important to the observer.  This is the birdlime with which he catches the bird; this is the private door that admits him behind the scenes."
-   John Burroughs,  1837 - 1921



Our visions begin with our desires.
-   Audre Lorde  



February: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



Perfect moments come in every garden, though more frequently in some than others.  To the very active gardener they may not be of great importance and usually they will be happy accidents, lucky moments when, chancing to glance up, the gardener will see that this or that grouping of plants at the height of their flowering looks exactly right, because of the way the light falls on them.
-   Susan Hill and Rory Stuart, Reflections from a Garden, 1995  



To see is one of God's great gifts to man and to comprehend what we see is doubly so.  Furthermore, He has endowed some people with the qualities to see the beauties of life and nature much more than others and they have the greatest gift of all.
-  Waite Phillips, Epigrams  



“Where the telescope ends the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?”
-  Victor Hugo 



It is easy to suppose that few people realize on that occasion, which comes to all of us, when we look at the blue sky for the first time, that is to say: not merely see it, but look at it and experience it and for the first time have a sense that we live in the center of a physical poetry, a geography that would be intolerable except for the non-geography that exists there - few people realize that they are looking at the world of their own thoughts and the world of their own feelings. 
-   Wallace Stevens, The Necessary Angel 



Learn to see, and then you'll know that there is no end to the new worlds of our vision.
-   Carlos Castaneda  



The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.
-   German Proverb  



Don't try to describe the ocean if you've never seen it.
-   Jimmy Buffett    



The eyes have one language everywhere.
George Herbert 





March: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



Seeing is believing.
- Manfred Von Heimendahl  



Look into the mirror.  The face that pins you with its double gaze reveals a chastening secret: You are looking into a predator's eyes.
-   Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, 1990  



To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I confess, absurd in the highest degree.
-   Charles Darwin, The Origin of the Species,



By the help of microscopes, there is nothing so small, as to escape our inquiry; hence there is a new visible world discovered to the understanding.
-   Robert Hooke  



Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more - more unseen forms become manifest to him.
-   Rumi   



To see things in black and white is to see the basics, and I would recommend to any designer of gardens that he go out and look at his work by the light of the moon.
- Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts, 1981  



Contemplating an object fixedly with the mind, asking myself, 'What is it?' without thinking of any other object or relating it to anything else for hours on end.
-  Simone Weil   



Tell them dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for being
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Rhodora



You can observe a lot by just watching.
-   Yogi Berra  



Faith is a fine invention
For gentlemen to see;
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency.
-   Emily Dickinson 



Take the whole universe all at once and put it on your eyelashes...
-   Yun-men, 900 AD   



The eye of understanding is like the eye of the sense; for as you may see great objects through small crannies or levels, so you may see great axioms of nature through small and contemptible instances.
-   Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, 1627



Gertrude Jekyll, like Monet,  was a painter with poor eyesight, and their gardens - his at Giverny in the Seine valley, hers in Surrey - had resemblance's that may have sprung from this condition.  Both loved plants that foamed and frothed over walls and pergolas, spread in
tides beneath trees; both saw flowers in islands of colored light - an image the normal eye captures only by squinting.
-  Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts, 1981 



A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.
-   William Henry Davies  



Everything you see is a reflection of itself. You move around and you are a reflection of what is next to you.
-   Grace Paleg  



I was not looking now at an unusual flower arrangement.  I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence.
-  Aldous Huxley 



The eye encompasses the beauty of the whole world.
-   Leonardo da Vinci   



We never see anything completely.  We never see a tree, we see the tree through the image that we have of it, the concept of that tree; but the concept, the knowledge, the experience, is entirely different from the actual tree.
-   Jiddu Krishnamurti  



On the face of it, the easiest of all activities should be seeing what we see. In reality, it's the hardest. 
-   Charles Movalli  



Ineluctable modality of the visible; at least that if no more, 
thought through my eyes.
Signatures of all things I am here to read.
-   James Joyce  



When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
-  Charles A. Beard



Observe things as they are and don't pay attention to other people.
-   Huang Po  



One looks, looks long, and the world comes in.
-   Joseph Campbell  



We do not err because truth is difficult to see.  It is visible at a glance.  We err because this is more comfortable.
-  Alexander Solzhenitzyn 



My eyes make pictures when they are shut.
-   Samuel T. Coleridge, A Day-Dream  



My whole body is covered with eyes:  
Behold it!
Be without fear!
I see all around.
-   Eskimo poem



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Connection with gardens, even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life.  The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.
-   Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden, 2001   



An eager face staring into the Rich silence
Of mirrored space devoid of mind;
Not projecting or connecting, but reflecting
Supreme non-fictions, Things
Naked as they are, as they are.
-   Mike Garofalo, Above the Fog



If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.
-   Isaac Newton  





April: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.
-   Henri Matisse 


Why let what you see get in the way?
-   Joyce Kellock  



Without the eye, the head is blind. Without the head, the eye is adrift.
-   Darby Bannard 



It takes a little talent to see clearly what lies under one's nose, a good deal of it to know in which direction to point that organ.
-   W. H. Auden   



We found Matisse living in a small house, with a magnificent, sweeping view beyond his vegetable garden. In one room there was a cage with a lot of fluttering birds. The place was covered with paintings, most of them obviously new ones. I marveled at his production and I asked him, "What is your inspiration?"  "I grow artichokes," he said. His eyes smiled at my surprise and he went on to explain: "Every morning I go into the garden and watch these plants.  I see the play of light and shade on the leaves and I discover new combinations of colors and fantastic patterns. I study them. They inspire me. Then I go back to the studio and paint.
-  Andre Kostelanetz, This I Believe, 1952  



"What is the color of your head from the standpoint of your eyes?  You feel that you head is black, or that it has not any color at all.  Outside you see your field of vision as an oval because your two eyes act as two centers of an ellipse.  But what is beyond the field of vision?  What color is it where you can't see?  It is not black, and this is an important point; there is no color at all beyond your field of vision.  This little mental exercise gives us an idea of what is mean by the character hsüan.  Although its dictionary definition is "dark, deep, obscure," it actually refers to this kind of no color that is the color of your head - as far as your eyes are concerned.  Perhaps we could say that the invisibility of one's head, in a certain sense the lack of a head, is the secret of being alive.  To be headless, or have no head in just the same sense I am talking about, is our way of talking about the Chinese expression wu hsin, or "no mind."  As a matter of fact, if you want to see the inside of your head all you have to do is keep your eyes open, because all that you are experiencing in the external, visual field is a state of your brain."
-  Alan Watts, Swimming Headless, 1966 



The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.
-  Ayn Rand  



Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
-   Edgar Degas    



has happened

the world.
on the edge,


-   Robert Creeley,



Sight is where the eye hits.
-   Louis Zukofsky  



If you can train your senses to perceive the movement of the minute hand of a clock, what is to stop you for training them to 'slow down' when you look at a tree or a puddle?
-   Colin Wilson, Poetry and Mysticism  



If you gaze for long, the abyss also gazes into you.
-   Nietzsche  



For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually.  For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.
-  Claude Monet  



I am a part of all that I have seen.
-   Alfred Lord Tennyson  



A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things, but cannot receive great ones. 
-   Lord Chesterfield  



The eye of a human being is a microscope, which makes the world seem bigger than it really is.
-   Kahlil Gibran   



One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
-   Henry Miller



If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
-  William Blake  



The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way.  Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see.  To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion - all in one.
-  John Ruskin,  Modern Painters  



Or, to express this in another way, suggested to me by Professor Suzuki, in connection  with "seeing into our own nature," poetry is the something that we see, but the seeing and the something are one; without the seeing there is no something, no something, no seeing.   There is neither discovery nor creation: only the perfect, indivisible experience.
R. H. Blyth, Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics, p.84  



Same old eyes, same old world but the difference is how you look at what is in front of you, not what it is.
-   Lister Sinclair    



In "seeing" a landscape, one both "chooses" what to see and passively allows nature to act upon one's eyes and subconscious mind.  Because of this continuous oscillation between will and passivity, one can never truly comprehend what scientists and painters alike have called the "champ de vision," or "field of vision."  In the end, houses are perceived as houses, trees as trees, and roads as roads, and they are not simply colored light acting upon the retina.  Certain forms contain powerful meanings and associations for individual viewers, others are blander, and each participates (unequally) in a larger abstraction called "the landscape."
-   A Day in the County: Impressionism and the French Landscape, Los Angeles County Museum of Art  



In a dark time the eye begins to see.
-   Theodore Roethke 



Probably the most potent desire for a painter, an image-maker, is to see it. To see what the mind can think and imagine, to realize it for oneself, through oneself, as concretely as possible.
-   Philip Guston  



The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn't detect. 
-   Mark Twain  



Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.
-   Ralph Ellison  



The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
-   Oscar Wilde  



The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
-   Jean Paul Sartre 



My work isn't about form. It's about seeing. I'm excited about seeing things, and I'm interested in the way I think other people see things.
-   Roy Lichtenstein  




May: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.  Who looks outside, dreams.  Who looks inside, awakens.
-  Carl Jung  



The principal person in a picture is light.
-   Manet  



At one point consciousness-altering devices like the microscope and telescope were criminalized for exactly the same reasons that psychedelic plants were banned in later years. They allow us to peer into bits and zones of Chaos.
-   Timothy Leary  



Nothing exists until or unless it is observed.  An artist is making something exist by observing it.  And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it.  I call it "creative observation."  Creative viewing.
-   William S. Burroughs  



Gardeners work with an ever-receding ideal of perfection; no sooner is something growing well than they see how to place it better or give it a better neighbor.  To other's eyes, all may look as well as could be expected, but a good gardener's eye sees more to be improved.
-  Robin Lane Fox 



The obscure we see eventually.   The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.
-  Edward R. Murrow 



Why do "overlook" and "oversee" mean opposite things?
-   George Carlin  




Look at the soil, feel the soil, smell the soil: The Beginning!
Wise is the person who sees the cherry trees in bloom and does not say "life is not a bowl of cherries." 
Looking at your garden involves far more than your eyes.
Once we stop looking we often see It right away.    
What I make of my garden depends upon how close I stand to it. 
Gardening tempts you to look, again and again, until the novel is seen. 
If you keep looking for one thing, you will find many.      
A poverty of vision is not the only limitation. 
Sensations flow with the seasons. 
Seeing with one eye and feeling with the other does help bring things into focus.  
Gardening boils down to doing and seeing for yourself.
-   Mike Garofalo,
Pulling Onions  



Each band or level, being a particular manifestation of the electromagnetic spectrum, is what it is only by virtue of the other bands.  The color blue is no less beautiful because it exits along side the other colors of a rainbow, and "blueness" itself depends upon the existence of the other colors, for if there were no color but blue, we would never be able to see it.
-  Ken Wilbur,  The Spectrum of Consciousness, 1977, p. 6 



A powerful hand lens [Eschenback Leutchlupe] with a focused beam of light opens up an entire world below the threshold of the ordinary experience of seeing.
-  Allen Lacy, The Gardener's Eye, 1992, p. 23  



"Crouchers move through a garden at a stoop: naming, gasping, horraying, admiring or coveting plants; Gapers saunter, smiling or sighing at what they find, succumbing to an intangible beatitude that takes them for a brief escape into another dimension.  Both sorts of gardener are besotted; both get their hands dirty; think and talk gardening; but on the threshold of another's garden, each use a different set of whiskers.
-  Mirabel Osler, Gapers and Crouchers  



"Humanity has passed through a long history of one-sidedness and of a social condition that has always contained the potential of destruction, despite its creative achievements in technology.  The great project of our time must be to open the other eye: to see all-sidedly and wholly, to heal and transcend the cleavage between humanity and nature that came with early wisdom."
-  Murray Bookchin,
The Ecology of Freedom



"The gifts of microscopes to our understanding of cells and organisms is so profound that one has to ask:  What are the gifts of the microscopist?  Here is my opinion.  The gift of the great microscopist is the ability to "Think with the eyes and see with the brain."  Deep revelations into the nature of living things continue to travel on beams of light."
-  Daniel Mazia  



There will always be those who must look into the dark in order to see.
-   Alan McGlashan  




July: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



A beautiful blossom is a fleeting thing
It stays for a moment and then takes wing:
With special rays we catch it ere flight
So all may enjoy the beautiful sight.
-  Albert Richards, 
Floral Radiographs: The Secret Garden 



The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
- Thoreau



I begin to see an object when I cease to understand it.
- Thoreau  



[The Prajnaparmita, Mother of the Bodisattvas, Mother of the Buddhas ...] 
She is a source of light, and from everyone in the triple world. 
She removes darkness ... She brings light to the blind,
She brings light, so that all fear and distress may be forsaken. 
She has gained the Five Eyes,

and She shows the path to all beings.  She Herself is an organ of vision.
Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Mahayana Buddhist scripture, circa 100 A.D. 



These beautiful days ... do not exist as mere pictures - maps hung upon the walls of memory to brighten at times when touched by association or will ... They saturate themselves into every part of the body and live always.
-   John Muir  



Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.
-   Robert Collier  



The eyes that see God are the same eyes through which God sees me.
-  Meister Eckhart  



"Why has not Man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n."
-   Alexander Pope 





"One eye looks within, the other eye looks without."
-   Henri Cartier-Bresson  



"Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing."
-  Bill Cosby  



Fieldes have eies and woods have eares.
-  John Heywood, 1565 



Again and again I’ve taken quick glances and then for some reason I’ve got to sit before a picture waiting and it’s opened up like one of those Japanese flowers that you put into water and something I thought wasn’t worth more than a casual, respectful glance begins to open up depth after depth of meaning.”
- Sister Wendy Beckett 




August: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



I paint objects as I think them; not as I see them.
-   Pablo Picasso  



Close your eyes and you will see.
-   Joseph Joubert  



Vision: the art of seeing the invisible.
-  Jonathan Swift  



The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see.
-   Huang Po   



We eat light, drink it through our skins.  With a little more exposure to light, you feel part of things physically.  I like feeling the power of light and space physically because then you can order it materially.  Seeing is a very sensuous act - there's a sweet deliciousness to feeling yourself see something.
-  James Turrell   



Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.
-   Edward Steichen   



When you look at a peony, you first see the whole flower, its color and shape.  As you keep looking, you see the petals and veins and stamens and pistils.  When you look more closely still, you see the segments and shading in the petals, until you begin to feel the vastness of those details.  To see the vastness by looking at one thing in its details is to see its sacred connection to space and to all other things.  ...  When you see an object illuminated by space, when you see with your heart, the object actually communicates back to you.  When you cherish something, it glows.  It tells you where it belongs and how you should present it, because you see it so clearly.  Then you follow its magical instructions, you create a work of art."
-   Jeremy Haywood, A Guide to the Sacred World of Shamabhala Warriorship, p. 130  



Artistic vision is haveing the clarity to fall in love with what you see.
-  Chogyam Trungpa, the Dorje Dradul  



It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.
-   Antoine de Saint Exupery 



Is ditchwater dull?  Naturalists with microscopes have told me that it teems with quiet fun.
-   Gilbert K. Chesterton 



Gardener's , like everyone else, live second by second and minute by minute.  What we see at one particular moment is then and there before us.  But there is a second way of seeing.  Seeing with the eye of memory, not the eye of our anatomy, calls up days and seasons past and years gone by.  
-  Allen Lacy, The Gardener's Eye, 1992, p. 16



The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it; and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful.
-   Henri Poicare  



Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas - working with nature provides the technique.
-   Elizabeth Murray  



Seeing, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, your intellect, and your emotions. It means encountering your subject matter with your whole being. It means looking beyond the labels of things and discovering the remarkable world around you.
-   Freeman Patterson  



As long as there is a hunger for knowledge and a deep desire to uncover the truth, microscopy will continue to unveil Mother Nature’s deepest and most beautiful secrets.
-   Lelio Orci 



But under the beaming, constant and almost vertical sun of Virginia, shade is our Elysium.  In the absence of this no beauty of the eye can be enjoyed.
-  Thomas Jefferson 



We do a lot of looking: we look through lenses, telescopes, television tubes...  Our looking is perfected every day, but we see less and less.
-   Frederick Franck  



Thus we cannot escape the fact that the world we know is constructed in order to see itself.  This is indeed amazing.   Not so much in view of what it sees, although this may appear fantastic enough, but in respect of the fact that it can see at all.  But in order to do so, evidently it must first cut itself up into a least one state which sees, and at least one other state which is seen.
-   G. Spencer Brown, Laws of Form 



Nature composes some of her loveliest music for the microscope and telescope. 
-   Theodore Roszak 



Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.
-  Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine 



Good and evil are typified by light and darkness; therefore, if we bring light into a dark room, the darkness disappears, and inasmuch as a soul is filled with good, evil disappears.
-   Aurelia Mace,  Shaker eldress 



Yet mystery and imagination arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness ...
Darkness within darkness, the gateway to all understanding.
-   Lao Tzu  



Organismic awareness is what we - on the Ego Level - ordinarily, but clumsily, refer to as seeing, touching, tasting, smelling and hearing.  But in its very purest form, this "sensual awareness" is non-symbolic, non-conceptual, momentary consciousness.  Organismic awareness is awareness of the Present only -  you can't taste the past, smell the past, see the past, touch the past, or hear the past.  Neither can you taste, smell, see, touch or hear the future.   In other words, organismic consciousness is properly timeless, and being timeless, it is essentially spaceless.  Just as organismic awareness knows no past or future, it knows no inside or outside, no self or other.  Thus pure organismic consciousness participates fully in the non-dual awareness called Absolute Subjectivity.
-  Ken Wilber, Spectrum of Consciousness, 1977, p. 115  



Names are an important key to what a society values.  Anthropologists recognize naming as 'one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.'   What is not named in a culture very likely goes unnoticed by the majority of its people.  The converse is also true:  people pay greater attention to things that been given names.
-  David S. Slawson,  Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens, 1987 



Giving names to things is a way of knowing them and of seeing them as well.  Knowledge deals importantly in names, and naming requires the sort of vision that discerns that these two objects are of the same kind and those other two are not.
-  Allen Lacey,  The Gardener's Eye, 1992, p. 42 



But we have been taught to see before our eyes have found out a way of seeing for themselves. 
Arthur Symons Quotations  



The mind stands in the way of the eye.  
-   Arthur Stern  



Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like having a friend takes time.
-   Georgia O'Keeffe  



It takes time and devotion to learn the language of color and lighting in the garden.  Your tastes are sure to change over time, reflecting your inner evolution.  Seeing the garden as a canvas for your celebration of Nature's palette is a wonderful expression of the soul's love of beauty and artistry.  Your own inner intuition, however, is often your best teacher, but don't forget that Mother Nature will always have a few surprises up Her sleeve as well.  Perhaps your greatest insight will be that this glorious exploration of light and color and their interrelationship is really meant to illuminate the many facets of your being and personality.
-  Christopher and Tricia McDowell, The Sanctuary Garden, 1998  



Love is not blind - it sees more, not less.  But because it sees more, it is willing to see less
-   Rabbi Julius Gordon  



I do not paint what I see, but what I saw.
-   Edward Munch  



The secret of seeing things as they are is to take off our colored spectacles.  That being-as-it-is, with nothing extraordinary about it, nothing wonderful, is the great wonder.  The ability to see things normally is no small thing; to be really normal is the unusual.  In that normality begins to bubble up inspiration.
-   Zen Master Sessan  



The flower that follows the sun does so even on cloudy days.
-   Robert Leighton (1611-1684)  



The eye alterning, alters all.
-   William Blake  



There's a saying among prospectors: "Go out looking for one thing, and that's all you'll ever find.
-  Robert Flaherty  



Every fight is one between different angles of vision illuminating the same truth.
-  Mahatma Ghandi  



"Seeing within changes one's outer vision."
-  Joesph Chilton Pearce 



"To gaze is to think."
-  Salvadore Dali



Light, Sunshine, Shadows:  Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Facts



"Of course the Dharma-body of the Buddha was the hedge at the bottom of the garden.  At the same time, and no less obviously, it was these flowers, it was anything that I - or rather the blessed Not-I  - cared to look at."
-  Aldous Huxley  



When your eyes are functioning well you don't see your eyes.  If your eyes are imperfect you see spots in front of them.  That  means there are some lesions in the retina or wherever, and because your eyes aren't working properly, you feel them.  In the same way, you don't hear your ears.  If you have a ringing in your ears it means there's something wrong with your ears.  Therefore, if you do feel yourself, there must be something wrong with you.  Whatever you have, the sensation of I is like spots in front of your eyes - it means something's wrong with your functioning.
-  Alan Watts,
Ego - from the Essential Alan Watts  



The sky is not less blue because a blind man does not see it.
-  Danish proverb  



To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.   
-   Paul Valery  



Men are born with two eyes, but only one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say.
-  Charles Caleb Colton  



The contented person enjoys the scenery of a detour.
–  Author Unknown 



Now is the time of the illuminated woods ... when every leaf glows like a tiny lamp.
- J. Burroughs 



We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through it all the time.  God manifests Himself everywhere, in everything - in people and in things and in nature and in events   ...  The only thing is we don't see it  ...  I have no program for this seeing.  It is only given.
But the gate of heaven is everywhere.
-  Thomas Merton  



The idea of linking color and behavior is reasonable enough.  Anyone who has ever felt blue, seen red, blacked out, or turned green knows we're prone to make emotional associations with different shades.
-   Winifred Gallagher,  The Power of Place, 1993, p. 50  



If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.
-  G. K. Chesterton  



The longer you garden the better the eye gets, the more tuned to how colors vibrate in different ways and what they can do to each other.  You become a scientist as well as an artist, with the lines between increasingly blurred.
-   Marjorie Harris,  In the Garden, 1995



To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.  Most persons do not see the sun.  At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson  



If your vision doesn't scare you, then both your vision and your God are too small.
-  Brother Andrew  



The true seeing is when there is no seeing.
-  Shen Hui, Chinese Zen Master  



The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing.
-   Publilius Syrus  



Look.  This is your world!   You can't not look.  There is no other world.  This is your world; it is your feast.  You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color.  Look at the greatness of the whole thing.  Look!  Don't hesitate - look!  Open your eyes.  Don't blink, and look, look - look further.
-   Chogyan Trungpa  



Seeing is different than being told.
-  Proverb from Kenya  



We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.
-  Konrad Adenauer  



Close your bodily eye, that you may see your picture first with the eye of the spirit. Then bring to light what you have seen in the darkness, that its effect may work back, from without to within.
-   Caspar David Friedrich  



Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
-   Albert Einstein  



Don't think of words when you stop but to see the picture better.
-   Jack Kerouac 



Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.
-   Thaddeus Golas  



You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
-   Mark Twain  



Seeing within changes one's outer vision.
-   Joseph Chilton Pearce



Nature composes some of her lovliest poems for the microscope and the telescope.
-  Theodore Roszak  



We look at many things and never see; art is seeing and feeling.  
-   Dee Knott  



No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
-   Oscar Wilde  



It is the familiar that usually eludes us in life.  What is before our nose is what we see last.
-   William Barrett  



"Art first of all is optical.  That's where the material of our art is: in what our eyes think."
-  Paul Cezanne



"Information is light.  Information in itself, about anything, is light."
-  Tom Stoppard



"Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis."
-  Karl Kraus 



"My spirit has ways of seeing that my eyes cannot comprehend."
-  Philippe Benichou 



I learn from everything I look at, good, bad or indifferent. I follow my eye reflexively; if it is drawn toward something, I pay attention and try to find out why. You train your eye, build up a mental image bank, and constantly try to pinpoint why some things are convincing and others aren't.
-   Roberta Smith  



Vision without action is a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.
-  Japanese saying  



Not "Revelation" -- 'tis -- that waits,
But our unfurnished eyes--
-   Emily Dickinson  



If we study Japanese art, we see a man who is undoubtedly wise, philosophic and intelligent, who spends his time doing what?  He studies a single blade of grass.”
- Vincent Van Gogh 



Seeing is such a privilege. Who notices the way the screech of a gull looks, the look of a gale, the sight of some fragrance?
-   Keith Crown  



Some things have to be believed to be seen.
-  Ralph Hodgson  



Zen is like looking for the spectacles that are sitting on your nose.
-  Zen aphorism  



An artist sees things not as they are, but as he is.  
-   Robert Beverly Hale  



To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
-   William Blake    



Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the arts that have influenced us.  To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing.  One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.
Oscar Wilde



Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.
-   Arthur Schopenhauer  



The thing known and the thing seen are not the same.
-   Harriet Shorr 



... This
is the paradox of vision:
Sharp perception softens
our existence in the world.
-    Susan Griffin, Happiness   



He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
-  Albert Einstein 



It is the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.
-  C. W. Leadbeater  



Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.
-   H. Jackson Brown Jr.  



Open your eye that you may see
The beauty that around you lies,
The misty loveliness of the dawn,
The glowing colors of the skies;
The Child's bright eager eyes of blue,
The gnarled and wrinkled face of age,
The bird with crimson on his wing
Whose spirit never knew a cage;
The roadsides blooming goldenrod
So brave through summer's wind and heat,
The brook that rushes to the sea
With courage that naught may defeat.

Open your eyes that you may see
The wonder that around you lies;
It will enrich your every day
And make you glad and kind and wise.
-   Emma Boge Whisenand, Open Your Eyes  



It is only in the microscope that our life looks so big.
-  Arthur Schopenhauer 



An eye can threaten like a loaded and levelled gun, or it can insult like hissing or kicking; or, in its altered mood, by beams of kindness, it can make the heart dance for joy.  ...  One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity.
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson  



What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
-   John Lubbock  



Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.
-  Antoine de Saint-Exupery  



Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding;
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.
-   Walt Whitman  



Paint what you see, not what you know.
-   Charles Hawthorne  



If we see an object as a "bowl," it may inhibit seeing it as "craft," just as seeing it as "craft" might inhibit seeing it as "art." See first; name later.
-   Darby Bannard



What is art but a way of seeing.
-   Thomas Berger  



One who returns to a place sees it with new eyes. Although the place may not have changed, the viewer inevitably has. For the first time things invisible before become suddenly visible.
-   Louis L'Amour  



Open your eyes, look within.
Are you satisfied with the life you're livin'?
-  Bob Marley 



watching I watch myself                               what I see is my creation
as though entering through my eyes               perception is conception
into an eye more crystal clear                        water of thoughts
what I watch watches me                              I am the creation of what I see

-  Octavio Paz, Blanco, 1966 



Vipassana: looking into something with clarity and precision, seeing each component as distinct, piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing.
-   Henepola Gunaratana  



Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.
-   Oscar Wilde  



He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.
Bhagavad Gita  



The only sense we still respect is eyesight, probably because it is so closely attached to the brain.  Go into any American house at random, you will find something -- a plastic flower, false tiles, some imitation something -- something which can be appreciated as material only if apprehended by eyesight alone.  Don't we go sightseeing in cars, thinking we can experience a landscape by looking at it through glass?
-  Galway Kinnell, Poetry, Personality and Death  



See deeply the beauty and interconnectedness of all life; then think, speak and act from what you see.
-  Maggie Streincrohn Davis,
Caring in Remembered Ways   



It's better not to see than to see wrongly.
-   Robert M. Pirsig  



The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
An appetite; a feeling and a love
that had no need of a remoter charm
by thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.
-   Wordsworth  



There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.
-  Kurt Hahn  



It takes time to really see. Seeing is in itself an art. Perhaps that is what art is, the crystalization of a vision.
-   Mary Jean Mailloux  



A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
-   William Blake  



The beauty that addresses itself
to the eyes is only the spell
of the moment; the eye of the body
is not always that of the soul.
-   George Sand  



"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."
-  Henri Louis Bergson  



"At first, it appears that nothing could be easier than seeing. We just point our eyes where we want to go, and gather in whatever there is to see. Nothing could be less in need of explanation. The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to be seen. We can see people, pictures, landscapes, and whatever else we need to see, and with the help of science we can see galaxies, viruses, and the insides of our own bodies. Seeing does not interfere with the world or take anything from it, and it does not hurt or damage anything. Seeing is detached and efficient and rational. Unlike the stomach or the heart, eyes are our own to command: they obey every desire and thought.  Each one of those ideas is completely wrong. The truth is more difficult: seeing is irrational, inconsistent, and undependable. It is immensely troubled, cousin to blindness and sexuality, and caught up in the threads of the unconscious. Our eyes are not ours to command; they roam where they will and then tell us they have only been where we have sent them. No matter how hard we look, we see very little of what we look at. If we imagine the eyes as navigational devices, we do so in order not to come to terms with what seeing really is. Seeing is like hunting and like dreaming, and even like falling in love. It is entangled in passions--jealousy, violence, possessiveness; and it is soaked in an affect--in pleasure and displeasure, and in pain. Ultimately, seeing alters the thing that is seen and transforms the seer. Seeing is metamorphosis not mechanism."
-  James Elkins, The Object Strares Back 



"A vision is not just a picture of what could be; 
it is an appeal to our better selves, 
a call to become something more."
-   Rosabeth Moss Kanter   



Direct your eye right inward, and you'll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered.  Travel them and be expert in home-cosmography.
-   Henry David Thoreau, Walden  



Content is a glimpse.  
-   Willem de Kooning  



I could paint these mountains the way they look, but it isn't how I see them.
-   Justin Beckett   



When a good poet looks at an object with the eyes in his head, he sees more than merely accurately.
-   John Andrew Holmes   



When you see a palm tree, the palm tree has seen you.
-   African, Wolof,  Proverb   



Gardening isn't a hobby anymore.   It is a lifestyle, a paradigm shift.  It is no longer about landscaped color or upgrades in the landscape.  Gardening is about seeing.  Gardening is about awareness.
-   Terry Hershey, Soul Gardening, p. 85   



Though we travel the world over to find beauty, we must carry it with us or we find it not . . .  The difference between landscape and landscape is small, but there is a great difference in beholders.
-   Ralph Waldo Emerson  



It is impossible to do a thing the way I see it because the closer I get the more differently I see.
-  Alberto Giacometh  



As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.
-  Andrew Carnegie   



Keep this point clear: central to discovering an experience's perceptual meaning is a recognition of its identity and its individuality.
-   Edmund Blair Bolles  



Gardening can bring out the inner child, and sometimes, especially after all that time out in the hot sun, it can bring out the inner surrealist.  When the urge comes over you to construct a zucchini zeppelin or a tomato truck, give in to your muse and then document [photograph] your masterpiece, preferably against an uncluttered background."
-   Bart Barlow   



We do not see with our eyes, but through them.
-   Ken Danby  



The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.
-  Hanna Rion   



The only limits are, as always, those of vision.
-   James Broughton   



Fundamentally, art is a way of seeing rather than of doing or making.
-   Alan Jarvis  



Others can measure their visions by what we see.
-   Allen Ginsberg, Mind Writing Slogans  



Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson  



Hardly any one is able to see what is before him, just as it is in itself.  He comes expecting one thing, he finds another thing, he sees through the veil of his preconception, he criticizes before he has apprehended, he condemns without allowing his instinct the chance of asserting itself.
Arthur Symons Quotations 



Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
-   Camille Pissarro   



Where there is great love there are always miracles.  Miracles rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming to us from
far off, but on our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
-   Willa Cather        



When there's nothing to see, look.
-   Dakota Indian saying  



We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognize and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us.  But there are other senses - secret senses, sixth senses, if you will - equally vital, but unrecognized, and unlauded ... unconscious, automatic.
-   Oliver Sacks  



He thinks he believes only what he sees, but he is much better at believing than at seeing.
-   George Santayana  



It skims in through the eye, and by means of the utterly delicate retina hurls shadows like insect legs inward for translation. Then an immense space opens up in silence and an endlessly fecund sub-universe the writer descends, and asks the reader to descend after him, not merely to gain instructions but also to experience delight, the delight of mind freed from matter and exultant in the strength it has stolen from matter.
-   John Updike   



Our normal expectations about reality are created by a social consensus.  We are taught how to see and understand the world.  The trick of socialization is to convince us that the descriptions we agree upon define the limits of the real world.  What we call reality is only one way of seeing the world, a way that is supported by social consensus.
-   Carlos Castaneda    



Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision.
-   Henry Kissinger  



Every scene, even the commonest, is wonderful, if only one can detach oneself, casting off all memory of use and custom, and behold it (as it were) for the first time; in its right, authentic colors; without making comparisons.  Cherish and burnish this faculty of seeing crudely, simply, artlessly, ignorantly; of seeing like a baby or a lunatic, who lives each moment by itself and tarnishes by the present no
remembrance of the past.
-   Arnold Bennett   



It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point a hair's breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance ... To perceive freshly, with fresh senses is to be inspired.
-   Henry David Thoreau, Walden  



The gross elements are earth, water, air and fire, with the fifth being space.  Each particle of the body is made up of these five elements, which are manifested in different colors.  In their true quality, space is blue light, water is white, earth is yellow, fire is red, and air is green.
-   Tulku Thondup, Boundless Healing



November: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



Don't think: Look!
-  Ludwig Wittgenstein  



Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
-   Sophia Loren  



The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.
-  Benjamin Franklin  



What a life, seeing!
-  John Marin 



Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
-  Alexander Pope, 1688-1744, Essay on Man  



The heart has eyes which the brain knows nothing of.
-   Charles H. Perkhurst  



I do not wish to die -
There is such contingent beauty in life:
The open window on summer mornings
Looking out on gardens and green things growing,
The shadowy cups of rose flowering to themselves-
Images of time and eternity-
Silence in the garden and felt along the walls.
The room is suddenly filled with sun, 
Like a sacrament one can never be
Sufficiently thankful for.  Door ajar,
The eye reaches across from one
Open window to another, eye to eye,
And then the healing spaces of the sky ......
-   Alfred Leslie Rowse, 1903-  



We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
-  Oscar Wilde



Jesus said, "Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you.  For there is nothing hidden that shall not become manifest."
Gospel of Didymas Judas Thomas  



Go see it and see for yourself why you shouldn't go see it.
-   Samuel Goldwyn  



If your garden was there before you were, chances are it grew out of many other's dreams. 
-   Ferris Cook  



You see it the way you see it. Nobody can see it for someone else.
-   Anette Waterbeek   



"As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can."
-  Julius Caesar  



"Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first time or last time.  Then your time on earth will be filled with glory."
-   Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 



"The film of evening light made the red earth lucent, so that its dimensions were deepened, so that a stone, a post, a building, had greater depth, and more solidity than in any daytime light; and these objects were curiously more individual- a post was more essentially a post, set off from the earth it stood in and the field of corn it stood out against. All plants were individuals, not the mass of crop; and the ragged willow tree was itself, standing free of all other willow trees. The earth contributed a light to the evening. The front of the gray, paintless house, facing the west, was luminous as the moon is. The gray dusty truck, in the yard before the door, stood out magically in this light, in the overdrawn perspective of a stereopticon."
-  John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath



"Darkness is to space what silence is to sound, i.e., the interval."
-  Marshall McLuhan, Through the Vanishing Point



The knower and that which he knows are both one, and he who unites and that with which he unites are one, and seer and seen are one.
-   Ibn al-'Arabi   



All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
-   Ernest Hemingway  



Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes.
-   Elizabeth Barret Browning  



To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say,
"I have seen spring in these
Woods," will not do - you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.
-   John Moffitt 



Learn to see, and then you'll know that there is no end to the new worlds of our vision.
-   Carlos Castaneda 



Seeing is deceiving.  It's eating that's believing.
-  James Thurber 



For the blind, people are not there unless they speak.  
People are in motion, they are temporal, they come and they go.
They come out of nothing; they disappear.
-  Doug Murphey  



One must look for one thing only, to find many.
Cesare Pavese   



Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for.
-   Peter Marshall



December: Quotes, Poems, Sayings  



Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.
-  James Turrell   



You don't need eyes to see, you need vision.
-   Maxi Jazz  



The greatest magnifying glasses in the world are a man's own eyes when they look upon his own person.
-   Alexander Pope  



I love the medium of photography, for with its unique realism it gives me the power to go beyond conventional ways of seeing and understanding and say, "This is real, too."
-   Winn Bullock



Meditation is not to escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on.  Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.
-   Thich Nhat Hanh 



Think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody's face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways.
-   Duane Michals 



The ability to truly see, to look at this earth as a painting waiting to be born through our fingers, is what separates us artists from the rest of humanity.
-   Mary Lapos  



Zen in it's essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one's being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom.
-  D. T. Suzuki 



Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.
-   Blaise Pascal    



"Compare the silent rose of the sun
And rain, the blood-rose living in its smell,
With this paper, this dust.
That states the point."
-   Wallace Stevens  



What you see is what you see.
-   Frank Stella    



The peony
Made him measure it
With his fan.
-   Issa

made to measure it
with a fan...
the peony
-  Issa  



"The way in which the peony is considered as the active source of the measuring of itself is not merely good psychology, but shows us how Issa looks upon the plant world and upon himself.  Compared to that of the ordinary man, human beings and plants are much closer together in the thought-feeling world of Issa.  The flower stands there in its color and glory.  It does not bloom to be seen, nor
does it wish to blush unseen.  It is not dependent upon man, but neither is it independent of him.  Its purposeless purpose is fulfilled in its blooming in solitude and silence, yet when no one is gazing upon it, it has no shape or color or fragrance.  The flower needs the mind, and the mind needs the flower for its fulfillment.  Issa emphasizes the power and activity of the peony not only because we live in an egocentric, homocentric world, valueless and unpoetical, but also because he wishes to bring out the special nature of the peony, its power and magnificence, its lofty splendor.  Is this splendor in the flower?  Does Issa cause the flower to be measured, or does the flower cause Issa to measure it?"
-  R. H. Blyth,
Haiku, Volume 3, Summer-Autumn



This webpage has been moved to a new URL.  This webpage is now being maintained, updated, and expanded at the following new location:




Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if we were looking through the gates of heaven. 
-  John Lubbock  



The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion - all in one.
-   John Ruskin  



Sometimes not seeing things can be a blessing.
-   August Strinberg 



Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are.
-   George Santayana 



Look... don't see!
-   Paul Sandip   



"Our beliefs act as lenses. These lenses can help us see things we can’t otherwise see, but they can also block us from seeing parts of reality."
-   Steve Pavlina



"Vision, I say, is related to light itself. But of this sensation and the things pertaining to it, I pretend to understand but little; and since even a long time would not suffice to explain that trifle, or even to hint at an explanation, I pass over this in silence." 
-  Galileo Galilei


"How do we see physically?  No differently that we do in our consciousness - by means of the productive power of imagination.  Consciousness is the eye and ear, the sense for inner and outer meaning."
-  Novalis



"Squint a lot."
-   Robert Levers  






Reading Recommendations


Seeing, Visual Perception, Aesthetics, Visual Arts


Art and Beauty - Quotes for Gardeners

Flowers - Quotes for Gardeners

Floral Radiographs: The Secret Garden  by  Dr. Albert Richards 

The Gardener's Sutra: Pulling Onions .   By Michael P. Garofalo. 


Headless Way  For information on techniques for "seeing who you really are" visit the Headless Way.  Techniques developed by Douglas E. Harding in On Having No Head are very useful.

Hearing - Quotes for Gardeners 

Inspirational Quotes on Seeing

Just Binoculars   Offering name brand binoculars, spotting scopes and rangefinders for all uses including hunting, boating, horse racing, traveling, vacationing, trips to Alaska and birding along with an extensive buying guide to help make shopping easy.

Lighting Quotations  

Seeing, Hearing and Smelling the World 

Spirituality - Quotes for Gardeners

Seeing - Art Quotations

Visual Perception


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The Spirit of Gardening Website

Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
Arranged by Over 250 Topics
Over 15 Megabytes of Text
Over 20 Million Webpages (excluding graphics) Served to Readers Around the World
       From January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2010
This webpage has been online since February of 1999. 
Compiled by Karen Garofalo and Mike Garofalo from Red Bluff, California

Last Updated: March 18, 2013

Green Way Research

Spirit of Gardening Blog