I read this article today - a bit behind, the past couple weeks, with some Halloween, election and medical hubbub - it's about a new Disney Robot that is described as having no skin, but they gave it eyelids. Wait ... aren't eyelids skin?
Yes, in fact this Robot does have some skin in the game ... It also has very human-esque eyeballs. But the eyelids are the only place on this robot bust with skin. How ro-bust of Disney to do that. But why did they do it?
Imagine the Disney Robot with those very human looking eyes, but WITHOUT the eyelids. It's about as creepy as seeing a CT scan of your own body where you look like a skeleton, with the big empty, round, eye-ball sockets ... Yep, that IS what will be left on this earth when my life as we know it on this plane has ended and my soul has moved on ...
My immediate thought reading this article was of C-3PO from Star Wars. Granted C-3PO in the original Stars Wars movie, who was born to the world in 1977, was in fact a Human actor in a Robot suit. But in the 'reality' of the movie's cast of characters, and for the the reality of the movie's viewers, C-3PO was a (non-human) Droid. He walked upright, had 2 arms and 2 legs and had human speech ... and he had big round perfect circle metal 'eyes' that were blinking ... 43 years ago! It was no new news back then to have a machine feel more human by having blinking eyes.
R2-D2 was not a human-esque Droid like C-3PO. He was an Astromech Droid, but he was still a human actor in a rolling, metal barrel suit. R2-D2 did not have arms, legs, human speech or eyes. He had one big, round blue light smack in the middle of his metal head. In essence, zero human-like qualities, but we all still loved him just the same.
He had person-ality! And lots of it. He may have been less human-esque than C-3PO but it was R2-D2 who was always solving the problems ... guiding his tribe in the right direction, technologically saving them when trapped, and also projecting visions with vital knowledge: "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi ... you're my only hope."
In the Metaphysical community we talk of - and know of - the 3rd eye. The true inner power that can "see" perhaps even better and more accurately than traditional eyesight as we know it. Perhaps R2-D2 was just relying on his 3rd eye.
In the original Star Wars, Luke trains with Obi-Wan Kenobi, his eyes covered with a blindfold, using his light saber to strike down a floating, erratically-darting training ball. Obi-Wan tells Luke he does not need his eyes to KNOW where the ball is ... but rather he needs to trust his inner instinct, the Force, to knock down the ball with his Light Saber. When Luke truly learned to trust this inner instinct and power, it was then that he was connected with the Force.
The nerve responsible for our outward gaze is the Abducens Nerve. It is the 6th cranial nerve pair in our brain. In actuality, the Brain sees ... the Eyes do not. The eyes' lens - via the muscles responsible for up-down and left-right movements of the eye ball - captures the (upside-down) image, and the nerves transfer that information, piece by piece, to our brain to translate an image, right-side-up. Ta-da ... traditional eyesight as we know it!
There is a lot that needs to go right in our bodies for us to see an image and the greater world around us, but that is automatic really. Like breathing or digesting food. We don't have to think about seeing.
And as Luke knows, it can be can be even harder work to not see the world around us, but to possess the knowing - the Force - by going inside via our 3rd eye.
November 3rd, 2005 I was involved a very bad car accident. I had to be airlifted, and needed a couple surgeries to fix me up. It was not close to a near-death experience, but it was a pretty horrific accident nonetheless ... and I was in critical condition for a few hours. I wasn't ever "knocking on death's door", but I was still at risk of losing my right leg from the knee down.
I remember waking up on November 4th and feeling like the luckiest person alive. I remember a deep sigh of gratefulness and relief. I looked under the sheet and saw my leg in a cast. It was a gorgeous fall day ... stark orange and red leaves on the trees against a bright blue sky backdrop, and the blinding yellow sun shining as if for me and me alone. In that moment, I knew that, in the blink of an eye, everything could be gone. It was a gift to still be here. I guess I had more work to be done on this plane.
I wanted to bottle up that feeling that day, and never forget how lucky I felt ... I refer to this as my "November 4th Feeling". In the 15 years that have since passed, there have been many times that I have been tested. Not always feeling so lucky after losing a job, or losing a friendship, or enduring a loss, or having an unpleasant disagreement with a family member.
It has been difficult for us all in 2020 to stay positive given the chaos of the preceding 8 months. The even deeper message in the lesson this year, is to not rely solely on achieving 20/20 vision via our outward gaze, but to actually close our physical eyes, gaze inward and find and connect with Force as Luke did ... Remember how lucky we are ... in a blink it can all be gone ...
May the 4th be with you!!
~ Shawn Elaine Anderson