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"The lamp of the body is the eye" Matt 6:22

Voices of Saint Anne's Blog

"The lamp of the body is the eye" Matt 6:22

Carolyn Swiszcz

"The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is open, your whole body will be full of light." Matt. 6:22


In Father Theo's sermon on July 9, he referred to this gospel passage above as being one that is hard to make clear. He invited hearing from anyone who "could explain it.” As a healing minister, I had studied this scripture passage, so in the context of healing, it was not puzzling. I spoke with Theo after the service, and he encouraged me to write up what I shared with him.

Here goes.

To me, there are two parts to the passage. The first is about “the eye,” and the second is about light filling the body.

To those who study and practice healing ministries, the first part of this passage is understood to be about levels of knowing. Recently, Richard Rohr, in one of his online daily meditations, notes that different ways of knowing are found in both Western and Eastern thought. He explains that two twelfth century Christian philosophers, Hugh of St. Victor and Richard of St. Victor, wrote about such comprehension by referring to three sets of eyes: the first, the eye of the flesh; the second, the eye of reason;  the third, the "intuitive eye of true understanding." He also notes that in most Eastern religions, there is a reference to "third eye" comprehension. Such “third eye” knowing requires an openness of heart and a non-anxious presence to reach a deep comprehension that is a step beyond intuition and reason. I think that in Matthew 6:22, Jesus is speaking of such a “third eye” knowing, an understanding that comes both from deep within and from Beyond. 

The second part about the body being full of light is puzzling if we look with “the eye of the flesh” or “the eye of reason.” Neither way of knowing can perceive energetic light, and to those who minister in healing, energetic light is likely what Jesus was referring to.  

Some people can sense or see such energetic light, also referred to as auras.  

Healing practitioners can feel energetic light in and around others—and in and around themselves—but not by using their first or second eyes. Those who pray and practice healing ministries must learn to be deeply still and centered prayerfully until they can physically sense their hearts and "third eyes" open simultaneously. Only then are they fully prepared to offer healing prayer on behalf of others.  

Healing ministers often report physical sensations of a force beyond themselves.  Sometimes the sensation is a gentle coolness or warmth; sometimes the sensation is so physically powerful it could unsettle a person who is not standing firmly. Some people with the ability to see energetic light have noted at times a brightness emanating from a healing minister's hands. 

Did the disciples immediately understand the light to which Jesus referred? I would guess that they came to understand it over time. First, they experienced teaching and healing with Jesus. Before being sent to preach and heal on their own, surely they practiced, and I imagine that such practice would have developed their ability to open their "third eyes." One or more of them likely had the gift of seeing energetic light. I would also guess that when the disciples sensed their hearts and minds were fully open, no matter what their activity, they could feel the light of God within and it completely brightened their beings. Likewise, if their hearts and minds were closed (Matt. 6:23), darkness fell and that darkness closed off the light of God that is within each of us. In such a state, I believe they came to understand that they could not serve God (Matt. 6:24) in the way that Jesus was calling them.  

How the disciples evolved has long fascinated and puzzled me. I have found the first chapter of Acts helpful in understanding their development. The time between the ascension of Jesus and the arrival of the Spirit is instructive. The writer of Acts notes that the disciples and the women (120 of them altogether) were gathered in the upper room, and they were “all with one mind” devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14). I don’t think they could have received the Spirit with the force that Acts describes in Chapter 2 unless they had been in “the third eye of knowing” for days and deeply attuned to each other, hour after hour.

Matt. 6:22 challenged Jesus’ followers, and it challenges us as well, no matter how we minister in God’s name. Jesus calls each of us to a deeper way of knowing that takes an open heart, a sense of calm presence, time for stillness, and deep prayer. When we are in this state, the light of God, which is in all of us, intensifies and connects with the Divine source that is beyond us.  

Anyone can learn to open the heart and third eye. It simply takes saying yes, again and again, because third eye knowing develops with practice and intention. It is a way of knowing that can transform everything, within and without.
 

Dianne M. Del Giorno

July 16, 2017