Where Science Meets Muse

Innovation (and Living!) Starts with Seeing

Posted by Plish on November 3, 2012

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

At the end of August I was watching a bumble bee go from flower to flower.

“Hmmm…” I said out loud.  I went inside and grabbed a camera.  You see, these bees didn’t go inside the flower.  They landed on the outside of the flower, did something with their mouths, went off to the next flower, and did the same thing.

Today I mentioned this to a neighbor who used to raise honey bees.

She had no idea what they were doing. She had never seen, nor heard of that happening before.

Now, I grew up around hostas and bumble bees my entire life, and I’d be willing to bet  that this particular species of bumble bee is not only doing this behavior in my yard, this year.  Yet, it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever seen this.

I have been looking at flowers and bees all my life! But, what had I seen? What do I see?

How much do we really see when we look at things?

If we’re not seeing, how can we ever know – really know?  What opportunities for enrichment have we missed?

Spend some time consciously seeing.  Not only will innovation opportunities become apparent, your life will become richer.



6 Responses to “Innovation (and Living!) Starts with Seeing”

  1. I love watching the bumble bees. This method is sometimes called “robbing” the nectar. The bee’s tongue cannot reach the nectar through the natural opening in the flower so they reach the nectar directly through the petal. My Wisteria gets quite tattered from the bees, bumble bees and Carpenter bees stealing the nectar in this way but I do not mind as I enjoy watching them feasting. When they take the nectar in this way it is not the bees that will pollinate the flowers but smaller insects that will crawl over the flowers.

  2. Plish said

    Thanks so much for that information and for sharing! Ahhh, what I would give to have a Wisteria around. (I know of one for sure in Bonsai form at a local botanical garden, but it’s almost an hour away. It flowers gloriously!)

  3. 3D Eye said

    “Consciously seeing” is part of what Clare and I call “physical intelligence” – which is direct apprehension and learning through the senses without preconceived ideas or intellectual constructs getting in the way of “sensing” what’s actually there. It’s learning through open-minded, non-judgemental direct experience of reality. It’s a zen thing!

  4. Plish said

    I like it 🙂

    Has it been your experience that people are being programmed to look through lenses made of the constructs?

  5. 3D Eye said

    It certainly has! I despise any form of programming or indoctrination of young people, and my greatest wish is to see education everywhere based on helping young people to think for themselves, beginning with their own open-minded, open-hearted observations using all of their physical senses. They also need to become adept at using their metaphysical/spiritual intelligence, at the opposite end of the continuum from physical intelligence. This ‘looking within’, seeking stillness and experiencing the power of intuition is certainly not encouraged within our western systems of teaching and learning, although a few schools here and there are starting to appreciate the value of meditation and mindfulness.

  6. Plish said

    I look forward to seeing the incorporation of “looking within” on a more broad level. That will be uncharted territory in many ways both for students and for the educational systems!

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