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We all suffer from existential myopia, but we don’t recognize it

Sometime ago I read an interesting fact: up to a certain age, babies only see it up to 12 inches in front of their eyes. Anything located at a greater distance is simply out of their sight. For them, the world ends very close to their eyes. 

And not only that, because, at the same time, it takes some time for the baby's brain to process the images in the "correct" direction. In other words, when babies see something, they see it "inverted" compared to the way we adults see things.

In short, during a certain stage of their development, babies only see a short distance and what they see they see it “inverted”. But they, the babies, are not aware of either of those two limitations.

And although in the case of most babies these "limitations" will disappear during the normal development of the babies, in the case of many of us, already adults and, we might even say, with eyes and brains adequately developed, we still cling to limited and inverted visions.

For example, I recently met someone who told me that he was very pleased to have never changed his religious beliefs since his childhood and now, as an adult, he practiced them as he had always practiced them. But in this case, "adult" means having a family with several adult children and a company of respectable size.

I then asked him if, precisely because of the experiences he had accumulated in his life, those experiences had led him at the very least to question his beliefs, and, although not necessarily to abandon them, at least to deepen them or discover new dimensions in those beliefs. His response was that he didn’t understand the question.

And, in another case, I met a person who told me that she was raising her daughter to be a housewife, in the same way that her mother had raised her, based on how her grandmother had raised her mother, and so on for several generations.

I asked her how she applied that approach to a new generation when she was no longer in her native country, her daughter speaks a different language than she speaks, and the world changed profoundly from the time of her mother and grandmother. Her response was that she didn’t understand the question.

Examples like the two I just mentioned (and I could share many more similar examples) make me think that many of us suffer from a kind of existential myopia neither recognized or acknowledged by us. The existential myopia not only limits what we can see with our mind and heart, but also makes us believe that what we see (our limited world) is the complete reality (the whole world).

And, unlike babies, the passage of time for us is not accompanied by a healthy internal development to expand the field of our vision, to mentally rectify what comes to us through our senses and, ultimately, to become fully human (if that would be possible.)

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