Invisibility vs. transparency
1 April 2009
Emerging from my recent musings about invisibility, it occurred to me that there is an important distinction between invisibility and transparency. While the invisible object cannot be seen, the transparent object can be clearly discerned, even as it is looked through. Glass is transparent, as is water. Air is invisible. You can walk through one, but not the other, not without noticing anyway.
Sheldon Kopp, psychotherapist and author of that strange and profound book, If You Meet Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! (see also), writes that the best way for a therapist to help a patient is not to tell the patient how to be but for the therapist to learn to be transparent, to the patient and to himself, in order for the relation to do its transformative work:
If I am transparent enough to myself, then I can become less afraid of those hidden selves that my transparency may reveal to others. If I reveal myself without worrying about how others will respond, then some will care, though others may not. But who can love me, if no one knows me? I must risk it, or live alone. It is enough that I must die alone. I am determined to let down, whatever the risks, if it means that I may have whatever is there for me.
Though I believe that the only real danger lies in that which is hidden, disclosure of myself to myself must precede disclosure to the other. Often I reveal to the other without any certainty as to what I am getting into. I may be just as surprised (horrified or delighted) as the other at what emerges. (18)
Being invisible is easy. Being transparent is less so.
Image: Fresh. Source: stock.xchng.