Five years ago, Ian Kirby, 20, in the south of England, went blind with a rare disease of the eyes. Doctors told him that he would never see again.
Then, just before Christmas 1984, he went into hospital to have two wisdom teeth removed. He awoke from the operation and astonished doctors by saying that he could see. Lights were appearing through bandages around his head. The London Daily Mail reported Kirby’s excitement in the following words: “As he regained consciousness Kirby shouted excitedly to nurses that he could see for the first time in five years.” (The Muslim, Islamabad, January 5, 1985). Doctors said that it was probably the effects of the anesthetic that had restored his sight.
Ian Kirby went blind in the physical sense. The eyes of his body lost their vision. But everyone in this world goes blind in another more important way. They lose their spiritual vision. The eyes on their soul which provide a clear picture of reality cease to function correctly, and the picture becomes blurred, or obscured absolutely.
Likewise, if we all are to regain our spiritual vision in this world, we have to go through painful operations: we have to cut love of the world off our hearts; we have to resign ourselves to forgoing relationships and attachments that we hold dearest.
Yet we are all able to regain spiritual sight, just as Ian Kirby regained his physical sight. There always remains a likelihood that our vision of reality will be restored, and we will be able to set our lives in accordance with it. But this cannot be done without sacrifices being made.
Ian Kirby went into hospital to have an operation for the removal of his teeth. It seemed that he was only losing, but in fact he made an enormous gain: the operation led, unexpectedly, to his sight being restored. Likewise, if we all are to regain our spiritual vision in this world, we have to go through painful operations: we have to cut love of the world off our hearts; we have to resign ourselves to forgoing relationships and attachments that we hold dearest. It will seem that we are committing ourselves to unremitting loss. Then, when there is nothing left in our minds to cast a veil over the reality, we will find that the loss we incurred was petty compared to the gain that has been made: we have lost the world of transition, but gained the world of eternity; we have lost illusion and gained reality; we have lost a couple of “teeth”, but regained our ability to see things as they really are.