In this world we can normally only see with our natural eyes and mind, so our visual minds will remain untouched by spiritual sight and stay just earthly and worldly. We have all heard the saying, “seeing is believing” which does actually express a deep truth. (F138) It is only with an effort to look beyond our outward senses, that the inner world can open and reveal the hidden and wonderful nature of things as they really are—as God sees them—which He will share with all those who truly want to know the truth, because He Himself is Truth.
How can we show this in two dimensional art? By using a conscious and directed partial abstraction to open to us the divine forms of things, as is shown in the icons. (F46) Often icons have hands and feet and eyes and noses that are not just naturalistic but somewhat abstracted. (S403) They can show simultaneously events that did not occur at the same moment, but are spiritually related, as in all the events at the time of Christ’s Nativity. They often change perspectives to turn naturalist depictions of lines moving towards a vanishing point in the distance, to connect us directly to the icon by inverse perspective. All this is to change how we look and see, including a Heavenly way of seeing and knowing everything even while we are still in this world.
Icons have a positive abstraction that elevates the mind and heart to pierce the veil of mere materiality, and show by looking through these icons, our “windows into Heaven”, something more than the physical eyes and mind can see. (F141) This seeing is truly believing. The icons, with their directed partial abstraction, open the mind and heart to see the true spiritual world, and to contact God and His Holy Ones directly. Let us look through the icons with our hearts open, and behold the Heaven of God’s true Light!