Can snakes see?

I’ve seen five rattlesnakes since I moved to Colorado, four dead and one that was quite upset with me. As I was walking yesterday I wondered, can snakes see? Here’s an answer from animals.howstuffworks.com.

LiveScience.com adds this information: “With the exception of a few species that have adapted to daytime hunting, most snakes do not see well. Generally they can see shapes but not details. Snakes called pit vipers can see well at night by an amazing trick. Their pits (one on each side of the head) sense heat (infrared light) like night vision goggles. These pits, not eyes, actually are thought to render images of prey in the snakes’ brains.”

Cause of trembling eyelid

When I learned that I have Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD/MCAS), I learned that it is a potential cause of a a trembling eyelid, which is technically known as a blepharospasm. The area under my right eyelid started trembling at least fifteen years ago, but no doctor ever knew the cause of it, and they would usually just say, “Get more rest,” which of course had nothing to do with the problem. As I learned from reading this book about mast cell disease — which is where the image comes from — it turns out that there are ~5,000 mast cells per cubic mm of conjunctival tissue, i.e., the inside of the eyelids.

“Wrong eyes”

“Wrong eyes.”

~ What I told myself during a lucid dream on March 2, 2011. I was flying, and when things got dark as I flew higher I thought, “Open your eyes,” only to find myself staring at the bedroom ceiling while still dreaming.

“They are the eyes and ears of karma. And that’s the problem.”

“Some people say, ‘Listen, listen!’ And they talk. I say nothing, it’s better. People’s opinions are the product of their karma. ‘I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears.’ But those eyes and ears are not a reliable reflection of absolute truth. They are the eyes and ears of karma. And that’s the problem.”

~ The Way of True Zen, Taisen Deshimaru

Why we keep our eyes open during zazen

“If we close our eyes (during zazen), the darkness may provide us some relief from visual distraction and give us a feeling of peace and calm. But in zazen, we keep our eyes open. If we want to close our eyes because we feel distracted by what our eyes see, we need to understand that it is our minds that are distracted, not our eyes.”