What the eyes see


In The Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 6 Verse 9 states:

“What the eyes see is better than what the desires wander after.”

Please explain.


The things your eyes – the human eyes in your head; see, are real and in front of you.

Things in your imagination and desire may not be real at all, or may be unattainable or even sinful to seek after.

It is better to enjoy and appreciate the things in our life, which the eyes in our heads can see, than to let our desires “wander” away with us.



Sort of a more morally-based equivalent to “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

But yeah, it’s definitely better to eat the apple in your fridge than to spend all night dreaming of chocolate mousse in some gluttonous way. It’s better to fall in love with and marry the guy next door instead of holding out for some Hollywood star you’ll never meet (especially if you waste your mind and soul on sinful sexual fantasies of the guy). And so on.


“Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know.”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.