There a three types of blindness, a physical blindness that applies to a man or woman who is devoid of sight in the physical, in most cases such a blind man will be compensated by the heightened nature of his other senses like hearing, taste, touch or smell, if given the proper motivation and knowledge, such a man will not be handicapped for long because he can do what every other man can do. Over time, such a blind man will be able to read Braille, recognize features that seems impossible to the human eyes, and have a vivid understanding of the world that beats most imaginations. In this world, I have come across many blind man whose lives are much more productive and rewarding than that of many men who can actually see.
The second type of blindness is that of the mind, this is what the bible referred to as the eyes of understanding of some people being darkened, such a blind man has sight physically but lacks the ability to interprete whatever he or she is seeing in a way that will enable him or her make an informed moral or beneficial decisions. The Bible mentioned an episode in the life of Elisha which will serve to buttress this point. The King of Syria and the King of Israel were at war, because Israel cannot afford to face Syria on the battle field because of their numerical and arsenal advantage, they resulted to a form of cold war in which they devise and strategize how to hurt each other without actually meeting each other on a battle field, the generals of Syria meets with the King in secret and devises ways of harming Israel, as soon as their plans were hatched, Elisha will send a message to the King of Israel detailing their plans and the King will then propose a counter plan that will defeat the purpose of the King of Syria and sometimes hurt the Syrian kingdom harder.
One day the King of Syria summoned his royal council and alleged that one of them is a spy who leaks the secrets of his kingdom to the Israelis, knowing the enormity of the accusation, one of the Syrians quickly told the King that there is no spy amongst them but there is a spy who sits in his home and reports facts as discussed by the Syrian war council to the King of Israel, his name is Prophet Elisha!
Incensed, the King of Syria investigated and discovered that Elisha was in Dothan, immediately he deployed an army to invade Israel under the cover of darkness and bring Elisha to him dead or alive! While the city of Dothan slept, the army arrived and surrounded the city, their strategy was to terrorize the city until Elisha is handed over to them under duress. Early the next morning, Elisha woke up and went outside his house only to be welcomed to a new day by the sight of the forces of Syria, his servant panicked but Elisha was unperturbed! As the servant shivered and groaned under the weight of terror, Elisha relieved him by calmly telling him that the army that is fighting on his behalf is greater and stronger than the company of soldiers surrounding the city.
Physically, all the servant can see is the terror because he can see yet he is blind! Elisha prayed that the seeing but blind servant should be enabled to see and the eye of his understanding which was previously darkened was immediately opened and he saw chariots of fire and horses surrounding Elisha!
Elisha then prayed that God should smite all the soldiers with blindness and it was so. But note that they were not physically blind, rather their ability to process information and make informed decisions was taken away, in other words they can see with their eyes but they cannot see at the same time!
Elisha! The man they toiled all night to arrest came to meet them and told them HE is not in Dothan but if they follow him he will lead them to the place where the man they are seeking is. And they followed him. Had they been made blind physically it would have been impossible to lead an army of physically blind men all the way from Dothan to Samaria, but because they can see but cannot process the information provided by their eyes adequately they gullibly followed Elisha to Samaria and even to the Palace of the king (their arch enemy).
Elisha then prayed that God should open their eyes and immediately their understanding was returned and they became aware of where they were and the company of whom they were! They surrendered willingly because Israel has both the numerical and psychological advantage on their own turf! The king of Israel was instructed to feed them and send them home, this was done and the war came to an end.
The blindness experienced by the servant of Elisha until he was prayed for and that experienced by the Syrian Army is a form of blindness much worse than the physical blindness, a man who is blind in this manner is like a tortoise or snail that lives under the illusion that the shell on its back is adequate protection from predators!
The third type of blindness and the worst is that of a man who can see physically, who can also process the information seem clearly but refuses to utilize the information to any profitable end. Another biblical character called Thomas (one of the disciples of Jesus) was afflicted with this type of blindness. He followed Jesus for three years, was commissioned with the twelve when they were sent in pairs to preach the gospel, witnessed the miracles of Jesus, sat under the teaching of Jesus, was there when Peter declared Jesus as the Messiah, saw his crucifixion, went with the other disciples to the tomb where they found nothing but an empty tomb, heard the testimony of Mary Magdalene, heard the testimony of the two men who travelled with Jesus to Emanus and still said I will rather depend on my physical eyes than my understanding forgetting that the eyes is the greatest deceiver and nothing seen to be can never really be what is, Jesus appeared to him with the holes on his hands and feet, Thomas saw the signs and believed but Jesus told him blessed are those who did not bother to see me and believed!
This type of blindness is a disease but it is not an affliction, the consequences is that the one who is blind in this manner will bear the responsibility of his blindness because it was a blindness that comes out of doubt, disbelief or sheer disdain of what the truth is and we all know ignorance is not a tenable excuse not to talk of knowledge corrupted by doubt or selfishness that comes with disbelief.
Whoever does not believe in holiness or even aspire to it is afflicted by this third type of blindness and will ultimately miss out of the benefits of holiness both physical and emotional here on earth and ultimately eternal life!