The way animals use their panoramic senses, when checking for danger, precludes focusing. Whenever animals need to check their environment is safe, they know they have to stop all focused activity – all doing, wanting and getting – and just be aware for a few seconds.

Panoramic awareness is the natural, tried and tested, most effective counterbalance to focusing, and the cure for overfocusing. It is fundamental to resolving what's happening in the world today. Animals would die if they overfocused.

Yes, we need focal points and a purpose in life. But all other animals balance their focused activities with periods of panoramic awareness – going on the lookout to stay safe.

As individuals and as cultures, we focus on and repeat what gives us security or pleasure.

But repetitions keep repeating, that is their nature, and it's the exponential speed of the repetitions on all levels – from greed and exploiting our environment, to population explosion and closed-minded extremism – which are causing the problems in the world today.

Receptive panoramic awareness is probably the most direct and fundamental step needed to balance out what's happening in the world today.

It is a way of being which has nothing to do with wanting or getting, ... the repetition of previous pleasures. The senses and thoughts can only want, or lead to wanting, when they are focusing.

The only thing panoramic sensing makes us want, if it's pleasurable, is to want to do more panoramic sensing.

Sensing panoramically is another way of experiencing life and understanding it. It is a way to just be and feel pleasure and peace, without closing the senses or deep meditation, still in touch with what's happening, but without needing to understand it.

Panoramic sensing is a direct connection with everything happening in the immediate environment. This way of sensing is inherently non-judgemental. The blackbird doesn't have time to form an opinion and understand when she sees danger, she responds without thinking. It is non-judgemental but not impartial or indifferent, It is acutely aware.

It's a different perspective on life. All other animals need to use both perspectives in order to survive. All other animals, periodically check to reassure themselves that everything's safe. This is a basic balance in life which all other animals have, which we have inadvertently ignored.

We have made things safe with our focusing talents, we have warning signs and lights and sounds, we have laws and insurance and passwords. We have learnt to build brick walls and burglar-cams. And these are all the product of our focusing abilities, and how we used them to make life safe, to make it secure ... and pleasurable. Humans are amazing. We've done it all amazingly well. But ...

We are not using all our basic and natural sensory abilities to experience the world and life, so it's not surprising that we can't feel life completely, or feel complete and wholesome ... and in that wholesomeness, to feel complete and secure.

Feeling our actual immediate life as a whole, and thus feeling wholesome, is our birthright. As individuals we can't expect to develop any realistic and reliable relationship with life, without combining the panoramic mode into our daily lives. And no modern culture can expect to survive without it.

Children are born with this way of being in touch with and sensing the world.

We must balance our increasing stimulation and early education in focused reading, writing, and thinking with an early education and encouragement of the panoramic mode. Panoramic Sensing is a human birthright.

We must play at going on the lookout with our children. Watching for movements all around and out of the corners of our eyes like blackbirds – listening out for dogs and humans like a hare does – and smelling on the wind for coffee or food cooking, just as the hedgehog will smell for apples and beetles.

The games we could play with children, to help them maintain contact with this birthright at the same time as preparing them for the complexities of the modern world, are speculative and not of immediate importance. First try it yourself. The speculative parts of this site are linked later.

First try it yourself.
or continue with Panoramic Sensing is a Human Birthright

Extended Chapter Two Index: Civilisation's Habitual Ruts