EMPATHY WITH ANIMALS
I'm not saying that i can empathise well with how animals feel. It's just that after 50 yrs of doing meditation like things, the panoramic senses and 'being an animal' have opened up a whole new perspective on meditation, and on life in general. They make me feel happy and whole.
With our early education in focused sensing and concentrated abstract thought, we have neglected at least two aspects of our basic animal abilities. An awareness of how our body feels from the inside, and our panoramic sense of the world. They are both basic to every animals survival, and part of our heritage. Both are parts of our human potential, ways of of being a complete human being, experiencing life as a whole, and feeling wholesome.
My primary aim has been to describe what i know about panoramic sensing.
Our sub-cultures are already rich in basic body awareness exercises. These mostly involve feeling inside the body with the sense of touch, and breathing meditations. But in addition to touch, an animals sense of their world is experienced and understood by smelling, tasting, listening, and seeing. And i believe their inner body sense is also largely understood in terms of these senses.
Our New Gurus : Animals and Children
I find it relatively easy to rationalise some of the effects of panoramic sensing. But it is not easy or maybe it's impossible to rationalise how it feels to see, hear, smell, and taste the body from the inside. I believe it can only be understood by experience. I try to describe my experience in the following chapters. But any individual or group of adults could easily start deluding themselves about how this feels.
I don't want to get involved in theories or anything unnatural, anything an innocent animal wouldn't feel. So, there are a number of questions i would love to ask animals about how it really feels. The next best source of first hand information is: We need a consensus of opinion from small children : where does the breath go in your body? Where do smells go in your body? What can you taste in your body? ... etc. ...
To find out about the panorama mode, watch how animals use it, empathise with their astuteness.
At first i suggest copying the intensity of the blackbird. This solitary bird needs to check for danger every other second; pigeons in a group are far more relaxed, and they seem to take it in turns.
The effect of these short intense periods was one of the things which motivated me to learn more about it. Even just a few seconds, interrupts any repetitive thought which you feel stuck on. It's similar to what writers do when they're looking for a word. As part of the creative process it's easy to just hover in a mental emptiness for a few seconds. With obsessive thoughts it's not possible to just 'hover', but by actively going broadband, you can temporarily stop the repetitious mental chatter.
Please read Chapter One. Especially Seeing and Listening
Short periods are best to start with because it must be fun, or at least interesting. We want to establish panoramic sensing as a self perpetuating feedback loop, an habitual rut. By consciously recognising the wholesome pleasure generated by panoramic sensing, we will want to repeat it. Habitual ruts were discussed in Chapter Two.
Games with Children
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.
Talking about it with children, taking an interest and asking questions, playing games with them, will stimulate any child. It's realistic to ask questions, because small children can help us remember. And if they ask us for the answers, we can honestly tell them that we've forgotten how it really feels. This will surely make any intelligent child even more curious.
Short Extra Conclusion to Chapter Two
Our panoramic sense of the world, and an awareness of how it feels to see, hear, smell, and taste the body from the inside, are both important distinctive ways of knowing ourselves, of feeling real and feeling 'I exist' and 'I am'. They both add reality, balance, and depth to our sense of self-identity. And therefore, they both reduce our need for social confirmation of our self-image.
Consequently they both reduce the insecurity (see especially Beliefs and Their Confirmation) which leads to our present day problems.
Our panoramic sense of the world, and an awareness of how it feels to see, hear, smell, and taste the body from the inside, together with attentive creative focusing; all three could establish a wonderful working relationship between the world inside every being and the world outside.
Children are born with this way of being in touch with and sensing the world. We must balance our increasingly early education in focused reading, writing, and thinking with an early education and encouragement of the panoramic mode and inner body sense. This is a human birthright.
We're missing out on a whole range of human potential. This is a valuable human resource. We must start exploiting our own inner resources. This is a simple and natural way to start a peaceful and successful revolution.
Contact is welcome with anyone, but particularly anyone who can help develop the Questions and Games for Children.
Please continue with the Questions and Games for Children