EMPATHY WITH ANIMALS

First you will need to try and test the panorama mode yourself, watch how animals use it, empathise with their astuteness.

Going Broadband
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 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. With obsessive thoughts it's not possible to just 'hover', but by actively going broadband for a few seconds, you can stop the mental repetitions.

Games with Children

Then i'm suggesting talking about it with children, taking an interest and asking questions. To start with, 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.

We must play at going on the lookout with our children. Watching for movements all around and out of the corner 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.

Animals and children will be our new gurus. Children will know the full potential of this way of sensing before we do.

Our Two Neglected Talents

With our early education in focused thought, we have neglected two aspects of our basic animal abilities. An awareness of how our body feels from the inside, and our panorama sense of the world. Both are part of our animal heritage and both part of being a complete human being.

Both are 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. They both reduce our need for social confirmation of our self-image. And together with focusing, they establish a realistic working relationship between the world inside and the world outside.

This new working relationship opens up unseen possibilities for life in general ... personally and culturally.

I find it relatively easy to rationalise some of the effects of panoramic sensing; but not how it feels to see, hear, smell, and taste the body from the inside.

The Internal Body

Our sub-cultures are already rich in basic body awareness exercises involving feeling inside the body with the sense of touch, and especially with 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.

It is not easy or possible to rationalise how it feels to see, hear, smell, and taste the body from the inside, – any individual or group of adults could easily start deluding themselves about this. And i don't want to get involved in theories or anything unnatural, anything an innocent animal wouldn't feel ...

So, 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.

Children need to be educated early to use all their sensory faculties. These are uncharted areas of human reality. We're missing out on a whole range of human potential. We must start exploiting our own inner resources. This would open up a whole range of ways to resolve cultural and abstract difficulties, and start a peaceful and successful revolution.

Adapted from body and breathing:
I'm speaking of a general need to be in touch with our feelings. Even if our feelings are irrational, to heal ourselves we must acknowledge them and work with them.

The anatomical science is good to know, but we seem to have forgotten the subjective feeling which has been at the foundation of every warm-blooded animals self awareness, over at least 150 million years ... and i find the feeling of breathing into my whole body is a far more wholesome experience than the scientific truth.

I know it is irrational to believe i breathe into my belly and that the whole body expands and contracts. But, when lying down, that's how it feels. No animal or child could ever imagine the air goes first down the wind pipe and then back up into the lungs.

I'm not saying that i can empathise well with how animals sense. I'm 70, i lack the youthful energy to experiment or learn anything quickly. It's just that after 50 yrs of doing meditation like things, i found this, and it opens up a whole new perpective on meditation, and on life in general.

Contact is welcome with anyone, but particularly anyone who can help develop the Questions and Games for Children.

Back to Chapter Two : Cultural Effects