THE TWO MODES OF SENSING

Animals have two ways of using their senses – focused and panoramic.

Focused sensing is always selective and specific. Animals and humans focus in order to do and get, all the things which they need or want.

Panoramic sensing is the receptive awareness to everything happening in the immediate environment. Animals use their panoramic abilities to see, hear, and smell, anything happening in their locality, especially any quick, sudden changes. Its primary use is to guard against danger; it makes life safe.

Panoramic sensing is an integral part of how animals manage to survive. Watch how the blackbird, pulling at a worm, continually checks for danger. And hares ears are always poised, waiting for signs of danger while they're eating. Even when dozing, the hare turns his ears outwards, open for sounds, and sleeping birds keep one eye open.

This is a different way of using the senses, it is only loosely related to how humans on the lookout, scan their environment with focused selective attention.



This page is eloquently messy - but bits are good and important - just needs organisation - March 2022

There are sure to be many applications for something as fundamental as this way of sensing.

Predatory animals when hunting, use panoramic seeing to watch over a limited field of vision, and look for specific changes within this area.

Buzzards looking for prey, watch an open field to look out for small things moving, they're not interested in humans or how the trees are swaying. This form of focusing within the panoramic field is an advanced development.

Gurdjieff schools teach a form of balance, for example when walking and transporting a cup of coffee full to the brim, this can also be used for yoga balancing exercises to activate the sidewards peripheral areas of the panoramic field of vision.

Every normal car driver may feel they know what the panoramic senses do, because they use their panoramic vision every day. When cycling or walking, we are often absent mindedly aware of a central area of about 100 degrees within the entire 210 degrees of the panormaic field of vision.

But in all these cases the panoramic mode is used in a secondary manner, it is combined with and dominated by focusing on a specific action.

The attitude, when it is used in its pure form is without any focusing, because focusing is always specific, it always limits the panoramic sense. This is intensly and only on the watch, ready and waiting, for any sign of danger; because it's vital to life and to stay safe.



Personally
I am only able to describe some of the beginning effects of panoramic sensing. And even these are often hard to rationlise. The experience is essential. The best way to continue, is to take a few minutes to try out The Summary of First Exercises.

The thing is, i'm 70 now, and after spending and wasting years often learning complex meditation methods, i started empathising with animals and how they use their senses, and it is so easy and effective that i felt compelled to start writing about it.

There are worlds here still to discover, and i'm sure younger people could do more than i can, and learn far quicker.

The essays and entire site keeps on developing, changing, simplifying. If you haven't the time to read it all now, please bookmark this site and come back later.

Robin Stuart - Contact Me with any ideas or questions.

Please continue with The Summary of First Exercises



Extra
I'd love to be an organised linear writer, but theres something more the introduction needs to say about empathy with animals in general.

When i first started experimenting with how animals use their 'peripheral' vision, i was living in an ideal environment, a garden. For example, one of the best memories i have is of a hare, a deer, a pheasant and a blackbird, all happily grazing within two metres of each other. I watched through a window for five minutes,then went outside, 20 metres away, but they all ran and flew away, i had spoiled the party, the mutual comfort of trusting company.

Animals are amazing, and i wanted to empathise with how they felt. How the body felt from the inside, without any concept of x-rays or science books.

Please continue with The Summary of First Exercises

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