THE TWO MODES OF SENSING

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

Focusing

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.

We can focus on several isolated things and coordinate them. We remember by focusing on specific memories and as we associate selected ideas, we can combine them to make something new, to learn and become clever and creative. Focusing thinks, understands and gets things done.

But focusing, even receptive focusing, always limits the big picture. To be able to sense everything in our actual immediate environment, it is essential to stop all selective and specific focusing.

Here is a dividing line.

Panoramic Sensing

Panoramic sensing is the receptive awareness to everything happening in the immediate environment, without focusing on any specific part of it.

Animals use their panoramic abilities to sense what is happening in their locality, especially any quick, sudden changes. Its primary use is to guard against danger – it makes life safe.

This is a different way of using the senses – it is nothing like how humans on the lookout scan their environment with focused selective attention.

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.

Vulnerable animals alternate all their focused activities with periods of panoramic sensing.

When dozing it can be used for hours at a time, but then animals use it in a less intense manner, with the eyes at least half shut, and probably in combination with inner body sense.

Panoramic sensing doesn't lead to the same mental problems and it doesn't have the same creative potential that focused sensing has.

Panoraming and focusing are not to be understood as opposites. If anything then focusing is opposite to sleeping; panoraming is combined with both.

Here is a dividing line.

Panoramic Hunting

When hunting, predatory animals use panoramic seeing to watch over a limited panoramic area, and then look for specific changes within this area

Kingfishers watch for ripples or maybe colours under the water, they're not interested in how the grass or leaves are moving. There is an amazing short video showing a kingfisher panoraming at a stretch of water, periodically focusing on 'things which might be' – notice how the head is kept still, if the head were moving it wouldn't be able to see movements in the water.

The same behaviour can be witnessed in a falcon hovering in strong wind looking for prey. They watch over an open field to look out for small brown or feathered things moving, they're not interested in the cars going by.

Although this behaviour is dominated by focusing it is dependent on a conscious awareness of the panoramic field of vision.

It is very different to how motorists combine focusing and panoraming. Motorists only use their panoramic senses subliminally, they must focus on where they are going, the road ahead, other drivers, multiple signals and mirrors.

Here is a dividing line.

The Panoramic Perspective compares the psychological effects of focusing and panoraming.

Please continue with The Panoramic Perspective

Back to Chapter One : Welcome to the Panorama