THE TWO MODES OF SENSING
and Their Combined Use
Animals have two basic ways of using their senses – focused and panoramic, they can be used separately or both together.
FocusingFocused 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 remember by focusing on specific memories and as we associate selected ideas, we can combine them to make something new. We can focus on several isolated things and then coodinate them. We learn by focusing, it can be very clever and creative. Focusing thinks, understands and gets things done.
We can focus on doing something, and think about something else at the same time. The challenge with focusing is to coordinate our senses, minds, and bodies and to concentrate.
Focus points are necessary to do anything in life. Focusing with our brains on ideas, is probably the best thing we humans do.
But focusing, even receptive focusing, always limits the big picture. To be able to sense everything, it is essential to stop all selective and specific focusing.
Panoramic SensingPanoramic 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.
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.
Vulnerable animals combine or alternate almost all of their focused activities with periods of panoramic sensing.
Even when dozing, animals maintain a panoramic awareness of the lights, shadows, sounds and scents around them. The hare turns his ears outwards, open for sounds, and sleeping birds keep one eye open.
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.
If we'd only ever used our panoramic senses, we'd still be up in the trees. Without focusing we would have no civilisation and no ability to understand ideas like these.
In order for animals to use their panorama senses in their purist form, it's essential for them to stop everything they are doing, wanting, and thinking – everything they are focusing on.
Pure panoramic sensing is useless for wanting, thinking, or doing – its usefulness is that it makes the things we want and do, safe.
Panoramic HuntingWhen hunting, predatory animals use panoramic seeing to watch over a limited panoramic area, and then look for specific changes within this area
A kingfisher panoraming at a stretch of water is not interested in how the grass or leaves are moving. They watch for ripples or maybe colours under the 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 on a specific idea, it is dependent on a conscious awareness of the panoramic field of vision.
Most birds have a sensitivity to ultraviolet light, a quick panoramic glance enables them to detect any life forms. I don't know how sensitive falcons or kingfishers are to ultraviolet light and i don't know if fish reflect ultraviolet light – but i have to set limits to my academic research – this is a vast subject... and it's immediate practical use for humans is doubtful... see Panoramic Hunting.
Panoraming and focusing are not opposites. They go hand in hand. If anything then focusing is opposite to dreamless sleep; panoraming can be combined with both.
During the dream state, humans always focus. I don't know if this is just a reflection of normal human behaviour. Dogs sometimes chase rabbits when they dream, but maybe horses have panoramic dreams... just as maybe hedgehogs dream of smells.
I can't imagine that animals are able to maintain any outward panoramic awareness while they are dreaming. Cooking meat wakes a dog, but would it wake them when they're dreaming of rabbits?
The Benefits of Panoramic Sensing compares the psychological effects of focusing and panoraming.