DISPLACEMENT BEHAVIOUR IN HUMANS
AND IT'S CURE
This page is very much still being developed. New ideas occur. New connections like
Beliefs and identity
Beliefs and having a secure self-identity or feeling like an individual is part of the focusing system: And the focusing system doesn't feel whole unless it's secured in a relationship, with an object for the subject.
We can confirm and check our physical identity in the mirror. But, we need other people to mirror our psychological identity.
There's nothing wrong with beliefs or feeling like an individual, but we confuse this with feeling safe and secure. We're trying to be safe by using our focused senses.
It worked amazingly in the past. Our psychological and cultural beliefs were socially anchored. But these days there isn't enough confirmation to go around. We need to adapt, quickly and simply.
The point is...
Animals focus when foraging, eating, playing, nesting and burrowing, and during their display rituals for territory and mating.
And we are trying to find safety in the world through focused eyes with our focused thoughts, identified, in a mirror image;... but all other animals only achieve a sense of safety by using their panoramic senses.
ANOTHER IDEA IS
The panoramic experience is the natural and the easiest method of feeling, and actually being safe reveals a dimension of ourselves which has no egotistical qualities.
It is devoid of any display... it is not concerned with how it appears, if anything it wishes to be invisible, it is without any of the typical animal mating or social display behaviours. Vulnerable animals stop still to avoid predators being able to detect their movement. Staying still and being invisible at the same time as panoraming is an essential part of the process.
But Sorry, i cant tie it all up together yet, any feedback would be appreciated!
We've lost the background experience of wholeness which is an intrinsic part of sensing panoramically, and simultaneously we've lost the animal sense of belonging in our immediate social and cultural group.
Focusing – Wholeness and RelationshipsFocusing is always, by nature, selective. Focusing separates life into specific bits, and then puts it together again as a relationship.
When we focus, in order to feel a sense of wholeness, we must have a relationship; an interdependence between individual focal points. A subject needs an object.
Development of Security and CivilisationFocusing enabled us to make connections. We could work with it. It got things done. We focused on and repeated all the things we wanted for pleasure and security.
Other animals repeat their instinctive behaviour; but humans repeat learnt behaviour and learnt knowledge.
Civilisation slowly developed. The focusing, learning, remembering, repeating system was set turning. We combined and created, and look how successful it all was!
In the material world, all the things we made with the focused coordination of our senses and minds, led to an enormous amount of new choices.
And everyone – except communities and individuals like the Amish – wants it. It has its own repetitious continuity and momentum which always increases. It's a simple example of exponential repetition.
But the exponential increase and diversity of beliefs, ideas, and opinions, have lost their mutual confirmation and the result is insecurity.
Beliefs, ideas, and opinions, used to confirm psychological identity and unite local cultures; now, in our global community they divide us.
Regardless our material security (in the Western world), we're collectively psychologically insecure, and we are overcompensating with our species' habitual survival stategy – focusing.
We are overfocusing and we have developed, what in animal psychology would be seen as a form of displacement activity.
Displacement activity is a behavioural illness which animals often suffer when they feel stress or insecurity. They compensate with habitual, but inappropriate, sometimes self-destructive, activities.
Hens scratch and peck at nothing just because they feel nervous and insecure; dogs and cats clean themselves when they are confused or want feeding. Any habitual activity can be displaced.
Overpopulated deer can rub off so much musk on their territorial marker trees, that whole rings of bark disintegrate and their territorial trees die.
And we have begun to act like birds in captivity who can't stop whistling, in a desperate search for mates and territory – with compulsive grooming habits and (especially among cockatoos) commonly plucking their own feathers out.
Humans in the Western world, are collectively displacing. We are in the process of destroying ourselves, our culture, and our environment... and the individuals we are trying to be, with an inappropriate habit.
We are overfocusing; overdoing and overwanting.
And in the same way that a dog obsessively scratches himself because he can imagine no better response to his confusion – we hardly notice that we are compulsively focusing, because we have no idea that there is any other way of sensing.
But it's not just practical displacement like other animals – it's to do with always superimposing a new meta level of abstract understanding onto the old ones – it's a development specific to humans, a psychological level of displacement.
In previous times, as our abstract understanding was developing, it felt so good to understand, but now we're stuck in a system which is overloading.
Our abstract understanding is overthinking and overabstracting.
BeliefsThe centre-point of our abstract reality is our beliefs.
The complexities of our abstract thought will always grow and diversify. The increase in facts drives us to educate children at an early age in the routines of focused thinking, sensing, and remembering.
But facts are only a fraction of beliefs. And the modern priority is to believe in ourselves.
So these days, added to learning specialised facts, each child must find their own beliefs, their own abstract identity – usually by adopting the ideas of a specific youth culture – or feel actively and consciously insecure.
But even though these days we're all looking for our beliefs individually... it's basically the same situation early man was in... it doesn't matter so much if it's the truth, as long as it's socially confirmed and emotionally gratifying.
Beliefs and IndividualityA further complication is we confuse belief in ourself with belief in our ideas. And we could argue about this for hours – without ever seeing that both are a consequence of focusing.
Belief is necessary in order to feel like an individual.
Feeling like an individual is part of the focusing system which dosen't feel safe unless it's secured in a relationship, with an object for the subject.
But it isn't necessary to feel like an individual in order to feel safe.
Feeling SafeThe basic need humans have, any creature has, is to feel safe, if we can feel satisfied it's a bonus.
Believing in ourselves helps, but it's a sidetrack. Being any sort of focal point in a relationship is a sidetrack, it's secondary to feeling safe.
Our focused experience of ourselves and life is inhibiting our understanding. Focusing is somehow always so focused, ultimately it always becomes dominant and closed minded.
It isn't necessary to believe in or 'find ourselves' to feel alive, safe, and wholesome.
The panoramic experience is the natural and the easiest method of feeling, and actually being safe. It reveals a dimension of ourselves which has no egoistical qualities.
Animals have to use their panoramic senses to contain or cope with their fear of predators. It is their method of staying safe, it is their reassurance.
I can't explain the neurological connections involved in the cognitive process; but animals are intelligent and scared... and rather than be vulnerable, or paralysed by panic, fear, and worry, animals sense panoramically. It enables their 'psychological survival'.
Even if a vulnerable animal isn't eaten alive, without its panoramic senses, it would die early from anxiety. This method of sensing has evolved over billions of years, it is connected with and generates a deeply embedded psychological response. It is deeply reassuring.
And this way of sensing has a special effect among humans, simply because we are free to enjoy the effects. We have no actual practical fear lingering in the background, and no desperate need to use it – apart from correcting the displacement which we ourselves have created.
When we feel safe, there is nothing to stimulate the endless repetitions of displacement. Intense panoramic sensing can be used like an emergency brake; but even when used casually, it turns off the power of focusing at souce.
And it enables a new understanding of what's happening, and why. It's not a new belief. It's not abstract. It's a tangible, self-evident result of the panoramic experience.
The Fruits of Focusing - A ResuméInitially and as it's developing, focusing – and what we can learn by focusing – usually brings great benefits.
And because the benefits are pleasurable, we want to repeat what caused the pleasure, so it becomes self perpetuating, we always want more, so we focus on it again, and the repetitions become behaviourally fixed.
Learnt behaviour, learnt understanding, and our learnt approach to life are all based on wanting something because it's pleasurable, or promises pleasure in the future.
Focused learning and wanting evolved together. And civilisation and our modern culture's chaos, is all happening as a result of focusing and the need focusing has for focal points.
And focusing is always so self concerned, so concentrated, that it doesn't see outside it's own box. Focusing is so dominant that it has simply forgotten and repressed our panoramic way of sensing, understanding, and feeling life.
Our Involuntary Modern EgoismThroughout our evolution we lived for the group. Humans are not by nature individualists and egoists.
But, apart from those who we love (and true love is a rare comodity), we have become our own most important focal point.
Our modern sense of ego is a product of focusing; and the self-centred egoism evident in modern life, is a classical example of overfocusing.
We used focused sensing and focused thinking to experience our lives and secure our survival. We looked for and wanted focal points, and it's all been self fulfilling.
And it has become self-justifying. Our psychological sciences emphasise the individual; our sociological ideas stress the importance of interrelationships between individuals. And this was all inevitable, then our sciences are themselves a product of focusing with our thoughts and senses.
Our modern egoism is involuntary.
But not only that. Once our abstract focusing developed enough to feel like an ego, we started liking it, and wanting more for it. It become dominant. It discovered self-righteousness and self indignation. I'm not only saying that our modern egoism is involuntary, i'm also saying it's an illness.
Our self-centred individualistic egoism is an automatic response to stress, and a symptom of psychological insecurity. Greed, egoism, and narrow-mindedness are all classical examples of human psychological displacement – overfocusing.
We have created a fascinating situation which no human in any previous culture has ever experienced, or even imagined.
Collective Behavioural DysfunctionIt's difficult to write this section. It's such a gigantic subject that it's hard for me to see the priority points. However it's self evident. It's clear to anyone with half a brain that modern civilisation shows multiple symptoms of individual and collective behavioural mysfunction.
Please comment and discuss, contact me. At present i approach the area from 3 different points.
1. The economics play a big part, economics control politics, and for example the economical advantage to high-tech firms, of isolated individuals each needing social media. But addiction is the basis here. Some are addicted to money, others social media; and the basic trend of isolating individuals started long before internet, isolated individuals needing purpose is a prime manifestation of focusing.
In his own way, the drunk is just as pompous and self absorbed as the old hippy who now lives in a country mansion writing books about his youth. In the face of cloud cuckoo land and ivory towers, some people are sure to feel their only alternative is violence and hate.
Since the common mutually confirmed identity of our tribe has collapsed, individual identity seeks after a sense of pride, and this once noble pride is sure to eventually become more conceited and self preserving.
2. All our social codes of work and play, of etiquette, initiation rites, mating codes, and the possibilties of how to break those codes, have all recently changed and rapidly multiplied.
We multi-focus. Some may feel they cope well, (but peace of mind is even rarer than love). We listen to music while driving and dreaming about the next thing to do, all the while feeling happy or unhappy about the last thing that happened.
After thousands of years the repetitions which we focused on, can't adapt quickly enough to the self-perpetuating, ever-increasing momentum we've created... and the system overloads, we become insecure and then to compensate, we dream or fantasise and adopt our appropriate displacement behaviours... and our displacement beliefs.
3. Even a surface appreciation shows a catastrophic state in our collective mentality, our social identity.
The extremities are fairly clear: the crazy conspiracy theories, the blatant openness of political lies, the tiktok influencers so-called "creators", the amount of new forms of extremism, with the self-righteous demand for others to recognise gender or any other identity, the flat earthers, the list is endless...
And all the new trends and their derivations will become even more devious and meaningless, more individualistic, clever, and simplistic. Then the basic requirement is for remarkable focal points – because then they are easier to copy, they need to be copied so that they are a mutual experience.
We learn social behaviour by repetition and copying is a form of repetition.
Copying for communal identity is inherent in politician's lies, conspiracy theories, and all forms of belief – "the confirmation of the tribe was always far more important than the truth."
The Vicious CircleAmong our modern wide collection of common social identites are people who see chaos and suffering, and we're afraid. We're desperate because it's all happened so quickly and you don't seem to realise the enormous impact this will have... and we get irrational.
So we're shouting and angry, and i'm sorry because we're just adding to the focusing frenzy; we'd rather sit by the river, but we feel we don't have a choice.
A lot of good people are really trying hard to find answers. And focused scientific study, in particular, of climate, is vital. But we suffer from tunnel vision and a blind spot.
Even if our ideals for a new world are full of optimism and generosity; they are bound to be stuck in future focal points and held together by common focused abstract beliefs.
And even though it may appear that i'm being ironic or talking about a philosophical paradox... it's clearly demonstrated in every other animals behaviour – watch any squirrel stop and stand still for a few seconds on the lawn – perceiving in a panoramic way is itself the solution to the problems and imbalance of exclusive focusing.
Every other minute, every other animal uses panoramic sensing, as an integral part of their lives. We have forgotten this way of sensing the world and being in it.
Mankind has lost part of how we always sensed the world around us, part of how we managed to survive for millions of years.
We don't notice it because everyone else has forgotten it as well, and everyone else is going at the same speed and feeling the same consequences. It's normal, and it developed naturally, but we are all suffering from displacement.
It's the accumulative effect of civilisations exclusive training of focusing. And these last 50 years, the speed of "progress" has become excessive. The wheels are spinning so fast, they can't keep up with their own speed.
We are oblivious to the way any sensible animal would react, by stopping still for long enough to notice where we are and what's going on around us.
Our one-sided way of sensing and understanding the world only from a focused perspective, has narrowed our awareness. We humans are stuck in and blinded by our habitual survival technique, our tried and tested focusing methods. And we are going into overdrive in our habitual direction. Sharpening up the same old spear, using clever new techniques to point with even more precision.
Artificial IntelligenceAI. was always inevitable. It's the culmination of focusing.
AI. is an almost infinite system of focal points. I often think of it as a sort of insect intelligence, with insect eyes.
It's built to to do what focusing always does. AI. has efficient feedback systems which work in a closed system, for example it picks the algorhythyms to show us the news we want. AI. informs us, and then it confirms our beliefs.
And it's egoistic, it believes in and promotes itself, search engine results promote AI-perfect sites, and AI. knows how to make AI-perfect sites.
AI. is exactly what we would expect from a creative species which only uses the senses in a focused way.
It's the perfect example of how we use our brains focusing talents, with their inherent repetitions and memory systems to coordinate all the focal points. It encourages, stimulates, and develops, all our focusing talents.
It's built to accelerate the repetitious behaviour. It supports and enables new depths of displacement. It's the perfect manifestation of an ever increasing process of displacement.
The BoxAI. and human intelligence have many differences.
In the context of this site, the most defining difference is that AI. is built without the possibility of feeling wholeness, of feeling at one with the world. In practical terms, this means intuition, feelings and creativity.
AI. can simulate all facets of creative thinking brilliantly. But it can only find new ways around inside it's own abstract world. It's able to find new combinations, new developments, fascinating new ways round the box, but it's blind to what's outside the box.
Some people feel reassured that our superiority with intuition, feelings and creativity will win the day. We might even realise that although AI. can stimulate feelings of satisfaction, it can never make us feel safe.
But even though we're scared, we don't realise how and why AI. will inevitably make us more unsafe, more insecure.
We don't realise that it is the epitome of focusing and how dominant focusing always is.
We don't realise this because we have no experience of any other way of sensing, because we've almost completely forgotten how to use our panoramic senses.
And, after initial benefits, then what we can expect from any system which exclusively focuses, is more specialisation and reconstruction, and then the system will start overloading from its own self confirming repetitions... it will always happen that way, that's what focusing does.
And its development has been so quick. It's so new, and the momentum of its repetitions have only just started. What new methods will it learn to compensate it's own displacement behaviour?
Lots of people are already warning us about the dangers of AI. But what no-one seems to realise are the basics of how it works, and that after initial benefits, it's obviously and naturally going to cause an excess of repetitions – chaos... because that's what exclusive focusing always does.
THE ONLY REALISTIC CURE
Panoramic AwarenessAll other animals alternate or coordinate practically all their focused activities with periods of panoramic awareness. This is a basic law of nature. Modern humans ignore it.
Our culture is blind to panoramic awareness, and blind to that experience of life.
With focusing we can talk about it for hours, analyse it and all of its fascinating effects; but panoraming is so simple, there really isn't that much to say about it.
It's just being, or more exactly, keeping still but doing something, being actively receptive at the same time. Being active and receptive at the same time is common sense in the panoramic experience, it is only a paradox from the focused perspective.
It's whole, it's here and now, directly connected with the environment. Ready and waiting with eyes and ears alert. It's a way of feeling safe and open – wide awake, and satisfied – all at the same time.
Maybe poems would be best to describe it, music and dance to celebrate it... but then everyone would just get drunk and have fun, and it wouldn't change anything, only entertain us for a while. For the narrowed focused mind to appreciate its significance, it must be described rationally.
Every other animal coordinates their focused activity with short periods of panoramic awareness.
Every minute or so, all other animals have the repeated, actual experience of sensing the world as a whole.
Focusing separates and then puts things together again. It needs to do this in order to make sense. Subjects need objects. With panoramic sensing we can't create anything, but we don't divide life up into little bits in the first place. When alternated, the two ways of sensing form a near perfect balance.
BalanceThe way modern humans try to balance our 'working time' with our 'free time' focusing is part of the craziness. We typically balance our focusing activities with yet another focusing activity.
Play, being creative or having fun are wonderful balances for work. But panoraming is the way animals balance all of these.
So we can still go to church and do meditation, we need focus points and it's healthier to have wholesome ones. But focusing is always inevitably dominant, it's overpowering, always tending to become more closed minded, so the priority has to be the panoramic background, and at least every half hour, briefly reconnect with your practical environment as a whole.
Or, if you have to, then focus on crazy ideas, as long as every few minutes, you reconnect with the feeling of being now in your immediate environment.
The essential factor, which presently is always missing, is the panoramic background. I doubt crazy ideas would have any lasting substance in the context of the panorama.
This everyday experience isn't a new religion; it's a natural way of being – every animal does it. It is available to anyone and everyone. It is something we all have in common. Something which unifies all creatures, and people of all cultures.
Personally, the feeling of any sort of progress in life stops. But i feel contented and not wanting anything, and there is absolutely no power for the nervousness which activates displacement behaviour.
I can only imagine how this approach and attitude to life would influence a person if they learnt it as a child. I can only imagine a culture of people who were contented.
Panoramic awareness is the natural way to compensate focusing and to cure overfocusing. And it's so incredibly simple. Anyone can do it with some success, almost straight away. (Read Chapter One.)
A Question of ExclusivityTo what extent is our collective mental imbalance due exclusively to our panoramic blindness?
There are various other blind spots and taboos which modern civilisation hasn't yet confronted or adapted to; one of these is our inability to live with death. But animals and previous cultures never had solutions for such problems, they aren't the origin of the displacement.
Animals demonstrate two fundamental and essential states of being, which are missing in the modern human approach to life.
Panoramic sensing, and the sense of taste, smell, and sound, inside our own bodies.
Modern day humans' deepest sense of identity is found and confirmed in abstract beliefs and opinions, however on a practical level we identify with how we look. Animals are generally scared of and threatened by mirrors.
So, how does self image feel, how does it feel "to be" without a mirror to check ourselves in (and then a self confirming selfie?) How does it feel to taste and smell our own bodies and listen to every stomach rumble?
There are already encyclopaedic teachings on the inner tactile sense and breathing exercises, and there are ample descriptions of the value and benefits of inner body sense. I add experiments on smells, tastes, and sounds, in Chapters 6 and 7.
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 undeveloped dimensions of knowing ourselves, of feeling real and feeling 'I am this'.
Both have a deep and fundamental influence on our self image, so both counterbalance our driving need for the social confirmation of our abstract beliefs. Therefore, they both reduce the insecurity which leads to all our present day psychological and cultural problems.
Both are fully ignored by our culture's mainline education system.
However, once it has been established that both influence our self image, our self image is secondary. Our self image is a product of focusing.
And the way to counteract the dominance of focusing is blatantly obvious from all other animals' behaviour – we only need to watch any bird on the lawn – the direct, simplest, and practical way to compensate focusing is with panoramic awareness.
Panoramic sensing is the natural counterbalance to focusing and the cure to overfocusing. Everything else is a plaster on the wound, this is the only direct cure for the degenerative illness of our psychological displacement.
It is logical to assume that on a cultural level this would also be the direct way to cure our collective dysfunctional overfocusing.
I believe Buddha said something very similar.
Please continue with Chapter 4 : Buddhism and Wheels