THE PANORAMIC PERSPECTIVE
I am a beginner and only able to describe some of the beginning effects of panoramic sensing. However, i feel i was searching for something like this for 50 years, and there is almost no information on it.
I don't know where this way of sensing could lead, but even the starting effects are amazing.
I want to give these ideas to younger people – they have so much more time and experimental energy ... there is so much more to discover.
Focusing and panoraming are different perspectives, and a different experience of how life actually happens.
Sensing panoramically is a way to be, without wanting, without having to do anything or go anywhere, without having any purpose except being aware. It's beautiful. And for animals, this is a constant reminder of how it feels to be still inside, awake, open, and safe, all at the same time.
Reversing the Normal RulesThere are other perameters to this way of sensing. The ideas we take for granted with our focused appreciation of life don't apply any more. Anyone with an interest for human psychology is missing something if they miss this.
Our normal understanding of meditation practices needs revision. Panoramic sensing reverses some of the normal rules governing self-perpetuating thoughts, wanting and worldly desire.
People who meditate often say that 'it comes by itself' so 'don't try so hard'.
But trying to go broadband, being attached to it, wanting it and then expecting it to happen, doesn't prevent it happening! It actually encourages it, it helps and stimulates it happening.
Why? Because it was built that way. It was built to stop and be still for a moment and feel directly and intimately connected with the world around us. You just have to stop and open your eyes and ears.
Being Here and NowTo be in the present moment, it's not focusing or what we focus on which is important, it's how we use the senses.
Focusing on a beautific image, a new lover, anything awesome, is easy and natural. At those moments we may feel intensely here and now. But focusing is always selective, at best it is always only a specific part of the here and now. Focusing always limits the full spectrum of what's happening now.
We habitually focus on where we're going or what we want. Focusing is essentially not entirely now, it's built that way, it's going somewhere which is not here, doing something which hasn't happened yet.
Being in the present moment is natural with the panorama senses. In the simplest and most practical way possible, it is here and now.
Panoramic sensing evolved to notice changes and movements happening here: in the immediate environment; and now: in the present moment.
Instead of thinking about how to stop all the abstract thoughts so you can be now, go panoramic and sense what's happening now – that stops them ... and it's nothing mystical or paradoxical ... it's just practical.
Throughout evolution, this form of awareness, has been the unquestionable and natural way to switch off, stop doing everything and be acutely receptive to everything in the local environment. And for animals, this is a constant reminder of how it feels to be here and now.
For more on this see: How to be Now
How to Stimulate HappinessThis is something i experience regularly for which i have no rational explanation – but there might be a simple method for others to experience it.
Sit so you can see something specific at the four diagonal extreme peripheral points of your field of vision, and then simultaneously focus on all of them.
For more on this see: Happiness – in Extra Benefits
A Fundamental Unifying ExperienceIt's a feeling of integration and companionship with the world around us. I describe this in Going on the Lookout. Panoramic sensing is a direct connection with everything happening in the immediate environment.
Focused thinking evolved to understand the distinction and relationship between objects. Focused sensing evolved to do things, and therefore always involves at least two focal points: a doer and a done to, a subject and an object.
We understand ourselves in the context of a relationship between focal points: 'I' and 'God'; or self and the world – without the panoramic experience of integration. Focusing separates, and then combines; panoraming integrates.
With the panoramic way of sensing, animals feel more involved and connected with everything they sense. The senses are usually seen as the door between us and the world outside us. In the panoramic reality, our senses connect us with the world. The feeling is : we are the door.
Panoraming belongs with that collection of rare words like love and empathy, as a state of being where the subject is intimately involved with the object.
For more on this see: Going on the Lookout
Peace of Mind
In The Simple Sense of Now, i explain how sensing the sudden movements and changes in our immediate environment, neutralises abstract thinking, especially by listening-out. This is the easiest way to stop the continuous chatter in our minds. It's a moment of being and feeling silent inside, a moment of direct, simple peace of mind.
With focused sensing we can focus, think, and do, all at the same time, in a coordinated manner, it's built and trained that way, it's very clever.
The panorama mode is useless for thinking – it lacks critical intelligence, it's built to recognise and respond to things instantly. This way of sensing is inherently non-judgemental. The blackbird doesn't have time to form an opinion and understand when she sees danger, she responds without thinking. It is non-judgemental, but it is not impartial or indifferent.
It's impossible to construct abstract thoughts when you are panoraming. You recognise sparrows, trees swaying, car doors slamming, church bells ringing, but they are without cause and effect, you recognise only the actual surface effect here and now.
The usefulness for animals is that it makes the things they do safe. This is an additional benefit of panoramic sensing. It is an habitual activity by which all other animals continually reassure themselves that they are safe. It must be connected with all subconscious and even instinctive feelings of security.
Among vulnerable animals it's motivated by fear, the advantage we have over animals is that we are safe, we don't need to respond in fear every time we see a cat or dog, we can just carry on panoraming.
Panoramic sensing is a moment's just being, feeling safe, and finding a few moments peace of mind in our everyday lives – for anyone and everyone, no matter which culture or special beliefs.
Anyone with an interest for human psychology is missing something big if they miss this.
For more on this see: How to Neutralise the Thoughts
The BalanceThis is something every other living being does, and previous humans did, but modern humans have inadvertently forgotten what it is and how to do it.
It's irrelevant to theorise about if focusing or panoraming is better. Both are real, both are valid. Panoraming is a different perspective on life. All other animals need to use both perspectives in order to survive. This is a basic balance in life which all other animals have.
The Effects on Understanding Life
The deepest idea, comes from the experience that panoramic sensing is impractical for wanting. Wanting is based on focusing, (Desire is Dependent on Focusing).
Grounded in our spiritual traditions, our culture understands that sensuality is dependent on the senses, and previously i would have agreed with this, but it isn't true. Sensuality is dependent on focusing. Using the senses in a panoramic way neutralises focusing on, or wanting, anything specific, and so it precludes sensuality.
The senses and thoughts can only lead to wanting, when they are focusing. And when we want something we will always focus on it. The only thing panoramic sensing makes us want, if it's pleasurable, is to want to do more panoramic sensing. Panoraming is a way of being which has nothing to do with wanting or getting, or the repetition of previous pleasures.
Pure panoraming is without thought or wanting, without any opinion or judgement.
Vulnerable animals use their panorama senses to stay safe, and to want nothing more than just that. Predatory animals have a way of combining their focused and panoramic vision, using the awareness of change and movement to hunt for specific prey. Under the influence of focusing on something specific, we witness again the connection with wanting.
Changes are often RandomIn the panoramic world lots of things happen randomly. Even if they can be explained by analytical thought, the experienced reality is of spontaneous movements and changes happening randomly.
One day i hear a dog barking three times, then two days nothing, then another bark. A small fly does a wiggling dance, probably unique, a one-off. In the panoramic reality, we witness vividly, all the time, that unexplainable things happen randomly.
My experience and the blackbirds experience is purely surface, life at face value without any interpretation or abstract thought. On this level, there is no cause and effect.
Man-made events usually repeat in a predictable manner. Our human analytical abilities have superimposed abstract forms onto life to try and make sense of it, and it has obscured the spontaneity, the randomness; even, i would say, the element of surprise and being alive. This theme is developed in Sensing the Changes.
SummaryHow we sense the world determines how we experience and understand it. Panoramic sensing is another way of experiencing and understanding life.
Panoraming is a baseline experience for any philosophy or psychology of man. Then without it, we are only experiencing and understanding a limited version of what human beings can do and be.
The entire 'blinkered' way we see the world is based in focusing. We're not considering the whole picture because we're only using part of our sensory abilities to feel it with.
Panoraming directly stimulates peace of mind, and eliminates worry. Humans are missing out on an easily available, non-mystical, practical way of stilling the mind and being awake and aware, finding a form of balance, and i suggest also, to feel safe and stop worrying. And consequently, human culture is missing out on it as well.
The development of modern civilisation depended on focusing to get things done. To balance this, in our spiritual lives we focus on God or on the breathing; for entertainment we focus on the ball or on the screen. It's not surprising that after thousands of years developing a one-sided way of sensing life, humans are now running into difficulties. Chapter 3 develops these ideas.
Parasympathetic Nervous SystemThere are several Links and Videos on Peripheral Vision which suggest that panoramic seeing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and even prevents Alzheimer's disease. It seems even intellectual, and egoistical aims in life can be empowered and supported with 'peripheral seeing'. These are areas i am not competent to discuss.
James Conlon "Simply switching from foveal to peripheral vision when we feel anxious or stressed, activates the parasympathetic nervous system. As the two nervous systems can't be active at the same time the body will naturally calm."
Comparison with other forms of MeditationFrom something so fundamental to life, and due to its similarity with other meditation practices, there are sure to be many other short term, and long term benefits.
The greatest obvious advantage is that it needs no preparation, and is effective even when done for very short periods of time. This is the simplest and most natural, and most direct way to feel at peace and wholesome. And it's free and easy.
Also, it can be used in combination with any other form of focused worship or meditation etc. without endangering or subverting any cherished belief.
It's maybe not as powerful as a new love, or devotional belief can be. But it's reliable, and always available, so you can trust it. You don't even have to believe in it for it to work.
Panoraming belongs with that collection of rare words like Love and Empathy, as a state of being where the subject is intimately involved with the object. And for this reason, if you want to develop love and empathy, or if you believe in God or a great creative spirit, then it is a baseline experience. Chapter 5 develops this theme.
Please continue with Extra Benefits of Panoramic Sensing