THE VALUE of SENSING THE CHANGES
Religions and ChangeIn some religious beliefs, especially some forms of Buddhism and Hinduism, change is synonymous with impermanence – maybe sometimes even seen as an obstacle to being now and fully aware. Whereas i'm saying change always happens here and now, and by being aware of change we become here and now.
Change can only happen now, and now is the only time change can happen. If being here and now is the door to eternity, then change is the door to eternity.
The Background and The ChangesAbove the background smell and crackle of coffee and wood fire, your dog is still able to smell (or hear) an intruder.
Seeing and hearing everything, the background and the changes, as openly as a new born child would – before they learn to filter out the background mundane everyday occurrences – is an essential step.
And when starting to see panoramically first you notice everything, all the trees swaying and all the gentle movements. But that quickly becomes the background and you 'multi-focus' on a number of things within the panoramic field. It's the sudden changes which you notice, and it's this ability which is vital to animals.
It's an attitude involving a specific form of alert openness to anything quick which is happenening, the birds flying, the moths and flies, flashes of light and cats eyes at night, these are the things which catch your attention.
And then (as long as you don't focus selectively on anything) you are able to notice several things moving quickly at the same time.
Everyday sounds which incorporate changes, like bird song, rain, or the wind and rustling leaves in the undergrowth, can be beautiful and can be very relaxing, for humans and probably animals. But these constant or rhythmic stimuli are the background sounds.
It's when there's a sudden unexpected change – a crunching of leaves or a change in the bird song – that it's vital for animals to notice and possibly react.
Sensitivity to Change when HuntingIn its hunting form, panoramic seeing looks out over a limited field of vision, and animals are looking for specific changes within this area.
It's being ready and waiting for things which aren't there yet. It is an ability to focus in an abstract manner, on something which has not yet happened, but might.
With listening it's easy to understand. It's easy to imagine how early man might use it, listening-out for the sound of a distant wild boar or oxen herds or nearby tigers – each has specific sounds : bees, snakes, cracks of a twig – and early man was attuned to these specific stimuli and could listen-out for them in a pre-emptive way.
Buzzards and Kingfishers looking for prey do this in a pre-emptive way, as described in The Two Modes of Sensing.
This is an attitude of being here and now, and waiting ... an attitude often recommended in meditation.
This Random RealityFor animals, things which don't change or move aren't dangerous or edible, i.e. they aren't vital. The value for animals lies in noticing the changes; and outside of our solid walls life is always changing.
Some things like the sun and moon are predictable and repeat in regular patterns, but in the small world of individual animals most changes and movements happen randomly.
If changes and movements were predictable then animals wouldn't need to use their panoramic abilities, they would be able to understand when and where danger was going to happen.
For blackbirds this random reality is cause for insecurity. Humans have no reason to feel threatened by such things. Humans have a wonderful advantage, we don't need to react or be scared every time we see or hear a cat or dog, we don't need to selectively focus on anything and we can just continue to notice the changes.
Unfortunately it seems this lack of fear among humans has led to indifference and lack of awareness.
These days, we are missing the opportunity to just be amazed at real life in this random reality.