EMPATHY WITH ANIMALS
Animals have two ways of using their senses, focussed and broadband. Non-selective or broadband sensing evolved for the purpose of being receptive to and aware of sudden movements and changes in the immediate environment. Broadband sensing can only be done now. Animals need it to survive.
Non-selective is not a good word to describe it because this fails to describe the actual activity of being ready and on the watch, or ready to be watchful.
Broadband sensing evolved as a balance for focussed activity, and while passively dozing. This is a vital part of the oldest, original, most natural form of being awake and staying alive.
Humans balance their active focussing mode with sleeping, and sometimes seeking inner peace; but modern man hardly ever uses this third mode of being, our broadband mode.
Could we be missing out on something?
SUMMARY (March 26th)
Non-selective or broadband seeing, listening, and smelling, is something all animals need to do, in order to survive. This is the oldest, original, most natural, tried and tested form of being awake and staying alive. This is not a new form of meditation or yoga.
Humans occasionally experience a short spontaneous moment of broadband seeing, when looking into the distance with a landscape or seascape.
Animals need to use broadband sensing, sometimes every minute of every day, to balance both their focussed-active, and passive modes.
Its active use, as a balance during focussed work, can be easily witnessed every time a bird, foraging for food, raises their head to check for danger. Its passive use when dozing, is less easy to prove, but birds sleep with one eye open, hares fold back their ears open. Even in their passive state, animals maintain the balance, with a broadband awareness of the shadows, sounds and scents around them.
Humans balance their active focussing mode with sleeping and sometimes seeking inner peace; but we hardly ever use this third mode of being, our broadband mode.
BEING NOW and INTEGRATED
Broadband sensing evolved for the purpose of being receptive, wide awake and aware of any sudden movements and changes outside our body; sights, sounds and smells happening now in the immediate environment.
With the broadband way of seeing and hearing, animals feel more involved and integrated, more a part of everything they sense. There isn't the same clear distinction and solid defining relationship of a subject sensing an object, it was built that way; unlike focussing which evolved to do things, and thus involves a doer and a done to, a subject and object.
Various spiritual and meditation disciplines have developed the idea of mindfulness and focussing on the present moment. Broadband sensing is not the same thing as focussing on the present moment because when we focus, we use our senses selectively. In order to be now, it's not focussing or what we focus on which is important, it's how we use the senses, by being mindful in a broadband way we are automatically now because there's no other time we can actually sense what's happening.
In religious and spiritual circles, there is a basic misconception about the senses leading to worldly desire, with it's passion for distractions. It's not the senses which lead to desire, it's when we focus (either with our senses or with our thoughts) that it separates us from our environment in a way which can lead to desire.
Broadband sensing evolved to allow a spontaneous, instinctive response, without stopping for a moment's thought. Animals need to be alert with their senses for their survival. Humans in the developed world, have overcome this basic need. But, the side-effects of broadband sensing, which are being now and feeling integrated, are still of great value.
Our culture has developed some ingenious and valuable balances for our focussed work mode. Entertainment, where we focus on someone else who is focussed on entertaining us. Religions, where we have a higher focal point or image. Creative art, music and dance, where we focus with our imagination.
Some human cultures have developed our passive mode: waiting for God, letting go, and contemplation. But, in almost all of these, we close the windows and the senses, and look for inner peace in the silence.
We have forgotten evolution's original balance. Animals don't close their eyes or focus on fun or abstract ideas as a balance. Broadband sensing is the most natural balance for both the active focussing mode and the passive dozing mode.
It's nothing mystical or metaphysical, it's not even philosophical, it's just at first rather strange: I'm suggesting a practical physiological method of using the senses, to find a moments peace and harmony with the world.
As individuals we can't expect to develop any real sense of balance, without going broadband for a minute or so every few hours. No modern culture can afford to ignore such a valuable human resource, and the possibilities it opens up for securing our survival.