Animals have three modes of being: active, passive, 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. This subject deserves a place in our culture's psychological literature on therapeutic possibilities and the full human potential.
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 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, and at least some dogs, sleeping by open windows, expand their nostrils when breathing in. Though not conclusive : if you expand the nostrils and breathe in without smelling, (i.e. warming and moistening the breath by its passage through the nasal canals), you will get a very sore throat. Even in their passive state, animals maintain the balance, with a broadband awareness of the shadows, sounds and scents around them.
Animals have three modes of being: active, passive, and broadband. 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. It can only be done now.
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 or to plan 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.
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 images as a balance. Broadband sensing is the most natural balance for both the active focussing mode and the passive dozing mode. Our culture's understanding of life and evolution omits this fact.
We believe to feel content and be awake in the present moment is a mental shift of perspective or state of mind which we're looking for. This shift of perspective is only rarely directly applied to our senses and how we use them.
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.
The first complete, long version from Feb. 21st. is being developed, now March 6th with new summary. By March 25th rewritten 5 times. It seems i can only write like this, notes develop to a jigsaw puzzle, and then slowly it all fits in place. I feel sure, all the main ideas are written down now, but i know some explanations could be better. Some sections may need reading twice. This will develop, simplify, and grow over time. Please enjoy now, and return later.
Part One concentrates on broadband seeing and listening and its nowness and integration with the world outside. Part Two concentrates on empathy with the body sense and the inner security which animals have. In conclusion cultural aspects of the balance of broadband and focussed sensing are discussed.
It seems necessary to clarify what empathy means. Empathy is similar to sympathy but deeper, it's not just feeling for someone, it's putting yourself in their shoes. Empathy always stimulates intuition, openness and awareness.
I find empathy has one special use : Empathy with how animals sense their bodies and the world around them. This has no direct connection with the shamanic practice of discovering your animal and becoming it; or the chinese martial arts where they learn to imitate certain animals.
I am suggesting re-discovering forgotten and ignored possibilities, ways of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and BEING which i believe we were familiar with as babies. We can relearn these by empathising with animals.
IN COMBINATION WITH MEDITATION
Most forms of meditation, prayer and therapy can bring our lives in balance, and help us to connect with forgotten unrealised parts of ourselves and to be fully human. Please use them as well.
Broadband sensing IS a forgotten urealised part of ourselves, AND evolution's basic balance in life. Naturally it can be combined with any other therapy, meditation method or religious practice, ... or just anything which you focus on and are doing.
I'm sure i don't know all the potential of this perspective on life. Maybe i have only scraped the surface, but already - i'm convinced this balance i talk of, is PART of 'the solution' to the problems which humans have on planet earth, and i'm hoping others, with different perspectives, will help complete the picture.
I am still experimenting with all these exercises - and experimenting with how to write everything in a way that everyone can understand it.
I would like communication with anyone and experts in various fields, parents with young children, animal lovers. And there are two special areas which aren't covered in the book.
I am no expert, but i wonder if the exercises on body, smell and taste, or humming (in Appendix C) could be a more useful balance for autistic people and people who are especially sensitive or agoraphobic.
Again, i am no expert, but children and people with attention deficiency, might be helped by learning the balance of focussed and broadband sensing.
I'd be very interested in communication with other people who could build on what i'm describing.