EMPATHY WITH ANIMALS
Chapter 3 :
SENSING WITHOUT FOCUSSING
When i started describing the sensations i had from what i used to call 'sensing without focussing', i was often misunderstood. Friends told me of a special moment of spontaneous oneness when smelling cherry or meadowsweet flower scents, or when gazing out at a landscape. The experience happens often with panoramas. The sensation inspires an openness in the senses, and it is related to my broadband idea, but back then i didn't know how to explain the difference.
My point is that we can use our senses like this without anything special or beautiful to sense: It is not as inspiring, but the inner openness is the vital part, not the outside stimulus.
If the inner openness is active and available, if we are awake and aware in this present moment, the openness is an inspiration in itself, and you'll be ready to experience it when something special or beautiful happens.
Normally we use our senses purely as a means, a vehicle for the relationship between our thoughts and the world outside. They are normally used in a supporting role to fulfill our wanting thinking repetitious habits. We never just let them be themselves, they are always being controlled by our thoughts.
I want to illustrate this with an allegory from human rights : We are using our senses like slaves who have no rights of their own – and this seems, to our present cultural way of understanding life, perfectly reasonable and sensible.
But for animals, the senses have their own rights, without any thoughts dominating them. In fact, the senses control and dominate the thoughts and actions. What is sensed now, either broadband or focussed, is registered and acted upon.
Human senses are manipulated and evaluated or just ignored, interrupted and overpowered by our thoughts. Our thoughts are the bosses. Our senses are being used and forced to only focus, forced to work for the bosses, and their natural inborn abilities are being ignored and denied.
Meanwhile the bosses have been greedy, they have gobbled up and memorised so many thoughts and ideas and opinions - and have developed an astounding ability to juggle and show off and be clever with all their knowledge.
How can we organise a revolution? How can we enable our senses to overcome the bosses (and their families: the self perpetuating repetitions). How can we manipulate them and cut off their independance and inspiration? How can we turn the tables?
And my answer is, just observe animals. They need both broadband and focussed sensing to survive. To get the balance back, our senses have to learn to live with the bosses (by non-violent non-cooperation), and the bosses need to start feeling a bit of compassion and understanding.
THE PEACE TREATY
To sign up for a bit of peace, you don't need any long term committment like with a religion or a therapy or learning music or physics. You don't have to believe in it, or any secret mysteries. You don't need an intense thirst for the truth, purity or selfless devotion. There are no vows to take or promises to make, and, you don't have to pay any money.
With broadband sensing you can try it out for just a few minutes and see if you enjoy it. Then, when you remember it and want to repeat it, then you repeat it.
Touch and body sense are good for relaxation, but not for developing broadband awareness, the changes are so slow that they don't stimulate nowness. Also, taste changes after every meal, but otherwise the changes are very slow.
Broadband sensing was evolved to be aware of movements and changes outside our body, with smells, sounds and sights in the world outside. Humans live in rooms, where smells don't change, and most things don't move or make noises (except on that curious invention the TV screen). In the outside world smells can change quickly, especially if there's a wind. Trees, clouds, and animals are seldom still - cats eyes and night lights are often only a flash. And if you aren't aware the split second the dog barks or a car door slams a mile away, you'll have missed it forever.
The easiest and most enduring, (and when you think about it, most obvious and logical) self perpetuating, self supporting method of being now, is with broadband sensing, or broadbanding, because this doesn't generate any repetitions. It defuses, unplugs, deactivates the repetitions.
I repeat : The only thing broadband sensing leads to, if it is pleasurable, is the repetition of broadband sensing.
HOW TO DO IT - HOW TO BE NOW
The way to be aware now of smells, is not by thinking about it, just smell. The way to be aware now of sounds, is not to think it could do you good, just listen out for distant dogs and children, and you will be now and it will do you good. Don't think 'stop thinking'; just sense without focussing and you will stop thinking.
Instead of trying to stop thinking about how to stop all the abstract thoughts : go broadband and sense what's happening now - that stops them. And in a very small and not a mind-blowing way this leads to the present moment .. maybe just for a moment .. and it's nothing mystical or paradoxical .. it's just practical.
It's not a permanent state. The thoughts return. But it's a pause, a brief experience of near peace of mind ... and i come back fresh and new like after a holiday.
I find the real beauty of it, is that i stop thinking. It's a holiday from the eternal repetitious wheels of our thinking.
It benefits clear thinking, and disrupts closed mindedness. Broadband sensing interrupts the automatic repetition and re-confirmation of all abstract thoughts. Self righteous opinions lose their power because they lose their automatic confirmation.
A few minutes broadband, even half a minute, every few hours, brings things in balance. It allows my thinking to run slower and smoother; brings out a new dimension of thought. Gives new perspectives on old problems.
I believe children would only need a little encouragement, and then they would never forget their broadband abilities ...
It is a balance for anything you focus on, while writing this, while practicing music ... when feeling anger, or when feeling love. It's similar to that other wonderful idea of having a break for a cup of tea, but this is more intense, more effective, and can be done without preparation.
It's direct, simple, and based on common sense: I think it may well be a baseline experience and reality checkpoint, for any focussed belief in a great creative spirit, or God.
I'm absolutely convinced it's a base line experience for any philosophy or psychology of man, then without it we are only considering a limited version of what human beings can do and be. Only considering humans in the context of focus points. Only understanding a relationship between 'I' and 'God'; or self and the world; - without the broadband aspect of integration and nowness.
We're not considering the whole picture because we're only using part of our senses to feel it with.