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The survival and success of a species is dependent on the use of all of their sensory abilities.

Our modern training of focused selective attention, with its brilliant ability to handle abstract thinking, has completely overwhelmed our panoramic way of sensing.

And simultaneously with an ever-increasing variety of methods, we are destroying animal species, our environment and ourselves. This is not just an irrelevant coincidence.

To get everything modern civilisation offers, we had to focus on it, and this had amazing advantages, it gave us security, purpose, even hope. Focusing our thoughts and actions is how humans survived. We associated ideas and became clever and creative. And when humans developed beliefs, with Gods and ideologies to focus on, they became the central priority for our sense of reality, identity and security, in the world.

Our sense of purpose and belonging was found within our social group. The communal identity within our group, with each other and in relation to the big picture of our world, was confirmed by each other.

But slowly, over the last few centuries, as we started questioning our beliefs, we lost the mutual confirmation in our social group.

Our fight for survival in the abstract world of ideas, opinions and beliefs, is causing division and insecurity, worry and psychological suffering, in a way that no animal or early human could ever experience, or even imagine.

Displacement Activity
And as a response to our insecurity, we are now overcompensating with our species' tried and tested, habitual survival stategy – our habitual rut: Focusing.

We have collectively developed, what in animal psychology would be seen as a form of displacement activity. Displacement activity is the term used when animals under stress, revert to habitual but inappropriate action. For example when hens scratch and peck at nothing, just because they feel nervous and insecure; dogs and cats clean themselves when they actually want feeding. Any habitual activity can be displaced.

And we have begun to act like birds in captivity who can't stop chattering, in a desperate search for mates and territory, commonly plucking out their own feathers; – and overpopulated deer who will rub off so much musk on their territorial-marker trees, that whole rings of bark disintegrate and their territorial trees die.

We are displacing with all our focusing abilities. We are destroying ourselves, our culture and our environment driven by a natural but involuntary response to stress and insecurity. All the focusing – getting, doing, thinking, understanding, creating; having beliefs, ideas and opinions –, is directly disturbing our fundamental balance in life.

And while it is vital in life to focus – especially on higher aims and ideals – only, ever, exclusively focusing is an unbalanced use of our sensory faculties.

We have forgotten the panoramic way of sensing – that sense of complete receptivity, and involvement in our immediate environment. Modern man has lost and we are neglecting, part of how we always sensed the world around us, part of how we managed to survive for millions of years. (Please read Part 2 of the previous essay: the panoramic perspective on life). Our sense, experience, and understanding of ourselves and our world, is fundamentally disturbed.

The survival and success of a species is dependent on the use of all of their sensory abilities.

The panoramic sense is a neglected human resource. No creative modern culture can afford to ignore the possibilities which panoramic sensing offers, for securing our survival.

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