THE MISSING LINKS
The Basic Misconception that the Senses lead to Worldly Desire
There is a basic misconception in religious and spiritual circles, that the senses lead to worldly desire, and so distract us from our higher, selfless intentions. The idea that the senses lead to desire, has filtered through into everyones understanding of life, it is deeply rooted and unquestioned in all cultures.
This idea is misleading. The senses or thoughts can only lead to wanting and wordly desire when they are focussing.
Focussing does not automatically lead to wanting or worldly desire. It is only when we focus and it causes pleasure or displeasure that it sometimes - depending on the degree of pleasure or displeasure - leads to wanting, or to fearing. And once we want (or fear) something we will periodically remember it and repetitively want it or want to avoid it.
Wanting and worldly desire are always intrinsically connected with focussing. But focussing isn't the only thing our senses can do.
Animals have a way of using their senses without focussing. It is purely watchful and receptive. It is ready and able to focus, react and want when necessary, but in itself it is purely and actively receptive.
Sensing like this doesn't lead anywhere else. I call it broadband sensing. The only thing broadband sensing leads to, if it is pleasurable, is more broadband sensing. The senses or thoughts can only lead to wordly desire when they are focussing.
Listening Out and Nowness
Listening has an immediacy which the other senses don't have, and this is because sounds are sometimes very sudden and over in a split second. Smells and sights usually last at least a few seconds.
Possibly in ancient times, humans and animals only needed to listen. Nowadays with the constant humm of traffic, it is necessary to listen out, to listen actively.
Listening out is full of suprises. Listen in all directions, near and far away, high and low. I often listen out for distant dogs and children - at night, for hedgehogs and owls. I don't often hear them, that's irrelevant, listening out for them is the vital part.
By empathising with animals sensory awareness we can't think. If we start thinking, we stop being aware, and in that moment an animal would be vulnerable.
How to be Now and Neutralise the Self Perpetuating Wheels of Thought
The religious experience of eternity is often connected with some awesome mind blowing sense of being now, - but it's not the simple sense of now which every animal has, and we could so easily relearn.
Throughout evolution, going broadband has been the unquestionable and natural way to switch off, stop doing everything and be still for a moment. Animals know it's vital, to periodically check their surroundings, and be fully aware and receptive. And for animals, this is indirectly a constant reminder of how it feels to be now and still.
Without trying it out, you might feel as though there is so much happening, that it would make you crazy to be aware of it all. And it would make us crazy if we had to focus and then think about it all; but to be aware of it all in a broadband way, you can't think at the same time.
And it's nothing mystical or paradoxical .. it's just practical. Without focussing on anything you can't start thinking about it, and consequently you can't want it or want to repeat it. Broadbanding disconnects the regenerating basis for thinking. It devolves the system. In effect it is the ideal cure for, and safeguard against closed-mindedness.
Broadband sensing is a very direct connection (it's more than a relationship) with the immediate environment. The senses are seen as the door between us and the world outside of us. In a broadband reality our senses connect us with the world. The irrational feeling is : we are the door.
Doing things which are in keeping with nature
Broadband sensing actually stimulates inner peace by trying to do it because it's natural. People who meditate often say that 'it comes by itself' - 'don't try so hard'. But broadbanding is something which wanting to do, and trying to do, even being attached to it, and expecting it to happen, doesn't prevent it happening. It's reliable.
If we want eternity, we probably have to focus on eternal things. But if want to be now, still our thoughts, with a basic feeling of connection with our world, we need to learn from animals, and how they use broadband sensing.