Long version of "Looking with Two Eyes"

Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, the need for focussed visual attention has always increased. From homo erectus fashioning stone-axes and making fire, - to reading and writing, television and now miniature phones.

So, around 12 years ago, i asked myself : How else can i use my eyes, what else can i do with them apart from focussing? And i thought maybe i could use my peripheral sight like some birds (ducks, blackbirds, blue tits and pigeons), or horses and deer.

At first i wondered how animals used their peripheral sight, because as soon as i tried to look at something on the periphery, my focus always went to that point, (or to anything else moving or bright). So i focussed on something straight infront, and then directed my attention to a point on the periphery, at about 30° up on one side. I quickly realised i could see points at 30° on both sides simultaneously, still physically focussing on a boring focal point infront.

Slowly, over a period of time, driven by curiosity, i chose different angles, checking out all the points of the compass. Then one day i realised: i didn't need the central focal point straight ahead and if i looked at a blank space, i could see the whole oval shape of my field of vision with multiple things moving inside it. (I was outside, obviously things indoors don't move that much.) And so, broadband seeing was born.

I don't think it's necessary for a beginner to follow my long preparation method, but i still check points on the peripheries sometimes to intensify the sensation. This seems valid because animals would often be especially aware around the peripheries, where new movements enter their field of vision.

The Practice
We sometimes spontaneously experience broadband seeing, looking into the distance with a landscape or seascape - and a panorama is best for this exercise.

An ideal alternative, is to lie down in the centre of a clearing in the woods, look at a clear sky, and watch the leaves on the trees moving all around the peripheries.

If you're not in an ideal environment, first put your hands up between your eyes, so you block the central area. You will get an impression of how it is to see with eyes on both sides of your face.

Then, you might be able to get into the feeling quickly, if you find a blank sheet of A4, - fold it in half (for some stability), and hold it sideways infront of your eyes. Focus on it but look at the interesting things happening all around it. Then move it a few inches away, check all around it again - move it another few inches away and repeat.

Once you can do this effectively, find a blank wall, or a monotonous area of sky, anything which has no focal point, and focus on it - while looking at everything else.

Look at everything you can see, and see everything you're looking at. Wait until it all merges into the oval shape of your field of vision, then look at the whole picture – if anything moves you will notice it, but don't look at it, keep looking at the whole picture.

My experience is that instead of looking at the world like a T.V. screen, it feels as though i'm right up inside the T.V. screen. The normal feeling of subject looking at object is considerably different, it's a 'being with' what i'm seeing, instead of looking at it.

It helps if there is a monotonous wall or even a post or pillar straight in front, anything which doesn't move. It's best if it has no focal point, but if your eyes wander, then look at a neutral and motionless focal point.

(It can be done it with glasses on, but it's difficult to do, and no animal would have this experience! So if you use glasses, it may be better to do it half-blind. - I have recently found it possible for short periods, to look outside the rim of the glasses, i'll maybe cover the glass sometime and try it. - And i haven't yet been able to experiment on or with anyone who wears contact lenses).

Extra Exercises
Once you've started, and if you enjoy it, then you can develop it. It is best to develop seeing with a number of different methods, in lots of different situations.

A good idea is to look a little above the horizon while walking, this almost forces the downward peripheral vision to activate.

Another good idea, is it go somewhere where lots is happening, sit outside where cars and people are moving - by the street or in a pedestrian zone, ...

Look upwards where nothing's moving, find a roof top chimney pot to focus on, but then concentrate on the people, push-bikes and cars which are passing by in the bottom half of your field of vision. Notice when new objects come into your field of vision - follow them till they are out of sight.

Then look down at the pavement, or your knees, and 'massage' the upper half of your field of vision.

Please continue with Seeing with Eyes Closed

"Extra Seeing Exercises" has extra seeing exercises!

Back to INDEX