Seeing Phase Two - Seeing and Listening
(extract from recent letter - present work - rewriting oct. 25th)
With listening, some people mistake it for intense focused awareness on something like bird song, or rain, - or listening to silence. Very beautiful, but useless for animals. Listening-out describes two stages, the first is listening to everything as helpless as a child, the second is listening-out for specific things, which might happen.
Seeing everything (as explained in seeing), is the first step.
Someone told me they see broadband when cycling. When i'm cycling i sometimes have about 60 degrees of the broadband horizontal centre field. It is a first step away from specific focussing. A girl told me she regularly went on a hilltop behind her house and looked over the panorama, and this is very similar - ... and i was told Gurdjieff teaches a "being gaze" - "including everything".
But i think how animals do it, (my teachers), it's almost waiting for things which aren't there yet. Everyday sounds like the wind rustling leaves in the undergrowth, aren't interesting, its when there's a sudden crunching of leaves, that it's important. Its being on the look out checking things are safe.
Actually i'm describing a second ability within the broadbanding awareness, an ability to focus (abstractly) on something which has not yet happened, but might. It maybe sounds somehow ironical.
With listening it's easy to understand. It's easy to imagine how early man might use it, listening out for a distant wild boar or sound of musk oxen herds or nearby tigers ... each has specific sounds ... bees, snakes ... cracks of a twig ..
Its the same with seeing. The astuteness to catch anything quick. With simple broadband seeing and looking at everything, first you notice all the trees swaying and gentle movements, but then that becomes background and you 'quasi focus' within the broadband field .. whenever anything quick happens, the birds flying, the moths and flies, ... quick movements, flashes of light, (cats eyes), ... these are the things which catch your attention, - AND you are able to notice several things moving quickly at the same time. It's a quasi-focus. I don't know a good word to describe it at present.
Above the smell of wood fire and coffee, your dog is still able to smell an intruder. The fire and coffee are background, the changes are what is noticed.
In it's hunting form it is more limited than when looking for danger but even more obvious.
Buzzards looking for prey, choose a central area to look out for small brown things moving quickly, they're not interested in how the trees are swaying, they have an open field where rabbits or mice live and move. Kingfishers watch for ripples maybe colours under the water ... theres no point in looking at the trees if youre hunting for fish ... This an amazing short video showing a kingfisher broadbanding at a stretch of water ... periodically focussing on 'things which might be' .. notice how the head must keep still, if the head were moving it wouldn't be able to see movements in the water.
So, it's an attitude of waiting - in inner still - but to do it intensively it's also a form of focussing and trying to hear and see specific things - within the broadband field.
The value for animals is only really in seeing the changes, the moving things, not everything .
And the peripheries of our broadband field of vision are particuarly noticeable, because we often notice things first as they come into our field of vision at the peripheries. So i think animals like us have a special awareness of the peripheries - more so than horses or some birds.
For a horse with 350 degree sidewards vision, very often the movement must happen out of the central area - but with our maximum 210 degrees (that's what the books say?), - new objects often come in from the peripheries, and from above and below, - (except when lying down, but if humans are actively on the look out then they dont lie down).
The goal of combining seeing and listening, is easier than it sounds, - it's easy because it's natural. Listen-out for dogs, pigeons and children. Look-out for flies, birds, squirrels, or litter and raindrops. But remember what i said at the beginning in Going Broadband about how it's safe for us because we have walls, traffic lights ... and our ability with abstract thought.