When people die, their life flashes before their eyes. Sometimes during a trauma or during dream time, a person will experience time dilation and in a few seconds experience several hours (or days or even years) worth of dreams. Sometimes when startled by a sound, as that sound wakes me, I will have an instant mini dream that culminates in the sound as the climax of it – as if the sound was anticipated. Sometimes a dream will include a memory of a dream past – instantly created and complex.
Susan Blackmore talks about time dilation, and how linear time as we experience it is a fabrication of consciousness, not an inherent aspect of consciousness. That is why we get time dilation – one second literally can include many hours worth of experience.
Some people practice visualizations. With practice they can visualize an incredibly complicated scene – all in incredible detail. This is similar to time dilation, except without the time dilation: many hours or days worth of experience crammed into a short period of “time”. Expanded awareness, in other words.
The time in the morning, after a decent rest but while still asleep, often allows for expanded awareness. As can time on the meditation cushion, or altered by drugs, or during intense flow moments such as surfing, skiing, sky-diving, or sex.
Expanded awareness and peoples visualizations can get big. Some people report a clear visualization expanding to include not just their entire house, but the planet, solar system, and then out and out to Universe. And tales of a full lifetime being remembered in a matter of seconds number in the several thousand, at least.
People cultivate time dilation and expanded awareness. Micheal Jordan is famous for being able to slow down time.
Chi-kung, or kinesthetic awareness practice, also is a type of visualization, that can expand along with awareness. One embodies a greater and greater self, and integrates it.
We are told that mind and body are in mutual influence. The limitlessly intricate body system is affected by our attitudes and feelings and thoughts. Intractable illnesses are healed by placebo, health fails from stress, visualising weight lifting increases muscle mass. Chi-kung integrates our awareness with our sensations and our body; the feedback loop of attention and action. Focus on your fingertip, and your fingertip will subtly change because of your focus – neurons there will fire. Every time neurons fire, they strengthen a circuit. If you practice playing the piano, the circuits practiced between your hands and spine strengthen, such that the brain need only send a signal to the spine, “c-chord” and the spine will send the signal to the hands. All our actions and attentions build or let atrophy circuits.
And our awareness can include many circuits at once. So, kinesthetic awareness can build to include greater and greater subtlety, and include more and more of the body and sensations at once.
But sensations are not limited to the physical body. Amputees can feel lost limbs. Pain is sometimes felt in a part of body physically located in a different place than the injury. People see auras – information is processed in unconscious ways, and then displayed in consciousness as a perception – an aura can not be seen if the body is occluded from view – a body next to a doorway but hidden won’t show an aura to someone who sees. There is no physically existing aura that is seen, but subtle thoughts and perceptions are organized into a scene. And our perceptions can be incredibly subtle – we don’t really yet know the limit to just how subtle. We do have many reports of extremely subtle hearing; hearing the exact words of conversations happening in distant room. Lovers are familiar with the feeling of their mates subtle sensations being felt in their own body, bringing them to a mutually experienced climax. Very subtle cues and sensations are transmitted in ways we don’t yet understand or know where to look for the physical correlates.
So a very complicated kinesthetic or visual visualization needn’t have direct one to one measurable correlates in physical space in order to be “real”, or to encode useful and practical information. Dislocated pain symptoms point to a real problem, somewhere. A feeling of love in the heart, or of sexual feelings in the belly, don’t have to point to any measurable physical thing called love or sex to exist and be meaningful. The nervous system in touch with with emotions and the hormonal and all physical systems makes sense of complicated patterns through felt visualizations – through feelings and images.
There are many experiences people can train themselves to feel and deepen in – many common circuits we can tune into. Individuals share much in common, as our physical systems are all human. When we feel sadness from breaking up with a lover, we don’t say that we feel it in our big toe; we feel it in the center of our chest.
Many of our circuits of attention/sensation can be talked of in subjective terms, terms that need not have direct correlates in the body. People practice meditations to feel energy below the feet, and report somewhat common experiences that happen to them when they feel this. Where exactly do the physical correlates to feeling energy below the feet occur? Does that have to be found out, before we agree that many people have felt this, and that many people have learned to re-create this at will? What are the physical correlates to feeling a huge rush of energy up the spine? In subjective experiential terms, that question can be irrelevant. Subjectively what matters is the reproducible and communicable experiences – do this, and then this will happen to you.
If you practice feeling into your heart, and re-create feelings of being in love, or of loving, you can integrate that feeling with other sensations. You can then and therefore create the fact of sensations arising as loving. Many integrations are possible.
The rush of energy up the spine is the most obvious experience that is not common to everyone, but that is reasonably easy for anyone to experience, with training and practice. There are hundreds, and thousands of such common aspects of being human one can train in discovering. And then integrating.
Integrations can happen endlessly. No one knows to what degree – we already have information that awareness can be incredibly vast, and not merely vast, but vast and coherent.
That is where expanded awareness comes in – feeling more of the present moment and ones being at once. And making decisions about who to be, what to be, how to be.
And this relates to my other posts about vision-logic. If we at least try to let the implications of any one thing we know integrate with any and all other things we know, perhaps we will get a visualization that includes, coherently, many systems at once.