Thursday, 15 June 2017

Noticing

"Nothing moved but his eyes, and he flicked them back and forth; a steady fixed gaze was oddly noticeable to the one you were staring at, like brushing a feather over the nape of the neck."
-SM Stirling, The Sword Of The Lady (New York, 2010), Chapter One, p. 4.

Is this true? I suspect that it is. Although my mental processes are entirely logical/linear/abstract/verbal, I have sometimes felt danger when there was danger. Enough people refer to the sensation of feeling eyes at their back. But how does it work? There must be a great deal still to be learnt about organism-environment interactions. There are many more senses than the "five."

8 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Perhaps it's possible we have some bare traces of ESP potentialities? I"m reminded as well of what I wrote and quoted in my "Toughest Story" article.

Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

Humans spent a very, very long time hunting and being hunted (the latter mainly by each other). We've evolved a deep potential for sensory acuity, a synthesis which is neither sight nor sound nor smell nor things like the small hairs on the skin detecting moving air, but a synthesis of them all. It needs experience to actualize it, of course, like most human abilities.

Also, we've forgotten how -quiet- the natural world is. I'm just back from hiking on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and if you stop there and just open your senses, it's amazing how much comes in. You can hear a chipmunk an hundred feet away rustling through the pine-duff.

David Birr said...

There's a fairly common belief about the martial arts that they develop an awareness which lets a warrior sense when someone's so much as THINKING about attacking. One anecdote of this sort concerned a student who had no real intent of attacking, but simply happened to muse for a moment that his sensei was vulnerable just then. And then the teacher looked up with a frown, and began searching for the source of the "hostile" observation. I make no claims for the truth of this account, but the belief IS out there.

Paul Shackley said...

David,
I met a woman who spent some time at a British boarding school that was inspired by the teaching of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Once, she ate lunch in the school canteen when Krishnamurti was present but sitting at a different table. She felt an intense sensation of warmth on her back. Afterwards, the School Headteacher, who had been sitting with Krishnamurti, told my informant that, during lunch, Krishnamurti had been asking all about her.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

You wrote: "Humans spent a very, very long time hunting and being hunted (the latter mainly by each other)." Does this mean that as recently (considering the entire history of the human race) as the Old Stone Age, cannibalism was commonly practiced by humans? Because it was easier to catch and eat other humans than large game animals?

Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID and Paul!

So these incidents MAY have been examples of the slight traces of ESP potentialities some humans may have.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
Indeed.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And again I'm wondering what an alien race of the kind speculated about by PA in "Night Piece" and my "Toughest Story" might be like in reality. So strange and incomprehensible we would not be AWARE of its existence? Because "Superior's" difference from mankind is in the ESP field?

Apes and dogs can't follow Einstein's equations, but humans can at least WONDER if there are "intelligent species" of the kind "Night Piece" speculated about either on Earth or on other worlds.

Darn! I still have "Night Piece" on my mind! (Smiles)

Sean