Part 1. Learning to See.
Everyone knows that a human being has five senses. They are sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Many people believe that there is also a sixth sense.
What if I told you that there are even more senses than six? We can call these other senses sub-senses.
For example when we touch something with our fingers there is a sub-sense that tells us if it is hot or cold.
This sub-sense of touch is different from the sub-senses that tell us if the object is hard or soft, smooth or coarse, flat or round, wet or dry.
The sense that our eyes use to detect color is very different from the optical senses that detect motion, shape, texture, contrast, sharpness, light or darkness .
The sense of hearing includes pitch frequency, volume intensity, sound patterns or direction of sound.
We can also consider the senses that detect itching, balance, pain, pleasure, thirst, hunger and muscle tension.
So now we have established that each of the 5 major senses can be broken down into numerous sub-senses.
The human body is capable of gathering a wealth of information from the world around us and much of this information is on a subliminal or subconscious level.
For example you walk into a room like a doctors waiting room. You sit down, relax, perhaps read a magazine.
After a while you notice the sound of a clock ticking or maybe a radio playing down the hall or traffic outside.
Those sounds may have been there all the time but you weren't conscious of them earlier, then suddenly you are.
Perhaps if you had left the room sooner you never would have consciously heard them but they still would have been there.
Shamans believe that all the senses are connected at a single point within the human psyche and that all the information that is collected by our senses goes to that point and is processed to create the world as we perceive it.
They also believe that because the senses are all connected if you improve one sense other senses are also improved.
Shamans spend a lot of time trying to improve their senses, frequently by hunting. This is where my story began.
Many years ago when I first became interested in hunting and wildlife photography I wanted to improve my ability to find wildlife in the forests and fields.
This meant improving my senses like hearing, smell and especially the ability to detect motion through vision.
The ability to detect motion is primarily in our peripheral vision. That is the vision that is at the very outer edges of our sight and to our sides.
The reason peripheral vision is out of focus is because a sharp image is not as effective for detecting slight motion or a change in scene. With peripheral vision you do not see something so much as you are "aware" of it.
Try this experiment yourself.
Look straight ahead and do not move your eyes or head. Swing your arm back out of your line of vision then slowly move it forward until it enters your peripheral vision.
You cannot see your arm as clearly as with your forward vision but your eyes are "aware" that it is there. In short you "sense" it's presence.
One of the methods used by Shamans to train their peripheral vision was to look straight ahead at the horizon as they walked and to make themselves as "aware" as possible of the objects passing through their peripheral vision as they moved.
That is how I trained myself to detect motion.
If I was walking down a hallway or a trail in the woods I would focus my eyes straight ahead and make myself aware of what was passing by the outer edges of my sight.
When driving down a straight deserted road I would do the same thing.
I would look straight ahead at the road center and concentrate on the sides of the road as it passed by me.
After a while my peripheral vision became quite good at detecting motion and I believe I saved myself from a fender bender or two as a result.
Shamans believe that because peripheral vision is designed by nature to make our eyes "aware" of things that it is the key to psychic vision.
Richard Carrozza © 1998