I am not sure how I feel about Steiner's organizing principle behind his 12 senses. We just completed smell and taste, in the Transformative Learning Foundation course, and now we are exploring vision as part of the same category. I guess Steiner reasons that in each of these senses we take something in from the outside.
From a neurobiological perspective, this categorization doesn't gel. Taste and smell are confined to such lower, foundational brain networks, with most of their primary efferents connected to brainstem or archicortex. Vision, on the otherhand, first and foremost project through the thalamo-cortical networks, and though this and other neural systems is connected to almost every region of the brain. Vision researchers say 70-90 percent of the brain is visual depending on who you talk to. It is a highly dominant and interconnected sense with a strong top-down influence.
Vision is connected to our inner visual imagination, and this is where so much power lies in our ability to create, and to understand. Creative people can see their work in their minds eye. They can then take that image and bring it into reality. Good leaders and futurists can "see" the big picture of an organization or social structure, and can envision how particular tweaks and changes to an issue will produce differing results.
Many sages and seers have existed across time who have been able to see our unfolding future. Visions are not uncommon for any intuitive person. It is a capacity that can be developed through quieting the mind and simply setting the intention. Visions can come through dreams, or through meditation, or contemplation.
I woke up early this morning and sat out on the hammock under the stars. It is unusually warm for November, so I got a hat and a blanket and just stared at the sky. At first I found myself trying to pick out stars, naming, or categorizing. I then starting thinking about the time of day, cloud cover, dawn and the like. I decided to really see, I needed to still my mind and stop naming.
I started practicing a new approach to the Wim Hoff breathwork method that has been quite successful for me. It aligns the breathwork with the fibonacci sequence. I split my attention between counting and doing the breathwork which was quite effortful and viewing the stars. One star in particular caught my attention, and seemed more alive than the others. I had a feeling towards this star, its light seemed to separate and jump down to greet me.
As the breathwork continued, I started to feel a metaphor for this star and our earth life. God's light having been given, broken off from its source, so that we could experience the illusion of separation. I felt that this was a great gift. Although we have done quite a job of it, this Earth project, the trust and love that was present in its creation, is a powerful manifestation of our own creative and destructive tendencies.
There was a feeling that the entire project came out of the energy of Narcissism. A desire to know oneself separate from God. Well, what a disaster that has been. We are all feeling the pain of alienation from one another and God. The illusion of happiness coming from fame and glory given to oneself, is so radically demonstrated through the misery of those in Hollywood. Drug overdoses, domestic violence, self-destructive behavior and a level of self-absorbtion that is then portrayed to the world as something worthy of envy or worship even.
Will we make it out of the suffering we have created? Can we find our way back to God and the awareness that we are all one? That seems to me to be the goal of this project. For myself, I find it necessary to make that effort everyday to quell my own desires for those things of the ego, and to remember that those can never satisfy what I am truly longing for.
++++Wim Hoff Breathwork+++