rise above the horizons of our past,
guide us into the future,
change our movements,
our next perceptions,
Each perception emerges within a framework formed by the memories of the past actions of our lives.
Awareness of perceptions is structured by memories of how to behave to take information from self and surroundings and continue on our voyage.
Our field of perception, determined by our sensory abilities, our memories and actions, is at once a guide and a limitation.
Our understanding of the world around us is based on our perceptions yet our perceptions are so basic to our thoughts and feelings that we seldom think about them at all, until they fail us.
It normally does not occur to us that all of the many things we do each day are possible only because of our human panorama of sensory organs that enable us to create a mental model of such marvellous complexity and detail. Nor does it cross our minds that our beliefs and thoughts about the world also depend on our perceptual abilities - what we can see, hear, taste, feel, and understand.
It will be useful, in the exploration of This Magic Sea, to remember that most of our biological perceptual abilities, and the wonderful detailed, full color 3D world with smells, tastes, sounds and feelings we take for granted did not exist at all a few hundred million years ago, before eyes were invented.
The same world was here, with its blue skies and clouds, its oceans, rivers and lakes. Our earlier life forms experienced powerful biological needs and urges, but life had not yet evolved eyes, ears, noses, and the other sensory organs we now enjoy.
Without these organs of perception, life forms - like this green brittle starfish - do not form the fabulous mental imagery you and I enjoy every moment of our lives.
For billions of years, until humans discovered science and its technological methods of altering fields of perception, organisms evolved new physical forms and thereby altered their horizons of perceptions.
The evolution of the eye from light sensitive cellular organs gave beings the ability to gather information sightless beings could never be aware of and in the process, changed the behavior of those that could see and guided them into new patterns of being, new forms.
We inherited our sensory abilities from a multi-billion year effort to improve our ability to perceive the world and reduce the surprises that come from beyond the horizons of our perceptions.
Most of our sensory abilities are sub-conscious. We don't pay attention to all the light falling on our retinas. We see the photo of the coral and the fish rising above it into a world of vision. We see the words on the screen, but we ignore the peripheral vision that sees 180º to either side and more than 90º vertically. We ignore most of the sensations of touch on our body (our clothes, our feet touching the ground, the surface we rest our hand on). We ignore the sounds, smells and tastes of the world - until they change. or otherwise require our attention. We get so used to our framework of references - how the world looks and feels from our viewpoint - much of the world just vanishes from our conscious mind.
By changing our viewpoint, we become aware of perceptions that would otherwise be lost to our conscious minds. The whole world can take on a new and wonderful perspective through a kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscopic presentation of the coral world of the butterfly fish seems delightfully new and different.
The kaleidoscopic mirrored view changes our perspective so we can glimpse the nature of the web of communications created by the fish and its prey. But this web is much more complex than the geometry offered by the kaleidoscope, and visualizing communication webs requires special thinking tools and an array of basic observations to build up a mental model of communication webs and the threads of awareness constructing them.
Magnifying glasses, microscopes, telescopes, computers and cameras have altered humanity's perceptions of the world and from these altered perceptions have come new patterns of behavior and vast webs of communications that link our minds to whole new vistas of learning.
The use of instruments and computers to measure natural events beyond our individual horizons of perception drastically alters how we behave and what we will do. Our technological senses alter our fields of perception far more rapidly than the slow process of cellular learning.
When transmission of memories moved from the carbon-based internal genetic system to the written language of Man, perception leaped forward in amazing new directions. Humanity's development is still an evolutionary process, but the instructions, the memories of how to build new sensory systems, are now stored in our interhuman memory bank of libraries and computers and transmitted quickly through the human population within and between successive generations of individuals. And each new perceptual ability results in new patterns of behavior.
You might like to try a few of the many experiments offered on The thread of awarenss website to adjust your field of perception. They will help you perceive the elusive thread of awareness in chaos we are tracking on this expedition into This Magic Sea.