We alter our interval of awareness, perceive new levels of change.
Before you do this exercise, you should be familiar and experienced with the exercises Om Mani Padmi Hum, The Torus and The Torus Tree.
Before you get into it, you might also want to read an example of how I used this in Papua New Guinea. You should also read the interval of awareness in This Magic Sea. As background, rent the videos called "The Private Life of Plants" with David Attenbourough. The time-lapse photography in these is the best in the world.
By altering our interval of awareness we open our ability to observe the thread of awareness in Chaos itself. Here's how.
Our resolution of the error of expectations increases as methods and modes of perception increase. With each attainment in perceptive ability, the range of possible responses creates a whole new level of behavior. The added complexity of each new level of behavior expands the interval of awareness.
Each level of being emerges from the previous level all at once, in a quantum leap of information re-organization. As water emerges from hydrogen and oxygen. As a multicellular being emerges moment by moment from the communication web of its cells. With each leap between layers, there is a corresponding jump in the interval of awareness.
Atomic/molecular changes are extremely rapid, happening in billionths of a second. The larger, statistical mass created by the billions of molecular changes creates a slower interval of perception, memory, response in cells and their interval of awareness is measured in thousandths of a second. The larger, statistical mass created by the billions of cellular changes creates a slower interval of perception, memory, response in multicellular creatures and these react in tenths of a second. The larger, statistical mass created by the millions of communications between multicellular creatures creates a slower interval of perception, memory, response in societies and these react in minutes or longer depending on the efficiency of information flow.
If you alter your interval of awareness, even slightly. You will enter vastly different domains of This Magic Sea. The thrill of such a shift in time frame gives time-lapse photography its special fascination, the feeling of looking at a whole new natural language. Watching the world in time lapse, you can see creatures do things, move about and communicate with the world around them in a way invisible to normal perceptions. David Attenburough's BBC video series on "The Private Life of Plants" offers some of the best time lapse imagery ever created.
Hyperlink to Malolo Lailai, Fiji, to join me on a beautiful beach, where I took the image of the tides changing. I photographed the scene once every six minutes. When the still frames were projected at 24 frames per second, the normal human interval of awareness, I saw the tides as Sea breathing, one breath every six seconds, the relaxed rhythm of breathing. Sea, at this interval of awareness, looked remarkably alive.
This experiment will show you how to do mental time-lapse imagery. If you accomplish it, it will help bring the thread of awareness into much sharper focus.
The resolution of your mental time-lapse imagery depends on the depth of your knowledge of the long term changes in your environment. It is imaginative, but not imaginary. You find out all you can about how the various elements of the environment change and then visualize these changing at larger intervals of awareness - weeks passing in seconds within your mind.
I tried it with coconut trees, in the Solomon Islands, examining every step of a coconut tree's life; the way the young sprout penetrates the brown husk of the nut and then grows upward, unfolding its fronds into the sun; how the roots, with their microscopic root hairs emerge from the nut and extend out into the ground like tentacles; how the leaves form and then grow old and drop away as new leaves unwind from the heart of the palm at its crest.
Once I "knew" the life stages of coconut trees I could close my eyes and replay the scenes as a sequence. The scenes can be played as quickly as I like. I see a coconut tree rise from the nut, and unfurl itself into the sky and web itself into the earth. I see nuts swell like little green balloons on the underside of the crown then rain down as the tree climbs the sunlight higher and higher into the sky.
That's one tree. But with a little more effort the game can be extended to others, allowing, as Nature does, for some of the fallen coconuts to begin the process again.
I looked at the plantation at Malaupaina and saw many coconut trees and the island's canopy of an assortment of tropical flowering trees and bushes.
I also saw the gray, weather worn coral rock which formed the island.
Extending the mental time-lapse to show the growth stages of a whole population of coconut trees I could perceive the trees and bushes of the island growing like a sort of green flame.
The coconut trees burned air and sunlight, and the coral rock soared into the sky like green flickering smoke.
The individual trees and bushes burst upward, lived and died in a shimmering reality, falling down to become earth while new ones flamed up from their ashes.
There are all sorts of details one notices doing this. The way the flames all reach the same height, despite the genetic species of bush or tree. There is also a feeling, hard to describe, of the whole assembly being a living mantle, transient but permanent; a fire of spirit at once consuming and creating itself.
A geologist friend of mine says he plays this kind of a perceptual game, too. He sees, through his years of experience detailing the geology of islands, volcanoes bursting from the sea floor, coning up, exploding from Sea, and then slowly subsiding. He says he can see cliffs of sedimentary rock chugging upward from Sea, emerging in the rhythms of the planet's geologic pulse.
Find some time lapse videos, like The ABC Secret Life of Plants. It should be in any major video rental shop.
Search for high speed photographs of any kind that show events you could not possibly see yourself. If you are a photographer or have a video camera with a time lapse feature and take some time lapse and high speed images of your own.
You simply never know what the results will be like until you view them. Virtually anything shifts wonderfully when viewed in time lapse, traffic becomes the pulsing blood of a city, sea urchins and star fish run here and there on what looked to your eyes as a static reef.
Read the exercise with the Torus Tree.
You should now have enough information to do a bit of mental time-lapse with the seed, sprouted seed, small tree, big tree. Once you have the visualization of the tree torus, meditate on the seed using the Om Mani Padma Hum or its English equivalents.
Build a mental image of the tree emerging from the seed. You can do it quickly or slowly for the first few times. Experiment with the speed of emergence and growth.
Be especially careful to fit the emergence and growth in with the 4 phase process.
Visualize how the tree gathers materials, changes them according to its ancient memories, unfurls, and then adjusts its growth depending on it's observation of its own actions.
Consider how a tree can 'observe" the results of its own actions. What feedback facilities exist within the network of communications creating the form of the tree?
To visualize the tree growing you must actually slow down your own interval of awareness. A normal movie camera or video takes 24 frames per second and then shows these still images at the same rate to harmonize with the human interval of awareness and allow you to observe normal views of the world.
A time lapse movie is made by taking, say, one image every 20 seconds or every hour or once a day and then showing these at 24 frames per second. This accelerates the view relative to what we normally see around us. So we mentally must slow our interval of awareness to imagine the tree sprouting, growing up quickly, waving its branches in the sky with the joy of becoming.
Now let's go the other way and speed up our own interval of awareness, just as a high speed camera, filming at 240 frames per second will reveal high speed events in very slow motion when played back at 24 frames per second..
Focus on the process of the ancient tree memories creating the tree.
Become totally aware of the elements constantly flowing into and leaving the focus of the DNA, knowing that the memories remain even though the atoms themselves flow through the molecules at high speed. Imagine the DNA unwinding and exchanging atoms from its environments, sprouting off new strands of DNA or RNA. Here is the thread of awareness of the tree in its most basic form. Memories that have not died since life began 3.6 billion years ago.
As you concentrate on this fact, understand it as an absolute fact and at the same time observe quietly your own inner feelings. Focus on the flow, the process of becoming of a single molecule of the tree's DNA; the movement of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen towards the molecule. Observe the molecule selecting the elements from its world inside the cell, changing the relationships of the elements, then releasing them again, the DNA unfurling and unfurling and unfurling. Know that the DNA molecule also detects the results of its actions and corrects its behavior if the results are not as they should be. How does the DNA observe the results of its own actions? How does it know if the results are correct or not?
If you didn't get here from there, check out a revealing series of pages on this subject, starting with Words and ending with Surprise.
Control systems go unnoticed because they operate in different intervals of time. And the thread of awareness is itself a pathway extending over a vast number of these intervals, from atomic quickness to biospheric slowness. I believe it is possible to move our conscious mind into these longer intervals and perceive events in the distant past and, more importantly, in the future.
Here is a video animation of DNA to give you an idea of what it looks like - remember this is slowed down a thousand times from the actual processes happening inside a cell: