What we need to develop the overall view

Is the overall view a suppressed instinct?

Continuing the discussion about the overall view (read The overall view: see everything, do not look at anything) we want to start to understand how to develop it.

The first things to know are that:

  • The overall view is a skill that most of the animals possess (especially if wild)
  • A long time ago this attitude was instinctively developed also by humans

In a state of nature, not being able to visually (and not only, read Avert dangers: the concept of constant attention) perceive the details of the surrounding environment simply meant to do not survive.

The fact of living in a “more” civilized world has made us lose the need to activate many of the core characteristics that have distinguished us in the last million years. These capacities have in effect become useless, or better, less indispensable (given the actual “scarcity” of lethal situations in our daily lives):

  • If we think about it for a moment, it becomes immediately clear that (in most cases) in a life of 70-80 years, it is extremely rare to risk our life more than 5-10 times (and it is not so strange to never risk it)
  • In today’s human society, it is indeed very rare (unfortunately not impossible) to reach the same percentage of death risk that runs every day a wild animal (eg. a gazelle)

Said this, the good news is that we have not yet had time to completely lose the real possibility of recovering these kind of skills.

How to awaken the overall view

To awaken (and optimize) this ability we must:

  • Activate it always and in all circumstances – In this case, to limit us to a periodic training is not sufficient, this is a very important practice and with a long period of “incubation” so we need to “force” it in our daily life
  • Connect it to the other skills – We must connect it to a good spatial intelligence / memory (the idea is to become able to automatically create a mental map of the various scenarios in which we are, read The most important skill in combat); we must also gain a perfect balance (to become able to easily collect data even when rapidly moving and/ or in steeper / bumpy grounds, read The concept of Dynamic Equilibrium)
  • Learn to recognize common opportunities / risks – We should be able to immediately distinguish what is part of the environmental background (eg. a pine cone falling from a tree) from what can be a threat (eg. the outline of a hand sticking out from behind a rock) or an opportunity (eg. a stick as an improper weapon, read Improper weapons in a real situation)
  • Train our mind to become (rationally) intuitive – Learn to complete with  an”imagination” based on experience the missing parts of what we see and doing this, we should not need to totally focus our attention (eg. using an object’s location, size, shape, direction, speed, etc.)
  • Separate the alert from the emotions – We have to learn to detach ourselves from our emotions and those of the people that are around us to enter and become part of the environment (read Become the absolute zero)
  • Learn to use the other senses as a confirm / negation – We must understand how to connect all of our senses in order to obtain instant crossed confirmations or requests of adjustments about what we see (or what we think to see)
  • Start to rapidly find causes and effects – We have to give a meaning to everything we see, especially if it is something that we do not understand (unusual, totally new, etc.); the higher is our knowledge of natural interactions, the more our alert level will be calibrated to the happenings

A new way to see the world

When we will reach these results, we will “magically” begin to grasp all those small details that before we have lost (insects on grass, quieter animals, money on the ground, people observing us, the light movements of the leaves in a gentle breeze, etc.):

  • In a first step, we will be alarmed for every little change that escapes our cognition
  • At a later time, we will have an information overload and we will need to forcibly use reason to distinguish what is good / neutral from what is bad
  • After having stored all the most common visual cues, we will be alarmed only by what we do not know
  • In the last phase, our mind will instinctively discard any secondary element focusing only on what is truly relevant (leading back each new situation to similar cases already known)

A note by Master Kongling – Animals possess these kinds of skills but they do not live with a paranoid alert or in a constant panic and they face a 10 times more dangerous world. We have to be like them but not in an instinctive way, we have to adopt awareness to understand that there are things that we can control ( our mind), things that we can partially manage (part of what happens around us) and things that we will never be able to avoid (the remaining part of what happens around us). Life has to be taken as a game, an extremely serious game.

In the next article of this series, we will start to see specific exercises (read Overall view: the exercise with the two attackers) and a new way to position ourselves towards the environment in which we live.

In-depth articles

Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • From 1 to 10, how would you rate your overall view skill level?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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