12598Re: Localization - dualist in space - endless musings
- Jan 29, 2004To pick up on this thread again, I wanted to share a few
randome musings, including something I heard on XM Radio
First, a few links:
A general overview of the physiological effects of weightlessness:
11. vertigo and spatial disorientation: Without a stable
gravitational reference, crew members experience arbitrary and
unexpected changes in their sense of verticality. Rooms that are
thoroughly familiar when viewed in one orientation may become
unfamiliar when viewed from a different up-down reference. Skylab
astronaut Ed Gibson reported a sharp transition in the familiarity of
the wardroom when rotated approximately 45 degrees from the "normal"
vertical attitude in which he had trained. There is evidence that, in
adapting to weightlessness, the brain comes to rely more on visual
cues and less on other senses of motion or position. In orbit, Skylab
astronauts lost the sense of where objects were located relative to
their bodies when they could not actually see the objects. After
returning home, one of them fell down in his own house when the
lights went out unexpectedly [4, 18].
Here is another general overview if the physiological effects of
In this link to an experiment on 'critters in space', it is
possible to reflect on how deeply rooted our spatial mapping
in relation to gravity may be:
(click +Read full experiment description)
More on some experiments:
Gravity, is the force of attraction between any two objects.
It seems, that our physiological relationship to duality is
'built in' - not just in our own bodies, but in all of
physical space and form - which has some interesting implications
The other interesting mention in the link above is the
experiments that are being done with orthostatically suspended
mice. Apparently, restrained suspension produces physiological
effects similar to those of suspension in zero gravity, such
as the production of opioids and certain changes in the immune
Returning, now, to what I heard on Discovery Channel / XM Radio,
it was an interview with an astronaut about her experiences
upon returning to earth from weightless, zero gravity space
flight. She described how her inner ear took a while to
'reboot', and so during this time, her eyes had to serve as
her main means of spatial navigation.
This astronaut describe how everything
in space becomes referent to her, rather than the other way
around. This is remarkably like what Greg and Gene have described
in previous posts - the world moved around her, rather than
her moving through the world. For instance, upon returning, she
found that it was not that she was climbing steps, but rather,
that she was pushing steps down. (This may also have something to
do with the physiological changes experienced by pressure
On this show, it was also described how sudden changes in the
visual field, such as the lights going off, would cause returned
astronauts to lose their balance and fall.
This is interesting to me, because our eyes do function in this
way, and can be trained to assume more of this role. A steady
gaze and steady breathing in combination with all of the
sensory information coming from the muscles and skin of the
body are used to perform complicated balance postures in
hatha yoga. I've always thought this has interesting implications
for folks with vertigo.
It is remarkable how our 'brains' (inclusive of body and mind)
adapt to different experiences of gravity. Could it be that we
are not sick because of a certain 'condition of gravity', but
rather, we are sick due to the processes of adaption/change?
Seasickness does not seem too far removed from space sickness.
One way to play with the way the body adapts to gravity is
to jump on a trampoline long for a time and then come back
to solid ground. Even with a few minutes of altered relation
to gravity (muscular, inner ear, sight), the return to solid
ground creates a situation in which balance and muscular effort
is taken from the 'background' into 'foreground'. Just try
jumping after returning to solid ground, and you will see what
At any rate, what I'm getting at is that what Greg and Gene
are pointing to is a manner of working in space that seems
counter to the way our bodies and brains are generally set
up to work. What I wonder is - how much of a role does
disciplined imagination play in an 'on earth' experience
of space that makes objects in space referential to the
one who sees them? Does this disciplined imagination actually
change the workings of our physiology, such that the experience
moves out of the realm of imagination and rewrites our
I can certainly see that this is possible, having practiced
asana for some time. The mind and body fundamentally change.
It is a different relationship to gravity and space, and even
the objects in space.
Lastly, there is another connection I want to draw out, and
that is something that Dona Holleman shared in an interview
(from the book "Eyes of Innocence", the complete interviews
taken for the documentary video "A Fish in Search of Water").
She speaks of how young flamenco dancers project energy
outwards and mature flamenco dancers consolidate energy within.
The movements of a mature flamenco dancer are 'of the mind',
directed from within, rather than expressed outward. It brings
to my mind a sense of compaction and 'central locus', that is
the same sense I have gotten from Greg and Gene's description
of 'moving space around me'. Awesome!
This 'consolidation of energy' may be observed in those who
have practiced asana to a degree of proficiency. The coorinated
effort is so efficient as to create a movement that is... nearly
non-movement. Certainly, it changes one's relation to gravity
and space, or perhaps, it merely removes one's obstacles to
'understanding' gravity and space.
Dona Holleman describes, also, how brilliant Douglas Fairbanks
was in his movements, in the movie Zorro, for instance. She
describes how most people have a 'center of gravity' that
resides in the upper chest and that the lower body 'dangles'
from this. However, Douglas Fairbanks seemed to have his center
of gravity directly between his ankles, and his body projected
upward and outward from this place, in some surprisingly
'impossible' ways. (Zorro was long before the stunts of
the Matrix, but there is a definite relation - and Fairbanks
was performing his 'stunts' without cables and computer
animation.) However, his energy was still consolidated -
it simply moved a moment before his physical body.
This really highlights the role of the imagination in
navigation. Essentially, Douglas Fairbanks was putting his
mind one step before his body - and his body was being sucked,
vacuum-like, into the space created by his mind!
I stumbled across this function on my own a while back.
I noticed I had 'impressions' and 'images'
of my limbs being in other places in the space around me.
So, I followed those impression/images... precisely filling
the space created by those impression/images with my limbs.
It took me through various positions, and into some strange
contortions, which I recognized months later on a poster
of hundreds of asanas as advanced yoga asanas. Some of those
positions are places I have not been able to return to,
despite what I know now about the techniques of asana.
It is remarkable to me how the mind creates and limits
Thanks for bearing with me in this incredibly long and
chaotic message. It was nice to spit it all out without
trying to organize it.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Gregory Goode
> I've done this with people, and it really works. It goes againstthe grain of belief, and it can help dissolve the grip of belief.
>body. They feel like, "I'm RIGHT HERE." This is the feeling of
> People feel limited partly because they feel like they are in the
being localized. Part of this is because of muscular contractions,
and part is related to beliefs about the physical structure of the
body and the notion of the little humunculus supposedly directing
things from within.
>begin to see through and dissolve the assumptions of physical
> But there are several ways to experience things differently, and
> You can see this through movement.
> Through movement, you can see that you never move.
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