Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Power of Mind and Hunting

From my own martial arts days of years ago one of the forces I became very aware of, and I am still very much aware of is the “key” power of the individual. I’ve seen it in action on many occasions and I do believe it plays a critical role in the success or failure of the hunt. I am not discounting the social interaction of animals and I do believe there is much more to animal social patterns than present day science may be willing to recognize, but I am not willing to go so far as to accept the offering act as a prima facie truth. Now, that said let me add that I do believe in the following:
1. The power of prayer.
2. The power of positive thinking.
3. The power of the Mind to communicate to other Minds.
4. The power of the Mind to communicate with God (whatever an individual recognizes as God).
5. The power of the Mind to communicate with other, physical, Brains.

My limiting factor here is “Mind” because I am having some trouble (so far) with the notion of animals having a “Mind” because I do believe that we must separate “Mind” from “Brain.” The Mind has the capacity to recognize the existence of this and other universes and while the Brain responds to Mind the Brain does not, in and of itself, enter into the different universes but remains fixed to this one. Am I saying that animals do not possess “Mind”? I am saying that I am having trouble with it and I am open to more learning.

Is it possible that Brain has the capacity to respond to Mind? Absolutely! Mind is the more powerful of the two and even though we will find buried in Brain those paths that lead to specific activities and emotions Brain is unable to return the nonphysical communication to Mind so it must use physical communication, i.e., stopping to look at the source of the communication or, if the source is threatening, it flees. Wouldn’t this be the case when a hunter is so intense on killing the animal it “senses” the danger and flees without ever seeing (smelling, hearing) the hunter? If, when an animal “senses” (which is Brain responding to Mind) the hunter’s presence without any of its senses having been triggered the animal is going to respond in some way that is appropriate to what the animal’s Brain is telling it.

When I was studying martial arts it was not for fun and games but was for the purpose of killing an enemy and we were taught to control our key power—not to focus on the enemy we intended to kill because they would “sense” us and the instructor frequently referred to an animal’s ability to respond to that key power as an example of it at work. In the years since I have often experimented with the notion, the most recent being while I was taking a break on my roof and watching a bird move into one of the bird houses I had erected. While I simply watched the bird it hopped around the yard, flying from bird house to ground to pick up nesting material and carrying it inside its new home. Within a few minutes after I switched from just observing to being focused on that little bird it flew to a nearby tree where it was safe and for the next several minutes scolded me. After I returned to working on my roof it was only a few minutes until the bird was back at work on its nest. I’ve seen the same effect while hunting. When a hunter becomes fixated on a single animal that animal responds to the hunter and it is often without the animal ever having experienced the hunter’s presence with any of the senses. Most hunters dismiss the animal’s actions as something to do with the wind or a glint from a gun barrel or some other fault, which is often true, but equally often it is the hunter’s Mind that reached the animal’s Brain and triggered a reaction—which I still want to call animal behavior.

One argument for animals possessing a quality that enables them communicate with Mind is that many hunters have said they became “aware of the animal behind them.” In this situation there is often a belief that the animal’s equivalent of Mind or Key power has communicated its intention, whether it is sneaking past the hunter, watching the hunter or stalking the hunter (as prey). I am not convinced of this connection. Mind is not bound by any physical borders or restraints and must therefore be aware of a complete area around itself. If Mind establishes a protective area and that area is penetrated by an object, animate or inanimate, then Mind will respond with a warning. (Let’s stick to the animal-human interaction and ignore the human-human, human-inanimate, issues.) But, just as often, the individual Mind fails to provide this warning and the individual is killed or at least injured.


When I go back and read many of the cases of people being attacked by predators they are sleeping after a physically demanding day, they have been consuming alcohol, they are completely preoccupied with another task or they are absorbed in something that is Mind numbing such as being absorbed in listening to their radio with earphones. At the same time survivors of attacks (in most cases) seem to have been aware of their environment and “tuned in” to it, even when they were sleeping. Teir Mind is unencumbered by artificial noise (earphones) or even in their sleeping, Mind remains alert to danger.

So, is it possible that “primitive” (or more nature based?) societies still possess the Mind to nature connection that provides a more powerful link to the animal Brain than contemporary “civilized” man? And, if this is so, isn’t it equally possible that through the act(s) of hunting people of civilization’s complex societies are able to recapture a portion of that Mind to nature link, although in varying and usually lesser degrees?

I know I haven’t addressed the question of social organization within animal communities but I believe we need to keep the discussion more hunter/animal based. At least for now.

What think? glg


NorCal Cazadora said...

Interesting what you learned in martial arts. I sure didn't learn that in my classes, but then again, my teachers weren't training me to kill - we were just having fun.

But I absolutely agree that animals often sense it when we are too focused on them. What else explains ducks flaring off of a well-hidden blind, but if you stand up, eat a snack, light a cigarette and chat with your hunting buddies, they'll just zoom right in? I've often described it as the animals sensing menace, but I hate the connotation of malice there, because hunting is not a malicious act. I much prefer your words.

I'm also glad your brought up the earbud thing - drives me crazy seeing the situations in which people wear those things. I was running along the Mississippi River in St. Paul once and I overtook a female runner who was slower than I (amazing, given that I was not fast), and I noticed as I neared her that she was wearing earbuds. When I passed her, she gasped, startled. I wanted to grab her an shake her and say, "Girl, what if I was one of the crazy vagrants on the river? You'd be in the bushes now."

To answer your final question, it seems logical to me that primitive societies would be more in touch with that mind connection than we are, and it's probably a part of their routine education of their young, which institutionalizes that sense. But it can certainly be awakened in us. I remember reading something recently about how the Marines have found two groups of people to be some of the most effective soldiers in Iraq: hunters and ghetto dwellers. Inner-city folks who live in dangerous environments are far more tuned in to danger than us oblivious suburbanites.

Galen Geer said...

I wish I had stayed with my TKD after leaving the military. A person could also take classes that were "peaceful" but I didn't expand my horizons beyond the lethal, and we worked at it daily. Probably one of the reasons Hand-to-Hand was one of the classes I taught while a DI. I am convinced it did affect my psychic in ways that I am still dealing with.

I think your understanding of the difference between malice and what is natural is a good connection. I've put that in my "thinking about" notebook.

I wonder if my background outside of hunting has influenced my ablity to sense danger. I have completly ignored people sneaking up on me in a prank because I didn't sense that malice. On the other hand there are a couple of occasions when I "knew" what was happening a few seconds (no more than a minute) before it did. g

NorCal Cazadora said...

I wonder if we'll ever understand the sixth sense? One of my students had it big time. The day there was a murder in our brand new dorm last fall, she woke up knowing something really horrible was going to happen on campus, and she experiences it all the time. She chalks it up to God having a plan for her.

The interesting thing to me is how inconsistent this sense is among the animals I hunt. For every duck that flares when I haven't done a thing to cause it, there's another that comes in oblivious. And the deer I shot last fall was looking right at me when I walked up on him, and when I sat immediately and set up my rifle and waited for him to move. I still don't think he "gave" himself to me; I think he made a horrible error in judgment.

Galen Geer said...

Just curious, what was your mindset at the time you shot the deer? I've shot deer that did the same thing but I know I was focused on my actions and not the deer. But, like you, I've seen waterfowl do the same thing.

I'm glad your student was okay.

NorCal Cazadora said...

When I walked up on the deer, I wasn't expecting anything - I'd given up for the day and was just making one last loop around the property.

BUT, once I saw him, I was a hot mess. Dropped to the ground, set up my shooting stick, propped up the rifle and spent the next five minutes slowing down my heart.

Wind was in my face so he couldn't smell me. But the sun was in my eyes, not his, so I can't chalk it up to any defect in vision.

Galen Geer said...

If you were concentrating on yourself, which you seemed to be describing, then it all makes sense. Even if you were trying to line up the crosshairs, you're still focused on you, the target is not much more than a paper target. There are too many other factors you've got to take into account. Breathing, trigger, safety, sights. None of that has anything to do with the deer. It makes sense. I don't think it was a mistake on the deer's part--you just hadn't become any kind of threat. When you did, it was already too late. g

NorCal Cazadora said...

So how do you train yourself to stay in that frame of mind?

Tovar Cerulli said...

Hey Galen and Holly -

Sorry not to have stopped by sooner. Crazy couple of weeks right now.

What you're saying makes sense to me. I certainly agree that animals can sense our focus on them, just as we can sometimes sense another person's focus on us, or can sense the presence of an animal, without any of the usual five senses.

And yes, by being in natural settings with animals, I believe we can recapture more of our "mind" sensing abilities.

As far as the "offering" idea, that is something that comes from a cultural context quite different from our own. Personally, I can only speculate that it could be true; I can't "know" it in the way I "know" the cultural view in which I was raised. As I understand his writing, even Richard Nelson--who has lived in such cultural contexts for extended periods of time and deeply respects their views--can only entertain them as possibilities.

Galen Geer said...

You need to learn the opposite of concentration--emptying. The lining up of the sights and the sight picture should become so automatic that you don't think about it at all. Marine recruits learn to not think about getting into position for shooting and to repeat the motion so many times that it becomes automatic for the rifle to come up and the sight picture to be there, without having to try an reach for it. It'll sound silly but put a small target up in your living room or where you can have some room and practice getting into position with the rifle until it is a natural act, not a forced act. Then and only then you should begin going to the range and shooting live ammo, doing the same thing. Once you remove that intensity your brain (mind) will be able to refocus.
Why do so many hunters make the mistake of shooting a deer with another one behind it? Because they are focused on one thing and not the whole. If you don't have to worry about your position, your sight picture and sight alighnment then they all fall into place and you will see everything around you and not just the target. glg

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