What Happens When We Look Up?
Lives are not meant to be downward in focus, but pointed upward, towards the heavens above.
For most of our lives, our gaze is set either downwards or, at best, towards the horizon. The majority of our interactions with the world: working on a computer, using a mobile phone, or brushing our teeth require us to focus almost always below the horizon.
We look up to scan the skies, to check the weather, inspect an impressive tall building or a natural vista. At first, none of this might seem to be particularly profound.
The book The Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History, written by Fred Previc states that a part of the visual system surveying “extrapersonal space,” the distant vistas above the horizon, is especially well-developed in human beings.
Previc states that this area of the brain is strongly activated during religious experiences, meditative activity, dreaming, and probably any kind of creative activity. It’s no accident, according to Previc, that meditative states, trances, mystical or religious experiences are often accompanied by upward deviations of the eyes.
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