The Human Umwelt
I came across this word and love it, I've found it helps to put light on our tendency to put self-world onto animals, people and all other beings. A German biologist of the early twentieth century named Jakob von Uexkull proposed that anyone who wants to understand the life of an animal must begin by considering what he called their umwelt. Alexandra Horowitz states in his book, "Inside of a dog" that by understanding their umwelt (OOM-velt ) we understand what things are meaningful to it, what life is like from another point of view. Alexandra go's on to give an account of the life of the tick, the point of the tail of the tick is that the tick's self world is different than ours in unimagined ways: what it senses or wants, what its goals are. To a tick, the complexity of a person is reduced to two stimuli, smell and warmth.
The only way to discover the umwelt of the animal is to determine what the animal can perceive, and how it acts, what it can see, hear, smell or otherwise sense. Only objects that are perceived can have meaning to the animal; the rest are not even noticed. Perception and action define the circumstances of the world for every living thing.
The meaning of things
"All animals have their own umwelten - their own subjective realities. We as humans are enclosed in our own soap bubbles, for example we are very interested and attentive to where other people are, what they are doing and saying. Objects in a room are not the same object to another animal"
Is this Human umwelt? or is this our attachment to what people think? mind chatter, competition, separation from intuition and lower emotional needs, a need for approval and egoic one upmanship?
I sense that by being more blousey and spontaneous in general, we can
allow for growth and expression in others. Let go of projections on how you want life to be and allow life and nature to take care of itself. If we could learn to observe our actions, reactions, thoughts & beliefs without identifying so much with them we could start to enjoy a genuine desire for others to meet their own needs and desires in the world.
If we want to see more abundance, acceptance and peace in the world than we have to apply balance, this means, non judgement towards all of nature including our own fellow beings.
We don't need to try
We don't need to try so hard. Try to take time to NOT accomplish anything. Our ideas of ourselves and the environment can be so easily built upon with over thinking, a construct of our conditional and psychological mind, rigid pictures, ideas and ideals of how things should be.
Be of service to yourself and take time to just be with no object as a goal.
Your umwelt is not fixed like a ticks. You have a broad ability to be spontaneous, mindless with mindfulness, a paradox which allows for the beauty of creativity and joy without boundaries.
When you are relaxed, without fixed ideas you are closer to your nature, give yourself a chance to see a larger intelligence. We get locked and blocked into mental ideas as though they are eternal facts and truths. When we get present when we relax into presence consciousness, still and quiet within the mind with no mind activity, a sense of natural knowingness becomes all the more alive and it flows naturally, endlessly and effortlessly.
Lets not take life too seriously
When we take given facts from the past, concepts or past experiences, something we've read in a magazine or something someone has passsed on as an assumption, we take this natural intelligence and freeze it into hard unchanging solid fact and call it knowledge. This leads to the loss of loving expansion and tolerance towards yourself and nature, real knowing comes spontaneously in each moment and it's as individual as a snowflake.
Life is ever flowing, nature is ever changing, lets not take something as beautiful as life, ever changeful by nature, put it into a static, packaged, standardized concept and wrap it into ideals of how others should behave, brushed and groomed into perfect obedience. Other beings, us, nature, our pets shouldn't be locked too harshly within our personalized preferences and conditioned mind set. Natures intelligence isn't able to be locked into hard fact or certainty, it's our hard wired psychological mind that believes the umwelt of another should be shaped to our desires, wants and our man made society, based on conformity and dominance.
Where we need to come to, in our self development, is a place of self acceptance. Only focusing on others is self denial. "I don't matter, I don't care about myself" is often the thought of animal care takers, we do a lot for our pets, mostly doing and not sharing space graciously When we practice personal self denial we unwittingly relate to others from that place in which we are relating to ourselves. You are going to expect others, humans or animals to deny themselves and sadly with our pets we often deny them choice and often total free will. When we come from a place within ourselves in which you have acceptance for your own desires, we can come to total acceptance of others in a non judgemental place of unconditional love and respect.