Situational Awareness

Richard Jelusich Blog


Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Have you ever watched a martial arts movie, where the hero is encircled by 8 bad guys with knives, swords and evil intent? Remember watching how the here was not really ‘looking’ at any of them; that it appeared he/she was looking at the ground and taking everything in with all their senses? All the while, the bad guys are making threatening motions, slowly circling around our hero, waving their weapons, deciding upon the immanent attack.

Someone moves, and it’s on. Our hero seems to ‘know’ where everyone is going to be, how they are moving, when they are striking, and with seeming effortlessness of a trained ballet dancer, our hero pirouettes around the fight scene, dispatching all his/her foes with seeming ease and grace.
That sounds just like your typical martial arts movie; the hero wins against overwhelming forces that are trying to take him/her down. Our hero vanquishes their foes and emerges victorious!

That is a form of ‘situational awareness’ where you ‘ascend’ to a higher perspective of your surrounding circumstances. It is employing all of your five senses and your intuition as a ‘field’ of awareness. Spiritual teachers call it ‘observing the mind’; meaning that you are not your mind, your experiences nor are you your thoughts. You think your thoughts, but are not your thoughts or the mind itself!

Another example is Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, playing the role of Nathan Algren, a Caucasian cavalry soldier in feudal Japan around the turn of the last century. He is learning to fight with wooden swords and is harried by his fight with a single person; the teacher. One of his friends tells him “too many mind”, then says to Cruise: “NO mind!” At this point, Cruise relaxes into a higher form of awareness, sensing the practice fight to come. And this time he meets his teacher in a draw! Cruise seems to ‘know’ when and how to move and engages in a ‘flow’.

What is it to have ‘no mind’? What is it to be in a situation where your higher faculties are taking in all around you with seemingly no effort? How can one be so relaxed when there is much going on around them.

Eckhart Tolle calls it “Space Consciousness” instead of “Object consciousness”. A moment you choose to be in a heightened state (although not related to a ‘hyper-vigilant’ state where all your adrenaline is keeping you hyper alert in mind only) using your higher sense perceptions to ‘view’ your surroundings of people, situation and energy without becoming distracted by those things outside of yourself.

As you recall, the higher sense perceptions do not work in the same way as the five physical senses. The higher sense perceptions are ‘non-local’ (not limited to time or space) and are ‘on’ every moment of everyone’s life. The higher sense perceptions are not activated by fear. Fear limits those senses. The more you ‘relax’ into that higher state of awareness, the more you ‘see’ things as they are, not as they appear to be.

Situational awareness is a heightened state of consciousness, where you ‘see behind’ the energy that motivates a person or a thing/setting. In this sense, it is a state of superconsciousness that seamlessly blends the higher sense perceptions with the five senses, allowing you to ‘see’ and ‘know’ from a much higher perspective.

Imagine you are standing on a path near a farm, with a silo, trees, cows, lake around you. Now imagine you are able to float effortlessly upwards to a height where from this perspective you can see much more of the land, how it is shaped, where things are in better relationship to each other, and more. It is like going from 2D on a piece of paper, to 3D where you can see the object from all angles.

The way to activate a spiritual situational awareness requires you to relax, let go of tension and ‘thinking’, and move more towards ‘sensing’. In this way, sensing means to relax into the use of your higher sense perceptions, your intuition, through abiding faith that the intuition is real and always ‘on’. When blended with the five senses, you approach a form of alertness that benefits you in the best way, because this form of situational awareness presents you with much more choices than if you were only thinking, rationalizing or merely reacting to the situation around you. Your choices define your actions and your character.

Imagine you are Tom Cruise (humor aside) in that moment where you are letting go of “too many mind” and choosing “No mind” to sense everything around you with little effort. Can you sense a ‘flow’ of how/when to move? Can you feel that movement like the fluid motions of dance to some cosmic rhythm?
It is the same technique as taught in Integrative Chakra Therapy® where practitioners use the metaphor of ‘beholding the meadow’ to sense the condition of the chakras and the four archetypes (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual) of the whole human being in their training. The more the practitioner envisions themselves able to ‘take everything in’ with little or no effort, the power powerful the assessments and flow of subtle energy in the healing process.

When next you are in a situation of overwhelming info, people, obligations, etc., go into your ‘situational awareness’ by rising above the moment, merging your higher sense perceptions and physical senses and observe the greater choices you have available to you.