The Horizon and the Central Nervous System

Take a trip to the Prairies of Northern America and you will notice a remarkable phenomenon that has gone un-named for a long time, the effect of the horizon on our consciousness. People living on Prairies are different than people living in valleys or hills. The constant presence of the flat country creates a huge orientation to the big blue sky. That’s why they call it Big Sky Country and that means you are able to take in an extended horizon as the sky meets the earth. There’s something primeval about the meeting place between these two constants in our lives that starts a powerful physiological response. Just thinking about the horizon meets with a big response in the body. Try it, stare at the image below and see what happens in your body and mind. Then try imagining the horizon and follow the responses. It’s as if the horizon reminds us of greater universal forces and a more connected scale of nature, after all the horizon represents the curve of the Earth as a planet and therefore its relationship to other planetary bodies and the cosmos. The sky doesn’t do this on its own, it gives a sense of space and room and the Earth gives a sense of the details of life but the horizon shows us our planet and takes us into a connection with a larger world.As you follow the physiological response there is a dramatic slowing down of the body rhythms to create a natural stillness of body and mind. Your breathing slows, your heart slows and your mind slows. The central nervous system in particular reacts powerfully by toning down and turning on different pathways. You can feel this taking place, new areas of the brain coming on line that are more interested in spatial awareness and making sense of the wide open space. In particular the brain starts to not only calm down but also to revitalize. The brain is at last free to rest from the daily coordination of life’s particulars and to contemplate a wider field of relationships. The most powerful horizon seems to be a sea horizon, as water and sky often seem to merge to create a continuum. As you stay longer with the horizon your natural orientation becomes the Long Tide and an expanded consciousness that is beyond thought but light and highly present. The ventricles start to glow with fluid potency as the body’s subtle layers are stimulated. Looking at the horizon is just what modern society needs to recuperate and gain a new balance in its relationship with the Earth.