I suppose that it’s a common experience to have grabbed an object while falling before it touched the ground. A reflex, a very interesting dynamic to observe even if generally it can be observed “a posteriori” (in retrospect), namely trough the memory of this experience.
In fact, an automatic gesture is performed without a conscious “thought”. It’s almost always an instantaneous instinctive act. A mechanical but useful act.
Let’s analyze what happens during a similar experience.
For example, some object falls fromour hands, and sometimes happens that we react grasping him before it touches the ground.
If we analyze this moment with our memory, we could have the perception to have experienced, in such moment, an expansion of time who allowed us to see the falling object “in slow motion”.
But, in reallity, the time does not expand, it’s our perception who accelerates. It’s a situation similar to the movie’s “slow motion”: the movie film has always the same speed, 25 frames per second; but when a scene is recorded with more snapshots per second, the result is the effect “slow motion”.
Similarly, our perception improves the number of snapshots per seconds, so when we try to remember that situation, we perceive it as a slow motion.
So, we can ordinarily analyze such experience only trough our memory. But what really happens during such experience?
To know this, we should be there, present, aware when it happens and, as we still know, it’s not a simple thing to perform.
Generally said, independently from the thing we are more or less aware, we live always in the past. A genuine present moment doesn’t exist for us or, better said, it exists, but not for our perception. The time of propagation of the light who allows us to see the objects aroun us, even if infinitesimal, is not instantaneous. We don’t have an instantaneous visual perception. The same thing happens with our sense of hearing and with the other senses.
Then, we perceive something that happened a moment before, in the past. It’s already happened. But, if the problem be only a slight lateness of perceptions, this wouldn’t be a problem.
In fact, to perceive an object, it’s needed a whole process of reaction from our brain, who elaborates all the necessary data, the image, the sensory stimulus, and, what’s really the main problem who takes us more distant from the present moment: the difficulty and the relative slowness of our undeveloped mental processes.
A thought is slow when compared with an emotion, and both emotion and thought are practically motionless respect to the motoric instinctive response.
But if we increase our presence and attention, learning to mantain our consciousness detached from the emotional and mental processes, then, in situations similar to the above mentioned- when some object falls- we’ll be able to experience, even if for a moment, something new, particular: a condition of different “speed”, namely, the speed of the instinctive center. And this doesn’t happen so frequently.
Let’s return to the example of the falling object. Let’s suppose that this object is relatively heavy.
Normally, when such object falls, the maximum we can do is to move a feet to evitate the impact, and neither this always happens. If we’ll have an instinctive response, we’ll try to grasp the falling object, and this will have devasting consequences to our body: in fact, if the object is heavy, trying to grasp him in free fall will cause muscle lacerations.
But if we are present, aware, when the instinctive response happens, we’ll be able to adequate the arm trajectory in order to let fall the object or todeviate the original trajectory (our feet).
I hope it’s understandable what I mean to say here.
We have three possibilities. three possible responses to the same event: the first situation, when any response or a really slow response happens; the second situation, when the response is immediately; and the third situation in which we are interested, when our awareness works in according to our instinctive response, increasing the present moment, allowing what ordinary does not happen- an almost istantaneous perception of the present moment.
So, a similar mechanical act could be really useful in order to experience a speed that otherwise its impossible to experience.