ECHOLOCATION: Blind people report they are able to navigate by interpreting reflected sounds (esp. their own footsteps), a phenomenon which is known as human echolocation.
Could human echolocation be the scientific correlate understanding of the Blind Bard archetype, a mythological symbol across cultures representing the idea that those who cannot see, see clearly. Clairvoyant vision comes from the third eye, the active center of knowing, an awareness of being unbound to time and space escaping the rigid parameters in visual shape and form.
“Vestigial structures make no sense without evolution, just as spelling and usage of many modern English words can only be explained by their Latin or Old Norse antecedents.”-Douglas Futuyma
The animal in human presents itself today as homo sapiens sapiens, but so it seems the ruminant of vestigial organs and reflexes remain within us in tangible ways, reminding us of our larger evolving journey as one species in the vestigial mementos.
The goosebumps reflex is autonomic and organic; one does not learn to raise goose bumps, our bodies have muscle memory seeded deep within our unconscious mind body soul–awareness is common around the phenomenon, and understood so far as the correlating situational factors. Claiming causation conceals a bidirectional truth that layers deeper than our personal experience. Goosebumps shiver and stir, surface and rest, from our animal selves, a faint memory of a viable reflex once adaptive for survival in a time when we were the beast in the animal kingdom. From my perspective, little has changed as far as our place in the circle of life: all points that comprise the circle are equidistant from the epicenter of balance and gravity, of being.
Semantics and cementing our lives in boxes of civilization envelops humanity today in a semi-opaque, semi-translucent bubble of self-absorbed semantics that flout hierarchy and language delineate dichotomous differences. The bubble is porous and permeable. The bubble can be made clear. The bubble is the obstacle of comfort and distraction that make it so easy to see the insular way of our world and rest on the way in which we see ourselves and understand the setting of our lives, perceiving the fallacy of reality as a situational truth, too wrapped in a moment in eternity to see what we know: the human condition and unity interconnected forever past and future. Timelessness rings true in the essence of the deep seeded humanity in man that was the same humanity in man when man best know himself to be beast among beasts. Poetry, art, mythology, expression and appreciation encapsulated into artifacts strike a chord in us as deep and at times untouched as the unconscious vestigial goose bumps. Reflexes are reflective of man envisioning himself in transcendent resurrection: the amputated tree trunk is I, the childlike light bobbing through the brush chasing the setting sun is I, the scent of rebirth and freshness nested in the spring dew after misted morning rain reigns is I, the baby crying is I and the fish caught with four rusted hooks jarred inside a frayed and tortured gill is I.
When I experience the moments of revealing, when I recognize the human condition, the surprised smirk that shows the arises and upturned tributary lips, laughing awareness from a body reservoir of knowing from the formation of the first amoeba. (After all, what we were before the first form of human was animal, an animal that evolved in it of itself, and one upon a species was a single cell amoeba that split into two, fruitful and forever multiplying.) The mystical sensation of feeling a longing, a recognition, a knowing without direct experience and knowing shows itself as goosebumps on freckled skin. Since I figured out the pattern of paradigm embedded in the fiber of my being, goosebumps have been an incredibly useful tool where I am in tune in a more sensitive manner with that which I do not know that I know.
On Goosebumps as a Vestigial Reflex: “The formation of goose bumps in humans under stress is a vestigial reflex; its function in human ancestors was to raise the body’s hair, making the ancestor appear larger and scaring off predators. Raising the hair is also used to trap an extra layer of air, keeping an animal warm. Due to the diminished amount of hair in humans, the reflex formation of goosebumps when cold is also vestigial.Infants are also able to support their own weight while hanging from a rod, responding to certain tactile stimuli. An ancestral primate would have had sufficient body hair for an infant to cling to, allowing its mother to escape from danger, such as climbing up a tree in the presence of a predator.”
VISION: Cats have the ability to see in low light due to muscles surrounding their irises to contract and expand pupils as well as the tapetum lucidum, a reflective membrane that optimizes the image. Pitvipers, pythons and some boas have organs that allow them to detect infrared light, such that these snakes are able to sense the body heat of their prey. The common vampire bat may also have an infrared sensor on its nose. It has been found that birds and some other animals are tetrachromats and have the ability to see in the ultraviolet down to 300 nanometers. Bees and dragonflies are also able to see in the ultraviolet.
BALANCE: Ctenophora have a balance receptor (a statocyst) that works very differently from the mammalian’s semi-circular canals.