Thoughts on the importance of spatial relations and the self – the creation of a “self-space” and its effects

One aspect of life that is seldom acknowledge or recognized is spatial relations.  I feel it is far more important than we realize.  It has great influence on the self and our relation with the world.


Space is often perceived as the ’emptiness between objects’.  Because of this sense of emptiness, we tend to downplay space and its importance.  Its almost as if space is non-existent, a vacuum, and, as such, does not deserve our recognition.  In reality, though, space is very much “there”.  It is a fact, a reality and, more importantly, we live in the space we see as emptiness.  Life is lived in the space between objects and matter.  All our experiences, hopes, dreams, despairs, conflicts, etc. happen in that space of emptiness.  We could very well say that the emptiness of space is the “substance” or “matter” of life.

But there are really several aspects that make up space:

  1. Actual space.  This is the space devoid of objects or matter.  It is the emptiness of space, which we normally associate with the word space.
  2. The boundaries of space.  This is the boundary of objects and matter with space which are fixed in space.    In some respects, these boundaries creates ‘space’ by creating the sense of space.  The objects and matter define the size, shape, and manner of actual space.  But, because of this, all that we see of objects and matter, really, is their outside surface.  We never can go “into” objects and matter.  As a result, the ‘interiorness’ of objects and matter remains unknown to us.  This makes it so that objects are really defined, not by their ‘interiorness’, but by their boundaries with space.  In other words, objects and matter are not entities in themselves but are entities only in relation to the space that surrounds them, created by their boundaries with space.  This shows how critical space is in the perception of objects and matter.

These, of course, are related and are dependent on one another.  In many ways, space relations is an association between these forms of space.  All these create something like a reality, a condition, in which we live.  I speak of this as the ‘world-space’, a combination of actual space and the boundaries of objects.


As we grow, and learn space relations, the mind develops ways to relate and associate with it.  These has great impact on life and how one perceives life and in how one perceives and understands the world.  In many ways, it is the base for which all other perceptions and conceptions of the world is based. In fact, spatial relations seems to be the ‘glue’, the unifying element, of perception and world conception.  It binds everything together.  Upon spatial relations an image of the world is created and lived.  Everything is built upon it.

In addition, the processes involved with spatial relations makes it so that all the senses and experiences are as if united together in the ‘world-space’ of spatial relations.  In that sense, it ‘harnesses’ the whole mind and slef.  It brings all sensory perception, mental perception, and motor experience into one ‘playing field’, so to speak:  spatial relations.  Without this sense of space, they would be disconnected and removed from one another (the visual image of your hand would be removed from the perception of an object that you pick up, for example).  In effect, spatial relations causes a number of unifications:

  1. Unified world conception – it creates a single world conception, making the world ‘make sense’ and one entity.
  2. Unified self – it brings the self together into a unified whole to coordinate in the ‘world-space’.

As a result, spatial relations brings together our lifes experiences and learning.

We develope spatial relations a number of ways:

  • Experience.  This is a reference to the actual doing in the world.
  • Observation.  In many ways, this is a ‘passive experience’, an experiencing while not doing anything.  Though it is generally viewed as being visual, its really a reference to any awareness, as any awareness, in which one does nothing, is a form of observation – visual, tactile, sound, etc.

Though both are different process, they are intertwined in their effects and completely dependent on one another.  Because these are learnt (that is, one ‘absorbs’ their effects into ones self) they are very dependent on our development, our experience, our learning, and our abilities.  This makes it so that there are a number of different qualities with spatial relations:

  • Space relations is something that varies from person to person. 
  • It shows that spatial relations is influenced by a persons development, growth, and ability to ‘absorb’.  In short, it is different in everyone.
  • It is variable, changing as experience and awareness changes.
  • It is something that is always growing as our experienc and awareness changes, grows, and develops.

What these show is that spatial relations, which is the “glue” of world conception and the self, is not the same.  As a result, our world conception and self is never ‘complete’.


The development of ‘world-space’ is something that comes early in ones life, before one has a self in fact.  Its for this reason that we tend to disregard it.  By the time our self develops the foundation of a unified world conception and self have already been laid.  In a way, it was laid “without our knowing”, as the self was not developed yet and so we are unaware of it.  I speak of this as the ‘primal world-space’.   Once the self has developed it is too busy dealing with other issues of growth to notice the world-space.  As a result, the ‘world-space’, and sense of space in general, is clouded in a veil of darkness, often never realized.  Even though its veiled in darkness its effects are often seen in peoples life without their awareness.  There are a number of examples of this:

  • It can have great impact in world conception (such as a sense of god).
  • For some people it can have great impact in how they perceive the world (such as with spirituality).
  • It can also appear in some illnesses (such as schizophrenia).

As a result, the ‘primal world-space’ is often something that ‘squeeks into’ our lives unknowingly and in different ways than we think.  The reason for this is that, as spatial relations develop, there develops a unique quality that ends up changing the sense of space:  projection.  In fact, projection completely changes the perception of space.  In order to explain this I will have to note the two forms of space:

  1. Mechanical space – experiencing the ‘world-space’.
  2. Projected space – projecting ourselves into mechanical space.

Mechanical space-

Once we are born, the world bombards us with its reality.  We begin to feel and experience the objects about us.  In its simplist form, mechanical space is experienced in this way:

  1. Sensory – our senses are bombarded by the world, such as sight, touch, etc.
  2. Reflex or learned response – reacts to sensory input and in experiencing the world.
  3. Motor – this is our reaching out into the world.
  4. Living in space – as these develops, one begins to live in the world.

Mechanical space is not really a “sense” but more of a ‘designed reaction’ to the world.  It allows creatures to react with their world.  It creates a condition of living in space.  In that sense, it is almost mechanical association with the world, hence the name.  Many living things, such as insects, experience space in this way.  The “sense” of space is something else altogether and is something built upon mechanical space. I believe it is a result of projection.

Projected space-

Projection creates projected space.  It is a quality where we see the world as our self.  That is to say, we project our self onto the world, seeing it as it were us.  It creates the condition of the world-as-me.  In many ways, this is the quality that truly creates the ‘self-space’.  To put it another way, the ‘self-space’ is when we project ourselves onto the world making it an extension of our mind, hence the name.

The condition of the world-as-me is a result of our development.  As infants we do not have a self.  As a result, we see the world as ‘us’, an extension of our awareness of ourself.  Because of this, the ‘space’ of the world is initially perceived as our self.  This is the ‘primal self-space’.  Once our self develops it turns into the ‘self-space’.  This shows three stages to the development of spatial relations in our early development:

  1. The pre-self ‘world-space’.  This is primarily the beginnings of the perception of mechanical space.
  2. The pre-self projection into ‘world-space’.  This is when we perceive space as us.   It creates the ‘primal self-space’. 
  3. The coming of the self.  This creates the ‘self-space’.

Both forms of projection creates a number of qualities to space:

  • Projected space is what makes the ‘world-space’ human.  As a result, it is part of the “humanizing” of ‘world-space’.  Because of this, it makes the world personal.
  • Projected space is what makes the world ‘alive’ and seem to ‘live’.  It gives it a ‘livingness’ quality to the world.  It makes the world more than ‘there’ but living.  That is to say, it gives the world a ‘soul’.
  • Projected space is what makes the ‘world-space’ have meaning and relevence.  Through projection, we make events, objects, people, things, etc. have a meaning to us and our reality.  It creates a ‘human reality’.

The effects of these on the ‘primal mind-space’ is that it creates:

  •  A sense of the world as ‘living’ and ‘alive’.  In short, as if it has a ‘soul’. 
  • That the world is ‘personal’ and hits one deeply. 
  • That there is ‘someone’ there (which is actually us projected). 

In actuality, the ‘primal self-space’ creates a sense of ‘otherworldliness’ such as by sensations of things like ‘god’ or ‘spirit’ or that there is ‘more’ to life than one can see.  These are usually felt deeply as they originate from before one has a self. 

The effects of the effects of projection on the ‘mind-space’ are things like:

  • A sense that what happens in life is ‘us’ and who we are.
  • A tendency to see what one does in the world as very ‘personal’.
  • A tendency to see us as in-the-world.

The effect, then, is like a ‘planting of oneself in the world’ creating a strong worldly sense.  It makes the world serious and what one does and happens influential.  Because of the different qualities created by projection after the self is developed I call projection with a self ‘extension’.

As one can see, the two different forms of ‘self-space’ create a otherwordly and worldly sense, which actually complement each other.  In many ways, projection is like a light that shines upon the world about us.  Its as if we are actually walking in the dark.  The only way we can see is with a lamp, which is projection.  We only see what the lamplight reveals.  Projection is much like that lamp and, through it, our projected self is what shines upon the world . . . we see only what it reveals.  In this way, we only “see” what our projection reveals.  This is very important and shows that projection is critical in making a ‘human reality’ and is critical for the creation of our world conception.

Mechanical and projected space, together, make up the ‘self-space’.  They both contribute to make ‘space’ more than space.  It makes it so that the world is more than the world.  It creates a humanly relevent “world-about-us”.  The creation of the ‘self-space’ as if creates a whole other reality that transcends and goes beyond the physical reality of space.  It is, in many ways, a different world, a world that only humanity knows, a human created world.  This is because a significant aspect of the ‘mind-space’ is that it is not really space at all, but our self in that space.  It’s this quality that gives ‘self-space’ such an important and significant element in life.  As a result, our relationship with that space, how we perceive that space, the context of that space, and the reality of the space are critical in our lives and have great impact on how we perceive and behave in life.


In human life, space in spatial relations is not just the 3 dimensions, the x, y, and z, though that is a beginning.  For us, space goes way beyond that.  We, as human beings, create a different form of space in our minds, we as if elaborate on it.  In this way, the ‘space’ becomes more than ‘space’.  It becomes the “self-space”.

We could describe the ‘world-space’ as “what’s actually there” (sort of scientific-like).  The ‘self-space’ can be described as “humanities way of making the ‘world-space’ relevent and meaningful”.  In other words, ‘self-space’ is a “humanizing” of the ‘world-space’.  Through this “humanizing” the ‘world-space’ is given a “human face” with “human meaning”.  Truly, this “humanizing” creates a livable world for us to live in . . . and one we can relate to.

As a result of this “humanizing”, we actually transform, change, and alter the ‘world-space’.  It ceases to be the world-as-is but becomes the world-as-human.  This fact is one thing the scientists seem unable to grasp, that humanity “humanizes” the world to make it livable.  In the process of this, we do, in fact, distort and alter it.

This “humanizing” or transforming, changing, and altering of the ‘world-space’, and the world in general, is how we create a conception of the world that fits the ‘human reality’.  It is not a question of what is THE reality, as science professes, but what is the ‘human reality’, that matters in life.  Everything else, really, is trivial.


The self is like a more involved growth of the mind.  It creates a strong sense of me-as-a-person and a me-in-the-world.  Because of this, it has great impact on how the world is perceived and ones behaviour in it.

Some of the things that helped create the human self, in comparison to other living creatures, seem to be:

  • A longer growing up and weening time.
  • The greater more expansive development of the mind and brain.
  • More involved projection.

What these have done is made it so that the development of the self becomes more influential in the development of spatial relations for humanity.  This is because the self has a longer time to grow and development and has greater power and influence than with other creatures.  Because of this, the self and spatial relations are intimately bound together and are as if intertwined with each other.

In the ‘primal self-space’ the self and space are really one.  Once the self is created there develops a separation of space with the self.  This creates a splitting of the sense of space:

  • ‘Dead space’.  This is space, or the world, perceived as ‘dead’ or ‘just there’, often viewed inanimately and without life.  This is because, with the coming of the self, the ‘life’ and concern of living becomes focused on the self and the world is ‘put on the backburner’, so to speak, becoming ‘dead space’.   This creates something like a ‘world vacuum’, where the world seems void of life, which can cause mental problems (such as depression).
  • ‘Living space’.  This is space in which we have projected ourselves or, in other words, humanized.  Because of this it is ‘alive’ and ‘living’.

As we grow, our growing self changes and spatial relations change significantly.  In actuality, there is like a spectrum, or gradual progression, of the perception of space from pre-self to self.  As a result, our mind maintains, and remembers, the whole spectrum, though generally unconsciously.  This spectrum causes great depth and experience to life.  It also causes many aspects of how humanity perceives and experiences the world, particularly if older forms of awareness are brought up and remembered.  Its interesting to point out that, in general, most people develop a “leaning” to the pre-self form or awareness or self awareness form of awareness, making some people ‘pre-self dominant’ or ‘self dominant’ (which can be compared to an introvert or extrovert, respectively).

The incapatabilities of the pre-self and self

The pre-self and self are incapatable.  That is to say, they do not ‘blend’ into one but remain separate.  Because of this, they are as if treated almost as if they are two personalities of ourselves, two separate entities.  As a result, the products of each self are treated differently. It gives us the great sense of things such as that there is something ‘deep’ within us, or of mystery.  In other words, the incapatabilities of the two self’s create a ‘depth’ in the experience of life.  One of the effects of this is the creation of ‘after-space’.


Once the self is created the original pre-self sense of ‘space’, the ‘primal self-space’ (where we see ourselves as space), still remains as part of our make-up, lying deep within us.  It is as if in the ‘background’ of our self, always there like a mist, but usually not making a dominant presence.  In other words, its the ‘primal self-space’ is still perceived once one has a self.  Because of this, it has great influence on how the world is perceived and plays a big factor in how we conceive of the world.  I speak of this sense as the ‘after-space’.

For some people it can have great impact and influence in their life.  Many peoples interpretation and conception of the world is influenced by the ‘after-space’.  For other people it has little impact.  This shows that the ‘after-space’ has different effects on different people.

Much of the unique effects caused by the ‘after-space’ are a result of these conditions:

  • A sense of space.
  • The projection of ourselves into that space that our early development causes.
  • This fact that this ‘after-life’, being a remnant of our early development, conflicts with our later developed self.

Some of the effects created by these cause include:


The ‘after-space’ creates strong religous and spiritual sense.  This is because religion is very much rooted and based in the sense of the ‘after-space’.  In fact, many of the effects of the ‘after-space’ are associated, or have been associated, with religion at least in some way.  This shows a strong connection between spatial relations and religionIn actuality, this connection refers to the association between three things:

  1. Space.
  2. The self.
  3. The projection of self into space. 

These create different combinations that leads to many forms of religious and spiritual sense.  Projected self in space creates a sense of ‘spirits’ or ‘gods’, for example.

– A sense of a presence

Being that the ‘after-space’ is a sense of projected space of oneself, it naturally leads to a sense that there is a ‘presence’.  That is to say, that there is a ‘living something’ that ‘exists out there’.  This, generally, is described as a sense of ‘god’ or spirits or ghosts or something similar.  This presence is, in actuality, the sense of our projected self.

– A sense that things are alive or have a life in them

This is a result of our projected self.  Again, these reflect a sense of a projected self onto things.  In actuality, the life we feel is our own through the thing.

– A sense that there is “something more”

With our growing self we naturally tend to forget the ‘after-space’ but its presence is always there.  As a result, its not uncommon for people to feel it there, as if lurking in the distance.  It often creates a sense that there is “something more” to life.

– A sense of mystery

Because it is a manifestation of the earlier stages of development our self cannot ‘understand’ it.  As a result, there develops a sense of mystery with the ‘after-space’.

-A sense of another world, an other world, or reality

The ‘projected space’ of our early development leaves a sense of another world or reality.  This is perceived as something separate from our life and reality.

– A sense of a secret or sacred place

This shows an ‘altered’ sense of space in project ‘self-space’.  This is because projection makes space more than just a space.  This is particularly true because of ‘living space’ as the ‘livingness’ makes space ‘alive’ and more ‘real’.

– A sense of harmony

A common trait we see in these is that we sense our life in the world, in the things in it, and even in the unseen things.  In short, the ‘after-space’ creates a general sense of a ‘livingness’ in all things, our projected ‘life’ upon the world.


Because the ‘after-space’ involves the self it naturally leads to altered senses of self.  Its not uncommon that they are associated with religion but not necessarily.

– A sense of being removed from ones self

The sense of space, and the self, can create a sense as if we have been removed or separated from our self.  This often happens when the post-self, with its sense of being removed from the world, develops a sense of the pre-self, where the world is ones self.  As a result, the post-self feels as if ‘removed’ from itself.

This, often, can create religious-like experiences but it, in actuality, is can often be seen from time to time in everdya life.  Some situations create this sense.

The sense of being removed from oneself can happen in many ways:

  • In various religious rituals.  In some cases, this separation of self is what is sought for.
  • In prayer, contemplation, meditation, and such.
  • In shamanistic journeying.
  • In dreams.  Often, nightly dreams can create a sense that we are removed from our self.
  • In intense situations.   A good example is war or some life-threatening crisis.  I’ve heard cases where people have said that they seemed “removed from their bodies” or “seemed to no be there” or even an “unreality”.  Often, these are remembered as if they were a “dream”.
  • Being very involved with some activity.  This can lead to a sense that one has forgetten oneself or that one has ‘gone into another world’.
  • In phantasy or daydreaming.
  • In illness.  Some illnesses can create a sense of being removed from ones self, such as schizophrenia.
  • Near death experience.  The slow dying of the brain that precedes death can cause a sense of separation of self, as one slowly sinks from the post-self into the pre-self state.  These are generally accompanied by dreams that are often insightful about the situation even revealing, in a symbolic dream-like way, that one is not going to die and will survive.

The sense of being removed from oneself can range from being frightening to being pleasurable.  Sometimes, the separation from self creates a sense of a dying or death.  In addition, it can range from healthy to unhealthy.  Sometimes, its a fine line between the two.

The sense of being removed from ones self actually appears in various gradations and forms.  In fact, it creates something like a spectrum of experience ranging from a mild sense to a sense of not being aware of self:

  • Feelings of unreality.
  • Feeling that one is not a part of the world.
  • A sense of going into another world.
  • A sense of a separation from ones body.
  • Not remembering or being aware of ones self.
  • A sense of a different self or being a different person.

Because it is so out-of-the-ordinary, and because of its inherrent associationg with relgion, people will sometimes worship a sense of being removed from ones self as some great religious event.  Sometimes, a simple sense of separation is considered a ‘divine revelation’.

Being removed from oneself can often open up aspects of our self.  It does this in ways such as:

  • Deep inner feelings that we otherwise would not know.
  • An unknown awareness.
  • An unknown knowledge.
  • An intuition and insight.
  • A mythology and symbolism.

It can also take us away from ourselves, making us forget certain things, even who we are.

Its interesting to point out that many things in life are “geared” to achieving a sense of being removed from oneself, that is, of achieving the ‘after-space’.  These include things like relaxing, entertainment, art, thought, and even having good attitudes.


– A pain or suffering

A sense of “after-space” often creates pain.  These often seem to come from nowhere or may seem to have no apparent origin.  This is because it is a result of the “mind-space” condition, not because of some psychological situation or event.  In fact, its often a sign one is “close” to the ‘after-space’.  Because of this it is seen a lot in religion and is a significant element in the spiritual or ‘prayerful’ life.

Some manifestations of this pain include:

  • A tendency to cry or weep.
  • A sense of suffering, often for no apparent reason or cause.
  • A sense of hurting inside.

– A sense of guilt and humility

Often, a sense of “after-space” creates a sense of guilt and humility.  In many ways, it seems to suggest that the “after-space” creates a sense of ‘two selves’, and that our current self is ‘below’ the “after-space” self, inferior to it.  This creates feelings such as:

  • A sense of alienation not belonging.  In many ways, the sense of being removed from ones self is a guilt of alienation, that one does not belong.
  • A sense of humility.
  • A religious guilt.
  • A feeling of being non deserving.
  • A feeling of being inadequate.

These are all associated with religion and prayer showing its great connection with them.

Sometimes these will lead a person to depression and feeling down.

– A fear

A strong sense of ‘after-space’ can create a sense of fear.  This often seems to be a result of the fear of losing the sense of the self. in the face of the reality of the ‘after-space’.  This shows that the self is very critical for a sense of ‘anchoring’ in the world and reality.  It’s loss, such as by the sense of the ‘after-space’ may lead one to fear they will ‘lose their sanity’ or ‘hold on the world’.  In other words, there’s a sense that one will become lost in the space.

Many peoples ‘inability’ to think or be imaginative, I often feel, is a result of this fear.  It creates something like a wall or a blockage that many people cannot overcome.  They may ascribe it by saying, “I just don’t have the knack” or similar things.  This is because thought and imagination requires one to go ‘beyond’ oneself.  This is why thought and imagination often require great effort, or great crisis, to develop in some people.

– A sense of nothingness

The ‘after-space’ can create a sense of nothingness.  In many ways, this is a result of the self’s inability to ‘relate’ to the pre-self.  Because of this, it as if does not know how to react causing a sense of ‘nothingness’.  This sense of ‘nothingness’ can be perceived as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on conditions.

– A sense of “dying”

The sense of the ‘after-space’ can create a sense of dying. This seems to be a result of the sense of the pre-self, which makes the self seem to disappear and this is perceived as a ‘dying’ or ‘death’.


Some people develop a greater sense of ‘self space’.  I call this the ‘deep after-space’ because it is a deeper form of ‘after-space’ than is whats normally felt.  This primarily consists of a state of mind that, while being in the condition of the self, the sense of the pre-self is attained, along with its projected ‘self-space’ which causes a more profound and deeper ‘after-space’.

Oftentimes, this is a reflection of a persons character more than anything else.  That is to say, ‘deep after-space’ is generally not something a person can learn . . . a person is born with it.  To put it another way, a person must be predisposed to it.

One of the effects of this is that it can give people great ability at something.  These include:

  • An ability at some activity, such as art.
  • A great ability at expression, such as in music.
  • An ability at insight, such as with intelligence.

It seems to me that people who have some special ability are usually displayng some form of ‘deep after-space’.  In other words, it seems that the pre-self projected space can “tap” aspects of oneself that one normally would not be able to do. 

Discovering the “deep after-space” appears in a number of different ways:

  • A chance event.  This may only happen once in a persons life.
  • A result of sporadic activities.  Doing specific things from time to time can bring it out.
  • Repetition of a specific activity. 
  • Something that is instigated or willed to happen.

Though it may appear automatically at times, ‘deep after-space’ usually requires active effort.  That is to say, a person must do something to achieve it.  If it does appear naturally it is often short-lived or appears sporadically.  In fact, one of the great challenges of ‘deep after-space’ is being able to “conjure it up”.  This is not always as easy as it sounds.


‘Deep after-space’ tends to create a spirituality or spiritual outlook.  This is, no doubt, because it brings up the deep inner aspects of ones self and space perception.  It as if happens automatically and is a normal part of the phenomena.  Because of this, people inclined to the ‘deep after-space’ tend to be more spiritual and religious-like.  In non-religious societies, this may appear like an introversion or meditative type of person.

Shamanistic journeying

For centuries, the shamans claimed that they separated from their bodies and journeyed to spiritual lands.  That is to say, their journeying is associated with moving through space.  This is no mistake.  Shamanistic journeying is really a “deep deep after-space”, so to speak.  It is characterized by a deep sense of space and self that makes it appear as if one is ‘in space’.  Its for this reason that it entails many qualities of the ‘after-space’ described above:  sense of ‘another world’, a sense of ‘life in things’, a sense of dying, and so on.

My experience is that shamanistic journeying is rooted in the sense of space, not in ‘images’, emotions, trance, and things like that.  This is because this is the ‘oldest’ part of awareness.  Images, dreams, emotions, and such come later.

Its interesting to note that shamans are usually males who tend to have greater spatial ability and sense than the female.

Learning and ‘deep after-space’

The ‘deep after-space’ reflects three stages:

  1. ‘Living Space’.
  2. Self.
  3. Projection of self into space.

Because space appears first it tends to be forgotten, as many things are built upon it which as if cover it up.  Projection is usually how we experience and learn things in the world.  As a result, learning things tend to involve learning how to ‘project oneself’, which is the later stage.  What this primarily entails is ‘seeing oneself in things’, so to speak.  Any “learning” is really a form of identification, of ‘becoming’ the idea, act, or what have you.  In this identification we actually project ourselves into the thing we are learning, thereby making it part of us and who we are.  In this way, it becomes a part of us.  In so doing it basically imitates the original ‘self-space’ of our early development.  The problem is that it does not hit deep into ones self.  It tends to become superficial and shallow.  Because of this we can perhaps refer to this learning as ‘shallow learning’.   

Achieving the ‘deep after-space’ can be described as a ‘deep learning’ as it requires a deeper manifestation of the self which means that it involves more of the self.  Because of this it tends to be demanding and takes a lot out of a person.  Much of what constitutes ‘deep learning’ really entails seeking a state of mind.  In other words, ‘deep learning’ requires the correct ‘state of mind’ to work.  If one is not in this state of mind, or cannot attain it, then the effects of the ‘deep after-space’ are not found.  As a result, the ‘deep learning’ often requires a process of finding that state of mind.  This state of mind is really an ‘opening up’ of the self to the pre-self.  Its for this reason that I have always felt that one of the unspoken elements of learning is the ‘techniques’ at finding the correct state of mind.  This is quite a bit different than what we normally think learning is.  Generally, we tend to think that learning consists of learning the “act” (such as how to draw or ride a bike) or the “thing” (such as math or history).  In actuality, a lot of what constitutes learning is nothing but the performing of an “act” to discover the state of mind so one can do the “act” better.  In other words, there are stages:

  1. Doing some “act” (such as drawing).
  2. Discovering the skill that it brings up (that is, that you have a ‘knack’ at drawing).
  3. Discovering the state of mind that brings up the skill (drawing enough to find that a certain state of mind brings up that ‘knack’).
  4. Finding out how to bring up that state of mind in order to bring up the skill.
  5. Repetitively reviving this state of mind.

I sometimes speak of this as the ‘state of mind learning orientation’.  This means that what one is actually seeking is the state of mind in which to do something.  It doesn’t matter if one can do the “act” . . . what matters is the state of mind that allows one to do it properly.  Its this state of mind that ‘taps’ the inner ability and allows it to come out.  To do only the “act” or the “thing”, by itself, is to be something like a robot, someone that just “does” stuff automatically.


Thought and imagination seems to be related with spatially relations.  In fact, spatial relations seems to be the ‘beginning’ or base of imagination and intelligence.  From spatial relations everything else follows.

  • Spatial relations, which leads to . . .
  • Projection, which leads to . . .
  • Imagination, which leads to . . .
  • Thought, which leads to . . .
  • Intelligence.

Its like a gradual progression that goes step-by-step as one grows and develops . . . and it all rests, and begins, with spatial relations.  In actuality, thought and imagination are a consequence of the projection of oneself which begins, of course, with spatial relations.  Thinking often entails an element of ‘visualization’ of some form or another.  Visualization is a product of spatial relations and projection.  Thought and imagination are associated with giving things meaning which is associated with space (as I described above).  Thought and imagination involves a ‘loss of self’, meaning a loss of post-self.  As a result, thought and imagination involves an ability to associate with the pre-self.  This is part of its power.  This is rather interesting as I’ve found that people who tend only look at ‘what’s there’ tend to be ‘dumber’.  This is because they are dissociated from their deeper self.


I have often felt that the fear of heights is related to the projected sense of ‘self-space’.  We must remember that space is not an “emptiness” or “void”.  The space is “there” as much as any object.  In that sense perhaps we could describe space as a ‘negative object’, an objectless object.  The fear of heights often seems to reflect this sense of “space as negative object”.


Schizophrenia shows many qualities of spatial relations.  In fact, at times, it seems it is a purely spatial relation ailment, where the different mechanisms of spatial relations are impaired.   More specifically, it is an ailment of projected space.  In general, there seems no problem with the perception of mechanical space.  Many of the reactions of schizophrenia are amazingly similar to the traits I gave above for the ‘after-space’.  I feel that is no mistake.

Some of the similarities include:

  • A sense of being removed from reality.
  • A sense that specific objects come ‘alive’ (projecting self).
  • Hearing thoughts and voices.
  • Hving a difficult time with orientation.

In general, we see a loss of the self which causes a breakdown in the perception of space and the “world-about-us”.  This suggests that schizophrenia is really a loss of self which, with its association with space, is what causes many of the symptoms of schizophrenia.  This appears to be a reaction to several conditions:

  • The loss of self.
  • The loss of a unifying quality of self.

The loss of any one of these tends to create a sense that the world is separate and ‘alive’, with a life all its own, and in which they are helpless against.

Many symptoms of schizophrenia also entail the self trying to ‘hold itself together’ under this breakdown.  This causes, in a way, a tug-of-war in the self.  This shows that the self is always trying to hold itself together.  This ‘drive for the unity of the self’ is one of the qualities that keeps us together as people and which has failed in schizophrenia.


The condition of dementia seems to show qualities of a failed spatial relations and other things associated with it.  This is probably best seen in the tendency for people suffering from dementia to take or steal things.  Its very possible that this tendency shows a sense of growing alienation from the world which causes, as a reaction, the tendency of taking things as if to stop this alienation.  In other words, its a reaction of failed projection.

In short, projection connects us with the world and makes it part of our self.  When projection fails we tend to feel things like:

  • A growing sense of alienation.
  • A sense of being ‘at a loss’.

When this happens, after projection has been established, there is a tendency to try to ‘reacquire’ this ‘connectedness’ with the world.  In dementia it appears to manifest itself as a tendency to take or steal things.  In this way, they ‘reconnect’ with the world and appear, at least to them, to ‘re-project’ themselves into the world.

This shows a number of points:

  • Projection creates a need to feel ‘connected’ with the world.
  • Once projection is established we see it as a part of our self.
  • When projection is perceived as being lost, such as with dementia, we try to reacquire it in some way.

The behavior of people with dementia, who often don’t seem ‘in control of themselves’, may also show that these reflect a deep inner need as it ‘controls’ them to some extent, without conscious effort.  This makes it, in a way, almost instinctual.  This fact seems to show that projection is deep rooted within ones self and lies deeper than ones conscious self.


It’s interesting that brain anatomy seems to show a distinctive association between space perception and other senses and aspects of the mind.  It appears that much of the space relation seems to be located in the temperal lobes, which are like flaps on each side of the brain.  Damage to the temporal lobe can cause problems with space relations.  People will have problems drawing a map or determining where they are, for example.

1800px-Gray726_temporal_lobe from public domain

(The temporal lobe of the brain.  From – image under public domain.)

Anatomically, the areas of spatial relations (temporal lobe) seems to be in the ‘middle’, so to speak, of all the ‘connections’ association with world conception.  Its as if, from the temperal lobe, the connections as if flair out in different directions as shown in this sketch (click to open):

temporal lobe sketch

The parts of the brain that the temporal lobe seems to bring together, as shown in the sketch, include:

  • The brain stem.  This is where the more ‘basic’ and ‘primitive’ aspects of the brain are located.  It connects to this by way of the limbic system and hippocampus.
  • The limbic system and hippocampus.  The temporal lobe connects to the brain stem by the limbic system and hippocampus.  Its also in the limbic system and hippocampus where meaning and emotion seem to be manifested.  The limbic system and hippocampus as if make a spiral from the top or superior part of the brain stem going ventral or forward up then to the dorsal or rear.  As it does this it goes outward and connects to the ventral or front part of the temporal lobe.  There are two of these, on each side of the brain.  Its interesting to point out that meaning and emotion passes through the temporal lobe before it goes to other areas of the brain.  This establishes a strong connection between meaning and emotion with space relations.  In other words, the close association of the limbic system and hippocampus to the temporal lobe shows that it is here that the ‘world-space’ is probably ‘humanized’.
  • The occipital lobe.  This area is locatd to the dorsal or rear part of the brain.  The temporal lobes are directly connected to the occipital lobe.  Here is where images and sight are centered.
  • Sense centers.  These are located in the upper or superior part of the cerebral cortex, making two strips on either side.
  • Motor centers.  These are also located in the upper or superior part of the cerebral cortex, making two strips on either side similar to, and right alongside, the sense centers.
  • The frontal lobe.  This is located on the front or ventral part of the brain.  Here is where the analyzing, logic, organization, and such are located.  The temporal lobe makes connections to this area of the brain.  Interestingly, of all the areas it is the furthest from the temporal lobe and has minimal cortex connections through the cerebral cortex itself, relying on long axonal connections to make many connections.  This shows, in my opinion, that this part of the brain is not as ‘important’ as its been made out as.  We tend to emphasize this part of the brain because this culture worships knowledge and such.  It seems to show that this part of the brain, and its functioning (analyzing, logic, etc.), take a secondary or subsidiary role to the other areas.

Areawise, the largest areas are the occipital lobe and the frontal lobe.  I do not believe this is a reflection of their importance but more that these areas deal with more varied imputs and alterations than other parts of the brain.  In other words, the large areas of these parts of the brain show that sight and analyzying, thought, etc. have more variation in activity than in the other parts of the brain.  To put it another way, the large area of the occiptial and frontal lobe are a result of the continuous activity that goes on in these lobes which are reacting to many varied impulses.  This makes sense as our brains are continually bombarded with visual sensations and we are continually having to think, analyze, and such throughout the day.

With these connections its as if everything fans out, in all directions, from the temporal lobe.  To put it another way, everything ‘comes together’ at the temporal lobe.  In many ways, the more ‘basic’ and ‘primitive’ aspects of the brain come together with the more ‘complicated’ and ‘advanced’ parts of the brain in the temporal lobe.  In that sense, the temporal lobe is an area of ‘bringing together’ different aspects of the brain and mind.  This shows that, anatomically, there is physical demonstration of the importance of space relations and its relation to the rest of the mind.


There seems to be a great difference between male and female and spatial relations.  In general, males tend to develop a stronger spatial relations than females.  As a result of this, males tend to display much more qualities associated with space relations.

  • The male projection of self can be described as ‘generalized’.  This means that the male tends to project himself over the whole world.  Because of the more ‘generalized’ nature of the male, he tends to experience more things like the ‘deep learning’, shamanism, creativity, and so on.
  • The female projection of self can be described as ‘restricted’ or ‘selective’.  That is, the female tends to only project her self over certain aspects of the world.  It seems that the female tends to exchange spatial relations for “emotional relations”.  Because of this, the female tends to develop a more emotion-centered relation with the world.  This makes it so that they don’t demonstrate many of the qualities of spatial relations.


Overall, it appears that civilization tends to cause a weakening of the ‘self-space’.  That is to say, once a civilization is created ‘self-space’ tends to display these qualities:

  • It tends to weaken in force.
  • It tends to become corrupted.
  • It tends to be replaced by other things.

This shows, in my opinion, that the ‘self-space’ is a phenomena of a lifestyle.  To put it another way, civilization tends to “replace” the ‘self-space’ and, in many ways, usurps it.  This fact shows some interesting similarities between ‘self-space’ and civilization:

  • They are both ‘in-between’ humanity and nature.
  • They both establish a relationship between humanity and nature.
  • They both offer protection against nature.

In other words, they are both means of associating with nature.  It appears that ‘self-space’ is something achieved by the individual, reflecting a personal association.  Civilization, on the other hand, is what can be described as a ‘social self-space’, a ‘self-space’ achieved by a society.  As a result, it is not achieved by the individual nor does it reflect a personal association.  Because of this, civilization is ‘weaker’ and less effective on the personal level. 


I feel that many creatures only feel the mechanical space.  I tend to feel that animals that experience the “mind-space” are primarily mammals.  Even birds do not seem to develop a “mind-space”, or it doesn’t appear that way to me.  They develop an incredible sense of mechanical space allowing them to fly, and land on branches, but there appears to be no projection of themselves into that world.

One of the reasons why this seems to be the case is because of development.  That is to say, the young mammals have a ‘weening’ period where they are generally helpless and need someone else to help them survive.  This causes them to go through a period of development, learning, and growth that other creatures, such as ants, don’t have.  As a result, their mind has to be formed and created, often from nothing.  In many ways, their minds are generally a ‘clean slate’ waiting to be written upon.

This creates conditions such as:

  • It allows for different “levels” of the mind.  This can range from a ‘nothing mind’ to an experience learned mind.  Because the mind goes through different growth periods the mind develops different qualities and characteristics.  Though the mind passes from one period to another, the earlier periods, with their distinct qualities and characteristics, are still in memory.  As a result, they often come out from time to time.
  • It allows for the development of projection.  This is because projection is part of the growing and learning process.  Projection makes the living creature want to ‘reach out’ into the world.
  • It allows for a refinement of abilities.  It seems that the development of the “mind-space” creates a need for refined movements and great sensory/motor control.  As a result, animals that display these qualities seem to have a sense of “world-about-us”.

In effect, the sense of “mind-space” causes a great growth and great development in the brain.  It seems, to me, that the significant trait of this is that everything is more “refined” – motor, sensory, mind.  There is less ‘reflex-like’ action (such as we see in insects and reptiles).  This is significant because it makes the ‘mind-space’ a result of a refinement, not an increase in “intelligence”.  What is often called “intelligence” is only an offshoot of this generalized refinement (of mental processing).  This refinement affects the whole brain and is seen in the development of the many more complex brain structures as well.

The refinement of ‘mind-space’ seems to be in these areas:

  • Motor – musulature system is very coordinated.  There is no ‘quick movements’ but often slow careful movements.  There develops great coordination and control.  This causes a great growth in the cerebellum.
  • Sensory – senses become very refined and complicated.
  • Mental processing – mind thinks about things, they look at things closely, build, and create things.

There seems to be levels with the mammals, some experiencing the ‘mind-space’ very minimally and some strongly.  Its interesting to note that the mammals that seem to have the greatest development of ‘mind-space’ are those who require:

  1. The most spatial relations, such as living amongst trees.
  2. Have a longer weening time.

Here are several good examples:

  • Rodents.  Many rodents live amongst trees, having to have good spatial relations.  Its some of the rodents, too, who do some of the greatest construction of things and organization, building dams, homes, nests, holes, hoarding food, and such.  This shows an element of refinement.  They, though, don’t have a long weening period, minimizing the minds development.
  • Monkeys and apes.  Many monkees and apes live amongst tree’s and live in them and, accordingly, need good spatial relations.  Apes, in particular, have great refinement in almost all areas.  They have a longer weening time too, allowing time for the mind to develop.

What many mammals lack, though, is a strong self, which is strong with humanity.  As a result, the self has a stronger impact and has, in many ways, determined the path of humanity.  Perhaps it is the lack of self that separates humanity from all other living creatures?


What all this shows is that spatial relations, and projection of self, is a major influence in how we perceive and behave in life.  It is also something that is taken for granted and tends to be disregarded.  The more I look at it, though, the more I can see that it truly is the base of everything.  In addition, its emphasis and development of its awareness is very good for growth.  This is particularly so as civilization tends to decrease its awareness and growth.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Death and dying, Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Neurology and the brain, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Religion and religious stuff, Shamanistic 'journey' dreams and dreaming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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