Recently I've been investigating a phenomenological distinction between two different kinds of vision.
The first is horizontal, peripheral, reactive, associated with "shifty-eyed" lateral eye movement, evasive behavior, functioning socially as a sort of stimulus-response machine, treating bids from others as a kind of social threat to be either hidden from or deflected by making the appropriate response. Herd and prey animals have widely spaced eyes, the better to see threats from many angles. Call it Epimetheus.
The second is more vertical, centered, involves activation of the area around the "inner/third eye," has better lookahead both visually and mentally, and can have active preferences and intentions around the future. It feels "taller," like it sticks out more. Call it Prometheus.
Rods in the retina are more prevalent on the periphery, are better able to detect signal under low-light conditions, and cannot distinguish colors. Cones are more prevalent at the center of vision, require more light to detect features, and can distinguish colors. When people describe a depressed state as gray and colorless, I wonder whether this corresponds to a generally elevated sense of threat emphasizing colorless peripheral vision; the depressive tendency to stay in dark rooms is also broadly consistent with this.
Most mornings I wake up in peripheral mode. A few days ago I decided to see what happened if I tried entering and staying in lookahead mode. Immediately it felt energetically draining, and when I introspected on the nature of the energy leak, it resolved into a sense of danger. I was worried that if I stayed in this mode, I'd stick out by revealing preferences, and get attacked. But the only other person present was strongly supportive of my staying in vertical mode, supportive in fact and not just in word. Because she didn't react defensively at all to my state, I was able to hang out in vertical mode long enough to get some experiential reconditioning.
The morning I wrote this, I woke up in an avoidant state again, thinking of my tasks for the day as a kind of story I had to participate in, and wanting to get it over with. I took a half hour or so to think about this, and ended up switching to a frame where there were problems to solve*, which is much more exciting and can engage my move-towards motivation, not my move-away motivation.
* David Deutsch occupies this frame most strongly of anyone I've seen: