Open your horizons. Find quality in small things, not the big ones. A more spiritual orientation brings about observing the details that go by unseen when you look for the big things. -SHET
Can you control your attention? The ability to control your attention, to control where you focus your attention, endows you with the ability to create your environment. It furnishes you with energy to do work, study, finish projects, succeed in your endeavors when you can see both the whole picture and also the details, and in general, it enables you to react to situations with enough rationality to direct them toward your objectives. You become aware by focusing your attention on something. Before placing your attention on that something, it didn’t exist for you. Now that you focused on it, you became aware of it and it exists for you. By observing you make things alive in your own universe. And obversely, when you put less attention on something, it tends to disappear. Is your life precisely what you wish it to be? If not, no matter the reason, you can still learn to control your attention, and thereby, learn to create.
Is your attention being controlled by external events when everything disturbs you, when the smallest rustling distracts you? If that is the case, then you certainly don’t know how to handle energy. When instead of being directed by you, your attention is controlled by external events, then your energy too is controlled by external events. We have bodies to learn how to handle energy. An expression of wasting it could be the lack of cash flow as wished. People who have a high concentration level, who can control the flow of their attention, have more energy than others do. It’s not that they have more energy — they simply know how to handle it better. So control it. You see, usually, when not working on it, awareness, or one’s attention is guided, controlled by outside events: by emotions, unwanted emotions, the chattering of the mind, etc. However, when you work on it and develop your control, consciousness is the one directing the awareness, and that’s as it should be. Then you flow with the universal energy, which therewith can flow through you and imbue you with its plenty. When you allow your attention to float like a boat without a rudder on high seas, you block the universe from being able to give to you.
Individuals with easily dispersed attention often seem to act neurotically. They could be said to be unstable. They feel guilt-ridden, having too many unfinished tasks on their conscience. They get into something, then something else comes up and they give that something else attention while they leave the first thing unattended and so on and so on. Too many loose ends. They seldom finish things before going on to the next thing, and yet they leave their attention on the unfinished projects or wishes. They don’t even end them in their minds, so they are kept in a constant state of distraction, their concentration dispersed, and then they judge themselves on all those things they haven’t done. Instead of treating these individuals with antidepressants, tranquilizers, barbiturates or other goodies, instead of beating to death their childhood or past life traumas, it would suffice to teach them step by step how to control their attention and how to finish what they began.
An inability to control one’s attention may be regarded as “just another symptom,” and consequently, treatment may be aimed at something else. Yet learning to control one’s attention could cure many psychological disorders. Your energy is your ability to focus your attention where you wish.
Perhaps, you keep playing the same record in your private chatterbox you call your brains, disabled by the automatic repetitions of babble you call your thoughts. Maybe your attention is stuck in past events, thinking that if you had only said this or that, then… whatever, or maybe you hold onto all those terrible things that were done to you. When your attention is trapped in past unfulfilled wills, you have less attention, less energy to carry on. If you become more in control of your attention, you can learn to let go and thus become involved in the present rather than in the past. For that to occur, however, you need to know how to control your attention.
Of course, you could be one of those who lack self-confidence, which is the result of being too self-conscious, which means your attention is stuck on yourself — the condition I named the “bubble syndrome.” This may be the result of being afraid of critical attention. If that’s the case, then you should turn your attention outward instead of focusing it on the self. That’s listening. I call listening everything that has to do with putting your attention outside yourself. Listening can be achieved by being interested in the other instead of being interested in oneself.
Self-confidence is the ability to not focus upon yourself, the ability to give others your full attention. But since your attention is curved back on you, the external world goes unnoticed and you are either unaware or uninterested in others’ predicaments or joys. Because your attention is trapped in the narrow circle described between you and you, there is not much left over for others. When you direct your attention on yourself, you don’t direct it upon others. Then these others can’t feel you care for them. To really experience — and this has been a great secret — you should experience others by being them, loving them, without expecting something miraculous to happen as a result of this act. The pure joy of being, existing, is the greatest miracle.
How to love would be a relevant question here. The first thing in learning to love is to be Nothing, which means not being beautiful or ugly, happy or unhappy, not this and not that, just being and then seeing — seeing other life forms and listening to them. This means that all your attention is on them, not on yourself. You see them and become them as much as you can. You feel what they feel. You participate in their hopes, loves, whatever, and then it is only natural that you want to make them happy by giving them what they want because you are no longer separate from them. You are they, so you would do unto them what you would have done unto yourself — only it is their wish you fulfill. You are they when you want the same, and since you have gone through being Nothing, you can be anything and you are able to love anyone.
Being self-centered is often the result of a fear of criticism, of what-will-others-think-of-me. Wanting to be accepted and loved, one can become wary of not being accepted and loved. This vigilance is achieved by constantly searching for revealing signs and statements uttered by others to detect what they think of you. Such behavior may be misconceived as attentiveness, and yet what is the self-conscious person really interested in? In the other? No. He is interested in himself through the other. That is still curving one’s attention back on oneself, investing in looking good in the eyes of the other.
Be the actor, not the act. When your whole world is you and only you, it is a small world and you are the act. When you are interested in others, when you can turn your attention outward, then you are the actor, and then you are the world, the big world.
As long as your attention is on yourself instead of the joy of doing and acting, you draw critical attention back at you and you receive evaluations. When you enhance your self as the object, then it is you who is getting graded and judged, not the act. This is why you feel you are losing confidence in yourself. Enjoy the doing and you will see the difference. Stop dreaming of how you will be admired, and instead, revel in acting out the different parts, sense the feelings and emotions of the roles. That makes the whole difference.
This constant preoccupation with one’s self prevents one from having experiences, real, enriching experiences. Affirmations of being good, or getting “gooder” by the day, is such a preoccupation that too often turns into self-criticism, intensifying the labels of what’s wrong with oneself. When that’s the main theme of one’s existence, then what do you think this person experiences? Occupy yourself with experiencing things. Turn your attention outward rather than toward what you think to be your deficiencies.
You may be unhappy because you don’t have: you don’t have money, you don’t have youth, you don’t have health, you don’t have beauty, you don’t have a sex-partner, you don’t have parents, you don’t have a job, and the list goes on and on. Look at you! You center your attention on what you miss and miss what you have. Life can pass you by and you won’t notice that you forgot to live and experience. As if this wasn’t serious enough, the consequences of focusing on what we miss are even more morbid.
About 99% of humans fear uncertainty and lack of stability. However, when you look at the lack, then that is what you increase since you create your own reality by focusing. By putting your attention on things, you make them real. So when you put your attention on a lack, you increase that lack. In order to feel stability — which is a feeling, an attitude, and not something objective — you ought to change your attitude. You are not confronting immediate life threatening problems. You are afraid of the future, afraid of how you will perform in the future. To solve this problem, think of uncertainty in a different way: try to learn to live with uncertainty. How? Through faith in the universe, in knowing you belong to the universe, faith in yourself. The wider your scope of activity becomes, the more uncertainties you will face. Learn to live with uncertainty and then you won’t need to shrink the sphere of your activities and interests in order to entomb yourself in certainty. Expand, have faith, and then you can live with uncertainty and live well, feeling stable in spite of uncertainty uncertainty (how to achieve that, see my article, Could Holophany Guide us to Live Comfortably in Uncertainty?). Know that you, the real you, can never be hurt, only the role, the possessions, the temporary part. That is indeed a leap into the spiritual realm. Faith. When you have faith, your attitude changes, and you won’t view uncertainty as an unwelcome guest. When you have that attitude, then you will have freed attention to work with and expand into more stability in your everyday life, without pressure, without feeling that doom hangs over your head, which was placed there by your own self in the first place.
Stability is due to control. Life is one big uncertainty, which you cannot control. What you can control is your attention, which when controlled can guarantee your stability even within uncertainty. This ensures that you can live well in uncertainty.
Happiness could be a few blocks down the road, once you can control your attention and when you know where to direct it. If you are bored, uncreative, or you feel life is a drag because of all those things you have to do, put your attention on things that really interest you, and then you will be able to enjoy your life in full. However, this is not always as simply done as said, because you may feel you have to do those things you don’t enjoy and you have no choice. To overcome this platitude (which seems to you the coercion of facts), you may need to understand Holophany enough so you can change your attitude in those areas where indicated and thereby turn your environment into a more desirable scene. Even to learn Holophany and to understand the philosophy of how things work, you need a certain span of attention and concentration, and a certain control of your energy. The main lesson to learn is to handle energy, which includes knowing where your attention is aimed at and controlling it. This teaches you to look and observe, to see others including their problems and desperation. This is exercising control over your energy.
When you are familiar with the techniques of controlling your attention, you can become a virtuoso with abilities that may seem supernatural to those who don’t know how to observe. Your memory and intelligence will improve as well as your creativity. First, however, you need to learn to focus. Focusing is the ability to concentrate on one thing for a long time (long defined as relative to you). It is putting attention on something, investing your energy as stated above. It is also paying attention to detail. When you can lock out the automatic mind chatter, then you can start splitting attention and focus on more than one thing at a time, thereby creating a kind of field, which is very creative in all respects. That’s when you get insights, connect between things you have not connected before. Splitting your attention allows you to trigger things within an area in which you focus and then things happen. This focus allows you to see the nature of things as a process, the relations within a certain complex structure, and from there you can easily create changes by changing the dynamic aspect, the relations of the complex structure. Then the whole structure changes somewhat as seen from your point of view. Try to visualize this paragraph, even in meditation, until you get it. This is the result of the ability to focus, which of course starts, as I have stated, with a laser-like ability to center, locking out all other noise.
Controlling the wanderings of one’s attention is controlling awareness, which is the access code of consciousness. Our attention is the most basic dynamic aspect of our creation.
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