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Attention

 

 

During a Rose Bowl game, when some company runs a 30-second commercial, and pays a million dollars for that spot (or perhaps: 1.3 million) … what is it that’s being bought and sold?

 

It’s YOU!

It’s US!

 

Our consciousness … our attention.

 

But I am not trying to establish – that Consciousness is a (valuable) commodity.  I’m merely trying to establish that Consciousness … that attention … is REAL.

 

Well … the people paying (in excess of) a million dollars per half minute … it’s evident – that THEY think it’s Real.

 

And I think – they are RIGHT.   It IS real.

 

Here’s a little Exercise … an Experiment which should allow you to convince yourself that your “attention” is more than a mere figure of speech.  That it’s Real.

 

Turn your TV off.  Sit quietly. Gaze at the center of the screen.  Relax.

Then – without moving your eyes – put your Attention on the upper-left corner of the TV.  And once you’re satisfied with that, shift your attention to the upper-right corner (again, WITHOUT moving your eyes) … then the lower-right corner … then the lower-left.

 

Most of us are accustomed to having our Visual Focus FOLLOW our Attention.  And this gives us the impression – that they are the SAME THING. But they ARE NOT.  (And such an exercise as the one above makes it clear – that Attention has its OWN INDEPENDENT REALITY.

 

A good Point Guard is a master of this distinction.  He well knows that his eyes can easily communicate to his opponent – the player guarding him – what his intentions are.  When the point guard is dribbling the ball (and planning the play) he pays close attention to the position of his team-mates, but NOT BY LOOKING AT THEM.  He does not want to ‘telegraph’ his intentions to his opponent.

 

A good point guard does not allow his visual focus to follow his attention.

Some cards must be played ‘face up’.  This one does NOT.

 

Now I want to talk about the difference between ‘normal, ordinary’ attention … and Complete Attention.

 

When, after high school, I went ‘off to college’ … I attended University of Idaho.

 

In the Student Union Building was a room where one could listen to (recorded) music.  There was a staff member who worked there and would assist you (and take care of the LP’s.  This was 1964; so vinyl records were the state of the art.)

You could choose what music you wished to listen to, inform the attendant … and he would provide you with earphones, or perhaps a soundproof room with a good speaker system … and then play that record through the system you were on.

 

I find it a little hard to believe – that when I (first) made use of this facility (for listening to music) – that it was the First Time I had ever given a piece of recorded music my full and undivided attention

but

I can tell you – that I was astonished.

I was amazed at what music sounded like – when I gave it my complete attention.  It was as though I was on some psychotropic substance … only – I wasn’t. The intensity of my ‘experience’ was evidently (entirely) due to my giving the music my Full Attention.

 

It was shocking, really.

 

When we grow up, we will be less materialistic.   Mmm ?

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