The things we attend to in life determine our personal reality. If we choose to pay attention to superficial material strivings, which are, by their very nature, impermanent, then the focus and quality of existence will correspondingly be superficial, material and impermanent. Should we choose to attend to Inner World development, then Life’s experiences take on a different meaning. All is determined by the power of attention, making the study of attention an important aspect of Inner Development.
ATTENTION IS ENERGY. To confirm this assertion, simply direct your attention toward someone. Even if they are not looking at you and are across the room, they will turn and answer your gaze, having felt the energy of your attention. It is an energy produced by the body and focused through the sense organs, particularly through sight and hearing. Attention is so powerful that, were we to have complete mastery of it, we would be able to perform super human feats. As we are, though, this potential is virtually untapped.
The realization of our relative inability to control attention is an important first step. If we sincerely wish to be able to live more in the Now Moment, we must begin to see how allowing our attention to disperse itself into the past and the future weakens this intention. The creation of Presence involves developing the ability to focus attention exclusively into the Present while being aware of one’s existence in that moment.
The physical present moment offers a myriad of distractions, all attempting to capture our attention. We easily become lost in fascination, losing self-awareness, forgetting to also attend to our Inner World. WE FORGET OUR SELVES!
Accessing our power requires attending, not only to the moment of the external world, but also to the moment of our inner world, simultaneously. In this way we become able to monitor the effects external events have upon internal reality. When we allow ourselves to indulge in fascination with external events, we choose to ignore their internal effect. In so doing we place ourselves at the mercy of these events and become victims. Then our personal reality is structured and conditioned by the chaos of the external.
Begin monitoring the impact of incoming sensory data upon your internal environment and you will create a new relationship to your physical existence. When you expend the energy of attention upon the creation of an integrated and harmonious inner world, your external world reflects that inner growth. Then the relationship between the inner and outer worlds is reversed and your outer world experience is structured and conditioned by the awareness of your inner environment.
Directing attention inward while simultaneously attending to external phenomena is a simple concept, yet difficult to perpetrate, for the stimulation of the external is compelling and distracting. This is what Christ meant when he instructed to “be in the world but not of it.” Shakespeare defined the territory when he wrote: “To Be, or not To Be, that is the question.” Disciplining the mind to chose Being over non-Being is an essential element to inner development.