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do we really have a choice?

Dear John,

Your suggestion that we don't have anything to say about anything makes a great deal of sense to me (it is even more obvious after doing the looking) but isn't this that case that we don't even have anything to say about where to put our attention (by the same token).

What makes you think that we have any choice in moving our attention? Of course it appears that we have a choice in controlling our beam of attention but in the same way that it appears that we have a choice in doing everything else (thinking a thought for instance). Everything that happens seems to be an inevitable part of an eternal chain of causes and effects (except 'me' which is unaffected by all this).

Hope this doesn't sound like a philosophical question.

Will appreciate you comments.

Dear Agnosus,

I read your posting and responded to it during our Open House on March 13, 2013.

Please let me know if more is needed.



I agree with John on the podcast when he says "you have to work on it" referring to control over the beam of our attention..of course it is a thought like any other but for me has been very very useful..so many sensations , many crazy crazy ups and downs in my energy over the years since first looking...in the beginning I would say to myself in the midst of the madness.."what is at stake?"

This seemed to make sense to me that nothing could hurt 'me' and also paying attention to the fact that everything passes eventually. It became obvious that within my character it's always pretty much the same scenarios..and less and less my attention feeds them.

Now it is easier to feel the sensations and move attention away and even have fun with it...

I really appreciate the evolution of the conversation within the community.

I don't feel I need to move away from people and situations so much since this ability is always with me...such an amazing fresh way to experience natural life.


Thanks for taking the time to reply back John! I really appreciate it.

I have listened to your response. It is full of wisdom. I agree that this issue is really beside the point as far as 'the act' is concerned.

Maybe just one last question: isn't that the case that there is always some sort of thought (sometimes in the form of an impulse) preceding the intent to move attention?

Also we don't seem to have any control on our beam of attention during sleep or where mental activity is diminished.

Where is the source of this apparent control over beam of attention?! Is it self-sufficient or just an effect? I try to be self reliant and see it for myself but I can't really find in me any independent controller of beam of attention. There is this constant background of me and then everything else is just effects happening beyond any control.

Thanks again,

Will try to remain self-reliant.


Do we have a choice

We may have a choice, and we may decide, or not. Thought sweet or fearful still brushes your landscape. Looking is so simple. Just look. Then while thinking, you will see, you are, here. Hello my brother, hello my sister.

Choice or not

Dear Agnosus,

The question you pose is an interesting to me, too. Whether we actually control anything or not, whether control is in actual fact, after an careful analysis, an illusion, is secondary and quite academic. It seems to me that we act under the impression we can affect things and make choices. That's our experience of it, perhaps for a reason. It doesn't matter much whether this is true or not.

Legally, we are responsible for the persons we supposedly are, and I see the sense in that, but we are not in control of our thoughts and feelings. Just like I might be legally responsible for my pet dog. The person is outside of you, contrary to conventional wisdom. We can affect them in an indirect way by directing our attention, and might get better and better at it as we learn, but it's like gardening. The growing happens on it's own. It's one of those arisings in the universe, the feeling of control, whether partial or not. Perhaps it remains a mystery. I feel a sense of relief in thinking that I'm not responsible for my feelings and thoughts, that it's an illusion, and I also take pleasure in controlling and directing as much as I can. Go figure.



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