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Is attention all I have control over?

hello,

I practice moving my attention to my breath and then find it more natural to move it onto the sounds around me as i find it less of a battle. As I was doing this last night I thought about moving my attention to positive thoughts, as what you focus your attention on becomes stronger.

I then wondered if what John says about the movement of attention being the only thing we have control over then was what I thought was a conscious decision to move my attention to positive thoughts completely out of my control and just appeared to be me making that decision.

In other words do I ever make any conscious thoughts or have they already been made before a conscious decision or thought seems to be made? Any suggestions?

Well, interesting yet tricky question. Don't want to get mired down in the quicksand that is the philosophy of things, especially philosophy of control.

On a practical level, I wouldn't waste my time concerning myself with "figuring out" (even before I make a breakthrough in the looking) what things I definitely control, to what degree I control them, and what things I don't control (Men's and women's Egos have a real tough time with this, which is why there's so much blood, violence, malice and ignorance in our species currently).

If you really must find out, I guess you could explore this with your attention (awareness, etc.). I have done this a little myself. And it seems I do have control over my attention, about 50% of the time. Because of my Aspergers, I'm very mind-centered and literally I can lose hours just thinking about stuff, or something that's bothering me , etc. It's kind of like a time warp, all the time just *poof* vanishes. But I'm much better now that I'm older on this, not getting lost in thoughts, which to an Autistic Person, is basically their whole world.

On a silly side-note, it's been officially and scientifically confirmed (although I don't subscribe to what is today the Scientific Establishment) that using deep-brain scans some scientists are able to consistently predict choices you will make, under controlled conditions, 6 seconds before you're even aware you've made a decision !! If that's the case , then this discovery should blow everyone who reads it straight out of the water !!! Amazing.

I wouldn't worry about the science or philosophy of what you can control. I mean it's good to know, and you should figure it out yourself. I mean, you're you, right ?

How can anyone tell you what you control and what you don't ? It could be different for different people, furthering the need for you to figure it out yourself, using your attention (the only thing I think that can really see what's going on here second-by-second in the real world).

I'm pretty sure all people have a good amount of control over their attention. I won't lie to you, when you're in the thick of unconscious reaction and negativity, it seems almost impossible (not always though) to seize the reigns of your attention, and make it go where you want. I say "it", but maybe your attention is really you , or at least part of you, the real you, here.

Do you make conscious thoughts ?

Honestly, I don't think you do. I don't think I do. Or anyone for that matter. To find out just slowly drag your obstinate attention up to your Mind, where your thoughts are coming and going, and "find out" where they come from , and where they disappear to. Thoughts are things the brain is programmed to identify with. But really none of those thoughts are really "you". Really, they're not. But putting your attention on your thoughts and realizing they're not you , won't free you. I don't think. Really for this to work, you have to get your attention out of your Mind and onto the You, the simple feel of You (emulating John's words no less :D), here and now. From what I've seen so far, with the Looking, there seems to be a flow of "Me" here. And it's baffling and confounding. Because I can't understand it, and I can only touch on it for a little bit. I think I'm getting better, but I'm not sure. That's the tricky nature of the "Me", I guess because it lies completely outside the Mind, it's very difficult (at first) to figure out how to find it again , once you take your attention off the "Me" and into the Mind , or Outward into the world , or wherever. Though I'll say, I believe you can use to Mind to memorize little things, "landmarks", tricks, or what have you that will lead you back to "You", or "Me".

Hope that helps somewhat.

Well one original thought has come to you. That is to say, that you think you heard John Sherman say "Look at me". This information has come to you completely out of the blue. You would never have imagined this on your own. Somebody presumed to speak to you. And what they said was..."Look at me". So John is saying take this medicine and have a relationship with your life. What is original here is that we both agree with John's suggestion independent of our thoughts ensuing from it.

 

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