Looking at Yourself
When you look at yourself directly with the firm intention of getting a taste (a feel, a whiff) of what it feels like to be you, the unconscious ground of fear upon which your mind developed over your lifetime dissipates. Just one look with your inner eye at the raw sense of me before any names, definitions, understandings, and emotional states eliminates that underlying context of fearfulness.
The direct, unmediated contact of your attention with the reality of you reveals that you do not need any protection from life itself. It is like hitting a reset button. The unconscious need to protect yourself from life is falsified because it is obvious that, no matter what happens, you are actually always here.
Looking at yourself in this manner is an act of self‑directed attention and, for some, it may seem very difficult to do. After all, in this act, you are forcefully turning your attention inward—away from thoughts, sensations, and other stimuli—in a direction it is not accustomed to going.
We think of that invisible mental environment of fear as a psychological autoimmune disease. Once the falseness of the constant need to protect yourself from life reveals itself in the mind, a process of recovery begins. During the process of recovery from the fear of life disease, your mind goes through a reconstruction of sorts, in which old thought patterns and conditioned behaviors that took birth in a fearful mental environment begin to disintegrate and be replaced by new, healthier ones.
With the ground of fear dissipated, no new fearful psychological mechanisms will be generated in the mind, but the older ones that were formed by the circumstances of your life over the years do not disappear immediately.
The most recently formed psychological mechanisms disappear quickly, but older ones, especially the more ingrained ones, the ones established in the period between your birth and your childhood years will take some time to disappear. The older and most hidden psychological mechanisms that became part of your personality will fight to remain in place at all cost and they may cause some difficulty during your recovery.
This process can take many years and you can go through it without a clue as to what is actually happening to you. Old patterns of thought and behavior may reappear and may cause many disturbances. You may feel lost at sea wondering, Why is this happening to me? I thought I had gotten rid of this particular behavior years ago, etc.
Next: Self-Directed Attention
3 thoughts on “The Power of Attention, Part One”
OMG 4-5 pm Calif time ..is 1 am-2 am European standard time . I imagine there have not been many people in Europe tuning into these meetings at early AM hours ? Anyway ..its a new year and wishing everyone a constructive upcoming season of looking ! Its good news ..John tells us : The realization ”I Am” is always here and is not effected by the bodies physical and mental changing situations, is a great starting point for 2019 ! I feel people are programmed into thinking knowing most things ”intellectually” is the correct path (as this is what we are taught) in school as children. In my mind intellectually knowing is not the same as consistently tasting the truth. In many cases this is confirmed threw the senses .Imagine telling a friend about some great new ice cream you just had ..while this friend never has not actually tasted it ?
How can one explain what freshness and new’ness really is ? Since taste or smell is very subtle ”mind” is always going to create confusion about what is going on until the treat is 100 % digested itself . In childhood I learned..Once any new treat was totally experienced .,I had a constant desire for it . It only disappear’s because what was eaten slowly becomes part of me . I feel this could why it takes years for many of us to process experiences about looking and recovery etc. in order to gain mastery over the mind with all its superficial needs and desires .Digesting is key for everything we know and feel ?
Just found this site. It’s got a nice ‘feel’ to it. Down to earth nothing complicated. I like that. I’ve been having some anxiety and related symptoms and was looking for something simple to help me. So a general thanks to everybody here. Cheers. James.
Hello, James. Welcome to Just One Look. Have you downloaded the free ebook with instructions? The link is available here: https://www.justonelook.org/look-at-yourself.php
Please try following the instructions in the ebook and, if you have any questions, you can post them in the Just One Look Forum or talk to us directly in one of our online Open House Meetings or one of our monthly Webinars.
All the best,
John & Carla