The Power of Attention, Part Five

Understanding Your Mind

The Just One Look Method gives you an understanding of why your mind behaves as it does. It reveals what has caused your mind to develop the way it did.

Our minds grow within a context of fear that appears at birth, and the mental mechanisms that form our personality develop in reaction to the circumstances in which we find ourselves over time. No one is to blame for it, neither you nor anyone else.

In the healing process that occurs when you look at yourself, there is absolutely no need to try to understand what particular event caused a certain behavior or thought pattern. Any effort to find blame, whether human or accidental in nature, is just a distraction. It keeps your attention fixated on the perceived problem, and that keeps it in place by feeding it.

The only way to rid yourself of those neurotic, harmful mental mechanisms is to starve them of attention. They die when you decline to feed them.

The Just One Look Method allows you to see for yourself how your mental mechanisms are generated and how your mind works. This is not a matter of intellectual understanding. It is a practical experiment. You learn, for yourself, to use your own innate intelligence in your favor, not against yourself.

We are accustomed to learning things by understanding and memorizing what we are taught or what we read in books. We are conditioned to believe that learning is a matter of digesting information and incorporating it into our lives.

What we are talking about here is experiential. You must turn your attention away from all you have been taught, at least for a while, and be willing to discover everything freshly for yourself. The only thing that will allow you to do that is a firm control of your attention.

A mind controlled by the unconscious context of fearfulness is not to be trusted. Its judgments and opinions will always be tainted by the need to protect itself from perceived threats. A clean, sane mind is trustworthy. When your mind is free of fear, you can absolutely trust yourself. The Just One Look Method helps you develop true self-reliance.

A mind that has lost the fear of life and is healing itself will inevitably turn toward healthy mental mechanisms and behaviors. Even in the early stages of recovery from the fear disease, you will notice that certain self-destructive habits are losing their grip on your attention. You actually do not see them go, since they fade away unnoticed, but when a circumstance arises in which you previously would have had a certain neurotic reaction, you may realize that the automatic, usual reaction did not happen.

These changes in behavior happen naturally, according to your own nature; you do not have to force yourself to change anything in yourself.

A sane mind is always inclined toward healthy, self-enriching activities. That is the natural state of being human: free of neurosis, curious, intelligent and quiet.

You may start eating better and exercising; you may engage in activities that are helpful to you. You may stop following self-destructive, harmful impulses. You may stop eating junk food or binging on empty calories; you may lose interest in addictive substances, etc. These habits just disappear on their own, since they are not beneficial to you.

The Just One Look Method creates a space between you and your thoughts and behaviors. What before may have seemed to be you–your thoughts, your feelings, your personality, etc.–is now seen finally for what it really is: energetic entities that appear in you. You have the power to attend to them or not.

That little space between you and your thoughts grows in time and that makes it almost impossible for you to be enthralled by their tricks again.

Let us say a thought appears in your mind. What if I get sick tomorrow and there is no one to take care of me? You can pay attention to that hypothetical event and become disturbed, flailing about trying to figure out what to do now to prevent that from happening in the future, or you can realize, I am not sick right now. This is a worrisome thought that has no practical use in this moment. I do not need to pay attention to it right now.

You cannot prepare for everything that may happen to you in your life. If you spend all your energy trying to be prepared for every possible outcome you can think of, you are simply wasting the precious gift of the time you have been given to be in this life.

In the words of a John Lennon song, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”

Next: A Natural Mind

One thought on “The Power of Attention, Part Five

  1. Any method which leads to concentration of the mind ..leads to Liberation
    Quote : Baba Hare Dass..from silence speaks .
    I had the privilege of being with Hare Dass for many years in the 1970’s .
    He passed away at the age of 95 in Sept. 2018 in santa Cruz Calif. Listening to John lead me to research Ramanah Maharshi and discover my own concentration method related to looking. I feel this has come about based on a number of Indian saints I have been fortunate to spend time with. (Such as Mata Ananada Mayi Ma )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you a human being? *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.