Attention, the Second, ARTICLE ON from Warriors' Journeys


  • Attention, the Second, ARTICLE ON

The most effective way I have found of first discovering and then exploring the second attention is to take a stance of complete HONESTY towards one's perception. By this I mean a complete honesty with respect what one KNOWS about HOW one perceives.

I believe it would be best to start with an example. Let us say an apprentice has a vision during his dreaming exercise. He at first registers a feeling of inspiration. Then a scene unfolds in which he sees himself commanding a vast army. He commands the army to overtake a fort and defeat what looks like an evil sorcerer. This scene is followed by the Christ descending from heaven and exalting him for his fine work.

Being new to the Warrior's Path, he could approach this experience in one of two ways. He could either dismiss it as an idle fantasy, or else he could try to interpret the elements of the scenes like he would a dream. He could also interpret it as confirmation that he was sent by the Christ to lead a great army to victory. We will dismiss this last possibility by assuming that this apprentice is a SANE and MATURE adult. <wg>

Another approach the apprentice could take is one that a stalker would take. If the apprentice who had this vision is being truly HONEST with himself, then ALL he could say at first is that he had a vision and that this vision evoked strong emotions within him. Acknowledging this also means relinquishing his HUNGER that the vision somehow CONFIRMS his "specialness". This is where he starts, because this is where the FACTS start.

From here, if the apprentice has developed some skill in stalking his perception, he will also be able to see how his rational mind chose those particular symbols from its inventory of the KNOWN, which would evoke the emotions he felt (the army, the Christ, evil sorcerers). Looking further at the vision, the apprentice will soon see that it is not the images, words, and sounds that constituted the vision, but the FEELINGS that followed the INSPIRATION. The emotions themselves are SECONDARY impulses CAUSED by the images.

Just from this one experience the perceptive apprentice can LEARN that this TYPE of vision begins with INSPIRATION, which unfolds FEELINGS within him that the rational mind tries to INTERPRET with its INVENTORY, and finally causes a further EMOTIONAL response as a SECONDARY reaction. This example also demonstrates that an apprentice who may have discarded an experience such as this as worthless, could rather have extracted a sizeable portion of KNOWLEDGE from it with CARE-FUL stalking.

This is one example of how I have approached the second attention. An approach that is characterized by being UNCOMPROMISING about the FACTS. If one can take this sober and straight-forward approach to stalking one's perception, then you will find yourself advancing in skill with the second attention much more rapidly. But if you are constantly looking for something that can boost your ego, or allow you to compensate for your lack of self-worth, then you'll keep finding yourself stuck within glamour. Being trapped in glamour is a truly fruitless existence that sooner or later leaves one feeling empty, because deep down you know that it is all an ILLUSION.