What is ATTENTION? The more I ponder this, study the readings, and study my own experience, I come up with more questions:
What is the relationship between ATTENTION and the ASSEMBLAGE POINT? A fixed assemblage point is held in place by will, which shapes perception. Perception appears to be determined in part by where we place the focus of our attention.
How is attention related to SHIFTING THE FOCUS and BEING HOOKED TO ONE'S FELLOW MAN? Is that synonymous with what is said about awareness capturing and holding the attention?
What is the relationship between evolving awareness and attention? Does attention develop in a similar sense that awareness evolves?
Is attention a function of mind, since it selects elements from within the FIELD of attention? Or is the attention more like a lens, as in placing the attention and thereby directing the force of intent and nurturing whatever the attention is focused on?
Why are the stages of warriorship known as the FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD ATTENTION?
Following are selected snippets from the readings for the benefit of other readers:
Vol. II, p. 276
Here it will be remembered from Chapter Three (Fig. 4), that an individualÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s view of the world is described by a circle, the radius of which is determined by the extent to which that individual is probing the unknown in his or her daily life. Furthermore, because this awareness is all-absorbing, in that it captures and holds the attention of the individual, it forces the individual to apply his awareness to all aspects of his life, rather than just moving forward blindly from one experience to the next.
Vol. II, p. 58
Although man in general places no great store upon dreams, the art of dreaming is powerful beyond normal comprehension. The danger, however, lies in the fact that we will nurture anything upon which we place our attention. Therefore care must be taken not to focus upon the undesirable, for the force of intent is activated by warmth.
Vol. II, p. 181
Although sobriety may be termed an altered state of perception in its own right, it is important to bear in mind that all movements of the assemblage point pertain only to the first attention, or normal awareness. By contrast a shift of the assemblage point takes the warrior into the second attention, or heightened awareness, which is what technically constitutes a true altered state of perception.
Vol. II, p. iii
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦the Third Attention is that point in the manifested universe, that level of awareness, where the awareness of both the unmanifest and the manifest is assembled in a mutual and fully intelligent act of co-operation.
HOOKED TO ONE'S FELLOW MAN
Vol. II, p. 45
What is generally known as self-confidence is not really self-confidence at all, but rather what Toltecs refer to as being hooked to one's fellow man. Through her constant demands for recognition from her fellow men Linda had no self-confidence as such.
Vol. II, p. 189
Hopelessly hooked to his fellow men, the man feels continuously wronged, and then again guilty for having retaliated.
Vol. II, p. 138
Thus it is also this fact which lies at the basis of social conditioning, and hence the importance of not being hooked to anyone. By being hooked to a person, our own specific colour can become contaminated by a colour which is not at all in line with our own destiny.
Vol. 1, p. 29
5. Perception takes place when the energy fields which are illuminated by the point of light extend their light to illuminate corresponding energy fields outside the cocoon. This point of light is termed the point where perception is assembled, normally abbreviated to the assemblage point.
HOLDING/SHIFTING THE FOCUS
A lack of containment comes about because of NOT HOLDING the FOCUS! :) But for there to be focus the PURPOSE must be CLEAR to start with, even IF one's perception of that purpose keeps EVOLVING through EXPERIENCE!
What your boss has brought to your attention indicates a lack of focus, inspiration and creativity. It furthermore indicates a lack of self-respect and self-discipline.
Whatever you focus your intent on, WILL GROW! It's that simple. So be CARE-FULL where you place your intent. Shift the focus to what it is you want to achieve.
Attention is an act of the will. Attention is what holds awareness of anything in focus. Without attention there is no focus of awareness. The assemblage point is more accurately the place where perception is assembled. See the nine truths of awareness for more detail on the assemblage point.
First there is the assemblage point, and the exact location of the assemblage point within the cocoon of man is determined by intent. What holds the alignment of the assemblage point in focus is attention, and this focussed attention is what brings about awareness, and that awareness leads to a perception being formed about that of which there is awareness. Will is the human equivalent of intent, for intent is a faculty of the dreamer. It is therefore very important that the apprentice takes careful note of when the term "intent" is used as opposed to "will."
Attention must indeed be developed, for in un-evolved man the attention is very weak, and therefore is his awareness also poor. Because attention is an act of will we have commands like, "Pay attention." But to pay attention implies being wide-awake, being present in the NOW. We cannot pay attention when we are half asleep, or when we are either in the future or in the past, or when we are caught up in the mind. The most powerful technique Toltecs have for developing attention is the art of listening.
Whenever we shift the focus we are technically speaking shifting the attention to another alignment of the energy fields being lit up by the assemblage point. When we are hooked to a fellow man it means that our attention has been captured by that person - captured in the sense of being held against our volition. In the art of listening we are in command of our own attention, but if our attention is hooked we have lost command of it. Awareness can indeed be so gripping, so compelling, that it too can capture the attention. This is exactly what every nagal does with apprentices in the early days. Apprentices, not yet having sufficient personal power to command their own attention, would be unable to focus their attention for long enough to learn anything of real value, were it not for the nagal capturing the apprentice's attention and even manipulating it into a more suitable focus. There are several ways in which a nagal can do this, but the techniques for capturing and holding an apprentice's attention can only work successfully when combined with the ability to see.
From the above evolving awareness speaks for itself. It is clear from the above that awareness cannot evolve satisfactorily without also developing attention and learning where best to place the focus.
Attention is not a function of mind as such. Instead attention exists independently of mind, and is an ACT of will which does indeed behave like a lens.
The first attention is confined to perception taking place within the restraints of NORMAL awareness only. The second attention is any perception taking place within an altered STATE of awareness. The third attention cannot be verbalised, for it is quite literally perception taking place at that level of awareness where the awareness of the microcosm and the macrocosm meet and blend one with the other. The closest we can verbalise the third attention, is to say that the third attention means being at-one with ALL of life. This is what is technically meant by the term BLISS. Bliss is the third attention. Another term for the third attention is nirvana. Warriors are classified for their proficiency in where they can focus, or hold and manipulate their attention. Once again this implies that attention has to be developed to increasing levels of potency and sobriety.