Have you noticed when, for example, the suffering of loneliness, abandonment and rejection arises, it has a tendency to gather momentum, to grow? It seems to include a magnetic force of inclusion for all similar states, for curiously even rejection seeks to include. The identity will gather evidence of the ‘truth’ of suffering, and there’s plenty of data available. The more attached to suffering as a self, the more potentially ‘trapped’ in this state one can become. Help!
This experience of identity is fully immersive, but it includes a function where it is possible for the dreamer to occasionally ‘wake up’. Amusingly the dreamer then includes the experience of waking into the identity drive, and one becomes self described as ‘woke’. Hahahaha!
What is happening? Are we being punished or rewarded? Are we put here by a cosmic parent figure to learn because we are bad at life? Are we suffering because an entity larger than us thinks we need a dose of suffering every now and then? NO! It is simply the habit of focus. It is possible to fixate and focus using the attention, and there is manifold data available to fixate and focus upon.
Our nature is Attention. Attention by its nature includes, Attention is curious, Attention does not discriminate. Our experience of attention is one and the same as Attention, but we have, as part of our pattern recognition software, the function of the (illusion of) discrimination, we can create focus. We also experience this focus in our body+ mind experience as feedback on the quality of our focus. When the habit of awareness has not been discovered, or it has been forgotten, we can fall into a victim state with experience, and can feel trapped in a fixated attention. What is fixated upon will be thought of as ‘truth’. We may agree or disagree with this ‘truth’ and will become accordingly emotional about it. Usually disagreeing with the flavour of the focus will bring on a bit of a tantrum, agreeing will result in displays of ‘winning at life’ or gratitude. All data in our manifest experience will be perceived through the lense of this fixation until we release attention back into the All. This is evident not just of suffering states, but also states of joy and happiness. To build the habit of turning the attention, we can use these experiences of fixation. We need contrasting experience plus attention to build this felt experience of turning, and there’s infinite of both available. The Context that supports contrasting states can be discovered through meditation. Meditation will give you a direct experience of the context in which experience arises and falls away, in this way it becomes possible to understand how to turn attention. Our attention is ever flickering here and there anyway, and will naturally move on from topic to topic, but as habits of attention create these fixation experiences, it is helpful to have a felt sense of what one is doing with one’s attention.
We all have habits of focus for our attention. This creates our narrative experience, we call this our self. It is possible to feel like one’s life is transforming after learning the habit of turning the lense of attention. Lense is a great word here because it implies the function of shifting the focus on the spectrum of broad to narrow, and also implies the sense of a filter over perception. Fixation is where attention is squeezed into a tiny funnel of focus. Phenomena exists in a state of pure potential until observation creates what is experienced.
The nature of Attention is inclusive. If the topic of fixation is rejection, all vibrational matches to rejection will be included in experience, as what we pay attention to is what is manifesting for us, or being experienced by us. This is the sense that what we pay attention to grows. I have noticed if I am fixated on loneliness, life will manifest all sorts of experiences of loneliness to agree with my focus. The beautiful thing is that I am free to focus in a new way when I remember that I am focusing. I can build the habit of remembering I can turn my attention by building the habit of meditation. It’s not only individuals that focus and fixate, but entire groups will entrain attention on topics together. Next time you realise that you are fixated on a state of experience, observe who comes along to entrain with you. Whoever comes into your experience will have focus that is complimentary to yours, and will provide data and feedback to confirm your fixation, in this way that delightful person of yesterday can become the pain in the neck of today, as we all have plenty of experiential modes available to entrain together.
In this way it can be understood that all experience becomes relevant only in the now, past experience can be acknowledged simply as the result of focus. This is freedom.