Attention Quarantined

You become what you agree to attend to.

And your freedom turns on it.

Literally.

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Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.

William James

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The way Social Media can in effect anti-socialize us and Smart technologies dumb us down is the way that our capacity for discerning attention is under great threat in the Black Hole Glut of the Attention (=Distraction) Economy.

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And it all happens when we have no distinct idea about who we actually are and what we actually stand for.

Absent clarity of intent and intuitive self-reliance we’re bound to forfeit our agency and to defer to what (ever) is being curated for us.

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Free will then is not exempt from causes and conditions but is rather the flexible coordination of attention, intention and emotion in skillful action. That’s what it means to be free from a psychological and phenomenological perspective.

Evan Thompson

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Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it:

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ATTENTION

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Down by the bay I

kept in mind

at once

the tips of all the rushleaves

and so

came to know

balance’s cost and true:

somewhere though in the whole field

is the one

tip

I will someday lose out of mind

and fall through.

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Remember

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

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and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

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those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

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beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

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but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

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like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

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their finest art

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Charles Bukowski

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People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

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If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

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If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

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The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

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Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

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The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

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People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

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What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

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People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

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Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

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Kent M. Keith

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I Meditates /tesserae

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read HERE

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1

there is clean air and green

undergrowth

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the sound of birds here and

there

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a fly buzzing by a couple of

cars in the

distance a tractor roaring

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the sun dancing in blobby

patches on my upper body

light breeze whispering

through leaves in the trees

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the shadow of leaves

on my yellow T minuscule

green bugs

on my arms bugs a-whirl

under the leafage

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a dog’s barking insects in

the grass

pigeon cooing

a plane droning overhead

in the sky—

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the texture feels balming

and silky—

like silk shirt rippling on

the fine dough of my body

in the early summer oven

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oh yeah!

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2

I am the son of the sun.

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3

when you sit down to meditate: ask yourself directly what you are expecting from doing it. where do you expect to arrive at. what psychological state are you in fact chasing. what are you actually after?

for me: it is basically a sense of feeling OK. a sense of being right there where I belong. a sense of being grounded in the given moment and place. among the people who matter to me and the people to whom I matter. where I feel satisfied with where and what and how I am. where everything’s in its place. where I feel integral to a whole.

or basically a sense of having a clear conscience. a sense of being responsible for myself and for my life. that I am not a burden on anyone. that I am not an imposition. on the contrary: that my presence adds something of value to the people and the world around me. that I am conducive to the well-being of the world around me. that my contribution matters. that my talents are relevant.

yes.

I expect to be relieved of the pressure of feeling guilty for who I am. I expect to be guilt- and shame-free. I expect to feel that my existence is of use and of value and that I am a PLUS rather than a MINUS (i.e. a useless hunk of mushy flesh—a waste of precious resources).

that’s basically what I expect to feel.

and then: I allow myself the feeling.

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4

nowadays the attitude of enjoying quietude is a rather neglected aptitude.

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5

each moment you can choose between opening up—or contracting around a trickle and shallow treat of yet another distraction.

the more you choose the latter: the less you’ll feel alive and well.

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6

the heavy flapping of pigeon wings wrinkles up the smooth fabric of quietude.

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7

the whimper of a lawn mower

a mile away

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a car’s door slamming shut

the engine revving up

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a neighbor sweeping their

backyard

a couple houses down the

street

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a black ant reconnoitering

on my left knee

green apple snug on

the wet sand in front of me

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a cockchafer riding the air

like chopper

the train at the edge of the

town passing by

in the direction of the capital

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8

when a sliver of a childhood feeling pierces me. the richness of it overwhelms me. to such an extent that it feels too much to take. without breaking down into sobbing. how simple it was. and how free of the mind. of the demands of the ego.

it was so pure and so simple.

so natural.

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9

the clouds morph into sky. the apple rots on the ground. there is coming and going. and a restless madness in between.

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10

what a cruel joke is this. we learn how to properly live only in retrospect. we realize what matters only after it’s gone. we find true joy in the finality of our sadness.

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11

being honest with yourself is difficult: precisely to the extent that you refrain from being bored—sitting in silence meditating on stuff by putting questions to yourself and inquiring—on a regular basis.

because the less you work out your honesty-muscle the more atrophied it gets.

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12

the sun’s sons we are.

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13

there’s church bell tolling and a

pig groaning

in a sty nearby (must be big from

the sound of it)

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and the sound of the pen on the

paper I am holding

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mosquito fixing to start drilling

near my ankle on my left leg

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there is constant stirring.

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stillness indeed is a shifty business.

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Adyashanti on Free Will

THE NUMBER ONE PRINCIPLE OF MY WHOLE TEACHING IS TO HAVE A GREAT CLARITY ABOUT YOUR INTENTION. ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING WHY YOU ARE DOING IT AND WHERE YOU ARE HEADED. BECAUSE WITHOUT THAT CLARITY: YOUR ENERGY GETS DISSIPATED.

right.

the question ultimately is: are you gearing towards satisfying your greed and your gluttony and lust (as a way of sublimating your fear of loss)

or towards saying yes to life and committing to serving something beyond the confines of your ego-self.

to embody—like the leaves of a tree (in their rustle and quiver) embody the wind—the forces of good or the forces of evil.

indeed.

each and every day: to what energies and psychic currents you lend your flesh and your bones—is the ultimate question.

A juxtaposition of cool quotes

Gertrude Stein

We are all the same age inside.

 

Thomas Pynchon

If they can get you to ask the wrong questions they don’t have to worry about the answers.

 

Don DeLillo

[Interviewer: As technology gets more advanced, our fears as a public, as a people, as human beings actually become more primitive. So, even as the world is getting ever more technologically advanced, we are becoming in many ways more sort of Cro-Magnon-like in our instincts or our reactions]

In a curious way, despite the enormous powers of technology, I think for many people it narrows the world rather than widens it. It makes facts instantly accessible, but I think as people grow into their personal technology it has the ultimate effect of creating a world that’s centered on an individual’s immediate needs, immediate desires, excluding much of what is most interesting about the lives we ought to be living. I think that whatever technology is capable of doing becomes what we desperately needed to do, and I’m not sure that’s such a hopeful situation.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

This tyrant in us wreaks horrible revenge for every attempt we make to dodge or escape it, for every premature resignation, for every acceptance of equality with those among whom we do not belong, for every activity, however respectable, which distracts us from our main cause—indeed, for every virtue which would protect us from the hardness of our inmost responsibility. Every time, sickness is the response, when we want to doubt our right to our task, when we begin to make things easier for ourselves in any way. It is the easing of our burden which we must atone most harshly. And if we want to return to health afterward, we have no choice: we must assume a heavier burden than we ever carried before—

[in Christ’s words: If you bring forth what is within you what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.]

 

Adyashanti

Open, closed, open, closed. And all the while the mind waits for it all to come to an end, waits for deliverance. The waiting, the cycles are the way the mind holds on to control, holds on to a control that it does not have, that it can never have.

Bare your heart open to being held captive by illusion. You are caught, endlessly caught. And you are fighting (and a clever fighter you are) against your own mind, against the illusion of being trapped in this endless game. You are trying to win the game but your trying to win is the game, as is your trying to let go.

Give your full consent to your circumstance. Resist not, grasp not, move not. Do not be frightened by hell or tempted by Heaven.

 

Joey Lott

 The mind is loud and hysterical and melodramatic.

 The heart is painful because it is continually broken open and bleeding.

 The mind divides.

 The heart welcomes.

 

Charles Bukowski

I don’t believe in perfection. I believe in keeping the bowels loose.

People who solved things usually had lots of persistence and some good luck. If you persisted long enough, the good luck usually came. Most people couldn’t wait on the luck, though, so they quit.

 

David Deida

Your gift is developed by applying consciousness to your (unresolved) issues.

Whatever you experience: you’re meant to experience and fully metabolize.

 

Tony Robbins

Prepare for volatility and turn them into opportunities.

Corrections and crashes occur with regularity but never last.

Uncertainty is no excuse for inaction.

 

Joe Rogan

You can write and you can get seeds but you’ve got to plant those seeds in the dirt of the crowd.

You’ve got to constantly throw shit at the wall for some of it to stick.