You become what you agree to attend to.
And your freedom turns on it.
Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.William James
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.
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.
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
Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it:
Down by the bay I
kept in mind
the tips of all the rushleaves
came to know
balance’s cost and true:
somewhere though in the whole field
is the one
I will someday lose out of mind
and fall through.
I created a short flipbook that samples some of the koolest lines I’ve encountered in movies. If you’d like to flip through CLICK HERE!
if you can’t get over it: feel free to wallow in it. but do not (try to) pull me or anyone else into it. keep your misery to yourself.
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.
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.
each and every day: to what energies and psychic currents you lend your flesh and your bones—is the ultimate question.
- How do you know that your need to be proactive—contra being listless and apathetic—doesn’t, in fact, derive from a reaction to an emotion—of inferiority, of insecurity, of existential dread, etc.—that you are, as you say, addicted to?
- Is a state of (adrenaline-induced) exhilaration any more ’enlightened’ than wallowing in a torpid state of apathy?
- Isn’t there a place beyond (in front of) the dips and spikes of mental-emotional states?
I’d say ’in front of’ because when you integrate and transcend a developmental stage: you do not advance and move beyond something, but rather you let go of something or, to be more precise, the clutches of that thing let go—and what previously functioned as part of the background [of consciousness], now becomes part of the foreground. It’s an uncoiling that takes place, actually, not a spiraling.
Also: regarding success and so-called success barriers.
What if we have success barriers because of a deeper intuition we have? What if we feel unworthy and undeserving of stuff because deep down we know that we do not need that stuff?
Clearly, it’s not things that matter (the Perfect 10, the Porsche 911, the fancy crib) but the sentiment we project onto these things. So long as we buy into the idea of success, there’ll be things that we place high on a pedestal and against which we position ourselves as separate from and less than: as someone who’s not there yet. So long as abundance is conceived of as some form of material and inter-personal wealth or capital, it is a poor measure of success: True success is a freedom from the need for anything more than what’s already given. It’s not what you have that makes you feel abundant, but the number of things you don’t need.
but then again: I stand still to be corrected. . .