Painting by Banksy - Public Image
Attention and Intent
This painting above says it all -- seeing a hole in a fence or seeing Wholly? Or both?
I hope that since the last entry was posted, you have worked some with the spirit-capacity of attention and now experience the difference between “paying attention” and the true generosity of attention. I hope that you notice that being aware of attention itself requires attention, and that attention is as generous with itself as it is with the way it makes us possible to give of ourselves without giving ourselves away. While we are needed in the giving, we can give only while remaining within the freedom of attention that we are. When I give attention to someone, there is never an experience of having lost something, while when I pay attention to someone, quite quickly a feeling of wanting the relating to end shows up as this way of being together is tiring, or paying attention reverses itself and occupies my ego who never tires of being payed attention by myself.
Attention can divide itself while remaining always whole. That is the way to distinguish giving attention and paying attention So, you can give attention to attention in order to notice the true nature of attention as always whole and complete. I hope you see how the capacity of attention is where true freedom is to be found. I don’t mean feeling free to do something or “freedom for”, but that it is the one place of being, not an individual, but a person. A person is one within one-self because one is simultaneously one with the Whole. The words “individual” and “person” have both lost their inner strength to say who they are. We are in the age of individuals, individuality as the ‘me-me’. An individual is the materialistic word for a human being because what little is left of the word weakly says we are different from each other, we are separate from each other, and with separation comes opposition, inclusion-exclusion, boundaries, classes, differences, greediness, and power. The singular aspect of the individual took advantage of its speaking and spirit-individuality has all but been abandoned.
Person, on the other hand is also a lost word as the only thing left of it is ‘personality’, and “my personality”, is no different than my individuality. But, the word ‘person’, a great and mighty and beautiful speaking is the designating of the human being as also simultaneously being a divine being.
It is interesting that the presence of the word ‘attention’ is saying so much in this writing. This word is much like the two words ‘individual’ and ‘person’ – in that attention can be singularly focused – as individuality is, while it is also ‘all-focused’ in that it focuses-completely everywhere, both at the same time.
I hear the word "attention" here wanting its say, and it says “respect my clarity.” Yes, this notion of one is also ONE has to be experienced. Words intend to incite experience, fully, bodily. And it is easy. Nature is always our teacher of who we really are. The trees here (for sure, not just here) when given attention speak inseparably from the earth, taking beloved Earth up vertically, while also invisibly intimately intermingling with her deep below. Sky, that blue canopy of Earth, almost as if the ‘inside-out’ of Earth, and the Space, which, when the trees are given attention is not empty space, but the presence, the activity – of Beauty. The Space, the alive Space is so, so generous that it allows itself as Beauty to be seen as the Trees, the Earth, and the Sky.
We are working here with very subtle matters in which understanding does not help very much. Everything offered in these writings has to be experienced through deliberate effort, for understanding what is being said is not knowing it but only knowing about it. Some of the comments posted on the last blog entry are interesting in this respect. I found it very remarkable that quite often the writing is responded to in exactly the ways one responds on Facebook. I’m glad that happens because these kind of comments occur next to ones where folks went out and worked with attentiveness and also worked with the very difficult task of describing how attention actually happened in their doing so, and it is possible to see displayed the difference between paying attention and giving attention.
I have to also enter into awarefully allowing the mode of attention called ‘words’ to speak even here with writing. I can easily just "write on" as if I’m "right on" in such a way that I’m using past acts of attention to focus on a theme, and then I start writing, and watch, waiting for a moment when it begins to become more or less automatic, which always feels good, as if ease has come. But, these good moments, particularly when the writing then begins being awfully automatic, are bad for the words. There is a way, of course, in which words do come for some extraordinary people as if automatically – when one is inspired and being used by the words rather than remaining in the illusion of using them. Then the words, even for the reader, are full, expansive, giving, saying more than they literally say, wafts of the divine.
Something else occurs the moment I give attention to the writing. Literally GIVE attention.
A burst of inward expansion in the region of the heart occurs. The words, in their own way are acting attentive in turn, sharing themselves selflessly. They don’t like this narrative way of having to kind of squeeze themselves, like being put in a tube, to share themselves. They realize the great risk in doing so. They risk losing themselves, and it is almost inevitable --- their true fluidity, as flowing, blending, playing together. The mysterious space between them is curtailed. They risk losing the truth that they too are dimensions of Nature, which gets squeezed into concepts – so that we no longer feel the intimate breeze flowing through the leaves when we see the written word, “whoosh”. Nor "boom” or "splash" and the rest – the large vocabulary of Nature, the attention of the divine, who gave Herself not once but twice – as all of Earth and then as the origin of speaking, and speaking began, and somewhere the awesomeness of the giving of Nature as Wording was lost and words began to be utilized as things doing business on their own.
So, at the moment I’m negotiating with the words, trying to appeal to them by telling them how it has taken some sixty two years to become so facile with using words. "I’m careful and accurate and truthful with what comes through me as writing, aren’t I?" "Yes," they say, but “sometimes, often, well, you simply aren’t here!” “Your too thin, too airy, too wispy, too quick, everything that Nature is not, so in nearly forgetting Nature, even though it is your constant occupation, your writing is often not here." Gosh, that makes me wonder whether where our constant occupation has us is where attention has been abused and turned into ‘paying attention’ no matter what that life-work might be, and is even the same for the occupation of living.
I intended listen to the word “intent” speak. But, she has gone to sleep, completely unintentionally, so, we will work together and see what happens – maybe next time.