The word ‘to attend’ has its noun counterpart – attention. By nature I have a great attention to detail, which, I always presumed in the past, was just as natural to other humans. But it was slowly discovered through experience that most people skim the surface of any activity they are engaged in, be it reading, repairing broken pipes, speaking to the loved ones.. on and on. Their minds wander to other, unrelated topics, and their bodies are not present as a result, not fully engaged in what they are doing.
Take last night’s interaction here, for instance. It was expressed to me in no certain terms that I did not provide any concrete evidence for Kenneth’s wrong doings; this same thought had been expressed a couple of months back by the same person. It was puzzling, because the evidence is, in fact, provided here on the website. It simply did not occur to me that the person had not read the article. They stated that they had read the material extensively, and I took it at face value. The only conclusion I could master then was that for this individual any Ponzi schemes were a trivial matter to be dismissed.
This is the confusing part about human beings. They jump to conclusions without having looked at any matter in detail. They form opinions without knowing the facts. The perplexing part is human beings do it even when the information is laid out right in front of them. I mean… I placed the story in chapters in sequence. I numbered it. I made sure the full index is displayed at all times in the Jed McKenna section..
Apparently, it is not enough. And in failing to pay attention – humans rob themselves of the beauty of Presence. Presence means deliberate, fully aware physical functioning: how one places washed cups on a tray, how one locks the door, how one writes a report, how one walks around that lake, how one listens to another, how one….. EVERYTHING. There is a great sense of satisfaction in being fully present, in paying exquisite attention to own movements and activities, both physical and mental. It sets one’s mind at balance, concentrated on one thing at a time. Multitasking is only of use in emergency situations, and perhaps one can argue that the severe complexity of modern human life has made it one never-ending crisis.
If you observe a tiger in the moment of hunt, watch just how deliberate each movement is, how focused and present the tiger is. Its presence may mean a difference between Life and Death. But if you observe them at play you will notice the same degree of immersion: full attention to the moment.
When we humans forgot the nature of Presence and of aware living – I don’t know, but I can see clearly the culprit: the human Mind. When you wash those cups, but your mind is preoccupied with the last conversation with your family member… you have split yourself in half at that moment. The Presence is gone, and was replaced with the virtual mental reality. Perhaps, your cups will still get washed as a result, but you will miss the warmth of the water, the sound of the glass, the feeling of quiet satisfaction at the job well done.
And when it comes to more complex things, such as writing reports, putting together a company structure, designing a science experiment, trading on the stock exchange and a million other complex human activities… you will screw them up. You hadn’t paid attention and, as a result, would have conceived a faulty product, which will manifest itself some time down the line, be it a new business proposal or a new romantic relationship.
This is one of the reasons why I call life ‘an ad-hoc project’. Most are mindlessly ‘ad-hoccing’ through life and are missing on its full engagement, because humans are never truly present in anything they do.