Chapter 6 – Increasing the attention span
The second dimension of Awareness Intelligence, besides the social scope, is time. Relations are growing in time, from as small as oneself in the past, to relationships in the present, and the all-comprising scope of future generations. In that sense, social relations can be systematically mapped to temporal perspectives. Promoting to live in the present moment, to not let the past determine us, and not to worry about the future seems to be a sensible approach. For living a truly awareness-intelligent life, however, this is incomplete. If meditation is understood as stop thinking, it might be a relaxing practice, indeed, but it would also risk accommodating for self-absorbing, and possibly even selfish passiveness rather than being an active agent for all our and, importantly, our all future needs. We can only consume in the current moment; right from an economic point of view. However, from the angle of apprehension of life itself, our attention should span the contemplation of the entirety of a lifecycle embracing the flow from the past to the future and back, which even includes parallel time.
We become what we meditate on. Non-thinking and not embracing actively the past and the future might not be what makes the best use of our mental muscles.mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)
Attention is one of our uttermost critical faculties in which lies the power to become aware of the nature of time. To do mental work, the working memory needs to be able to allocate sufficient capacity to attend.
- If we are not able to hold attention to picture life as a lifespan, how can we situate anything between the coming and going of life conceptually and as applied to ourselves and the lifetimes of others?
- Do we think and act in full temporal awareness, which means to be aware that time is an illusion, or are we just following the row of events, one after the other, without questioning the more prominent arch of a life?
- Do we just follow cultural customs and social rules of temporal sequences or do we have an own understanding of the right timing of developments in our life along different possible milestones such as the time we go to school, work, marry, and retire?
By following everybody else’s planned schedule, there is the peril of missing one’s making of an own plan. The ability to oversee the whole is critical.
To do always the seemingly momentary correct thing that is, however, not validated against an integral perspective risks to end up in unfulfillment and deep regret.mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)
It is not enough to dwell a couple of minutes per day in practicing awareness. We become what we always think.
If we cannot be consistently aware of the full social scope, which is all humanity, and if we cannot envision simultaneously the complete range of time, spanning from the even farthest away past to the most distant future, we haven’t learned to be genuinely awareness-intelligent.mathias sager (Awareness Intelligence)
Human beings cannot think multiple thoughts at the same time, but it is possible to develop compact bundles of coherent thoughts respectively a systematic approach to harness the power of Awareness Intelligence.
Chapter 7 – Distraction of the mass