It’s a Question of How Attention Follows Emotion

What element of my limited awareness most affects my attention? Even needs will only get attention as I feel threatened by my lack of attention to them.

How and how much I feel about an intention, stated or unstated, will affect the outcome I perceive. Knowing, although important to my process of manifestation, does not generate movement towards an outcome. Knowing I have a need, for example, does not predict action on my part towards satisfying that need. Sufficient emotion about that need will. E-motion motivates action.

I attend to that which I feel emotion. My attention follows my emotions. Thoughts can assist me in discovery of those emotions. Thoughts alone, however, are typically merely defenses of my emotions. I do what I do – thought, action – BECAUSE I feel some emotion. The mental aspect of a “because” narrative results in defense of that intention. Emotion always indicates defense.

“Because” is where intention directs attention.

As we’ve discussed above, the intention that gets the attention wins. The intention with the most emotion behind it tends to win the competition for attention.

And yet, even when I put a lot of emotion behind a stated intention, I can sometimes feel disappointed with the outcome. Disappointment is an emotion! I immediately get busy backing my emotion with attention to defending it with excuses, reasons, logic, and denial, etc.

What if the intention was not disappointed – rather, I expressed the emotion of disappointment. Disappointment confirms an underlying intention to feel in order to convince me that I’m alive. Nothing quite like satisfying the intention to live with a sensation of aliveness. Emotion does that!

Perhaps I always get what I feel rather than what I think I want.

Where I’m convinced, I use attention to strengthen and defend the sense of it. I’m also not questioning it. Where emotion is present, I’m far less likely to question my certainty. Yet, this may be the place to ask pertinent questions about it:

  • What do I believe so strongly I can’t question?
  • How does my emotion convince me?
  • Why don’t I question this?
  • Who do I believe I am that appears in this emotional expression?

This brings up a conundrum: I must feel safe enough to inquire. Inquiry makes me feel unsafe. Further, in order for me to feel open enough to respond to questions of my personal feelings, I must trust who is asking. And why. Inside my bubble of limited awareness, my circle of trust is small indeed.

The first thing I may want to do in order to put my mind into a state of inquiry is to interrupt the emotional state I’m in. An inner cry that shakes me, like, “Wait a second…” or “Stop!” can help. In the brief silence afterwards, I move quickly into inquiry mode with:

  • What else can this mean? (other than what I thought it meant)
  • How else can I feel about this? (other than how I felt about it)
  • Why not another intention? (other than the one I had)
  • Who could I be? (other than who did what I did)

How Does One Turn Subjective into Objective?

By force, of course!

Subjective – “existing in the mind; belonging to the subject rather than the object of thought.” (

Is there anything in this universe that I’m aware of that does not exist within my mind? Does everything in my sensual perception belong to that subjective universe because it’s in my mind? Is objective reality a figment of my [subjective] imagination?

What if everything in my bubble awareness is about my thoughts and feelings? Because my thoughts and feelings seem real, can I categorize them in the same way I do my physical experiences? I trust my senses to inform me of what I’m experiencing at the physical level. I do the same for my thoughts and feelings.

Yet, when I am unable to separate my sensory responses from my psychological interpretations I can become confused about which is which. For example, I fell and now I feel insecure.

Turning Subjective into Objective

When I am convinced that all subjective aspects of my experiences fall under the category of objective reality, I must defend that reality by force. Thus confirming that my will will prevail… I’m right! I’ve turned subjective into objective.

Once I’ve crossed the line from subjective to objective, I can assign values to my experience. I assign value to every part of my experience, whether physical or non-physical, to reflect my own value as if I were my experiences. I protect what I value and what I protect the most is my rightness. My rightness value is my measurement standard, from which I build a value scale I use to compare and judge things that represent what’s important in making me right.

Objective Measurements in a Subjective Reality

My scale of value begins with my perception of myself as separate from what isn’t myself – my primary understanding of relationships. Measurements based on similarities and differences are the result of comparing subjective perceptual realities. For example, I make distinctions between benefit and threat.

Measuring things and experiences as having greater or lesser value to me represents who I am. Values I place on my experiences are not the experiences themselves – rather, what I want from them.

The more aware I am of my intrinsic self, the less interest I have in measuring value at any scale.

Beyond Gratitude as Judgment

Gratitude is all about noticing and awareness. By asking a question, I can bring about noticing in a way that promotes awareness beyond the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Within the bubble of limited perception, I experience gratitude as an emotionally-charged competition or comparison – a value-judgment backed by a defense that often takes the form of an expression in the syntax of emotion-comparison-justification:

“I feel grateful for [something I value-judge as positive]… because… [some reason this judgment confirms my values]”

Example: “I feel grateful for sunrises because they make me feel hopeful…”

Structurally, my statement includes an emotion, “I feel”; a comparison judgment, “grateful for…”; and a defense, “because…” – the basic structure of the bubble, in which I compare, compete, and defend. “Grateful,” in this case, means “compared to what I value” – a validation of my opinions/notions as truth.

Is there another way?

To experience gratitude beyond the bubble, it must take on a different sensibility altogether. In the realm of accountability for creation, awareness would appear as a sort of universal acceptance of ALL that IS. As a confirmed bubble resident, I can tell you that my experience of this kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, and ultimately life-affirming.

To turn bubble comparison into life-affirming accountability, I might question how I express thanks – and maybe reconsider in the light of acceptance.

Let’s start by reviewing how I express gratitude within bubble awareness:

  1. I notice an experience that I…
  2. relate to other similar experiences and then…
  3. make a judgment (better or worse) that I…
  4. justify with a defense that validates my values and beliefs.

Now, let’s look at it from an acceptance-of-accountability perspective:

  1. I notice that everything is as I perceive it.

From my limited bubble perspective, Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of accountability may appear to me as surreal – and maybe the truth behind the illusion.

Suffering and Attention

I suffer because I defend what I can’t justify. How is it I can still suffer even when I am justified?

I learn that being right has its price – sacrifice of reality.

When I believe I’m right, I tie up my energies in maintaining my position since being wrong is not an option and is in direct opposition with being right.

I experience wrongness as failure, against which I employ a strenuous and energetic defense. Failure implies a lack of wholeness. I attempt to overcome unwholeness with defense, a diversion of my attention – intention away from wholeness resulting in a perception of even more unwholeness (lack) and less available energy.

More attention on defense => Less attention and awareness of available energy => More Suffering!!

Read more Suffering and Attention

Wrong Emotion Glasses Again?!

“Oh, no! I’m wearing the wrong glasses – AGAIN!”

Some years ago I noticed my eyesight was changing. So, after many hours of eye exercises that didn’t seem to work for me, I saw the optometrist, who told me that my lenses were deteriorating – no amount of exercise was going to change that. I was farsighted and getting more so every year.

Okay, I figure – it’s just another turn in my life that I can deal with as I go along. Glasses is certainly NOT the end of my eyesight. I chose a nice set of glasses and could once again see clearly. As a fashion statement, my new glasses looked good on me, too. Cool!

Read more Wrong Emotion Glasses Again?!