Wherever attention is placed is where reality begins. Reality here means believing in the realness to what I am experiencing. If my attention is at what I am seeing, what I see becomes my reality – I will see the floor as real, the plane I am flying as real, the news I read or the movie I am watching at the cinema – the seat, the screen – everything as real in my own experience. If I see my loved one as sick, I can’t deny she is not sick as that is my experience of reality in my space. If my attention is on what I am hearing, what I hear becomes my reality. Obviously this so-called reality is across the board for all my other senses as well. The question to this reality is that is it really real as in ultimate or real only for me at that point of my experience? Is my reality governed by my mood or even perception? What about the inherent views or ideas within each of us – does it also mould the way I look at things? Seldom do I question the realness of this so-called reality since everything I experience is tangible and verifiable by my senses; more accurately, by my mind.
Hence the equation is such: Attention given to any object = experience = reality = belief
There is a serious implication to this equation since whatever we attend to is what ultimately make us believe as real. Our attention seems to be the source of our reality. It has been found years ago through scientific experiments that the brain can never differentiate, say a so-called real ice-cream held in the hand, and a thought about ice cream in the mind. Both have similar neuron reactions, to mean an imagination is as real as any other reality that I would define as more real – there is no hierarchical differentiation. My attention to what I am holding physically and what I am thinking of the same has similar reality, though in the real world both seems to be different.
If that is so if I am attending to my thoughts, what I think – be it past, present or future – becomes my reality. I will not be aware that it is a thought per se, a so-called memory that arises and ceases away immediately, but will take it as my reality playing at my doorstep now. If I think about a hurt event, that event is not just a thought – it is a reality playing out in my field of experience. Do we ever wonder whether in term of mind experiences are there any difference between thought, imagination, hallucination or fantasy? We think there is but in actuality there is none since whatever that is thought off in the mind are merely mental projections.
The question here is not about thoughts – it is about attention – the unquestioned attention at any one moment of time. Would you dare to questioned yourself honestly that all the attention given to the world is a created reality – a conditioned reality based on whatever is in the mind at that point of experience be it feelings, perception, views etc? We would have missed a big chunk of a puzzle if our focus is on thoughts – thinking that only thoughts are creating our imaginary reality. It is a a-little-too-late-moment to catch of what occurs prior to that – attention.
Hence my so called reality is what I am attending – if I am attending to the hearing experience, my reality is the process of hearing whereas if I am attending to what I am hearing, my reality is the storyline, the sound that plays up the meaning of pleasant or unpleasant. Not that one reality is more real than the other; but one reality defines the mechanics of hearing, whereas the other defines what comes up in the hearing – the conceptual part of it. Both attention will have different result in our field of experience.
What about stepping a little further to the cause and observe (also to mean “attention given”) the “attending” attending to the hearing and how in the hearing the meaning of sound has been given reality? What would the result be? It is for you to guess and for me to realize:)
The cue is this – when you get a little closer to the “source” the field of your reality changes. Will there be an end to it? Meaning to question the possibility where reality ceases at the very very beginning source of everything or is it merely just a mad cyclic cause and effect that cannot be differentiated except an unbreakable cycle of illusion?