What we pay attention to, grows. Or not.

My friend Haresh Raichura wrote an interesting post on the power of attention to magnify things. You can read it here: New Laws of Science about Which We Are Not Ready Even To Listen

Apart from it being a subject of my interest, it mixed several concepts to come up with ideas that were worth talking about. Some of them, I bring up here.

Scientists say that, from the day they measured distance between Earth and Sun, the distance has started increasing. ……..In same way everything they measured, started growing and expanding.

In my opinion, you misunderstood what was being said. Esoteric meditation and visualizaiton types often speak of the universe expanding. What they mean is that your awareness is expanding, and this must not be taken literally 😀 Though the physical universe is expanding in a measurable, physical way. It will expand pretty much in the same way whether you measure it or not. This is not the distance between earth and sun which is one Astronomical Unit and varies only slightly depending on the position in orbit. It does not increase with measurement. Nor does the size of the earth as such, though there is evidence of a very, very slow change of shape.

Whatever you focus on, expands: Or rather it takes up more space in your reality. The principle of Appreciative Inquiry. We notice more of what we are looking for would be a more accurate way of putting it. If there are 50 red and 50 blue dots in a square, asking you if red are more will make that seem true, asking if blue are more will do the opposite. This is about perception. The number of dots doesn’t change, we register more dots. If thinking of wealth and poverty were to create those, we wouldn’t still have our crisis with poverty, because this phenomenon has been observed for quite a long time now. We could simply make teaching thinking rich a part of education and be done with it.

However, there are times when it works to create change. It is also formalized into a method for creating change called Appreciative Inquiry, which magnifies the life giving forces of a [human] system. This uses several behavioral peculiarities – we are constantly responding to things, and responding on a same level. If I say “apples” – you may think/say “oranges/fruit/red” for example, but are unlikely to think “cement, alligator” It is how our process of recall works. Input triggers associated thoughts in our brain.

To form a rational/coherent response, we also are accustomed to responding in a similar way. For example, if I say “What is the time?” you are likely to tell me the time, or say that you don’t know, or ask about the date, etc” Maybe follow that with something about you being in a hurry or having free time, or some model of a watch, etc. You are unlikely to say “Deep sea diving has unique safety concerns” – it isn’t logical.

So, in a way, what I ask has an influence on what you think and say. If I ask “do you like your new office?” you think one thing and if I ask “what is your new office like” it makes you answer in a slightly different way – even though on one level it is the same question.

So this “think about what you want and it will increase” kind of logic, in my opinion works to create that perception, but if you want it to show results, then that is possible only where your change in perception is sensed by the environment around you and it changes the responses you get. For example, if everyone in you office is irritable and intolerant and defensive, and you start speaking in a more abundant, non-combative way, it will trigger changes in the office. However, your observations about scams and crime are not correct, in my view. You have no direct ability to influence the actions of those generating those statistics. In that case, I don’t think whether you look at them or not will cause a difference to the number. Not looking at them will take them out of your awareness and you will think that they don’t exist or that things are better now – which is a great goal in itself for things you have no power to change, but the media cannot and should not ignore.

We ignored farmer deaths and India was shining, but a quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide. We ignore poverty and think of India as an emerging superpower with world class facilities, but that doesn’t change the fact that a majority of our population leads hand to mouth lives even now. It was our perception that changed. We did not register the poverty or agrarian distress, so to our understanding of India, those things didn’t exist. It is the same with scams. the scams we are discovering now have been perpetrated way before we thought of this experiment. The scam has happened. All we can change is our perception of it, not the reality.

But this is strictly my view of the matter, and there are other things that imply the possibility of the unconscious mind to have a greater impact on the world manifested than we imagine. Like getting a pain in a physical part of the body due to emotional trouble, or who knows… the unconscious is a realm we can only guess at at best as we touch a sliver of its surface.

I admit that I have encountered happenings that seem to be related on an unconscious level, but I couldn’t figure out how. I am not able to rule out the possibility that there are ways in which the unconscious mind manifests tangible and measurable changes without behavioral involvement.

So what I am saying is that even if we look at the part that is true, it takes carefully crafted changes or questions to trigger change outside the individual.

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