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Attention Training is an educative procedure that employs the innate or born with characteristics of the individual to eliminate distraction and to have focus directed onto events in the here and now. It is with focus in the present that the individual may experience the pleasure of sensory stimulation.
There are three concepts that I believe to be the cornerstones of the procedure and set it apart from other theories of comfort and discomfort. These important concepts are: Intelligence, Attention, and Discrimination. For a more detailed description of these concepts, please see, The Habit of Living, pp. 31 – 34.
To me, Intelligence is not IQ or being smart. To me, intelligence is one’s contact with the environment. Simply, intelligence is awareness of what is occurring in the moment and in the here and now. Intelligence is an extremely important characteristic since it is the only one that has the individual be in contact with the environment through the five senses.
Intelligence is automatic. We are born with awareness and it develops with time. Intelligence is automatic. You don’t need to consider and decide to be aware of what is happening around you, you simply are aware. The parts of intelligence include the higher abilities such as creativity, problem-solving, humor, etc. and the physical abilities of the senses. These include the abilities to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste.
The second important concept of Attention Training is Attention. Attention is how we maintain contact with the environment and, therefore, maintain a degree of Intelligence. Attention is a quantity that vacillates from dull awareness to sharp focus. Attention or focus can be low as in drifting and unaware in front of the TV or sharp and crisp as during a visit to Yankee Stadium to witness the Bombers destroy the Boston Red Sox. How attentive or focused we may be results in how intelligent we are at that time.
The last important concept of Attention Training is the major characteristic of Intelligence: The ability to notice differences among situations. These three concepts form the basis for the value of the Four Points and Taking Back Small Times and provide the logic behind Attention Training.
The Four Points provide four different ways to increase Attention in the present or the here and now. With increased Attention directed toward the environment, Intelligence is increased. With increased Intelligence, the ability to see differences or to Discriminate among situations is increased.
The relationship among Intelligence, Attention, and Discrimination is vastly important and sets Attention Training apart and separate from current thought as to where discomfort originates.
It is the degree that an individual is attentive or focused on the environment or on his/her surroundings that determine Intelligence and the resulting ability to Discriminate or to see differences among situations.
With decreased Attention and intelligence, Habit Thoughts cannot be fully seen as simply thoughts but are reacted to as if actual in reality. The result is discomfort for the individual.
The fact that decreased Intelligence renders the ability to Discriminate or to see differences weak and vulnerable to Habit Thoughts is the basis for reflexive Attention Diversion (RAD) and provides a logical explanation for the origin of discomfort that does not exist outside of Attention Training.
I see this inability to Discriminate to be the basis for all learned discomforts in individuals and the Four Points and Taking Back Small Times to be the remedy to alleviate the discomfort.
In future papers and articles, will examine the relationship between decreased Intelligence, Attention, and the ability to Discriminate and specific human discomforts as well as the simple manner to remove the source of the discomfort, and as a result, the discomfort itself.