Is it intense pin-pointed focus on something or is it open awareness of the present, regardless of the object?
Does it come and go or is there an attentive part of us always waiting to be called upon?
Does it live in the body, like in the case of professional dancers or athletes? Where, over time, it takes the shape of muscle memory and mental interruptions are the last thing we need. Or does it live in the mind, like that of a scientist or a writer, deep in focus?
Is it in the achievement of the flow-state, where attention just courses through us without any sense of time? Or is it in the attentive preparation and effort that enables the sought-after flow state?
Is it better for attention to be unmediated by technology, like when we stare at the night sky and dream? Or can technology help us see what we couldn’t without, like a telescope that helps us see the contours of the night sky?
Do we create the world with our attention or is what we give attention to defined by the world we live in?
Is attention scarce or do we have enough of it and the struggle is really about where to apply this attention?
Could all of this be true?
“Before our minds create our world, the world creates our minds.” — Gabor Mate, Hungarian-Canadian physician and author specializing in treatment of addiction