From the daily archives:

Monday, August 16, 2024

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  • Attention Deficit

    August 16, 2024

    “Instead of thinking about ‘emptiness’ as a lack or something missing, think about it as space, as possibility, as your place to expand. And then welcome the emptiness around you.” — Karen Murphy

    Nice distinction. here’s something tangential…

    Instead of thinking of attention deficit as a disability or an inability to focus, we might think of it as a matter of not enough bandwidth to pay attention to everything. In kids, attention deficit may well mean a lack of parental attention leading to a disorder that presents as hyperactivity and thus brings the needed attention to the kid. I’ve long thought of attention deficit as an internal thing facing out, a personal flaw. This is the first inkling I’ve had that attention deficit works the other way too.

    Another line of thinking relates to “coherence.” In this inter-webby world there are often so many tabs open in our browsers that we have difficulty pulling all our lines of attention together into something coherent. This lack of coherence can actually lead one to incoherence in the usual sense of the word. The disjointedness of the torrent of jumbled information that surrounds us, the many facets of our experience reflected at once through hyperlinks, can be the root of an inability to think or express one’s thoughts clearly.

    To contextualize that comment a little bit… a lot of us don’t have to worry about emptiness because we fill it whenever things reach that scary level approaching empty. Some people fill up on hyperlinks, some people fill up on beer. There are kids who fill up on disorderly behavior, creating a mini-maelstrom in their surroundings, attracting negative attention which, to them, is better than no attention at all.

    For people so affected, the challenge is to clear that space, to really empty it, and then expand into it in a positive way.

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