The 3 elements of mental concentration

Here’s an interesting quote by William Walker Atkinson:

“Mental Concentration consists of the three following elements, viz, (1) The application of earnest Voluntary Attention upon one particular subject or object; (2) the application of Perception, Observation, Apperception and Thought upon that subject or object, with the determined and definite purpose of extracting from it all possible information concerning its qualities and relations; (3) the restriction and limitation of the field of Attention by means of a determined inhibition or “shutting out” of other sensations, perceptions, and thoughts. This third element, usually ignored in popular thought on the subject of Mental Concentration, is really the characteristic and most essential element involved in the process.

Mental Concentration calls into action the power of the will; for that matter, Voluntary Attention, as its name indicates, is distinctly an act of will. Mental Concentration, as we have said, is merely an intensive form of Voluntary Attention—it is Voluntary Attention, “only a little more so.” In ordinary Voluntary Attention, the will acts so as to direct and hold the Attention upon a particular subject or object; in Mental Concentration, the will manifests itself especially in the coordinate action of keeping out of the field of consciousness other impressions, perceptions, and thoughts. In this dual‑action there is obtained (1) “keeping in mind” the selected subject or object; and (2) “keeping out of the mind” all other subjects or objects. Mental Concentration imposes “a continuity of Attention to the same subject.” But this “continuity of Attention” is by no means fully insured by the mere act of “keeping in mind” the selected subject or object of thought; it requires also the “keeping out of the mind” all disturbing or distracting influences. If the will relaxes its hold upon the Attention, then the latter is quite likely to be attracted to and carried away by some of the countless thoughts, ideas, or notions which constitute the “stream of thought,” and which are brought into consciousness by means of the Law of Association. In order to secure efficient Mental Concentration, the will must be trained to prevent the Attention from being seduced, allured, enticed, decoyed, inveigled, and led astray by attractive “passing thoughts.”

Gordy brings out this idea very clearly in the following passage: “As you use your will to give your attention to geometry, although it attracts you less than a number of other subjects, so if you really study it, you will use your will to prevent your mind from being dragged away from it by the interests that are constantly importuning you. He who possesses this power in a high degree possesses in a high degree the power of Voluntary Attention—to give steadiness to the mind, to prevent it from going capriciously here and there under the influence of the interests that happen to be present at the particular moment.” The Secret of Mental Concentration, then, is seen to consist of the manifestation of its essential characteristic—the added characteristic superimposed upon those of ordinary Voluntary Attention—namely, that of “keeping out,” “shutting out,” or inhibiting the influence of distracting, disturbing, and diverting “outside thought,” or “other ideas.” Voluntary Attention, once directed and held by the will upon a certain object or subject, will readily permit the efficient activity of Perception, Apperception and Thought, provided that by Mental Concentration the “other” or “outside” attractions are “shut out” and “kept out” of consciousness. We ask you to consider carefully, and to fix in your mind, this fact of the importance of the “shutting out” and “keeping out” process. If you will acquire the “knack” of this “keeping out” and “shutting out” process, you will have mastered the art and science of Mental Concentration—for Voluntary Attention will “do the rest” for you.”

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The two key energies

If you have been following this newsletter for a while, you know we focus mainly on two types of energy:

Tension energy and sexual energy.

They give us two significant types of magnetism: personal and sexual magnetism.

The question may remain: why those specific types? Why not others?

We can focus on different types as the qualities of magnetism are infinite, just like the work that can be done with energy.

But these two types of energies can make you work specifically with the two forces more important for humans: power and sex.

By working with tension energy, you understand the energy behind power.

By working with sexual energy, you understand the energy behind sex.

A combination of the work of these two energies allows you to understand the incredible depth of your major impulses. In other words, they reveal your true self.

Of course, you can’t really cheat when you work with energy.

Regardless of what you think or what beliefs you may have about yourself, your energy will put everything in the open.

It will reveal you.

Both power and sex are two of the most important driving forces of our behaviors; if you understand and master them, you are on your way to mastering yourself.

Most people are just blindly led by their impulses.

They feel something, justify it rationally, and then do the behavior. If we go straight to the source and feel the energy directly, we can then consciously choose what you want to do.

That’s why we focus on tension energy and sexual energy. Those are the strongest drives and impulses of our human experience; the more we are aware of and control them, the more we can control and master ourselves.

The incredible importance of your body

Your body and the feelings inside it are an essential and crucial aspect of awareness.

Every cell needs to awaken to the power of your awareness.

Your body is where everything happens… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The problem is when you don’t feel it, which is a usual state. Awareness of all the signs your body sends you is not exactly normal. They usually pass you by unless they hit you in the head like a ton of bricks.

In other words, unless it’s an intense feeling, whether negative – like any pain – or positive – just like those from sexual activity – everything else gets lost.

The problem is that intense feelings are only one possible sign of your body. There’s a whole range of other subtle signs that are also very important, yet, they go straight under the radar.

For example, your energy is an extraordinarily rich source of information, just like we described before.

It can give you insights earlier than your rational mind. But, unfortunately, we often only catch up much later to something our body has been telling us way earlier.

I know we live in a world where the rational is king. Everything else is less important. But I’m challenging this notion.

In fact, I even go the other way around. Our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are mostly felt before – in our energy – and only then in our rational mind, where we create a story to justify our unconscious feelings.

In other words, we feel first and think later. If you don’t connect with your body, you are losing a rich source of information. You are staying only in the superficial layer of what you can discover. That’s why we created courses like Vitality and Energy Training and Advanced Energy Science so that you can go deeper into your body and energy awareness.

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