Condensed Laws of Attention

Here’s an interesting quote by William Walker Atkinson:

“A leading psychologist has given us perhaps the most comprehensive, and at the same time the most condensed, statement of the Laws of Attention to be found in any of the textbooks, which statement is as follows:

“(1) Attention will not attach itself to uninteresting things.

(2) It will soon decline in vigor (a) if the stimulus is unvarying, or (b) if some now attribute is not discovered in the object.

(3) Attention cannot remain constant in the same direction for a long period, because (a) the nervous apparatus of the senses soon tire under the strain of continuous attention toward any one object, and consequently respond with less vigor, (b) the same is true of brain cells. To prove the truth of this one has only to focus the eye continuously on one object, or to keep the attention fixed on the same phase of a subject.

(4) When one kind of attention is exhausted, we may rest ourselves in two ways: (a) by giving ourselves up to the play of reflex (involuntary) attention, or (b) by directing our voluntary attention into a new channel. The amount of fatigue must determine which is better.

(5) Attention too continuously centered upon the same unvarying sensation, or upon any unchanging object, has been proved by experiment to tend to induce either the hypnotic state or a comatose condition.”

The secret of developing the power of Perception through the efficient employment of the Power of Attention consists in the main in the intelligent practice of the principles announced in the above-quoted statement of the Laws of Attention.

This being so, it follows that, at the very start of our consideration of the subject of The Mastery of Perception, we should fully acquaint ourselves with the merit and meaning of the said principles, that we may efficiently employ the same in our work of the Mastery of Perception”

As an added note to this quote, remember that it discusses the untrained and un-observed use of attention.

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