On attention bounce

End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/16/11 8:26 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/16/11 8:26 PM

On attention bounce

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I had been meaning to post about this for awhile, because there seem to be a variety of different takes on this, and I thought it might be helpful to share mine. However, I do not have a great deal of time at the moment, so I will say something briefly, and perhaps say more later.

I don't remember the exact reason I started using the term "attention bounce", but it was probably one of the following:

1) When one puts one's attention somewhere, it tends to bounce back to another spot,

2) When one observes the spot that attention is drawn to, the quick procession of experiences involved in that has a "bouncing" quality to me,

3) During many experiences, attention tends to bounce around to various parts of the body, often in quick procession

Though 3) is something that often happens, I have never found that it is essential to the process...for example, I have never found that attention returning to the head (or a tension in the head) is essential to the creation of affective experience or a sense of self. All I have ever discerned is

* vedana (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral sensations),

* tension,

* attention (or rather, 'attention') becoming stuck on the tension,

* symbolic or representational experience accreting around the tension.

(I have also found that tension has a subtle representational quality as well.)

As for the suttas' opinion on craving with respect to 3)...

Maha-satipatthana sutta:
"And what is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

"And where does this craving, when arising, arise? And where, when dwelling, does it dwell? Whatever seems endearing and agreeable in terms of the world: that is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

"And what seems endearing and agreeable in terms of the world? The eye seems endearing and agreeable in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

"The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect...

"Forms... Sounds... Smells... Tastes... Tactile sensations... Ideas...

"Eye-consciousness... Ear-consciousness... Nose-consciousness... Tongue-consciousness... Body-consciousness... Intellect-consciousness...

"Eye-contact... Ear-contact... Nose-contact... Tongue-contact... Body-contact... Intellect-contact...

"Feeling born of eye-contact... Feeling born of ear-contact... Feeling born of nose-contact... Feeling born of tongue-contact... Feeling born of body-contact... Feeling born of intellect-contact...

"Perception of forms... Perception of sounds... Perception of smells... Perception of tastes... Perception of tactile sensations... Perception of ideas...

"Intention for forms... Intention for sounds... Intention for smells... Intention for tastes... Intention for tactile sensations... Intention for ideas...

"Craving for forms... Craving for sounds... Craving for smells... Craving for tastes... Craving for tactile sensations... Craving for ideas...

"Thought directed at forms... Thought directed at sounds... Thought directed at smells... Thought directed at tastes... Thought directed at tactile sensations... Thought directed at ideas...

"Evaluation of forms... Evaluation of sounds... Evaluation of smells... Evaluation of tastes... Evaluation of tactile sensations... Evaluation of ideas seems endearing and agreeable in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

"This is called the noble truth of the origination of stress.
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Pål S, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 4:32 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 4:32 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
Do you want to remove this attention bounce completely? Isn't it beneficial to some situations?

Say you're watching television while dinner is cooking in the oven. You become somewhat absorbed in the television program and forget about the dinner. Seemingly out of nowhere a thought occurs that dinner might be ready and *automatically attention is put to that thought*, effectively putting an exclamation mark at the end of it.

Wouldn't it be of benefit to have attention automatically bounce to thoughts and sensations based on priority? What else could keep the dinner from getting burnt?

PS: There is a good chance you are referring to a different process, if that's the case then hopefully a reply could clarify the difference.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 4:50 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 4:50 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Pål S.:
Do you want to remove this attention bounce completely? Isn't it beneficial to some situations?

Say you're watching television while dinner is cooking in the oven. You become somewhat absorbed in the television program and forget about the dinner. Seemingly out of nowhere a thought occurs that dinner might be ready and *automatically attention is put to that thought*, effectively putting an exclamation mark at the end of it.

Wouldn't it be of benefit to have attention automatically bounce to thoughts and sensations based on priority? What else could keep the dinner from getting burnt?

PS: There is a good chance you are referring to a different process, if that's the case then hopefully a reply could clarify the difference.


Perhaps you should direct these questions to someone without an attention bounce. Tarin? Trent?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 9:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 9:49 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
In brief, the experience of this phenomenon is not required to function well, but the phenomenon causes one to believe that it is.
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tarin greco, modified 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 1:57 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 1:57 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
Pål S.:
Do you want to remove this attention bounce completely? Isn't it beneficial to some situations?

Say you're watching television while dinner is cooking in the oven. You become somewhat absorbed in the television program and forget about the dinner. Seemingly out of nowhere a thought occurs that dinner might be ready and *automatically attention is put to that thought*, effectively putting an exclamation mark at the end of it.

Wouldn't it be of benefit to have attention automatically bounce to thoughts and sensations based on priority? What else could keep the dinner from getting burnt?

PS: There is a good chance you are referring to a different process, if that's the case then hopefully a reply could clarify the difference.


Perhaps you should direct these questions to someone without an attention bounce. Tarin? Trent?

discern the sensations clearly and it doesn't bounce. it's hard to say much beyond that, besides paal's question seemed more theoretical anyway, and too many cooks can spoil the broth.
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Pål S, modified 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 3:49 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 3:49 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
Makes sense, as this appears to be a reoccurring realization along the path...
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/30/11 3:52 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/30/11 3:52 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Would it be accurate to describe the attention wave as an impersonal carrier of information from the sense door into the brain?

Something just clicked with this tonight and I understood it much clearer, although I don't know if the description I've chosen above is really accurate enough. I may have misunderstood it but this way of seeing it seemed like a clear insight into it so I wanted some clarification if possible.

Thanks.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/30/11 9:28 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/30/11 9:20 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I dunno...what makes you think of it that way?

I'd say, it's an experience, it's imaginary, it's a composite of subtler experiences, it happens constantly, and leave it at that. That captures the majority of what I've noticed about it that's been useful to me in terms of insight.

EDIT: OK, I thought of some other useful things about it. But, point is, I think you'd be better off sticking with it in terms of its being an experience rather than in terms of a functional analysis. (I'm confused by your analysis anyway, as if you're having sense-experiences, you've having them before the attention wave distorts them, so the nervous system must have transmitted whatever it had to transmit to the brain before the attention wave happens.)
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/30/11 10:37 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/30/11 10:37 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
it's imaginary
Shazam!
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 1:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 1:28 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
katy steger:
it's imaginary
Shazam!


LOL!


Tommy, it's possible thinking of it in those terms is causing....
More Bounce!

Carrier how? Brainwaves carry information, not attention wave, si or no? For the attention wave to be a carrier of information there would have to be some innate biological process backin that shiz up, and since the attention wave is an illusion, not sure that's possible. Attention wave is more of a warpy cloudy thing than a direct line transmitter type thing I think.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 7:03 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 7:03 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I don't quite know how to describe what I was getting at, I didn't explain it anywhere near well enough. I do understand the attention wave in the terms we're talking about normally here, it was just an idea that came up but the description I gave made a pigs ear of it. The way I was going about that was totally wrong, I was talking about something completely different.

Ignore me, I'm speculating. emoticon
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 10:20 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 10:16 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi EiS -

My impression of what you're describing is basically self-imposed/habitually re-established tension. Some of my thoughts in red and blue to your quote:

1) When one puts one's attention somewhere, it tends to bounce back to another spot would you provide an example? What I understand here, by way of example, is that if one is kneeling on their knee, then the attention will suddenly move to the elbow.,

2) When one observes the spot that attention is drawn to, the quick procession of experiences Would you describe these experiences and their progression?involved in that has a "bouncing" quality to me,

3) During many experiences, attention tends to bounce around to various parts of the body, often in quick processionIs this the same as Item 2 above?

Though 3) is something that often happens, I have never found that it is essential to the process...for example, I have never found that attention returning to the head (or a tension in the head) is essential to the creation of affective experience or a sense of self. All I have ever discerned is

Each of the below refer to ability to discriminate, where vedanas can lead to affective states and provoke aversion or attachment (tensions to sustaining a fixed condition in impermanent conditions).

* vedana (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral sensations),

* tension,

* attention (or rather, 'attention') becoming stuck on the tension,

* symbolic or representational experience accreting around the tension.

(I have also found that tension has a subtle representational quality as well.)


I think the value in considering this bounce, as you call it, (which I would call a willful/habitual tension-of-holding (an aversion or a desire for unpleasant/neutral/pleasant which moves attention off of an activity into an affective mental state, aka perseveration, restored perseveration) may be as a pointer to one's coming into affective being [via various willful/habitual tensions]. This coming into being is fine until it causes pain/distress.

And, I am compelled to reply to Steph S as well here, with both fun and to supply a purposeful visual: bounce In The Prisoner Rover illustrates an affective absorptive obscuration? Note how the bounce dominates and obscures at 0:38...

[edit: in bracket]
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 1/1/12 8:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/1/12 8:21 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
katy steger:

1) When one puts one's attention somewhere, it tends to bounce back to another spot would you provide an example? What I understand here, by way of example, is that if one is kneeling on their knee, then the attention will suddenly move to the elbow.,


This is one way it can present; in my experience, it more commonly happens between some arbitrary place (e.g. the elbow) and some point along the midline of the body (e.g. chest).

2) When one observes the spot that attention is drawn to, the quick procession of experiences Would you describe these experiences and their progression?


* tension
* 'attention'
* symbolic / representational experience

as far as I can discern.

3) During many experiences, attention tends to bounce around to various parts of the body, often in quick processionIs this the same as Item 2 above?


I would say so.

Though 3) is something that often happens, I have never found that it is essential to the process...for example, I have never found that attention returning to the head (or a tension in the head) is essential to the creation of affective experience or a sense of self. All I have ever discerned is

I think the value in considering this bounce, as you call it, (which I would call a willful/habitual tension-of-holding (an aversion or a desire for unpleasant/neutral/pleasant which moves attention off of an activity into an affective mental state, aka perseveration, restored perseveration) may be as a pointer to one's coming into affective being [via various willful/habitual tensions].


I have found that, in general, and in agreement with your conclusion, this phenomenon of "bounce" (or more generally, the phenomenon of tension that begins the bounce) is the product of some kind of mental habit which one easily forgets is a habit (i.e. something that one actively does).

This coming into being is fine until it causes pain/distress.


In what sense do you mean "fine"?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 1/1/12 9:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/1/12 9:40 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Each of the below refer to ability to discriminate, where vedanas can lead to affective states and provoke aversion or attachment (tensions to sustaining a fixed condition in impermanent conditions).


One more thing about this...interestingly, I am not sure that desire for vedana as such figures into experiences that occur during the attention wave. (Vedana *causes* craving but the craving and subsequent experiences may not be *for * vedana.)

For instance, someone may say "I desire sex because it feels good", but "feels good" is unlikely to indicate pleasant vedana, but rather to indicate 1) the physical tension that is mistaken for a pleasant feeling, or 2) the representational experience "feels good" (i.e. desire for becoming, rather than for vedana). (Of course, the experiences desired here involve vedana, and might not be desired if their vedana were different, but that is different from claiming that their vedana is the desired thing.)

When I examine pleasant vedana carefully, and I think about any desire that I have had for it in my life, I cannot specifically recollect a time when I had a gross desire for something and had that desire aimed at the feeling itself, rather than some incidental detail surrounding it (i.e. the cause of the feeling, the mental representation associated with the feeling, the tension associated with the feeling, an idea such as "this feeling is good", the fact that it would replace unpleasant vedana, etc.).

If someone else has had a different experience, it would be interesting to hear about it.

In my current understanding (which is uncertain and changeable), desire for vedana is "lust for material existence" (= jhanas 1-4), which is a different fetter than sensual desire, and so would not be surprising if it manifested differently than sensual desire.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 1/3/12 12:20 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/3/12 12:20 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
I mean "fine" here to be satisfactory, acceptable, or pleasurable.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 1/3/12 7:51 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/3/12 7:49 AM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
If you think it is "satisfactory, acceptable, or pleasurable" in cases other than the ones in which it is grossly unpleasant, you may find value in investigating whether that is actually true or it, or whether it is overall unpleasant in all cases. I did.

This contains my position on the subject after investigating: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.075x.than.html
J C, modified 8 Years ago at 1/30/14 1:02 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 1/30/14 1:02 PM

RE: On attention bounce

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Each of the below refer to ability to discriminate, where vedanas can lead to affective states and provoke aversion or attachment (tensions to sustaining a fixed condition in impermanent conditions).


One more thing about this...interestingly, I am not sure that desire for vedana as such figures into experiences that occur during the attention wave. (Vedana *causes* craving but the craving and subsequent experiences may not be *for * vedana.)

For instance, someone may say "I desire sex because it feels good", but "feels good" is unlikely to indicate pleasant vedana, but rather to indicate 1) the physical tension that is mistaken for a pleasant feeling, or 2) the representational experience "feels good" (i.e. desire for becoming, rather than for vedana). (Of course, the experiences desired here involve vedana, and might not be desired if their vedana were different, but that is different from claiming that their vedana is the desired thing.)

When I examine pleasant vedana carefully, and I think about any desire that I have had for it in my life, I cannot specifically recollect a time when I had a gross desire for something and had that desire aimed at the feeling itself, rather than some incidental detail surrounding it (i.e. the cause of the feeling, the mental representation associated with the feeling, the tension associated with the feeling, an idea such as "this feeling is good", the fact that it would replace unpleasant vedana, etc.).

If someone else has had a different experience, it would be interesting to hear about it.

In my current understanding (which is uncertain and changeable), desire for vedana is "lust for material existence" (= jhanas 1-4), which is a different fetter than sensual desire, and so would not be surprising if it manifested differently than sensual desire.


I'm pretty sure it's the pleasant sensation I crave, though I'm open to the possibility that further examination would reveal that it's something different. The thoughts are mediated by the representations in my head, but those representations point to the actual feeling, which is what I'm actually craving... is that what you mean?