19. ATTENTION ENABLES US TO
PERCEIVE WHAT OUR SENSES DON'T SEE

 

There are many ways claimed to prove the existence of God through dialectical arguments, but they remain improvable. The forgotten inner teaching of the Church says that by removing certain obstacles within us, we will slowly begin to enjoy new inner-experiences. The original tradition is experiential, and has the immediacy of a healing process based on illumination and Theosis. For us, the questions are, first, to recognize the preconceptions normal to every human psyche, and second, to discover if a human being, uniting with God in communion, can, as claimed, ˜become a god by the Grace of God?˜ (Archimandrite George Capsanis, Theosis “ The True Purpose Of Human Life “ Monastery of Saint Gregorios, Mount Athos, Greece. 2006. ISBN: 960-26-8)

Attention is the directing power in our psyche, the aware part of our attentive mind; it plays a major role improving our spiritual state, giving us the ability to learn more from observation - inner and outer - than we can understand simply from verbal descriptions. Without the subjective recognition which occurs when our attention is turned in towards ourselves, we never learn about ourselves, and then nothing in us changes. So an attentive nous is the key to inner work.

The importance of this is not only for religion.  For example, when the schoolteacher tells the child to attend, it is because without attention, nothing is remembered.

Without attention, we do not learn, and without learning we do not change: the Christian who wishes to fulfill the Gospel teaching first has to learn to attend: has to learn how to ˜use the nous'. So the importance of attention is very clear to those Christians who perceive inner realities. Without attention, without full awareness from the nous, life fails to be fully Christian, for without it, every effort we make to overcome ourselves is fruitless.