Constant attention: what is and how it works

A definition of constant attention

After the introduction to constant attention (read Avert dangers: the concept of constant attention), we continue the discussion, defining what it is and how it works.

In general we can say that thi skill is:

  • A constant passive scanning of the what happen aroud us made to identify any possible danger / opportunity
  • An attitude trained so much to become an instinctive approach
  • A multisensorial connection between our mind, what happen and what could happen

What constant attention work on?

Let’s see what constant attention takes care of:

  • The discordant note in the harmony of normality – It is an automatic mechanism of our mind that keeps the anomalies under control, almost without even noticing it (eg. without having to interrupt a speech, read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///)
  • All the scenario’s elements in order of danger – It is autonomous and always-on system of analysis of the environment (people, terrain and everthing inhabit it in terms of risks / opportunities, read also An exercise to develop mental cyclical concentration)
  • Specific objectives – For example, the immediate focusing on the mode of defense / attack against possible aggressors in relation to our / their position, type of environment and context (read for example /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///)
  • Spatial memory – The generic storage, in our mind, of the environment conformation in which we find ourselves (obstacles, preferable roads, implementable distraction elements, etc., read also read The most important skill in combat)
  • Generic sensorial storage – The generic storage in our mind (read Body and mental perception), of all possible sounds (background, what people says, etc.), smells (etc.) in a schematic and / or keyword-oriented way
  • Good and bad paths – The mnemonic collection of paths we have followed, we could follow, we must avoid; to do this we have to individuate the right reference points and create a tridimensional stylized mental projection (where we look at the scenario from above)
  • Automatic evaluation – The assignment of a generic meaning of consistency / inconsistency to each stimulus passively stored (normal events, unusual, etc., read also The right thing to do)
  • Instantaneous planning – A mental process that, forged on study and experience, upon the occurrence of a suspicious circumstance, immediately generates a mental projection of an eventual effective strategic solution (eg. a path to escape, etc.)

A note by Master Kongling – It is interesting to make a comparison with how some of the 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s stealth techniques are made to deceive the constant attention (read for example Be invisible in the crowd: divert attention).

What are the characteristics of a perfect constant attention capability?

A note by Master Kongling – Even if it is true that our mind can be trained like a muscle, it is needless to say that is not possible to maintain a gap-free analysis system in every situation: we should keep our brain waves constantly on the gamma frequency (or higher, read Deception and brain waves).

Let’s take this list of characteristics as a model of reference:

  • No distractions – The almost total absence of “prolonged” periods of complete distraction from the surrounding environment
  • Sorted and categorized data collection – A constant useful data collection (escape routes, possible weapons, critical situations, dangerous persons, suspects, generic discrepancies, important words / numbers, etc.)
  • Observation, passive listening and activation of any useful sense –  All the active / passive entities around us must be captured by our senses and reason (people, objects, animals, liquids, gases, temperature, etc.)
  • A constant peripherical awareness of the environment – Through simple patterns stored in the brain that turn on reason (gamma brain waves) only in case of real danger
  • Cyclical attention – It is not possible to keep everything under control at the same time, so the best scanning method is the cyclic and ordered one; we have to check what happens above, below, in front, behind, to our right and to our left (eg. what we are walking on, etc.)
  • An attitude carried on with detached and serene spirit – Contant attention is designed to identify the hazards not to create insecurity; we can compare it to the type of mental processing that allows us to avoid obstacles while we are walking (nothing more nothing less)

Final notes

A few conclusive thoughts:

  • As we have already mentioned, this is not a divine ability that allows us to control everything: this is purely impossible; it is simply a matter of a (considerable) optimization of our normal system of management of the logical and sensorial stimuli that we perceive
  • Although it may seem incredible, this kind of mental process (with all its limitations) is absolutely bearable by most people and has been, in the feral past of human history, at the center of the survival (read Identify the dangers as animals do)
  • Today the constant attention as a whole is no longer part of civilized man, it must be coached and directed through a specific training to be drawn in daily life but (with the same perceptive capacity) working coherently, we can even achieve a qualitatively superior result

In the next article of this series, we will see how to start to develop this skill (read How to develop the constant attention).

In-depth articles

Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • what is your definition of constant attention?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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