A FAMILY of YOUNG SOULS, the key that unlocks the mind
Wholistic Education from the time of birth
by Dr. Pamela Blosser, D.M.,D.D.,B.A.
Three children are given a math problem to do in their heads. One gets the answer in less than a minute while the other two are still grappling with the figures. All three children are very smart, so what is the difference? The first child upon receiving the problem becomes still. Her gaze is fixed to a point of focus in front of her. As her body and eyes remain still you can almost see the internal work going on inside her head. Her determination is strong until she completes her calculation.
The second child begins has already made up her mind, thinking this problem will be hard, she doesn’t “know math”, and people will think she’s stupid. Maybe she really is stupid. By now she’s forgotten what the numbers are and has to ask for them to be given again.
The third child begins his mental calculation even before receiving the problem to be solved. His mind is not disciplined enough to still his thoughts and complete his mental calculations. He looks over at the other two wondering how they’re coming along with figuring out the problem. Then he looks at the clock wondering how long it’s been when the first child gives the answer.
All three children are bright. The one who excels and gets the answer knows how to still her mind, focus her attention, and concentrate until she achieves the desired result.
Being able to focus and hold the attention is the key to improved memory, faster learning, better grades in school, and more efficient use of time. When you’re using undivided attention you can be in the middle of one experience or train of thought, remove your attention to take care of something else and return to your first task right where you left off. Do you lose your train of thought in the middle of a conversation? Walk into a room and forget what you came there to do? Forget where you leave things and have to spend time searching for them? Get distracted from tasks so you spend a long time completing them or don’t finish them at all? Do you remember facts for a test but forget them afterwards? These are all signs of the need to strengthen your undivided attention.
In our society we are taught to scatter our attention, thinking of many ideas at once. Trying to hold a number of thoughts in your consciousness at the same time is inefficient and tiring.
Attention comes from the Latin word, attendere. A (or ad) means toward and tendere means to stretch. So the original meaning of attention is to stretch toward. With attention you direct your consciousness, you reach or extend your awareness toward a desired destination whether that be towards another person, an experience, a physical object or a train of thought.
The words attention and attend come from this same Latin root word. Attend is to follow, listen, or serve. Attend and attention are closely related because when you attend to something you care for it or you are ready to listen and follow instructions. What you give your attention to is what you care about. When you give your attention to something you attend to it by listening, heeding and following, or giving and aiding it in some way.
Undivided means only one object, idea, or experience at a time. Undivided attention is the focusing power of the mind.
There are several exercises you can do to strengthen the power of your undivided attention. You can turn these exerrcises into games with your children.
One exercise is to give your attention through one sense. For example spend the day focusing on hearing. How many enjoyable and lovely sounds do you miss throughout the day because your attention is scattered or you’re worrying about what people think about you or some other trivial thought? Try focusing on the sense of smell for one day. How many smells are there in one shopping mall: the smell of leather in the shoe store, perfumes in the cosmetic store, popcorn popping or chocolate chip cookies being baked, the paper smell in the bookstore, the aroma of potpourri in the housewares, and the sweet scent of soaps. Focusing your attention through one of the senses provides a daily adventure in expanded physical awareness, greater appreciation of your world leading to heightened physical and mental experiences.
Another exercise is to choose a word and see how many words you can find that are related to it. For example, how many words can you discover related to the word horse? Mare, mane, carriage, bridle, animal, stable, hay, Kentucky Derby, foal, hoof, races, jockey, etc. How many other words can you think of?
Doing brain teasers or math problems in your head, saying the alphabet backwards are all ways to exercise your attention as well as other mental skills.
Undivided attention is used to explore an idea fully, to complete a train of thought, to accomplish tasks, fulfill desires, learn and grow quickly, and be successful at whatever you endeavor to do. And undivided attention is essential in building a closer relationship with God and reaching enlightenment.
Begin now exploring how you and the children around you use attention. Is it scattered or focused? Do you get distracted easily when you are challenged; do you want to give up or rise to the challenge? Are you able to complete tasks quickly or does it take you a long time? How is your memory? Evaluate your present use of attention. Teach yourself and your children to slow thinking down and focus attention so you may excel and fulfill your potential.•
©1995Vol. 13 No. 3
Dr. Pam Blosser directs the College Preparatory Camp each summer on the grounds of the College of Metaphysics.
The Quest to Understand Love
by Dr. Pamela Blosser
Love. Songs have been sung about it; poetry and literature written about it; paintings painted about it. Philosophers have philosophized about it. There’s something about love that we all want to understand. Love is probably the most sought after and the most misunderstood idea in our civilization.
We know it feels good. At least it’s supposed to feel good. What happens when it feels bad? Is this love? We know it is powerful and transformative. Numerous studies have found a direct correlation between a loving, nurturing environment and intelligence, emotional stability, even life. How then can it seem to be devastating? deflating? We associate love with attraction or affection. We often throw the word around saying, “I love Mexican food.” “I love going to picture shows.” “I love spring.” Is this love? Or should we in fact choose another word to express our feelings? The affection, the attraction, the good feeling we call love is, in fact, the most outward expression of love. It is the tip of the iceberg. To understand love we must search much deeper. At its deeper level we see love is the closest physical experience we can have to touching God. God and Love go much deeper than our physical experiences yet through our physical experiences we can come to understand love and begin to touch God.
In First John of the Bible it says, “God is love.” Our Christian heritage teaches us this. God is Creator. God is the essence of creation. If God is the essence of creation then love is creation. Love is the essence of creation.
“God so loved the world that he gave…” God gave his son so the world would be saved, so people would have everlasting life. Our Creator gives by fulfilling needs. The needs that our Creator and the laws of creation fulfill are not our physical or emotional needs. For example, if we’re hungry God doesn’t send us a four course dinner or even a hot dog on a bun. What our Creator does provide are the mental and physical resources to realize our own divine potential as mental creators. God gives us the means to provide for ourselves whatever kind of food we desire. Will and imagination, the mental resources, provide the power to accomplish tasks, achieve goals, and realize ideals. The physical resources provide materials by which tasks are accomplished, goals achieved and ideals realized. They are ours to use and care for.
We show love when we understand another’s needs rather than their pain. Understanding pain is identifying the problem. Understanding a need is identifying a solution. Let’s say your child’s stomach hurts. By identifying the pain you recognize he ate too much candy, he has a stomach virus, or is hungry. You have identified the problem. By identifying the need you discover he needs to take peptobismal, see a doctor or eat some nourishing food. Identifying needs means causing a change for the better, or improve the existing circumstances.
As human man we identify needs by putting ourselves in another person’s shoes. If love is present we seek to understand real needs and are willing to do whatever it takes to aid another to fulfill their needs. A real need is the need of the soul, what will cause an individual to be fulfilled or content as a mental creator. Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes means “being with someone” or empathy. Empathy is receiving another’s experience into your self. Em means to bring in and path means feeling. By drawing or receiving into ourself what the other is experiencing we’re not feeling the same way, we’re not thinking the same way. This is feeling another’s pain. We are understanding what another is going through and understanding their need. This is their need to create which goes far beyond being needy in an impoverished way. Needing to create means being aware of the next step on our own learning, and being ready to cause our present accomplishments to be better than they were the time before. Being with someone in their joys and excitements is equally important to being with someone in their sadness and disappointments.
When we understand what another is experiencing we can have compassion for him or her. Compassion and empathy are best put into action when the needs of another’s soul or what is in their best interest is perceived. This implies what truth the other is seeking to understand in order to create. For example, a child wants to watch television all the time. You as the parent understand that in order for your child to be able to be a productive, fulfilled adult she needs to learn how to read and write, how to get along and cooperate with others. She needs to learn to be responsible, to take care of herself and her belongings, to be kind and friendly to others, to reason and find solutions to questions. A loving parent will teach his child this and much more while she is growing up ensuring her adult life will be rich and enriching to others. A loving parent would not let his child eat ice cream all the time. He would teach her that meat and vegetables are just as delicious as well as being nutritious.
As we identify needs we come to discover there is only one need — the need to create. All of nature is a part of creation, needing to express itself fully and leave a legacy or offspring of itself, giving its life to the world. As we satisfy our own need to create we can discover all other needs are a part of this greater need.
Love is truly experienced when we freely give something we cherish. Giving our time, attention, and energy, giving our money or possessions to improve the world are expressions of love that reach far beyond us. “God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” Can we so love the world that we give our sons and daughters ensuring they will make our planet a better place? Can we so love the world that we give ourselves for the well-being of mankind? As mental creators this is our spiritual duty, our greatest challenge and our deepest fulfillment.•
©1995 Vol. 13 No. 2
©2002 School of Metaphysics