The Attentiveness Archetype

    The Attentiveness archetype represents a considerable part of the human unconscious and cannot by any means be ignored, even though from a human standpoint it is a mere quality.

    Attentiveness is one of the qualities that a person perfects on the spiritual path. The trigger for the Attentiveness archetype is a change from subject (body, feelings, mind) – object (the material world) to subject (Self) – object (body, feelings, mind) thinking. This change first takes place in meditation in which the individual observes his body, feelings and thoughts, thereby initiating the entire process of the Attentiveness archetype. There first occurs a personality split. After mastering the splitting process the inner witness arrives, who is capable of calmly observing various phenomena, including his own behavior, emotions, feelings and reactions.  Once a person cultivates and deepens his attention, he can then live simultaneously on two levels. In addition to the level of his own awareness, there is also the level of his own desire, fear, emotions, actions and reactions. This ability represents a major step on the spiritual and also provides considerable power. Another important step awaits above the inner witness – surrender. Buddhist writings offer the following thought: "Once the mind glimpses inside itself, the chain of discursive and conceptual thinking ends and we achieve ultimate enlightenment." When attention begins to be turned toward itself, when the witness observes the witness (Sri Ramana Maharishi and Eduard Tomáš – meditation), our own attention can be surpassed and everything emerges in its whole.  Then all that remains is to learn not to occupy yourself with the fact that one part of the mind observes the other. The climax is achieved when one no longer is filled with observation, but is only a "mere" being.  Things are once again simple and plain.

    The Attentiveness archetype brings to human life an enormous change in experiencing everyday reality. In the beginning there is a dramatic change in the prioritization of one's life values followed by dissatisfaction with one's own state filled with feeling of inner conflict and incompleteness. It is no longer possible to assemble the same picture from the broken image of the past (of the once satisfactory life), since these images once again fill a person with dissatisfaction, incompleteness and contradictions. A new picture, a new, hitherto unrecognized state begins to be created from this unsettled state. Like the mythical Phoenix, a new vision created by the spiritual novice rises from the ashes of the past and fills his heart with hope for the future. Finally, based on his life experience, the novice soars above the wounds of the past toward the present and creates in the present moment his future picture – the vision toward which he will finally be able to consciously walk.

    The Attentiveness archetype is both the creation of a new state and a distant search for a new world or inner kingdom. This creative process is the conscious exchange of thoughts, words and acts for the realization of a new state, which is the most beautiful human vision. On the way to mastering the quality of attentiveness and on the path down the Attentiveness archetype, a person gradually enters a state in which he observes each of his thoughts, words and acts and, in this process, does not make decisions based on subconscious impulses (instincts and emotions), but instead makes conscious decisions.  At first, the conscious state, in which he has control of his thoughts, words and acts, is only momentary, but conscious living gradually covers most of everyday life, particularly in critical situations in which he withdraws into himself and consciously masters at that moment the emotional and instinctual pressures rising from the depths of his instinctual human nature induced by images of the world around him. This is the end of living on autopilot. In mastering the way from living on autopilot to conscious living, one will then only recall with a bitter smile how the ruthless autopilot, controlled by instincts, emotions and feelings, drove him into unhappy (and mostly unwanted) relationships. Past thoughts, words and actions set to autopilot are now naked under the scrutiny of conscious living, and the person has the unique opportunity to realize their detrimental results. The aim is to achieve conscious living as a natural state, which will become the greatest support in rediscovering the inner essence of the self. Living consciously or on autopilot is actually a question of whether we want to be the cause of our experiences or their consequences. A person lives for most of his life in the consequence of his experiences, and it is only with a conscious life that he becomes their cause, and thereby finds the miraculous spring from which to draw wisdom.

    Being aware of a negative action, word or thought is always the first step to overcoming it. If awareness is elevated to constant attentiveness, one can passively observe his ideas and feelings and they will not seem as catastrophic as before, but will be a blessed experience from which his inner self grows. If the spiritual novice recognizes the self as calm and unexcitable, this tranquility can then help him down the path whose end is an understanding and realization of God.

    The process requires a change in thinking. This crucial change is actually a "substitution" of the subject of the Self for the object of the Self from the perspective of one's own consciousness, or rather one's own awareness. It is an abandonment of one's usual way of thinking about "me and mine" for thinking about "him and his." Only in this state is it possible to observe the body, feelings and thoughts and also to distinguish the still unknown states of one's own mind. In this stage of transforming autopilot thinking into conscious living there must occur in the subconscious a significant change symbolized by the Attentiveness archetype, whose first phase consists of a splitting of the personality into two different selves capable of mutual communication. Communication between the first and second self emphasizes that both aspects belong together in one's self. I recommend exercising "internal elemental cleansing," whose brief instructions is included in the Persona archetype.

    The Attentiveness archetype actively eliminates the personality (ego), while other archetypes passively build on the personality and gradually recreate it.

    The Attentiveness archetype extends into two circles of the unconscious. The Splitting and Inner Witness belong to the Circle of the Renewal Process, and Surrender and Being are part the Circle of Being.

The scheme for the Attentiveness archetype:

1. Splitting:            a) two selves able to communicate
                                b) witness and sufferer
                                c) loss of former personality

2. Inner witness:    a) without the presence of a body
                                b) ascetic
                                c) ascetic without a body

3. Surrendering

4. Being:                a) Savikalpa samadhi (can be inner or outer)
                               b) Nirvikalpa samadhi (can be inner or outer)

    In the climax of the Attentiveness archetype, the novice experiences two high states that confirm the level achieved through waking consciousness. Savikalpa samadhi is still achieved by effort, and thus is not the apex for creating a permanent connection to the transpersonal self.  Savikalpa samadhi may appear as a pure, vital existence, pure being or consciousness, or ecstatic or non-ecstatic bliss, and even as all of these together. Nirvikalpa samadhi is achieved through an effortless state of tranquility. Increased awareness is needed to undertake nirvikalpa samadhi, and the state experienced in nirvikalpa samadhi must be objectified. One must therefore take an indifferent position toward the experienced state and consider it to be an observed object. The novice thus focuses attention on the subject (attentiveness of the attentiveness) and comes to understand the truth, which is non-subjective, impersonal and differs from everything that lies within the subject's realm. If in his spiritual development he achieves these high states, I recommend that he studies the books of Květoslav Minařík and Eduard Tomáš. With their advice and based on their own example, you can easily get past the final obstacle to the longed-for knowledge.

    The Attentiveness archetype wonderfully follows the yoga path and it has the power to intensify states experienced in meditation through their repetition in dreams.

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