It was Wednesday, Feb 18, 2004 in my communication class when I saw the illusion all illusion. The illusion that is in our lives in every moment. It is the stuff we have our inattention on. Like, not having the attention for some reason or another. In this case, “The Hartman Test, or “selective attention test”, the attention was placed on the whole video of 2 teams passing balls; the white team and the black team. A gorilla walked into the circle causing a bit of chaos and quickly walked on. At the end of the video a question was asked. “Did you see anything unusual?”
Of course it was the gorilla.
Then the question, “how many times did the white team drop the ball?” I never counted a I was watching the overall general video.
On the second run of the video I focused on the white team passing and counting. The video ended and I never saw the gorilla. At that instant I was enlightened.
Deepok Chopra talks about intention and attention. If we have an intention and we focus on it, put our attention on it, it will manifest. What we don’t put our attention on doesn’t exist.
In the first watch of the video I watched carefully because I was told it went quickly and to watch. I do not recall hearing anything about counting the balls so I watched all the action, viewed the background and foreground and sighted the gorilla’s participation.
In the third watch, I saw everything in a whole integrated way. Mostly I was amazed at my ability to make the gorilla disappear. And with this new light I wonder how many times a day my perspective is tainted with a dominant focus, keeping me from seeing things that are potential opportunities.
How inattentive are we?
Now, with all the external stimulus to keep us preoccupied and opinionated, what are we focusing on? Where is the attention?
What we don’t put our attention on, doesn’t exist.