Early in Carlos Castaneda’s apprenticeship, Don Juan introduced the basics of the second attention. This was a state of heightened awareness that was distinct and different than our day-to-day state of mind, which was called the first attention. Besides being an altered state of awareness and perception, it was also a portal or gateway to other realms; for example the threshold crossed in dreaming.
The first attention, our normal modus operandi, is the way we operate, perceive and navigate in daily life. This state of being (or more appropriately – “doing”) is arrived at through the complex development and layering of the mind-ego conglomerate, with its attendant programs, scripts, justifications, excuses, self-adoration, criticisms, flaws and patterns. It’s as though our consciousness was on “auto-pilot” and we careen through life, largely unaware of the true nature of self and world.Read More