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Focus of Attention / Yogic Investigation

After the completion or near-completion of pratyahar sensual energy withdrawal in the ashtanga yoga of Patanjali, one feels as if one accomplished pratyahar sensual energy withdrawal. However due to the design of the psyche, this success is shifted because one finds that even then, even after causing the outward going tendency to reverse, still then, one is taunted by what is outside the psyche.

This happens because of hidden and unsubdued memories as well as by fresh incidences with the physical and subtle bodies, which manufacture new impressions which carry a compelling energy.

It is at this point that one realizes that the bid for liberation may just be a fantasy. However, if one was in good spirits and harbored no resentment against the physical and subtle Nature, one will continue the practice.

Despite knowing that liberation may never happen in the complete sense, and that it may only occur sporadically, one will still keep the endeavor for success. Others who suspect or who realize that liberation is hardly likely, that it is uncertain, will resign from yoga practice. They will be satisfied and relieved actually, to resume their relationship with Nature in full. Such people will either adopt a righteous lifestyle or will be outright criminals in the creation.

Once the sensual energy withdrawal is attained, it is highlighted by the noticing that in meditation, there is no effort of the self-energy to go out of the psyche. This is similar to a train depot, where usually some trains go into it, and some depart from it. There is much activity, except on major holidays, when the trains remain still and in place in the depot. There are no sounds of engines, no squeaks of brakes, no workmen adjusting and checking machinery.

Pratyahar the fifth stage of yoga comes to proficiency, when in the mind space, the yogi notices that he does not have to exert a retraction pulling force to keep his energies from coursing out of the psyche. The energies stay put in meditation or they lack interest in going outside the psyche. They are reluctant to pursue anything.

It is then that another challenge surfaces, where the yogi must study his focus of attention, not as one cohesive impetus but as two; one being the focus of attention and the other being the focus on being the focus of attention.

This focus on being the focus of attention is a bewildering. It is a dangerous impetus which a yogi should never underestimate, as to its power, subtlety, and surreptitiousness. This tendency will not permit a complete pratyahar practice but it will allow a partial one with the yogi becoming arrogant, and not knowing that it affects him. It waits patiently in the dark corners of the mind and springs into action when the yogi is relaxed and does not understand that he is under a subtle influence.

Instead of focusing one’s attention, a part of the psyche focuses secretly on not doing that but on focusing on being the center of everyone’s attention. One becomes passive but with an active objective being the movement of the active attention of others. One remains stationary with a power to capture the moving attention of other entities.

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