Experiental Wisdom

During mediation, I experienced a fundamental truth about concentration;  I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, staring at a small point on the wall in front of me, willing myself to keep concentration on that spot without breaking attention.

At first the attributes of the speck on the wall I was gazing at became very important: about 4-5 of its basic attributes were trying to be kept simultaneously in my consciousness.  But I found that way of fixing my attention on the spot start to fade and be replaced effortless and easily into a quite different modality of concentration.  The 4-5 aspects of that spot (its color, shape, size, material) began to all merge somehow into a homogeneous mixture so that they were all still being consciously perceived, but no longer as distinct attributes – now as one meta-attribute.

When this change occurred, my mind was then free to examine other elements of my attention.  Although the spot was still a focal point of my efforts, the melding of its clear, defined properties into a uniform whole allowed other features of my scrutiny to reveal themselves.

Although the experience itself was subjective and its implications anecdotal, I believe the qualities it exhibited as more objective, inasmuch as they seemed ubiquitous in quiddity.  The other components that became apparent after the shift in comprehension of the speck were, among other things, the space that inhabited the distance between my eyes and the the wall, which was now prominent in my view, and exhibiting qualities of a circular cone in dimension, with the wide mouth open on my side and the point aligned directly with the original dot.  I also perceived lines of demarcation of the cone of vision, represented by different intensities of light that lined the edge of the cone.  Awareness of movement within and on the edge of the cone of vision was also present – myriad small squiggles that few across the lines haphazardly and frantically, small fractal patterns of light appearing and disappearing on different levels of space in the 3-dimensional space.  It was really quite beautiful and instilled a feeling of profundity in myself.

Cone of vision

Because this secondary quality of concentration materialized organically and meaningfully in spirit, and because I couldn’t not categorize this second reality of experience as a variety of concentration that was just as important in the concentration of a single spot, I decided to momentarily reset my awareness by looking away and allowing normal thoughts to arise, essentially stopping my meditative state in order to reinitialize it for another experimental run.

The second time I focused on a small spot on the wall (a different one entirely this time) I found the same sequence of experiential events occurred in relatively the same amount of time and natural development it had executed last attempt.  To me, this helped confirm my hypothesis that this shift in type and level of concentration was not only a normal, modal development, but also put weight to my hypothesis that the attributes of the conversion and of the resultant state of concentration were objective properties that emerged out of a subjective experience.  I am sadly unversed in knowledge of prior philosophical work on the mechanisms in play and processes that allow objectivity to exist significantly within personal subjectivity.  Objective truths can be proven or falsified – I believe the secondary shift of concentration can be proven to exist within this field of subjective experience produced by meditation through analysis of a population of subjects that purposely engage in focused examination of a single point and report any developments afterward, if anything.  That data can be gathered through a simple survey.

It’s important to note that there may be inessential deviations from my experience such as minor differences in content of the concomitant transformation in type of attention, the fundamental nature of both the shift and experience of perception will, I think, be proven empirical.

A bold statement, I know.  Many reading this may scoff at my Aristotelian approach toward attaining truth.  To them I acknowledge the lack of empirical energy and overreach into the metaphysical with no great persuasion for this technique of acquiring knowledge – only stating that I am resting on the powerful beauty and meaning of this experience.


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