for both in the spiritual and militarily industrial, commercial - not just military hardware industrial - professions paying attention to the matter in the immediate now is a requirement.
to keep the attending faculty of the brains in bootcamp and spiritual training, the physical postures are rigorously maintained, even though it is not the posture in itself that is the aim, but what its effects produce to the brains. initially what it does is the excruciating physical pain that draws the brain's full attention. when extended, it numbs the brain's capacity to find a release. but in the bootcamp it is controlled by the drill sergeant, and in the spiritual path it is the illusionary personal goal of liberation that keeps the practitioner tied to the posture.
then with the pain itself as a distraction, the recruit develops the tolerance to pain, and both the recruit and yoga student begin to muse with the distracted attention of the brains, and the tightly regulated posture loosens. to draw the attention back to the posture. there is the stick landing on the shoulder of the recruit in the boot camp, and in the zen monastery.
in socioeconomically political correctness the physical force is replaced with the psychological devices, such as the pins and stripes, the medals of honour and financial perks for the soldier, and chants and make believe liberation, the mukti and the 'engaged buddhism' type ecological work projects for the financially weakened physique of the materially well off seekers of the enlightenment.
attention is naturally an element of the process of the ecocentric motions of life, ecocentric motions are outside of the realm of dos and don'ts, whether imposed or self imposed. it is just there, and is felt only in its absence, causing an abrupt interruption, even resulting in minor or major effects in one's state of being.
in the imposed form of attention, the physical body gradually becomes numb to the pain, numb enough to be able to mechanically perform those ordered machine-like repetitive actions that do not require constant total attention. and all people, who work for others as a means to earn a living, including the yoga teachers, professors. and professional soldiers thus function with their works that are totally repetitive such works, whether it involves shooting to kill people or running the mental tape of words of wisdom.
words of guidance is not guiding itself, nor leading a person to fight or sit tight ultimately leads a learner to acquire the same status as that of the teacher, making a recruit soldier to ultimately reach the rank of the commander in chief; or a student of yoga to become zen master or a dalai lama or pope. all such statuses are nothing but the socio-economic status good enough to live with an inflated ulterior ego.
as for the common folks living a life like a broken horse, even distractions are imposed by the authorities in all walks of life. but they are imposed gradually, starting with the early childhood training in kindergarten. there children are taught to sing the children's rhymes of meaningless words that activate the bodily movements, including that of the vocal cords in a particular mode, and for some, graduating up to a soprano or a pianist or dancer or master artist. but whether as a child or an adult, the performer sees one's worth in the eyes of the kindergarten teacher or the paying audience. in such regulated regimented living, a person's sense of socio-economic survival requires an attitude that is expressed in an old saying. that states that "all is fair in war and love."
such sanctioned fair way of life is called capitalism, and as capitalism or communism or religion promoted mode of life, not being ecocentric requires a belief that it is an ideal way of life. but beliefs are only a wishful thinking in absence of one's appropriate response in the now. in absence of finding a real helpful person or means one begins to wish that somehow some thing or being will grant one's wishes. but wishes and beliefs do not guide the way nature moves. so, many a time accidents happen for those who work with machines, because machines not experiencing distractions go on moving, whether or not the worker is keeping up with his part of the motion.
still, the authorities require the human person to become part of the machine on the conveyor belt. so in works for which machines are not invented yet, the humans have to be made like the broken horses. and the brains made numb with distractions do just that.
then, just as the thus broken horses and elephants help in capturing and breaking the other free horses and elephants, thus broken humans help the authority in taming or even destroying other free spirited humans. and an english poet had said," theirs is not to question why. theirs is but to do and die. "the police and soldiers beat up and kill people for sole purpose of obeying orders, for that is what is required of their distracted sense of survival; professional models keep on displaying pearls and diamonds for which the miners sweat blood and pearl oysters are implanted with plastic beads, and the advertising industry people professionally misguide people, with or without being aware of what it does to one's fellow beings.
one of the effects of the implanted distracted sense of survival is to destroy the ecocentrically natural awareness, that humans as a species are a group dwelling creatures, functioning interdependently. their sense of security is in numbers. when a person is isolated, one feels vulnerable. the fear overpowers the natural sense of seeing and responding to the problem. mohamed ali, the champion boxer, who saw nothing wrong with beating up his opponent in the ring as a commercial way of life, willingly went to prison for refusing to take up arms against the vietcong not seeing them as his enemy as ordered. and this writer's schoolmate, who was a successful commercial artist, refused to take up brushes to design a poster for the philip-morris cigaret company, as he would not use his artistic skills to promote a cigarette smoking that causes death by smoking.
just as the farmer sows seeds and then prays for the rains
so that he may harvest a bumper crop;
so does the weapon maker pray for an endless war
so that he can keep selling the weapons of death and destruction;
so does the medicine man pray for the ailing crowd
crying for his elixir;
and the shaman for an endless row of departing souls to pray for.
what do you pray for?