The most powerful kind of noticing is where something comes to us from nothing and out of nowhere: it is a creative moment. Although any public speaker aiming at success knows to never use the word hyparxis, nevertheless noticing is an hyparchic event. There is nothing that leads to this moment, of something seen or speaking directly to us, in a flash, in an instant. This instantaneous moment, although perhaps a second in clock-time, continues to resonate, perhaps even for the rest of our lives. This is a moment where we are not apart from the subject / object of our noticing. Another way of putting this: noticing is a creative moment. Cf George B’s comment when presenting the theme on Monday: there is a kind of noticing when the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Noticing is also an activity and can be described by the tetrad, giving four different qualities of noticing…
Automatic noticing: what we notice confirms our existing prejudices and opinions. That is, we notice what we already know and cannot notice anything other than this.
Attracted noticing: our attention is attracted. One example of this is professional noticing. We notice what we already know, but we have an opportunity to engage with it intentionally.
- We direct our attention to engage with what has been noticed.
- We direct our attention to see what is there, in depth & content.
- We notice, mark and record our noticing. That is, we establish in our practice a default procedure to make the most of this opportunity.
Conscious noticing: we see a pattern and connections. We have a practice that facilitates and supports moments of noticing. Without noticing, there is no self-observation, although noticing goes beyond this.
Creative noticing: we notice what we don’t know. Moments such as this direct the course of our lives.
Where our attention is, we notice. Noticing engages the attention. Which comes first?
We notice discontinuities.
So, what do we do when we notice? Good to have a default strategy in place for when we notice: the process is notice, mark and record.
Noticing is a gift. It is impossible to understand this. How, why would a Creative Benevolence without end, without limit, lean over and take us into its confidence?
If we notice that something is needed, we are called to address it; and halfway committed to doing so. But, although there may be necessity, there is no compulsion.
July 9th. 2010
Purgatory, Camp Caravan,