Thursday, December 4, 2014

Attention deconcentration

I was reading about the phenomenon of attention deconcentration in an old New Yorker article about free diving, "The Deepest Dive," unfortunately not available in its full form unless you are a subscriber. Here is the relevant portion:
To still the unbidden apprehensions that might interfere with her dive -- what she describes as "the subjective feeling of empty lungs at the deep" -- Molchanova uses a technique that she refers to as "attention deconcentration." ("They get it from the military," Ericson said.) Molchanova told me, "It means distribution of the whole field of attention -- you try to feel everything simultaneously. This condition creates an empty consciousness, so the bad thoughts don't exist."

"Is it difficult to learn?"

"Yes, it's difficult. I teach it in my university. It's a technique from ancient warriors -- it was used by samurai -- but it was developed by a Russian scientist, Oleg Bakhtiyarov, as a psychological-state-management technique for people sho do very monotonous jobs."

I asked if it was like meditation.

"To some degree, except meditation means you're completely free, but if you're in the sea at depth you will have to be focussed, or it will get bad. What you do to start learning is you focus on the edges, not the center of things, as if you were looking at a screen. Basically, all the time I am diving, I have an empty consciousness. I have a kind of melody going through my mind that keeps me going, but otherwise I am completely not in my mind."
This passage in the article intrigued me because it reminded me of playing games to see how far I could expand my visual focus. On the diver Molchanova's website, she mentions that although it is rare for most people to have stumbled upon this experience, people who are subject to persistent stress factors typically have, such as hunters or fighters or other activities where quick decisionmaking is necessary and "emotional reaction in critical situation can lead to the wrong decisions and panic." I feel like I frequently will do this, or try to at least go that direction with my focus. I will do a more toned down version in big crowds, like at an airport. I've heard another practioner refer to something similar as "situational awareness." When I get closest to the idea of deconcentration, I am so hyper aware of all of sensory inputs that I reach a sort of ecstasy. It's very pleasurable.

I'm curious, have the other sociopaths experienced something similar to attention deconcentration?

More information.


  1. It sounds like flow or being in the moment *shrug*

  2. ^Yes, but not exactly. It's being in the moment, but it’s also like letting the entirety of that moment - all the sounds, sites, sensations - in, at once. It's both the flow and the details. It must be like having temporary low latent inhibition.

  3. ^Well okay, but what's so difficult about doing that?

  4. this blog is sooo very boring i dont think me is a sociapath she is a lezzo retard who dreams of waking up a badass who cares about some bitch who cums when she dives she is not a anchent warrier she is a obese junkie slut like mandusa who makes dolphin noises when she squirts i stole a half ounce of hash and a couple of grams of speed yeaaah

  5. jc, no one enjoys your drivel

  6. stfu mandusa just cos ur a obsese junkie slut who has to hide behind a anon everyone thinks my drivel is the best and wishes they were me cos i am a real sociapath not a poser who needs faggot surgeery and pretends to be sooo badass on a blog that is sooo very boring cos they have to get a crane to lift them out of a armchair and let there dog lick their crack cos they cant reach their own butt to wipe it irl

  7. Well JC, in my experience there are two kinds of sociopaths, the intelligent kind and the unintelligent kind. The former usually do quite well, often ending up in the higher echelons of society, whereas the latter tend to end up dead or in jail.

    Considering that you demonstrate inadequate spelling and grammar which indicates that teaching you would largely be a Sisyphean task and furthermore show ad hominem that are below the level of a 3rd grader leaves me with no choice but to put money on a lengthy stay behind bars at some point.

  8. I do this at all times

  9. “The only God I believe in is a loaded pistol with a hair trigger. Funny before I killed a lot of guys, they’d call me God. ‘Oh God, no! Oh, God, no!’”

    Richard Kuklinski

  10. This is interesting, M.E.! I've never talked with anybody about this, but it's something I've done since my youth. I've done the peripheral vision thing too.

    I don't feel as if it was something I stumbled upon, nor do I recall it having anything to do with stress as such - except for physical stress in the form of pain and illness. It was in those situations I would work most with the technique.

    I thought it was a form of yoga or Zen.

    I can get into this state especially during martial arts training. But I'll usually be alone, or others will disturb too much, as it does take some concentration.

    In my eyes there's no doubt about this being a partially transcendent state of mind. - I'm not surprised that you know about this too!... '^L^,


    Anon above here,

    you apparently also see this as an expanded state - judging from your choice of joke quote.

    You know, it doesn't matter if you believe there is a god, or many gods, or no gods. It's all in the mind.

  11. reading sociopath world and came across a post on being ‘extraordinary’ and had some thoughts

    i resist the temptation most of the time..... but acknowledge that i am to a degree, i have remarkable powers when they are focused, however i spend much of my day trying to keep my focus broad not narrow. if i get too narrow i lose the peripheral vision that is needed to be ‘normal’..... and that be honest i wish i could just fall into my focus.... fall into the sea of details..... absorb it all....

    i used to walk into a room and know every persons threat assessment and the location of doors and cameras, anything that posed a perceived threat.... no i don't see anything fully.... i miss the extraordinary, the feeling of being ‘more than’ the knowledge that i see more than others, and ergo must feel more than others..... cause really i simply want to feel.... just a little bit.

  12. i used to walk into a room and know every persons threat assessment and the location of doors and cameras, anything that posed a perceived threat....

    Ever have dinner with a member of the mob? My uncle was a made guy. Really nice guy. Everywhere we went he'd tell me never eat with your back to the door of the restaurant. Sounds cliche but not really. Some times he'd tell me to describe everyone in the place while he had his back to the door. When we had to stash his cut, it was really important for me to learn how to conduct myself. I wish he was still alive.

  13. I get in the zone. As an athlete you have to. If you keep thinking about whether or not you're going to get injured you can't perform.

  14. That's why smoke pot
    SHift focus and get creative. Write good papers, solve puzzles. THe altered state is pretty cool man.

  15. I don''t need drugs
    I'm ptsd


  16. I don''t need drugs

    I am.....


  17. M.E., another form of this is known as Yoga Nidra.

    There are two types of attention training. One is attention training designed to bring the focus back into the body and secondly one which expands the periphery of awareness. Both diffuse narrow perspective, tunnel vision and mind anxiety.

  18. soulful, I see everything too much.

    I can't make decisions easily. I see everything too much all the time. And for the most part,it depresses because I want to enjoy the small in/significant simple things. But I can't find them sometimes. I never know where to put my focus so I grab the one that fits best to my desires/my perspective. Sometimes this causes a lie. I don't see what is truly there. And sometimes I vacillate until i am too tired to care. And i am so tired.

  19. Take on focus or attention training as a sport or a musical instrument. Find coaches and activities which disciple your mind. Martial arts, yoga, squash, brain games, mental pursuits of study or schooling.

    Make the intention, do the research and carry it off to the extreme. The part of you which cannot make decisions easily will always exist and the more you focus on this aspect the more power it has. Add in another trajectory and in ten years you will have much different resources.

    Focus, activity and a direction will give you energy.

  20. Im 18, and i've done that since i was like 13 or 14. its hard not too, i've been feeling completely alone my entire life untill i turned 15 and began all my charisma, now every time i get rejected i do something reckless and trigger my out of mind empty feeling.

  21. I just came across this site and have spent some time reading through it. This particular "attention deconcentration" technique I am not familiar with, but I feel it is naturally programmed into the way I deal with "reality". However, in my circumstance, it appears to others as a form of naiveté or unresponsiveness because as I defocus I have no sense of reaction, as I normally would. Perhaps this is due to the thought present in my normative reactions that I do not hold the capacity to think while in a state of deconcentration. Either way, I appreciate knowing that I am not alone in my state of mind.
    I do have a question, though. Do you/should people attribute such an ability to being sociopathic?

  22. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I also do that (expand my visual focus) when in crowded places. It's like a very primitive method of survival. I try to scan my surroundings to plan my moves quickly and efficiently. I really enjoy how good I'm at it as I glide through the crowds. This reminds me that this so called sociopathy seems very primitive to me altogether – which I like.

  23. I'm not quite sure but this sounds like something I'm doing a lot - though I refer to it as "not thinking", I turn off any thoughts and focus on an imaginary point then constantly create more points of focus until the points merge into one whole picture and thoughts stop coming to my mind. It's very helpful in a lot of situations. Especially in situations with vital decision-making.

    On the contrary I have a different tactic for situations I want to evade: I stop focusing and thinking until I reach a trance like state, which I tightly tied to certain rituals like going by bus/tram/train or subway, 'cos it's quite dangerous to do this in other situations like crossing the street or rails.

  24. I do this with activities like surfing or starting a new gig (especially consulting work - no one hires me when things are going well). Any situation I perceive as requiring the intake of a great deal of information all at once while remaining calm and focused on "the task at hand" - there really is no better way to say it.

    It's one of my more helpful responses to chaotic situations.

    1. "It's one of my more helpful responses to chaotic situations."


      Speaking of "chaotic situations," this approach solves a number of problems.

      "In particular, information has always been difficult to define. In conventional information theory, information and distinguishability are each defined in terms of the other, creating a kind of chicken and egg problem.

      But in constructor theory, the nature of information is determined by the laws of physics alone. That neatly sidesteps the problem."

      And my comments to you in the previous post, entitled, "QUOTE: KARMA," shed even more light, closely related to some of your prior comments.

      "It also links quantum information and classical information under the same theoretical roof for the first time. That’s a significant step that could have important implications for the emerging technology of quantum computation, cryptography and communication.

      It’s important to point out that constructor theory is not a way of deriving the laws of physics. Deutsch and Marletto are not attempting, for example, to derive quantum mechanics from some deeper theory.

      Instead, the principles function very much like the conservation of energy. The conservation of energy is not a mathematical truth but Deutsch and Marletto say it is deeper than the laws of physics that obey it. By this, they mean that any as-yet-undiscovered laws must also be expected to obey this conservation rule."

  25. "Methods" DO NOT WORK except when it comes to physical devices.
    For example, when an engine breaks down, that engine is a material object.
    A printed guide book from the past, can help you restore the engine.
    Our bodies are physical. There are various perscribed remedies that can "cure"
    people universally.
    Man's MIND is NOT a solid object. Unless it has been determined that a physical cause is affecting his body-like a brain disease, or a drug like P.C.B.
    or a drug addiction. No physical remedy can provide a person with LASTING
    happiness. A person could have EVERYTHING they think they should have to
    be happy, but still be unhappy. They can attempt to distract themselves with
    activity and accustion but it won't work LONG RANGE. People are on a
    treadmill, or on a "merry go round," as my father said, but they can't get off.
    That's what blues songs are about. Listen to "It's A Rainy Night In Georgia."
    by Brook Benton.
    Is sex, drugs, and junk food the answer. Not long term. STDs Diabetus, and
    Cancer are very unpleasent afflictions to have. The answer? Study yourself and
    come to the realization that your CRAVING NATURE is the cause of your misery. You place your happiness on OUTSIDE things. And indeed, NO ONE
    wants to live on the outside when it's minus 30. You have a physical body.
    It must be protected or you will die. If people were indifferent to death, there
    would be no people. Other then food, clothing, and clean shelter nothing else is
    needed to be happy. Buddhism is the "religion of no religion." Study it.

    1. Anon,

      "For example, when an engine breaks down....

      The answer? Study yourself"

  26. The concept parallels how Soldiers are trained to function in an urban conflict. Because of the complexity of a metropolitan environment and the number of directions a threat can exist in, standard attention patterns are overwhelmed with input and fail (resulting in death). Through decentralizing focus, it allows a faster response to a more broad number of possibilities.

    To add levity, I will also point out that the "magic eyes" puzzles of our youth are conceptually the same thing on a much smaller scale.

  27. Welcome to zen...

    1. Oh...and enjoying the book...

  28. M.E., I enjoyed reading this post, and being a subscriber to The New Yorker, I remember reading the full article at the time of its publication. I believe the author did a great job at describing how attention deconcentration manifests.

    I also liked the brief post from yesterday on Karma, and would like to add the following:

    “Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don't even notice it.” Sakyong Mipham

    1. Stay Smart, are you aspie or schizoid, do you know? How old are you? What's your occupation?

  29. Anon,

    I have already answered the first part of your question before on this blog - more than once, that is. Further, no, there is nothing schizoid about me. I can see how saying that being a gifted person might be taken as a "pathology," such as being schizoid, by “some” of the commentators on this site. What's more, I have seen instances in my life, as well as on this blog, when people told the truth and, in return, they were accused of being schizoid or of being afflicted with some other mental disorder by those who seek to deceive or to hide. In addition, they were called offensive names and shunned so they would no longer be heard by others.

    1. are u a victim?

    2. why do ya think ya is gifted?

    3. I don't see Stay Smart as a victim. What I can also see is that Stay Smart is very eccentric, which is also being part of being gifted and talented. A lot of those people are really quirky, and can act in highly eccentric ways when finding themselves, or when being placed, in certain situations. Also, unlike popular belief, they don't always do things "by the book."

    4. Anon,

      While I don't mean to speak on Stay Smart's behalf, based on my knowledge about gifted and talented individuals, being gifted is not a matter of what one "thinks," as in having a "belief" about it. As Stay Smart wrote in a recent comment, they are tested and identified at a very young age, a long process which entails more than just a simple IQ test (i.e., intelligence and emotional IQ, since both are important). From there, they go on to gifted and talented schools, which might also be something that Stay Smart attended. They take the S.A.T. test in 8th grade (or younger, depending on the gifted and talented school/program they attend), present ORIGINAL projects or ideas at universities around the country at that same age or during their high school years, and receive a high number of awards in the area of high interest and talent/proficiency. These are just a few things, and again, being gifted is more than just a matter of “thinking.” What you also need to keep in mind is that most gifted children or adults are usually highly proficient or very talented in a particular area (i.e., demonstrating ORIGINALITY, since this is THE most essential component as opposed to highly excelling and succeeding as many, non-gifted and talented people do in certain areas), and I'm mentioning this point because people have a certain misconception when it comes to gifted individuals, namely that they must be gifted in everything (i.e., "Well, if he is so gifted, then why does he get high marks in this area and low marks in the another?" or "Why is he successful in this complex, abstract project or writing, but, sometimes, lacks common sense!?"). So, and this is quite simple, some gifted and talented children or adults may show above-average talent in music, art or writing, whereas some may exhibit higher than average abilities in science or math. Moreover, some are right-brain dominated in terms of heightened proficiency/talent, whereas others are left-brain dominated. This is also an important, extended test that involves a lot more than just the measurement of one’s intellectual IQ.

  30. Sorry if you think there is a “God”; strikes me as utterly absurd. At the very least, evolution describes how human beings came to be. Bottom line, we are animals with complex brains, the only ones fully self conscious, self aware, and able to comprehend our own mortality (a barrier blocking other cunning animals from passing the “I am going to die; why don't I just kill myself and get it over with” dilemma? Which we do by constantly lying. To others and to ourselves.) Pretending that there is a “God”; pretending that life is “fair” (note yesterday's discussion thread about Karma) with either “Heaven and Hell” or Karma, both of which are complete nonsense. We are herd/flock/hive social animals trying to form a group mind, now in its most primitive form as the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    We try to understand objective reality (empiricism and science, relatively late developments in our species' cultural development. Overall, most of us have empathy (or we would have destroyed ourselves once we invented nuclear weapons) but we are generalists and some of us at one extreme of our omnivore physical and cultural development are pure predators, rather like cats in that we are pure predators and hunters with amazing powers of concentration and alertness. As today's post touches on.

    Go forth and kill and eat something. Then once your hunger and blood lust has been sated, come sit in my lap and purr while I stroke you. Just don't eat me. Well, that way. The other way is fun.

    1. Life is absurd although not necessarily utterly so. All reliable empirical data agrees that reality popped into existence in an instant.

      Why? How?

      We no know.

      Under these circumstances, the concept of God is not more nor less absurd than.... whatever you wish to believe or not.

      So whether or not one believes in some kind of God is a matter of preference. If belief in God enriches you, great. If not, oh well.

      What role empathy might play in the absence of nuclear war is highly debatable.

      MADD is not empathetic logic. It's cold, selfish, survivalist logic.

      Empathy hasn't stopped humans from slaughtering each other en masse throughout all known history.

      I love empathy; I'm highly empathetic. But it's just another character trait, a psychological construct. M.E.'s relative lack of empathy excludes her from certain exquisite passions and also protects her from certain excruciating emotional pains.

  31. I know it as "the mind of no mind." It's basically just allowing yourself to flow with your surroundings. I learned (but did not master) the concept in Kendo. Imagine putting your cerebral cortex into a trance and hyping up your cerebellum. Everyone has probably experienced it at some point in their lives because we all naturally do it.

    If you play an instrument you know that thinking out your next chords in your mind will cause you to skip or biff certain notes. Same thing with dancing or playing a video game. Certain parts of these exercises require an active mind but most of it is best left to this altered mentality.

    My Kendo teacher told me he would routinely use this mentality to walk down streets in Japan. Seemed stupid but he noticed that he'd bump into less people and get shit on by less birds.

    It's not magic or fluffed up spirituality or anything...I'd imagine it's just an evolutionary throwback to when we were chasing down mammoths or other prey. Back then you had to keep time with your cohorts and regulate your breathing. Lose the animal, lose the meal. Thinking too much would probably fuck up the rhythm.

    It can be pleasurable...but the problem with that is as soon as your recognize the pleasure of "the flow" your brain reactivates and you lose it. Tricky business.

    Enough prattling.

  32. Just look for the thing that is doing the looking and you'll experience this phenomenon:

  33. Billy jean is not my lover

    1. MOONWALKER @ 5000 WATTSDecember 4, 2014 at 8:02 PM


    I like this one

  35. Well, this deconcentration concept sounds similar to what my sociofriend describes when he talks about somebody making him angry. I do not think I understand it fully, other than intellectually. Meaning that I do not think I have experienced it to the level described. I have experienced flow, many times, but I think this is different.

    1. MOONWALKER @ 5000 WATTSDecember 4, 2014 at 8:30 PM


      Many people "DeHub" as explained, but the intensity level can differ significantly from one individual to another. Right, it can occur with strong anger, too...

      < HUBing >

      < DeHUBing >

  36. Actors do it. Its called a Being state.

  37. I broke up with my girlfriend. It's funny because she was with me through my journey of finding out that I was indeed a socio. And she said she understood and would work with me through this.

    But I had gotten bored of the relationship and didn't feel like staying with her out of gratitude for being with me through the journey.

    I felt no guilt or remorse for leaving her and it's funny because prior to the break up and after discovering I was a socio she tried to get me to stay with her for 6 months and after 6 months she promised to let me go.

    Lmao the audacity to think that I would stay with her and deny myself for another 6 months after wearing a mask for the past 6 months had me chuckling.

    On a serious note in "Thus Spake Zarathustra", Nietsche notes that "what we recognize in a man we irritate in him" and I realized that I wasn't comfortable with her knowing I was a socio. That wasn't information I was comfortable with her knowing because I didn't trust her not to use It against me and out me. I was wondering if anybody else had the issue of leaving when we realized the other person knew toomuch about us than we were comfortable with sharing?

    1. MOONWALKER @ 5000 WATTSDecember 4, 2014 at 8:48 PM


      The sheer display of your fake "concoction" belongs next to yesterday's hex-comments about Dr. Brave as spell caster.

    2. Pubescent thinking - ("...and out me.")

      CATMAN "disguise" - ("what we recognize in a man we irritate in him")

  38. I don't worry about anything, except winning (or more precisely, 'beating you'). It serves me well!

  39. Potofbeans, and here I had to go through an elaborate plan and theatricals to make my ex socio leave me and stay away from was all her idea or so she thinks he he he. ..

  40. It looks like the article is at


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