Can one fix an attention on a reality?

Question : What is the meaning of the expression: fixing one's attention in order to know realities in time? 

Answer : This is clinging to the idea that realities are self. When sati does not arise and there is forgetfulness of realities. One takes realities for a "thing" which exists. For example, when there is seeing, people believe that they see a temple, hall, persons and different things which seem to exist. Whereas when there is panna it realizes that what appears through the eyesense are not people or different things but only visible object, a kind of element which appears through the eyesense. When we close our eyes that which was seen is no longer there; we can still think of people who are sitting, we can remember them, but such moments are different from the moments of seeing visible object which appears through eyesense. If someone closes his eyes and all the people would leave the temple hall, he might believe that there are still people inside the temple hall. This shows that the moments of thinking of concepts is altogehter different from the actual seeing. Realities arise and fall away, succeeding one another very rapidly. The realities which alternately appear through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodysense and mind are taken as a "whole", a person or a particular thing. We should not try to fix our attention on a reality at a certain moment in order to know it "in time", that is impossible. It is sati itself which is aware of the characteristic of the reality which is appearing, one characteristic at a time, until it is clearly understood, until it appears as non-self. 

Topic 99