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Presence and Time

The idea of presence is easier to grasp intellectually than to achieve experientially.

Intellectually, presence is simply the ability to be in the present moment. You cannot be in the present moment if you are thinking about another moment. Therefore, to be in the present moment, you have to stop thinking. In order to stop thinking you have to step out of time. There are two types of time: clock time and psychological time. In the clock time world, the past and future exist. For example, in clock time we state specific times where we perform actions, such as visiting the movies at 7pm.

However, in psychological time, which is created by the mind, the past and future only appear to exist. In that reality, there is no past and there is no future. You cannot shake hands with the past and you cannot shake hands with the future. The only thing you can shake hands with is the present moment. The future and past are just thoughts inside your head. All there is and all there will ever be is the present moment.

Why has the mind created the concepts of past and future that thus traps you in time? The future is created because it provides the hope of salvation and the past provides a vessel to hold your identity. The reason you are not fully in this moment of now is because you believe that something is missing in your current moment and therefore you experience a sense of unfulfillment. You believe that if you acquire the things that are missing then your life i.e. the present moment will improve. The acquisition of things to make the present better is at the most a temporary gratification. Ultimately, there is nothing that you can add to this moment of now that will improve it. This moment of now is the best it is going to get. It is not going to get any better and initially, that concept is a very hard pill to swallow.

Why? Because in order to experience this, you must surrender and say ‘yes’ to your present moment. You must give up the future and fall in love with your present moment. You must stop resisting your present moment and merge into the present eternal moment of now. When you blend into the present moment you cease to identify your self as a separate ego, isolated from the rest. Instead, you have the realization that you are the space that contains the ego. This space could be called the higher self or the space of being.

The past on the other hand is a vessel created by the mind to hold your identity. Without this container to hold your past memories and experiences, who would you be? You would have to be the space of no thing or the space of nothingness. This concept presents a conflict within the mind because the purpose of the mind is survival and the survival of whatever it considers itself to be. The mind considers itself to be the sum total of everything that has been programmed into its database from birth until this moment of now. If the mind has identified itself to be its religion, nationality, values, beliefs,, political persuasions, sports teams, etc. and these things are threatened, it will thus defend itself, usually through an aggressive response, such as anger or fear. For better or worse, the mind wants all of your personality and traits to survive, Therefore, to say that you are not the content of the mind but rather that you are the space of nothingness is a direct threat to the survival of the mind.

Another challenge is that no two individual databases of knowledge are programmed the same. Your conditioned conceptual reality is entirely unique. This uniqueness creates the illusion of separation from the rest of mankind, which can be called your point of view or ego.

In order to transcend the past and thus step out of time, you must give up identifying yourself with various titles (e.g. as a Jewish New Yorker who likes the Yankees) and begin identifying yourself as the space encompassing those titles. To use an analogy of a room and furniture, you are not the furniture in the room. You are the space of the room that contains the furniture. Although everybody’s room contains different furniture, everybody’s room contains the same space

If you no longer identify yourself as the content of your database and you no longer believe that there is a better moment of now then you automatically will step out of time, reduce thinking and live your life more in the present moment of now. And, what will you discover in that moment of now? You will discover is peace, love, joy, bliss, compassion, happiness, relaxation and a sense of unity with all life.

These concepts of presence and time are distinctions I have been exposed to for many, many years. They represent guidelines, observations and tips I continue to learned and work on through experience and experimentation. I hope they prove useful and give you a fuller access into your moment of now.

Warm Regards,

Alan

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