I use the word Deep Presence here because many people think that they know Presence and know what Presence is. And this is actually impossible. All knowledge of anything, including Presence, including God, is dragging the past into the Present and this makes the true knowing of Presence impossible. Presence is not in the past. God is not in the past. It is always alive in this moment. Anything remembered from one second ago is the past. Presence and God only exist in this eternal moment and nowhere else. You, your family and the world also only exist in this eternal moment and nowhere else.
It is very important to understand and accept this truth. For most people not only Presence and God, but themselves and the world too, are only thoughts. To understand Presence, God, themselves and the world, they seek more knowledge believing that this will help them. Unfortunately this only moves them further and further away from what is always alive and new in every moment. Instead of Presence, God, themselves and the world, they only experience thoughts, knowledge and beliefs about these things. They only experience the past, not what is real. The real can only be experienced in this eternal moment, in Presence.
To experience Presence, we must shed all knowledge of Presence. We must shed all knowledge of everything. If we drag the past into Presence it is no longer Presence. One good tool for doing this is to repeat “I don’t know what this is.” about everything you perceive, think or feel. This helps erase the attachment to the past. You must do this with the complete understanding and acceptance that this is entirely true. You don’t know what anything is. Your knowing, no matter how profound or how attached you are to it, are only limited thoughts. And these thoughts are all from the past, not Presence.
In Presence, you are like a new born infant experiencing the world for the very first time. Everything is fresh and alive and new. And you don’t know what any of it is. It is a continuously unfolding miracle. That is the experience of Presence.
You don’t know what you are. Any knowledge of you or the continuation of a self story is also just the past. This idea of you cannot experience Presence as it itself is the past. In Presence this idea of you dissolves completely.
When you dissolve, what is here, what is always here in Presence is God. It is not separate from anything you experience. The word God is not necessary either. Nor is the word Presence. All words can have the attachment of the past in them, past knowledge, past experiences.
“I don’t know what this is.” Erase. Erase. Let go. Let go. In every moment continuously let go to this eternal Presence. Enjoy the continuous unfolding of this miracle. You don’t need to know what this is. Let it be what it is without trying to understand or interpret it. It cannot be understood or interpreted and still be what it is. Allow life, allow reality, to unfold as it is. As soon as you attempt to grab hold of it with some interpretation, understanding or knowledge, it is no longer real. It is no longer Presence. Just let it unfold as it is. It is always benefiting you. If you are truly Present, you will experience its absolute perfection. So let it be. You cannot add anything better than what is already always here. Let go. Act as you are spontaneously inspired to. You don’t need to know why. Just trust. Just be present. Just be.
In the human world, being Present is extremely rare. My friend Steve says, “Presence is the least visited place on earth.” But if you can find someone who is Present, hang around with them. Be in their Presence. Soak in their Presence. It will trigger your own Presence. If you can’t be with them in person, it is possible to do this with spiritual teachers on the Internet through YouTube videos and even books and writings. Both Mooji and Eckhart Tolle are very Present beings. And, even better, BE that rare person who lives in Presence and help others visit this least visited place. Perhaps, if you do, it will no longer be such a rare experience for humans.
James Powell says
Very interesting view, very deep. BUT unfortunately, no one truly allows themselves to interpret life this way. We are born, taught as young to adulthood by parents or by experience of life. But few seem to be aware of the depth of existence. Religion, to me, no offense, seems to be a form of control of thought and only deviates from person to person, but for many this is the way. The way of What? Many including myself go to church but we all have a feeling if “we know right and wrong”. Many conform to church as a guide which is good if you believe that the bible is the only truth. But at times we feel a greater force not good not evil, just perception of reality. But what is reality? Life truly is a dream, maybe presence is all we can embrace…so what is, what is, what is……..
Presence is good to embrace. It is certainly available for everyone. To embrace it simply means to stop embracing thoughts. One way is to keep an open question and discard any and all answers that come. This practice fosters an empty mind that is open to be filled with life itself. This is conscious presence, the realization of presence beyond words and thoughts.
Because of our conditioning we believe that this is difficult, but in every moment it is completely available. It only takes a willingness to let go of our attachment to thoughts and our belief that they represent reality. Once we truly realize and remember that thoughts are just thoughts, not reality, not Truth, we can begin to let go of our attachment to them and belief in them. This is where true freedom begins. This is where life becomes life again. 🙂
Aloha Peter I love this piece on presence . Let me know what you think (or what springs up within you !) regarding my interpretation. First there is awareness / consciousness then we have a intellectual interpretation after the fact . So our past thoughts and instilled beliefs filter what we see hear taste etc. That interpretation is what is sin or how we miss the mark. Like you say tell yourself you don’t know what it is . Because in essence we have never really truly seen it ,just labelled it . Going a bit further ,there isn’t a real any one who experiences the event ,just a shadow …..is the ego or the thought of the ego just past thoughts? In recognition of this false self the realization of the Buddha or Christ Consciousness ? Also the thoughts seam to have hold of the body or matter ,what are thoughts exactly ? I also thought of this verse from the Bhagavad-Gita : “Since you accept me and do not question, Now I shall tell you that innermost secret: Knowledge of God Which is nearer than knowing,open vision direct and instant . Understand this And be free for ever From birth and dying With all their evil”
Thank You as always Peter – satchitananda, Rob
This is a good understanding, Rob. Thank you. But, as you say, it is an interpretation. I like the verse you included from the Bhagavad Gita. That has a very good energy to it. What we truly understand is beyond words and beyond the ability to be put into words. Yet some words contain an energy that points to what is beyond words. This verse seems to do that.
You are right, first there is Truth, awareness / consciousness. That is always here. Nothing can change this. Then we add layers of interpretation in trying to understand that which is always here. Eventually these layers of interpretation take over our attention and we stop directly experiencing what is always here. Instead our awareness remains on the layers of interpretation. The layers of interpretation become our reality. And the ego itself is also created from and not separate from these layers of interpretation. It has no self-existing nature. It only exists as thoughts. So the way to know our True Self is to let go of all these interpretations and return to the consciousness that is before we added all these interpretations, return to what is always here and can never be altered by any interpretations we have of it.
Thank you, Rob. This is a good understanding. But the best understanding is the freedom from all thoughts, the freedom from knowing or interpreting anything. Somehow here in this deep peace and silence, all questions are immediately answered. 🙂
This is why I come to your satsangs. It does not matter what you say, it even does not matter if I fell asleap 🙂
The Presence works, and I soak in it.
Wonderful. Thank you, Tomislav.