Proof of the present

In the transformation stage of becoming more genuinely present, there is some difficulty in abandoning past habits of dwelling on the past or an imaginary future. Since these have been routines for decades they have become comfortable superstitions. For an A type personality who uses the past as a guide to chase future results, or the overanalytic intellectual who uses the present only to plan the future, or the nostalgic sentimentalist who dwells on past pleasure, hoping to recreate them, it is difficult to let go of other time benchmarks and focus on the present.

As someone who understands this difficulty for these reasons and others, there are common proofs which help demonstrate the value of the present. Being aware of verifiable proof that being in the present creates the most pleasure in life helps me get back to that state, I hope it does for you as well.

1. Did you ever notice how many great ideas come to you in bed? It could be just as you drift off to sleep, or as you start to wake up, a brainstorm of a fantastic idea comes to you. As you observe your brain developing the thought it becomes even more compelling. I think this happens at that moment because  you are completely in the present, even if unintentionally. There are no distractions of everyday life operations to drag your mind into future concerns or past resentment. It is only about now.
What normally happens next is that your mind starts to take over and think of how you can use this idea in the future and you start to chase it. Often the idea goes away or is hard to recreate mentally. This could be because the stillness of the present is gone too.
Instead of bolting out of bed to write it down or try to think of all the opportunities which would come from your great idea, why not try and get above the mind and be part of the present again. Even if that means going back to sleep. Then when awake later I focus on the present and it gets back to that state. Decidedly using the mind as a tool conjures allows the thought to come back on its own.

2. Consider all of the most valuable aspects of your life, most or all of which will be experiences, relationships, events, or other non-material things. Your best friends, greatest jobs, accomplishments, your children, family, and the like. Make a list if you want to. Be sure that we are both thinking of the “best” things, not the “most” things. Now look at each item on your “list” (mental or written) and remember how that thing came to be. Didn’t most or all of them come to you, rather than being something you were chasing? The greatest relationships are usually described as “we just found each other.” Genuinely happy couples usually aren’t the result of people chasing a relationship, they came unexpectedly. Even great jobs or business arrangements happen due to the right circumstances coming together. If you are thinking of a business or employment scenario which you think happened because of you pursuing it, really think about whether it was just an opportunity that came to you.
Your children, in effect come to you. You don’t choose them. And they are often the greatest things in a persons life. This was an example given to me which at first I could not understand. A parent was told that their child was lucky to have them, to which they replied that no, the child had chosen them. What seemed mystical at the time is so completely accurate. All of the significant pleasures come from allowing the flow of life to happen, and much of the pain comes from chasing future expectations of an artificial identity, or running from resentments of the past. Even great artists speak of their work as having just come to them.
When there is an apparent conflict between whether a “thing” is a positive aspect of life or not, such as a friend, job, or even a child, it may be because you have started to “chase” something about it. What was “good”when you let it be part of the present became “bad” when you tried to force some other time upon it, past or present. For example when a child becomes something that is annoying or brings pain, it could be because instead of being present in the now of that life, there has been an invasion of future expectations, resentment from the past, or other intrusions. The parent can project those things onto the child and create anxiety for both. This can happen with any relationship.

It is a slight paradox to have to think about past events to reinforce being present, but it may be a necessary evil until being able to be in the now consistently is easier.


~ by Dave on December 21, 2011.

One Response to “Proof of the present”

  1. […] also “Proof of the Present” GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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