Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best Christmas Present: Presence

The beginning of the New Year is traditionally a time of renewal and reassessment.  For some of us that goes deeper than boxing up old things to make way for the new, or wrapping up financial figures to prepare our taxes and budget the upcoming year.  Taking a step back to witness ourselves, who we are, and how we relate, is also in order.  From the position of the witness, I can see a faceted triad of self - my self-image: my mental self portrait; my identity: the part of self formed in relation to others; and my presence: the dynamic, infinite self connecting the internal and external, beyond form yet recognizing forms such as thought and feeling as they arise and all other complexities of self that identity and self image assign.  All parts of the triad are developmentally important to me, all integral to who I am.

As I contemplate this triad, I consider that self image and identity can, but don’t always, give way to doubt.  Presence does not.  Presence unifies.  It does not hold me in separation of anyone or any event or any time because there is a flow in presence that unites the many and One.  When I view myself from the position of presence, there is no need to place a value on one aspect over another because all is experienced as constant, unified flow.  From the position of my self-image or identity, I find myself assigning values of good, bad, true, untrue, self, not self…and in a reassessment, doubt may arise – did “I” make a mistake?

Another observation is that the relationship between cause and effect changes when I witness myself from the position of presence.  Internal cause from the dynamic presence takes precedence, and external cause, like that from my worldly experience, others or even my own mental constructs of self image, become the effect.  My world does not change me, I change my world by changing my view to that of presence.  My DNA does not define me from birth, but changes as my consciousness changes.

It must be said that this is nothing new.  Mystics as old as written history have relayed these ideas to us.  They can be found it all the sacred texts.  But as I enter the New Year 2011, I feel an infinite gratitude, for entering in presence, surrounded by people that read what I write here, and enter with me, a large part of my smile.

What do YOU think?
Artwork by Alejandro Silveira Bruno.  Many thanks.

10 comments:

JK said...

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.

When you are really there, showing your loving-kindness and understanding, the energy of the Holy Spirit is in you.

THICH NHAT HANH from
Living Buddah,Living Christ

Nabil said...

Self-image, or self awareness is indeed the first word to be noted. It is what decides all the rest.

Identity, is of course the next step. It is the fitting of the image within reality. It depends on ability and potential.

Presence is who we are in the eyes of others

I like your adding of presence as it shows your awareness of the connection between the individual and the collective.

Bob said...

Christmas to me is a celebration of life, mothers, birth, babies. The eyes open—what is this? Later the child learns of death. What is this? The christ child teaches. Death comes soon enough. Stop killing. Let's see what happens when we do. Such an amazing awareness. So we praise him as a god.

Ron said...

Looked up the meaning/origin of Boxing Day, because our cleaning woman who comes in to help us to hose down our house inside and out every few weeks is Welsh. She is now a nationalized U.S. Citizen in case we ever decide to run for public office.

Our lovely Welsh helper told us that she celebrates Boxing Day, so we investigated. I had heard of it from my mother, who was half Welsh, but never knew any of the details. My mother didn't and our Welsh Lady didn't either. She just celebrated in the manner she was taught as a child. While the origins of the celebration may go back to Ancient Rome, it turns out that the British Aristocracy celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day, and of course they needed their servants to serve them while undergoing the process. The next day became known as Boxing Day as His and Her Nibs gave gifts to their servants and to the poor. Later on the tradition evolved into giving gifts to the poor on Boxing Day.

Nice tradition.

Aditya said...

s the presence u speak of same as awareenss spoken of by osho, in awareenss the idea of me being separate gives way to an all encompassing presence, awareness.

"My world does not change me, I change my world by changing my view to that of presence" that u which does not change is unchangable, it is sat chit ananda, for practicle day to day living it's our views and the moment they change, we change, no need to be attached to any particular view, u r free. as for DNA, it is default programming, if one's whole life one never does anything to work on one's awareness, consiousness, presence, then also some improvement in one's consiousness happnes by default, teh gradual process of evolution ! but if wakes up to one's own awareness and works on it, as requested by osho and mystics since time immemeorial, then default programing gives way to your presence and one can soar !

Wishing U and all readers, admireres of osho, zesus, mohammad, krishna,.... and wishing those too who are not yet awake to their own potential

Molly Brogan said...

I read a bit of Osho daily, and have for several years, although I probably do not have as firm an intellectual grasp on the material as many do, I can say have a powerful feel for it. To answer your question, yes,I understand the model I present is still a view, yet, on the path of return and integration, a view that includes and unites while recognizing the unity of all diversity. Thus, I feel, presence recognizes self in all life, and peace in all feeling.

Alija said...

Hi Molly,
I agree with you very, very much. Nothing of said is new as you mentioned above.
To live in presence is the ultimate goal, it is the enlightenment. Sometimes I feel the tears down my face reading some articles about living in Now and seeing myself relative to such thoughts.
I am not yet able to control my mind due to my too big desire for too many books I´d like to read and fill the gap I made for few decades being lost somewhere or nowhere in this materialistic world.
I am curious how much you are able to control your mind, how much are you able not to live in past or in future.
However, I am very much content with the changes in this field in the last few years.

Molly Brogan said...

For me, Alija, it was not so much a matter of controlling my mind as giving up control, or moving beyond mind. Letting thoughts come and go, not attaching memories or concepts to them, helps quiet the mind. A quiet mind is not something you can create, it happens with detachment from what goes through mind. Not detachment in an uncaring way, but simple recognition of what comes to mind, and then letting go without the complexity of mental constructs created by ego or identity or even self image (where memories of past and future speculation are brought to mind.)

My mind gets quieter as the years go on, and I find myself having fewer opinions while caring very deeply. That said, in times of stress or work, my mind is active. During these times, the mind can function like a vital organ, contributing its unique qualities to the life experience without being called upon to work overtime or dominate function.

I think there is a harmony to all systems in our human experience, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual...

I applaud your love of reading. "There is a blaze of light in every word, it doesn't matter which you heard, the holy or the broken Hallelujah." - Leonard Cohen
(that one's for you, Francis)

Feeling the Logos in our experience of language can be deeply spiritual.

Happy New Year, Alija, and thank you for all that you share here with me.

Molly

Michael said...

Like Jimi Hendrix said life is but a joke. God is laughing to a humorless audience. I mean that's it, nothing more to be said yet humans go on commiserating in perpetual misery. There is nothing to get. Nothing to understand. Hard to grasp but perhaps the only truth. Cause and effect. What cause and effect. The Force creates and destroys and nothing we do interferes.

Molly Brogan said...

I see self image as the picture we have of ourselves, and identity as our self in relation to others, our public image. Of course, the two are dynamic and integral to ego, requiring mental constructs. In my experience, I need to get beyond mind to have a viewpoint in presence. Thoughts and feelings may arise, I notice them, but no mental activity is required for them, no analyzing, identifying, associating, predicting, remembering...

This is just something I have been contemplating lately. I understand that the words and the model are by nature subjective. Thanks for sharing your understanding Carcha. For me, relation to others eventually boils down to a kind of cosmic consciousness, all others, all time, all space kind of thing. But then again, love passing from one to another is poignant and intense and unifying. How we relate is important, I know that, including how we relate to ourselves.

Thanks for playing. Molly