What Keeps Us From Being Present?

My arrival at our agreed venue was at 7:30 in the morning after an overnight bus trip. Every time I make the trip using the overnight bus, I promise myself that I will never do it again. Of course, those groups of thoughts do not know the other group who monitor the mundane affairs of the world like budget, expenses, etc. Upon arriving, after greeting my fellow day-trippers and a brief breakfast, we set out on our excursion.

When I first heard it, (still somewhat travel worn) it sounded like a piece of glib sophistry. ‘What keeps us from being present is….nothing!’. I enjoy offering ideas and concepts as well as receiving and discussing them with like-minded souls, but this idea seemed to only go so far. At a certain point, there must also occur the effort of being the words. The more we spoke about it, the more I kept hearing it, the more it irritated. Yes, theoretically, it is true, but it seemed to lack the relativity of what it takes to get to the state of presence. And yet…

The less I indulged in the discomfort of the previous night’s journey and made efforts to be present, the more the words ‘rolled around’, till eventually, it was clear, that indeed, absolutely nothing stops me from being present, right now or at any time.

Observing more objectively my attitudes and beliefs about what prevents me from introducing and prolonging presence, my thoughts were led to examining imagination and identification. Imagination is…well, just that: imagination. Uncontrolled mind activity Peter Ouspensky’s astute description a shadow, a mockery of reality. Identification: the abdication of my Self for anyone or anything, i.e. sacrificing something for nothing. That fatal ‘nothing’ had appeared again.

The deeper the realization penetrated, that truly nothing prevents me from being present, so the question of what helps, began formulating. One answer came back like a reflection in a polished mirror: listening to my friends, who want nothing more for me than that which they already enjoy: divine wordless presence.

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