Experiencing Presence: Is It Time?
What if our current obsession with productivity and efficiency shifted? What if we woke up tomorrow morning and the world we lived in valued presence over productivity? What if there was no rushing or need for busyness?
Author Annie Dillard suggests “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And at the root of presence is our ability to live life with awareness and experience everything in the moment.
If we spend the next two weeks observing and listening to conversations, we will notice that many of us talk about the past or the future. Have you ever taken notice, what stories people share around you? And what stories do you focus on?
The Presence of Life is to Be Experienced
Alan Watts observed that our inability to be present gets in the way of our ability to experience joy and happiness: “The “primary consciousness,” the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment.
The ingenious brain, however, looks at that part of present experience called memory, and by studying it is able to make predictions. These predictions are, relatively, so accurate and reliable (e.g., “everyone will die”) that the future assumes a high degree of reality—so high that the present loses its value.
But the future is still not here, and cannot become a part of experienced reality until it is present.
Since what we know of the future is made up of purely abstract and logical elements—inferences, guesses, deductions—it cannot be eaten, felt, smelled, seen, heard, or otherwise enjoyed. To pursue it is to pursue a constantly retreating phantom, and the faster you chase it, the faster it runs ahead.
This is why all the affairs of civilization are rushed, why hardly anyone enjoys what he has, and is forever seeking more and more. Happiness, then, will consist, not of solid and substantial realities, but of such abstract and superficial things as promises, hopes, and assurances.”
Happiness isn’t about making our experience better but remaining in presence and letting life evolve naturally. “To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening,” shares Alan Watts.
When we travel along our path, we can become increasingly aware that there is no destination in life—just life itself. Imagine if we value presence over accomplishing and achieving success, what would our world look like?
There’s strength in uncovering pure joy and rewiring our energy source to experience everything.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on this crazy and amazing journey; right now at this moment.