Flavors of present

Some flavors of present…

Whenever there is a strong belief in the stories of past, future and present, they seem quite substantial and real. The present appears on the razor’s edge between past and future, and it is a difficult balancing act to “stay present”. It is easy to get absorbed into stories about the past and future and experience them as real and substantial.

“Being present” here may be taken as focusing on stories about the (apparent) present, and push aside stories about the past and future. (And then discover that it is not very functional.) Or there may be a temporary shift out of stories and an experience of the timeless now, but a switch back into experiencing the stories of the three times as real as soon as they come back.

As the identification with the stories of past, future and present is released somewhat, we have a more immediate recognition of them as stories only. As mental field creations with a practical function, a tool for our human self to function in the world. It is possible to engage with these stories while recognizing them as just stories.

Early on, it may be easier to recognize the past and future as mental field creations, as (often very helpful) imaginations.

As this clarifies, there is also a recognition of the present as a story, a mental field creation overlaid on the other sense fields. Imaginations interpreting what is happening in the sense fields, in addition to an overlay of the story of present.

The gestalts of past, future and present are still there, and recognized as gestalts as they happen.

The most direct way to become familiar with all of this may be to explore it through the sense fields.

First, bring attention to each sense field – one at a time. (Sensation, sound, sight, taste, smell, mental field.) What is happening within each field?

Then, bring attention to the mental field and generate a thought about the past. Can you see how it is just a thought? Do the same with a story about the future.

Also, notice how the mental field creates overlays for the sense fields. Close your eyes and visualize the body. Move your hand and notice how the image of a hand moves and combines with sensations in space to create the gestalt – and experience – of a hand moving. Notice how an image comes up to interpret sounds.

Then, generate the idea of the present. Notice how that too is a mental field overlay on what is happening in the sense fields.

Then repeat. And repeat. Explore. Gradually become more familiar with what is going on in the different sense fields, how the mental field combines them into gestalts, and what happens when these gestalts are taken as substantial and real, and what happens when they are recognized – as they happen – as gestalts only.

Initial outline…

  • Present
    • w/in stories, as between past and future, knife’s edge
      • caught up in stories, take them as real
      • absorbed into stories of past/future, don’t notice all happens here now
      • may try to stay “in the present”, not get caught up in stories of past/future (a struggle)
    • as that which everything happens within, including stories about past, present, future
      • can freely use those stories, w/out getting caught up in them
      • when clear, see there is not even a “present” – that too is just a mental field creation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.