Presence in the present

Joseph Campbell wrote: “Eternity is now. It doesn’t begin when you die. You’re in it NOW.”

These words helped me to crystallize the internal knowledge that I am an eternal presence. Still, my mind insists on wandering away from the “now” and I remind myself to “be present.” Just the words imply the assumption that there is a time other than the present moment and that is an illusion. There is no other time. (Actually, there is no “time” at all – but that is an argument for another day.) The present is eternal. We just have this little thing called a brain with a memory that can remember a past (that may or may not be accurate) and can invent a future (that may or may not occur). This knowledge is what helps me deepen into the present moment: be here now. be HERE now. BE here now. be here NOW. Where else could I be?

Being fully present is a little bit like being dropped into suspended animation – not that I know for sure (having never really been in suspended animation) but this is what I imagine it would feel like. I have had moments when life as usual felt like it was in suspended animation. Vacations, yoga retreats, writing workshops – all of these take me away from my normal life. My brain imagines that this normal life will be waiting for me after my time away. I envision this normal life as being a separate entity from me and it is just in suspended animation until I return to animate it again. Somehow, I will be different  . . . changed when I return. Without the normal noise of my busy life-as-usual, it is easier to connect with my eternal presence. I discover that I am not the life I am leading day to day. I am energy conducting a symphony of thoughts, emotions, and actions. I am not who I think, what I feel, or what I do. These thoughts, feelings, and actions are reflections of who I am and I when I really get that, my only desire is to remain present, eternally in the now, even as my mind and body deal with the past and prepare for the future.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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5 Responses to “Presence in the present”

  1. Snoopykg1 Says:

    I think this is a great explanation of the present.
    I was wondering during reading this if you have retreats
    Before? I say it NOW, I would be there in a heartbeat.


    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — I don’t have a retreat scheduled right now; if I plan one, would want to do it with someone like Laurie and a yoga instructor, too. I would do the spiritual and psychological introspection and healing parts. I want it to be five days with ample room for rest and relaxation. As soon as I put something together, I will let everyone know.

  2. Snoopykg1 Says:

    That would be awesome.

    I ‘ve never done yoga!


  3. holessence Says:

    “I am energy conducting a symphony of thoughts, emotions, and actions.”

    I really appreciate this post. Thank you!

    BE here now. Be HERE now. Be here NOW.

  4. sandiwhite Says:

    For all we know, this Human experience is just a training ground for something much wider, deeper, and broader, a scope we couldn’t imagine in our wildest dreams. True, we may have to repeat lessons again and again until we have mastered the subject, but we will eventually pass into a Higher Consciousness for what ever lies ahead. There is something to be learned and taken from the passage of everyday that will further our awareness of Eternity, if we will only acknowledge the lesson. Because as you say, this is Eternity, not someplace over the horizon or a place beyond the stars. We are the Beings, created in the dawn of time by the Giver of Life for His purposes, we only have to live and learn.

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