Posts Tagged ‘eternal’

Observing presence

October 13, 2011

There are three of me.

One is the persona I wear for external exhibition. This is the one who has a tendency to act impulsively and to demonstrate emotional outbursts. She is also the one who guards and protects, reacting from an instinct as ancient as the stars.

One is the director of that persona. My external persona checks in often with the director, asking questions like “Is this an appropriate time for an expletive?” The director runs instantaneous, faster-than-light assessments that take into account all possible responses and all possible (as well as a few impossible) consequences of those responses. The director judges and determines right and wrong, good and bad, and what is worthy and a waste of my time. And my external persona complies with those directions . . . usually.

The third persona watches them both. It is the presence that I claim as eternal – the one who simultaneously has the wisdom of heaven and all the innocence of a child. This presence does not worry about outcomes, time, the past, or the future for it exists in the eternal present. This presence knows it will always exist.

Some would call it a higher self. This is the part of me that stands back and observes. While I might name this presence feminine, my experience is that being is genderless. This self observes me in all my witless gyrations and struggles to make it through life intact. All that am learning and becoming manifests within this eternal presence. Who I become in this life is who I will carry with me into the next existence. It does not matter who I used to be. What matters is who I am right now.

Sometimes I become four of me.

Occasionally, I become a presence that is a full integration of these three selves . . . a whole being who is completely present and fearless. For an instant, I am tremendously aware that I am this peaceful, tranquil being on the forever journey of becoming. In the next instant, I fragment again into my individual personas and watch myself remember who I truly am.

©2011 Barbara L. Kass

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An eternal presence in the Eternal City

May 27, 2011

I am vacationing in the Eternal City of Rome, Italy. The Romans believed that Rome would always exist as the ruler of its empires so that is why it is called the Eternal City. Rome continues its eternal presence in the world, but its empire consists only of a frenzied concoction of busy streets, closely stacked buildings, and crumbling ruins. Within all of this confusion, though, is a populace of people who work hard, play hard, and take siestas.

I visited the Colosseum and its neighbors, Palatine Hill and The Forum. The Colosseum was not the most important part of Roman rule, but it gets the most press. It is a vast stadium (not much unlike the present day football stadiums) where gladiators (usually slaves and criminals) dealt death to each other and thousands of animals captured and imported from faraway lands. It was difficult to find quiet and silence among the hundreds of people visiting, but it was too easy to imagine that I still heard the cacophony of cheers and jeers that smothered the weeping and cries of the condemned. Looking down, I could see the walls and corridors where the animals were kept. They must have been consumed with confusion, fear, and rage. None of them would live to return to their homeland.

These games ended about 1500 years ago, but we still like to gather in stadiums and witness victory and defeat in the fields below. The difference is that most of our gladiators will live to fight another day and retire into old age.

Only a few of the homes and buildings of Palatine Hill and The Forum, where Roman law was enacted and high society lived, still exist. The foundations of long-deceased structures can still be seen in the ground as excavators sweep away years of sand and grass. My eyes consume the same scenes as ancient Romans: the Colosseum in the distance, the bricks of the house of Octavius Augustus Caeser, a stark and brilliant sun in a sky-blue heaven . . . it is the same, but it is different.

We are different, but we are the same as those Romans. We are still barbaric in the way we feast upon the misfortunes and deaths of others, yet we have built an infrastructure of sewers and cities that are marvels and miracles. The Romans built their plumbing from lead, however, and it is supposed that many of the elite suffered from lead poisoning. We, too, have poisoned ourselves and continue to do so in ways we have yet to discover.

My presence here feels like a weary breath. We are revisiting what we have already created once–a way of being that did not . . . could not . . . last. My question is: can we restructure what we have built or do we let it crumble into ruins to build upon it again?

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

vulnerable presence

May 22, 2010

On my second day of being aware of how I am powerless in the world, this is what stood out for me:

• The eventual demise of my kitty, Magic
• Whether the plant I transplanted will survive
• Keeping the deer away from the hibiscus and new fruit-bearing trees
• Whether the people I live with will clean up after themselves
• If it will rain today
• What the heck are we going to do about that oil leak in the Gulf?

There are consequences for being in the world. Being powerless makes me vulnerable. When the Magic-cat moves on to the next iteration of her existence, she will leave me behind and I will miss her companionship. If that plant dies, I will wonder if it was through some neglect on my part. Keeping my plants and trees completely safe from marauding deer would require an immense indoor terrarium or tactics not completely legal that would also land me on the wrong side of the Bambi Society. Not being able to make people clean up after themselves reflects my concern over the larger scope of responsibility we all have to each other on a global scale. Whether it rains or not does not matter to me – I just want to know when so I can organize my exercise schedule. And that mess on the ocean floor – well, other than going to get my hair cut at a salon that will donate the hair to help the efforts to soak it all up – there is nothing I can do. I can’t plug the leak. And it makes me afraid.

Being powerless largely results in being vulnerable. A near and dear friend of mine admitted to feelings of fear over being vulnerable and being open. He said that the irony in this is that the very people he most wants to love and accept him respond with love and acceptance when he lets them see who he really is. He believes that the reason he wants acceptance and love from these people is that he senses that they resonate with, appreciate, and need his authentic self. He said “the love that we need most is from those who most need who we really are.”

Then, he said, “Authenticity always plays better than the roles/persona we manufacture in search of acceptance.”

What I has been coming to the surface for me is my need for my eternal presence (aka: authentic self) to connect with the “me” persona (the me who I perceive myself to be and the me I present to the world) and become more and more of my true presence in all of my interactions. No more guarding and hiding — when I am connected with my true presence and am being my true presence, guarding and hiding are nonissues; they are unnecessary because I am whole no matter what happens.

I believe (and I am testing this out in small increments) that the eternal presence/authentic self in each of us recognizes that presence in others. In that connection, no one is afraid. We are living from truth and the wisdom that comes from the beginning of existence of who we really are. If I can make a connection with the eternal presence in others in every circumstance, I think I would be a more effective counselor, and certainly a more whole and effective person in the world. But first, I need to connect with all of me and live more and more consistently as my true presence.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass