Posts Tagged ‘future’

Learning Presence

September 12, 2013

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

My fingertips surprise me when I allow them to translate directly from my soul without filter. When I returned to this blog last week, I responded to a comment from Laurie (Speaking from the Heart ) by saying: “The more I learn, the less I know. I have seen, heard, and felt SO much that all I can say is that I know even less than I knew three years ago because my learning has far exceeded my knowledge. Now I have to go write a blog about that.”

So, here I am . . . writing a blog about that—the more I learn, the less I know.

At the age of four or five, I was complete. I knew everything I needed to know. My memories of that time are curled up in an idyllic cloud of nested satisfaction. During that brief period in my life, I had no worries about the past or the future. I was totally caught up in the present and that was enough.

Life happened and the world caught me in its grip of reminiscence and anticipation. Consequences began to haunt me. The future held shadows that foretold of events to come.

Learning became a cognitive process that created more questions. Half a century later, I stand at the edge of knowledge cliff facing a vast emptiness of unknowing.

I have learned that I often get what I have asked for only to find out that I have asked for something that is not good for me.

I have learned that no one is really in charge of life here on earth except the laws of physics and nature.

I have learned that we create our existence.

I have learned that nothing has to happen and everything will.

What I don’t know is how to put what is best for me first.

What I don’t know is how to help others see that we can only be in charge of ourselves and if we just do that, we might cause less harm to others.

What I don’t know is how to create a daily existence that is based on everything I write about here.

What I don’t know is how to let nothing happen.

I am learning ever . . . so . . . slowly . . . that if I just watch my life and live from my true presence, something will happen.

And it might be better than what I had planned.

©2013 Barbara L. Kass

the presence of knowledge

March 20, 2011

Awareness is a tricky adventure. We are aware, at some level, either consciously or unconsciously, of all that exists and all that happens. If we were to consciously recognize the totality of existence, it would overwhelm our limited human capacity. Our psychological safety net is that we will only become aware of that which we are ready and able to be aware of.

I told you it was tricky . . . but hang on. It gets better.

A friend sent me the link to a 4-minute video about the Hubble telescope (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAVjF_7ensg.

The Hubble recording brought us knowledge that we did not have before. It discovered hundreds of galaxies a bazillion light years away, recorded that knowledge, and brought it back to us. Now we know it, too. The universe knew of their existence upon their birth. The Hubble did not learn anything new, and neither did we. Our awareness grew. The telescope simply channeled the truth and reality in outer space to us. We will channel that knowledge into various aspects of our lives (for me, it mostly deepens the mystery of existence).

We do not own this knowledge. We did not create this knowledge. We think we created the Hubble telescope, but actually, we channeled the knowledge of how to build the Hubble. It is a shamanistic viewpoint – the channeling of ability and knowledge. A doctor is a shaman. A teacher is a shaman. You are a shaman. We all channel the knowledge that is already known and use it for our own purposes. All that we have invented comes from channeled knowledge. We invented antibiotics from channeling the knowledge we gleaned when we discovered penicillin. We invented the airplane from watching birds fly.

The answers to everything already exist. Everything that is to be known is already known. As every event occurs, it is instantaneously known to our universe. Because we are connected most intimately with our universe at the spiritual and cellular level, we know it, too. As soon as someone says “What if . . .?” or “Is there . . .?” “How can I . . .?” the universe begins compiling that information to make it possible. The result may take two hundred human years to manifest, but it will manifest.

If, for example, within your wider desire for humanity, you want an end to war as a method to resolve conflict, keep it in your thoughts. Know that the solution is already formed while we speak. It may take several generations for us to become aware of it, but it will happen.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

the perfection of presence

November 17, 2010

I witness the capacity of some people (really very few) who can be fully present with another person. Most people I encounter, including myself, are busy thinking about what their response is going to be (in other words, thinking about themselves) rather than being present for the other person. In order to fully hear another person, we need to remain silently present, absorbing all of the information that person is offering with their speech, their bodies, and their emotions.

I read my mantra – How will I bring my presence to life today? – every time I flip open my laptop. It is my screen background. But it does not matter. Many days, it gets mentally filed behind a dozen or so seemingly more pressing issues. Being the habitual human that I am, I forget to be present for others to my fullest capacity. I wander through my days so full of my past and securing my future that I live in limbo between this past moment and the next.

Limbo, by the way, comes from the Latin word “limbus” meaning boundary, border, or edge. In ancient Roman Catholic theology, it is also the place where souls who are not considered worthy of living in either heaven or hell spend their eternity.

It is an eternity of waiting to go nowhere. If I live in limbo, I am never going to be fully present, which means I will never accurately hear what another person is saying. I will miss a lot of their message because my mind will be preoccupied with me.

Our bodies are always in the present moment even though our minds might take our thoughts and energies elsewhere. To be fully present, my thoughts must remain with my body, with the presence of who I am being in this immediate now. I must bring my energies close to me and use their gifts.

Perfecting my presence is a challenge when my mind is squawking like a goose at anything that wanders within my attention. Our minds are egocentric – they were created to help us survive. They are constantly scanning our environment and, when someone comes to interact, the mind’s job is to scrutinize all possible responses and select the one that it thinks takes the best care of us. I believe, though, that there is a way to be fully present for myself and the other person.

Over the next seven days, I am going to conduct a self-experiment. At each encounter I have with another person, I am going to respectfully ask my mind to remain present with that person and trust that I will still be able to take care of me appropriately.

It should be interesting.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of . . . data analysis?

September 30, 2010

It is Saturday evening and January is visiting. She is now in the third grade and packs a book with her wherever she goes.

We sit down to dinner and ask her: “So, January, how are things in the third grade?”

“Great,” she says.

“Are you learning a lot?”

She nods vigorously because her mouth is full of chicken.

“What are you learning right now?

January swallows and says, “Data analysis.”

The fork with my food on it stops halfway to my mouth. Data analysis?

“Data analysis?” I say out loud. But you are only in the third grade! (I say this only to myself.)

“Yes.”

I am still disbelieving so I say, “What kind of data analysis?”

I get the perfunctory 8-year-old eye roll which tells me I must be a real dummy but January is too polite to say so.

“You know, Grandma. It is where you take numbers and put them on a chart or a graph to tell you what the numbers mean.”

Oh.

But you are only in the third grade, I scream inside my head. When I was in the third grade, we had just finished addition and subtraction and were beginning to learn multiplication and division. Then I remembered that last year, in the second grade, January was already learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions (something I still occasionally have to look up the rules for . . . especially that dividing thing). I don’t think I even heard the word “data” much less connected with “analysis” until I was in high school.

While my befuddled brain is still trying to reconcile this information, January says, “And I’m taking keyboarding, too.”

Keyboarding? Now, I know I am ancient. Keyboarding (aka typing) was definitely a high school subject.

The accelerated life skills programming going on becomes clear. Our lives are evolving faster than our skill sets can keep up with them and January is riding that wave of evolutionary learning. She is not in an advanced or gifted class. She is in a standard third-grade public school class, but she already uses a computer regularly and, like most children I know, can figure out any remote control device.

She was born into the mainstream of a technological society and her brain has the capacity to absorb data and transform it into life skills that meet the demands of that society. Someone is looking into the future and asking the question, “What will we need to learn now so that we will be ready?”

While I make every effort to live in the present, humans are gifted with foresight, and we should all be asking ourselves that question: what is it that I need to learn now to meet the demands of my life tomorrow?

©Barbara L. Kass

A fertilizing presence

May 15, 2010

As I promised myself, I took yesterday’s blog to work to remind me of what my intent is. All day long, I kept thinking “this moment is tomorrow’s fertilizer.” And, I thought, “I hope it smells okay.”

Occasionally, I would think “One of these tomorrows, I will have to pay for all this doo-doo I am spreading around here today.” I know what THAT will smell like.

And you thought this was going to be something about fertility or having babies — something pleasant that smells real pretty.

Nope. I’m growing different stuff here. I’m growing tomorrow.

Because we are gifted with past memory and the ability to anticipate our future, we know how life has been in the past. While we cannot guarantee how life will be tomorrow, we know enough to rely on the fact that if nothing changes, our tomorrow will pretty much be like today.

But, of course, life changes. Sometimes we are in charge of the change. Sometimes, change seems random and arbitrary . . . more like it happens to us rather than because of us. There is even a school of thought and theory that believes we are the cause of everything that happens in our lives.

And it does not matter if we believe that theory or not. What matters is tomorrow is going to happen (even if your body dies, you will continue to exist), so what do we want to plant today to grow tomorrow?

In each moment, I have to be completely present so that I can be present for the next moment. That is the first seed I work to plant each day. Next, I pay attention to my eternal presence and respond with the thoughts, words, and actions that are congruent with my true presence. That is my fertilizer. I like who I am finding: someone who loves peace and tranquility but who also loves to work through challenges . . . someone who knows there is enough in the world for everyone so most of our conflict in this reality is just made-up nonsense . . . and someone who believes in her power to create tomorrow by taking care of today.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass