Where do your actions arise from? I notice that a great majority of my actions are first thoughts. Sometimes the actions occur so rapidly that I haven’t yet voiced the thoughts in my mind. Sometimes I assume I’m acting from present moment awareness, when in reality I am reacting to a thought. This raises the question, what actions would arise if unprovoked by thoughts and assumptions?
There are many things I know in my mind. I know that the present moment is the only place of true power. I know I only exist right now and will only ever experience this singular now. But just as my actions often arise from thoughts, these truths during periods of my life become only thoughts in my head.
When these spiritual truths are mere thoughts for me I lack all understanding of them; I don’t know what it truly is to live from a place of presence, to act unprovoked by thought, to live free from fear. My mind becomes extremely preoccupied with past and future, and that causes stress and anxiety. Sometimes I’m so afraid I can’t do anything at all.
I could say that this is where the universe comes in to provide a sign of its reigning presence in my existence and that grace will descend and enable me to let go of all the fear and identification that I grip onto as if my life depended on it. I often speak and learn from comfort. But as “fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys,” as Dickens puts it, I feel it is helpful to express the state of my consciousness in a moment such as this where it seems to burn dimly, when my consciousness lies in the glaring gap between my beliefs and my state of being.
Spiritual truths, when they are just thoughts in your head, cannot change your life experience. Spiritual truths are to be tried, tested, explored, turned upside down, and contended with.
Do you already know that the now is where all peace and joy reside? That won’t mean anything to you until you make an honest effort to test the theory. I can look back at occasions of true presence in my life and know that I had real, miraculous, and deep experiences of peace and oneness with the universe. Yet even now as I look back they are but thoughts in my head. Helpful pointers maybe, but bearing no weight on my current state of consciousness lest I practice that which brought me there in the first place. Lest I practice presence.
I occasionally find that I keep myself distracted from the moment because of the underlying fear within that I would encounter in such a moment of stillness. Yet I know that I do not want fear, and that the facing of it is the only way it will dissipate. There is no way around it. I can only go through.
What do you avoid facing in the stillness of the present moment? What will happen to you if you face it?
Even if it seems unpleasant or unbearable, you will not die. You won’t go anywhere. But that which you had been avoiding through thoughts, emotions, past and future stories, habits, addictions, and to-do lists, will inevitably disappear in the light of your presence. Your true self will always remain.
There is a catch: this concept will remain a mere concept, void of any real meaning, until it is tried, tested, and experienced.