So there has been some playing around with presence for over two days.

And when I say ‘some’, I’m talking about obsessive backing away.


At least as long as it’s remembered.

What I realized when I was working out half an hour ago, is that this is not a personal obsession, not something Marnix does because he’s so spiritual, but it’s actually the other way around.

It’s consciousness being obsessed with itself.

I’m just the middleman.


Yesterday evening, before I went to sleep, I wrote this, and I guess it’s helpful for minds that are interested in what I’m talking about but are also somewhat reserved because the whole thing might seem like running away from life.

Here’s what came up:

This is not about dismissing an important part of being human, our capacity to build and maintain stories, but to build a habit of being firmly planted in consciousness.

That way we can still enjoy our talent for making up and believing stuff, but we’ll be less lost in it.

It’s like having one leg firmly planted in presence, while the other can do whatever the moment dictates.

It’s not denial, at all, it’s not about ripping out or numbing our emotions and feelings.

It’s about realizing that we’re never really lost.

It’s an art form, you could say.

And in order to make that a more or less effortless reality, we can practice in real-time, ALL the time.

Over and over again, risk-free, and wholeheartedly supported and ignited by life itself.

After a while, and most of the time fairly quickly, a new (but familiar) sensation will arise.

It’s the feeling of not being lost in thought.

The feeling of neutral, spacious awareness.

Life falling into love.

We will start to feel mentally untainted, unburdened, and naturally open.

We will begin to notice a feeling we know well but haven’t been able to create and sustain: happiness.

Being happy is always about nothing.

It’s a state of natural, unspoiled, and unconditional goodness.

It makes you become very directly aware of who you really are, without the interference of thought energy.

It will feel fresh, authentic, light, and fuzzy.

That’s the sign that your working memory (‘the small amount of information that can be held in mind and used in the execution of cognitive tasks’) is clearing up.

And from there life will become way more spontaneous and way less reactive.

It will feel really good, just like that.

It’s a childlike, free, unburdened state.

At least for a bit.

Because of course, of course, the mind will come back in a million ways, either telling you this is all bullshit, or trying to get on your side, right before it can inject some familiar doubts or habitual worry into the system.

This is a process.

A learning experience.

For me, it seems to be a really important thing to explore.

But I didn’t plan this.

Although I’ve been interested in consciousness and awareness and all those juicy things for quite some time, I’m not the one who controls the unfolding.

Being in the South of France recently, and going through a lot of confusion and discontent after I’d been dreaming about such a trip for a very long time, made me aware of awareness again.

I realized the utter unreliability of thoughts again.

I also remembered that happiness IS presence, and that pure presence, where you can feel it and know that you feel it, is impossible without a bunch of thoughts and sensations going on.

Obvious stuff, all of it.

And still one of the most important realizations of late.

After a summer where I lost all perceived sense of control, where I saw SO deeply that this is all an indescribably intelligent happening with an illusory cast, living spontaneous, made-up lives, and where I became very much aware that there’s no such thing as true autonomy, this presence thing makes sense just the same.

Conscious awareness seems to be getting hyped up about itself, and it’s now using me and my experiences to find itself back, to reconnect, to oscillate (ugh), to be happy about it, AND to see how random and enticing and fucked up it all is.

I couldn’t tell you what my position in all of this is (because I’m not nearly smart enough to assess that), but it seems less passive and confusing than in the previous months.

This is actually really and very doable.

I know that for a fact because it’s been going on for several days now, and I was there to witness it.

Backing away from the thinking.

Backing away from the stories.

Backing away, backing away, backing away.

It has been quite successful and enlightening, you could say, while at the same time I keep overlooking and missing many of the gorgeous and clever attempts from the mind to re-establish itself.

I guess it will never stop doing that.

It’s what we have to deal with.

But there’s a way to rig the system.

Just keep disengaging, just keep backing away.

Pure presence will be waiting.

(Photo by @lazycreekimages, for Unsplash)

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