Question: “Even though we know the benefits of Being Present, why do you think our attention is constantly pulled out of the Now and into the Mind?”
From my observation it is because I’m not tired enough yet of the value I get out of being identified with feeling myself in the ‘old habitual identified’ way. I have had to wear out and discover all those values, one by one, and question each one, before I was able to give any one of them up completely.
The value I get out of being identified with my thoughts/emotions (predominately this comes from emotions), is the feeling of aliveness I get out of feeling myself as my emotional body. This can be a happy body or a pain body, as I’ve written about before… There are other aspects, which have to do with various personality types (see enneagram for more information) that come from one’s adapted way to survive. So for example in my personal profile, I value my thinking ability highly and so I can back into heavy ‘inner dialog’ more easily than other personality types when under stress, because it’s what I’ve used primarily to defend and prove my world view to myself for so long.
I see in my practice that I want to believe that what I tell myself in my thoughts is in fact the truth of reality, and to drop all that I’m thinking and realize it’s all a lie and discard the entire contents is a big step to take… Without my contextual thinking which is giving me my ‘personal interpretation’ of the world, then to go to the next step to let it go, at first leaves me feeling like all is unknown or in the void, or so it seems. I see my resistance is partly because it’s a new field of getting information in another way, so at this time it feels unknown or foreign to me and I’m not entirely sure I trust it. Yet, I have no reason not to, yet every reason to suspect the lie of the personality… Go figure.
So as I see it, one has to have trust that something else will come without knowing how or what that might be, because it is unknown. All one has is to be convinced that the old way doesn’t work anymore for you and be willing to let it go continuously, like constant house cleaning. I guess that something else eventually comes into the space or gap that is left by dropping the old. Obviously one’s mind and intention can’t be a factor here. To willingly let go of all that one has known before and go into this kind of void I find to be challenging to say the least. I find it difficult to not identify with any reaction that is happening via what one is telling oneself in ones thoughts and all that one is feeling in one’s body. To stay as the observer one has to have worn out and be completely convinced that there is no longer a reason to give any energy to feed ‘the lie’. But actually this isn’t the case (that one can’t know another way), but one has to come to that point to observe this and realize and actually experience another kind of direct knowing before one is willing to drop one’s clever interpretation. This is a long way to go on this walk and the traps are many, and nearly everybody on this walk is stuck at some conceptual level, fooling themselves into believing they have gone beyond. Nobody wants to know that you can’t get there without going into the psychological aspects of your own reactions. You have to use your brain and tools of observation to question and find out the background causation of your reactions.
Anticipating the arguments: Of course: you can’t use your mind (meaning ‘be your personality’) and be present at the same time. But you’ll have lots of opportunities after your many episodes of unconscious reactions, to question why you had them… Use your brain in the interval right after you have been able to get a clear view of something… What many people are primarily learning is how to still their mind or keep it quiet, but this is not the same as being present. The effect is that it is simply suppressing the reactions that eventually will resurface and have to be dealt with – psychologically… Keeping oneself still is NOT relating to and finding out why you are reacting, what value it gives you, etc. One has to express themselves and then question the reaction they had in order to progress on this path. As others have posted in this thread when there is a stress situation, then the personality will for sure arise again and probably in a strong way to full unconsciousness, with the pain body taking over, etc. This happens when in actuality, there wasn’t any step taken, only there was increased capability to fool oneself by increasing one’s ability to still one’s mind. Does this answer your question?