Freedom Is Found In Presence

2 March 2022

Freedom Is Found In Presence

Franz Kline

Freedom is found in Presence. To live in a state of Presence, is to be free from past conditioning. It heralds an awakening into consciousness. The opposite of which is unconsciousness. Or, a state of disconnectedness – the prevailing modern mindset. This is a mind that causes widespread destruction, mostly through delusion. But, there is another way, as exemplified through the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart illustrates the necessity of living in the present moment – for a future of peace and freedom. For Eckhart, Presence is the ultimate state of Being, which refers to a state of existence. It is the state in which one is Present. Presence is the state of being alert in the present moment. It is a mind free from conditioned thoughts. Being and Presence are one and the same; you cannot Be without Presence. As such, Being and Presence are also the embodiment of awareness.      

Thus, Being represents a harmonious relationship with life. Being, that is to say, living with Presence is to accept the present moment. Wholly and completely, as it is. It is the awareness that you are the Presence, in the present moment. As opposed to the “person” (who you think you are, the mental construct about yourself) in the present moment. In other words, awareness is the ability to separate yourself from the idea of yourself. Which leaves the Aware Presence. To put it another way, it is the space between all thought. The totality of who you are is greater than all preconceived thoughts. Why? Because these rely on past experience. They represent the conceptualised self.  Awareness is alert perception, exemplifying the ideal life experience. Presence, thus, is the precursor to awareness-based consciousness. 

Thus, a conscious mind represents one that is not controlled by past conditioning. Thoughts and ideas are no more than a constructed narrative based on past experience. It cannot be otherwise. Of course, knowledge has its uses. It is necessary, and serves a practical purpose. Without accumulated knowledge we would not evolve. But, it is not to be misunderstood with wisdom, nor relied upon to understand, or worse, define the self. The self is undefinable. Knowledge is what you know, wisdom is what you understand, without the need to know. 

To this end, knowledge falls into the domain of the unconscious mind, also known as the egoic mind. The ego is the constructed self. It’s dominated by past, conditioned, thoughts informed by previous life experience, and the subsequent understanding of that experience. What we must understand is this. The goal of the ego is to create division. It does so through identification, definition, and separation. In a nutshell, the ego seeks to define itself through a false sense of superiority. It relies on drama, and it does this through the creation of narrative. For the individual and for the collective, this is the state of all dis-ease and disaster. The solution is to awaken into consciousness, through Presence. This is the path to freedom.

Beyond conceived notions of power, lies the sovereign of truth.

The basis of Eckhart’s teaching is freedom from the egoic mind. His knowledge and understanding of Eastern and Western philosophy is profound. His teachings exemplify the core messages that underpin these doctrines, and yet, his insights transcend religious, spiritual, and new-age dogma the world over. Rather, his words point to a truth that lies at the heart of all great spiritual and religious texts. His ability to decipher the fundamental premise of these texts is his gift. In truth, philosophical texts are often complex. But, Eckhart’s writing is clear and concise. We are able to implement his teachings on a practical level. While there are many important concepts, understanding the notion of history is key to dissolving delusions.  

For many reasons, history is one of the most complex fields of study. It has been, and remains, convoluted. Humankind, the creators of history, exemplify this complexity. It is as complex as humanity itself. But, in truth, history guarantees nothing more than a story. Despite this fact, if written, spoken, and taught, many accept what is exclaimed as truth. But, underlying motivations and hidden agendas demand our attention. What role does truth play in the construction of history? Is memory reliable? History shows the enterprising nature of humankind to be motivated by personal gain. Who has authority, and why? Is it agreed? Or is it taken? Is there an obligation to the truth? Is there accountability? The “authorities” are a group of people. Like any individual or collective they (authorities) have ideals and interests to protect. What are their interests and who to do protect? As human nature is flawed, interference is a given. But the point is this: Beyond conceived notions of power, lies the sovereign of truth. Eckhart stands with a singular voice in that echo chamber of truth. His teachings are a testament to that truth.

No other person has so simply and succinctly explained the essence of existence.

Eckhart cuts to the heart without exclusion. He clarifies complex theological and philosophical ideas with simplicity and resonance. He notes the role of psychology and its impact on social identity, individually, and collectively. Understanding how the mind functions is invaluable for personal development. Without contemplation we are unable to reflect, and, as a result, we lose perspective. This gives way to delusion, dysfunction, and confusion. The likes of which are rampant throughout society.

This is especially clear in the context of modernity. None more so when examining personal and collective history. What is your personal understanding of history? Consider its function on a personal, collective, and social level. Then consider the impact this has on the mind. How does this affect understanding and decision making? The truth is, conditioning is extensive. It starts in the home. Often quite innocently, but sometimes deliberately. Then it extends into schooling and other social institutions. As a result, we have institutionalisation. That is, an institutionalised society conditioned by the dominant ideology. Governance, through habituation relies on constructed narratives. That is, ideas formed by institutions to serve the interests of their governance. But more to the point, power rules through the inception of narrative itself. The micro is a microcosm of the macro. This is crucial to understanding ourselves. The way forward is through individual, personal awakening. This must happen before the collective can awaken.  

For Eckhart, the ultimate desire is for humankind to reach a state of consciousness. In other words, to become aware. Unfortunately, due to extensive conditioning, for many, awareness remains elusive. In part, living in a world dominated by form has driven identification with separateness. The rules of engagement demand comparison and competition, in the pursuit of excess materialism. The ability to craft a gripping narrative is a prized art form. Power and dominance depend on it. Media ensures its spread. And, let’s face it, the media reigns supreme. But, this need not be the case. 

There is an alternative. Eckhart clarifies this simply and succinctly. If the goal is to become better human beings, then his teachings are indispensable. To do that, it is necessary to understand the mechanics of the mind within the system in which it operates. If the desire is true freedom, success, and fulfilment, then it is imperative to live in a state of awareness. To achieve this, I highly recommend starting with The Power of Now & A New Earth  & Stillness Speaks.