I’m not thinking of the kind of omnipresence that means we can be everywhere at the same time. This is the sort that means we can be fully present wherever we happen to be, with whoever we happen to be with.
I’m still practising.
Here! Now! O! Three words Brian McLaren offers as expressions of the Season of Simplicity. Simplicity is followed by the seasons of Complexity, Perplexity, and Harmony, so this is a starting point. When we are fully here, now, then wonder can follow: O!*
Joseph Campbell claimed here-ness and now-ness for his hero:
‘The hero’s sphere of action is not the transcendent but here, now, in the field of time, of good and evil – of the pairs of opposites.’**
The hero is the one who is pushed or has to jump from the familiar into the unfamiliar in order to find what is necessary: a purpose, a solution, a missing person, safety … . They appear to belong nowhere but really have to belong everywhere if they are to survive:
‘The lesson is to know your motivations. That way, you’ll keep going even if no one else cares.’^
We are fully capable of being present to our need, our self, our surroundings. Technology appears to offer this possibility to be present but Alan Lightman is right to question this, to put fully before us our incredible capacity to be fully present with whoever and whatever:
‘Using technology, we have redefined ourselves in such a way that our immediate surroundings and relationships, our immediate sensory perceptions of the world, are much diminished in relevance. We have trained ourselves not to be present […]. We have marginalised our direct sensory experience.’^^
Three expressions I believe can help us in our presensing are humility, gratitude, and faithfulness.
Here, now: I am me and you are you. We notice things we have which speed does not allow us to see and we are grateful. We consider the many ideas and possibilities possible because of who we are and what we have that allow these things to take form and come alive.
You may have noticed, what this means is life is unfolding, we don’t know where it will take us next, or with whom.
In this way, we do not know our own story.
(*See Brian McLaren’s Naked Spirituality.)
(**Joseph Campbell in Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)
(^From Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit.)
(^^From Alan Lightman’s The Accidental Universe.)