Session 201510233


Session 201510233
“Being Present”
"The Futility of Debate"
"Relaxing and Being Creative"

Friday, October 23, 2015 (Private/In person)

Participants: Mary (Michael) and John (Lonn), with a small group of observers

ELIAS: Good morning!

JOHN: Hi, Elias.

ELIAS: (Laughs) And what shall we be discussing?

JOHN: Well, I wanted to at least start out with presence. I mean, I may have to start from the beginning, because I’m not exactly sure what it means. I kind of feel like I’m rarely present. (Both chuckle) But at the same time, I mean just listening to some of Bridget’s conversation with you, I don’t feel like I’m irritated that often—

ELIAS: You may be more present than you think. In actuality, all of you may be present more times than you think you are—not consistently and not intentionally, but you all are generating more moments of being present than you actually realize.

This is a significant point, for this is the point in which I was expressing it is easier than you think, and it is actually more natural than you think. You think this is an action that requires much attention and thinking and that it will be difficult, and in actuality it is much more natural than you think it is.

In this, the MORE present you become, it does change your perception, and that also will change, in a manner of speaking, how you feel. Not change how your emotional communications are expressed, but how you feel generally.

For when you are present, it changes importances. That is the one immediate action that you will definitely be aware of and notice. That is an obvious factor, that when you are present it is not that you are only paying attention to yourself; no. You are paying attention to everything outside of you. You are paying attention to whatever you are interacting with, but the difference is, is that you are also aware of yourself. You are not thinking about yourself, but you are aware of your presence. You are aware of your participation. You are aware of your existence. Which initially may sound silly: “I am always aware of my existence.” No, in actuality you are rarely aware of your existence, which is especially emphasized in two main situations.

One, when you are engaging with another individual, when you are engaging conversation with another individual, generally you are not aware of your existence. You are focused upon what the other individual is expressing, what they are saying and what they are doing, and you are focused upon not thinking but accessing. This is generally how you interact in conversation. Two or more individuals are engaging a subject, and one individual expresses in sharing about the subject. The other individual is partially listening, and simultaneously you are accessing information. You are accessing any information in relation to memory and your experiences that relate to whatever the other individual is expressing. Therefore, you are partially listening, but you are partially accessing.

In that, that prompts you to respond to the individual in relation to what they were saying, and then you respond and they do the same. They are accessing, and then they respond, and this is a conversation in which both of you are participating. You are generating this back-and-forth sharing of information. But in that, that accessing process is continuously in motion.

Now; when you are being present, that accessing aspect or process stops. Therefore, you noticeably are listening to another individual and you may perceive yourself, or your assessment of yourself may be that you are blank. You are not blank; you are merely not accessing. You are merely genuinely listening.

And in that, you are aware of yourself. When you are accessing, you are not aware of yourself. You are not aware of your presence in that moment. You are only aware of listening to the other individual and that accessing process. Not necessarily thinking, but accessing. And that accessing process involves you more with what the other individual is saying or doing. And you feel drawn. You feel that you are a part of what the other individual is saying or doing. That is your processing, accessing information to relate, the aspect of yourself that is engaged.

Now; when you are genuinely being present, you are aware that you are sitting or standing or walking or exercising with the other individual. You are aware of listening to them and inputting what they are expressing, but you are also aware that you are physically there in their presence and that you are listening, not thinking. In that, it may occur to you, or it may seem—for that accessing piece is not engaged—it may seem there is something missing. There is some strange experience occurring in which you are blank and you are not necessarily participating. And if the other individual asks you a question, you might actually respond by saying, “I was not thinking anything,” or “Now I have to think about what you said.”

JOHN: You say that that IS being present? Or when you are present, I should say?

ELIAS: Yes. For you are aware. And in that, that is merely initially, for it is unfamiliar and you will notice a difference. But very quickly you realize that isn’t that necessary for you to think to respond; you automatically respond. You are not actually thinking while you are speaking. You think when you stop speaking and you evaluate, but while you are actually speaking you are not thinking of each word that you are saying. You are responding automatically and you ARE connecting, which does not require thinking unless you are posed with a puzzle, a question that requires an evaluation, not merely a question. For individuals can ask questions and you can answer them very quickly without thinking.

JOHN: Mm-hm.

ELIAS: The accessing part is what might influence you to think that you are blank, for without that accessing part you notice something different but you are not quite sure what that difference is. And that would be a familiar assessment, which is not actually accurate, for you are not blank. You ARE participating; you are merely not accessing.

Another time framework which is very, very common, equally as common as when you are conversing with another individual, is when you are alone and you are very focused upon some action that you are engaging. If you are very focused in reading a book, you are engaging your imagination with the book and you are not necessarily aware of YOU doing that. Or you are engaging a project, and you are very focused on the actions that you are engaging with that project. Or you are researching. When you are alone and you are very focused in what you are physically doing, that is another very common time framework in which you will not necessarily be present. You are so focused on the outside expression or what you are engaging in that outside source, even if it is your hands, what they are doing, you are so focused on that that you are not aware of your existence and your presence doing it. You are aware of the doing, but not YOU doing.

In this, when I express to you that you have more moments in which you are present than you think you do, they are moments but they are increasing. In this, it is not necessarily that you are maintaining being present for a time framework of a half of an hour or an hour or two hours, but you may be being present for five minutes or eight minutes in that half of an hour.

And in that, you are generating much more clarity. You are clear in what is occurring. You are aware of your existence in participating with whatever is occurring. You are not only aware of the situation or the other individual or the action that you are doing; you are also aware of your participation in it, that you are participating in it.

And in that, in those moments if some expression or action unexpectedly occurs, if you are engaging a conversation and suddenly the other individual changes their tone and seems agitated or irritated and raises their voice, in that moment you will not react. You will notice it, and you will almost immediately begin evaluating what your choices are in that moment. That will engage your thinking, for that is what your thinking is for, to translate. And in that, it begins to translate what you are doing. You are accessing your choices in that moment.

And in that, you are not accessing information to relate to the situation. You are accessing what your choices are now, in this moment, in relation to are you comfortable or uncomfortable with this situation and what are your choices in relation to that. Which will feel very different, for it is not a reaction, and in that, there will be no aspects of control or lack of control, which also triggers feelings. Therefore, there will be no emotional message triggering feelings, for it is not necessary. You are already accessing your own information in relation to your choices about the situation rather than reacting to it and fumbling for control.

In this, you do have moments in which it does not feel as if you are something or someone else, and it does not feel as if you are larger than you are or that you are consumed with the idea or the awareness of yourself; no. It is very subtle and it feels very natural, in which you recognize in a moment that whatever is being expressed that you WOULD have reacted to is not important. Why would you react to it? It is not necessary.

This is what I expressed previously in our computer group interaction, that in addition to the control factor with reaction, it always involves the factor of right: What is correct? Who is right? I am right. And in that, even if it is not “I am right,” the expression or the situation or the manifestation in itself is right and unquestionable. But in actuality, it is that you believe it is right and therefore it is unquestionable.

But the “right” factor changes. That is one of the most significant pieces in being present. I have expressed to all of you from the onset of this forum that you were engaging a process not of eliminating your beliefs but of neutralizing them.

Now; in that, I am also aware that for what you perceive as all of these years that I have been interacting with all of you, none of you have actually genuinely understood until now what that means, to be neutralizing beliefs. For you equate neutralizing them with eliminating them or getting rid of them. If they are neutralized, they are not affecting at all. No, that is not the point, and it is not about that they are not affecting, including – which I have expressed – the belief system of duplicity, which is your good-bad, right-wrong.

In this, it is not that you are eliminating the good-bad, right-wrong, but that your perception of it will dramatically change. And in that, the most significant piece of the perception is the part about importance. If it is important, you will pay attention to it, you will respond to it, you will express it, and you will hold to it. If it is NOT important, it can be neutral. That is the point of neutralizing—not eliminating, but being neutral, for it is not important any longer.

If another individual is engaging a conversation with you and you are being present, and the other individual expresses in a manner that is very contrary to, let us say, your guidelines, and they are being considerably absolute in what they are saying, [that] they are right. In not being present, it is very likely that you will react and defend, if you disagree. And in defending, you will attempt to debate. Which debate is useless, for debate is always an engagement of competition to establish who is right. There is always a right and a wrong with debate.

In this, in the same scenario, while the other individual is being very absolute and adamant and expressing how right they are, in BEING present and not reacting, you may hear them very differently, for now you are not threatened by their rightness. It is not a matter of establishing the dominance by being the right one. It is then transformed to: “This is genuinely not important. It is not important for me to defend myself. It is not important for me to debate. It is not important for me to establish myself as right.”

Even if I believe I am right – which you can; this is the point, you are not eliminating duplicity – you continue to express what you believe is right and wrong, but how you engage it is very different, and your perception of it is very different, for it is not an absolute that the entire world adheres to. It is: “I believe that you are wrong and I am right, but I have no compulsion to establish that in competition.” For you recognize that the other individual believes that they are right equally as strongly as do you, and you can hold to your believing that they are not right. But in debating them or in reacting to them or in defending your rightness, do you change their opinion? No, you do not. You merely generate conflict.

And in that, what is the importance in that? To establish your rightness? Did you win? No, you did not, for the other individual continues to believe their rightness equally as much as they did previously, and you continue to believe YOUR rightness as much as you did previously. Therefore, nothing changed.

But conversely, when you ARE present and you are not reacting and those importances change, and it is no longer important to establish being the winner or being the dominant and being right—therefore also being in control—when that is no longer important, what happens is YOU are calmer and unbothered by the expressions of other individuals. Therefore, YOU are less challenging, or not challenging at all. And what happens with that is the other individual is also influenced, for now when there is no challenge, maintaining their rightness becomes less important to them also.

Therefore, you put into practice being the example rather than thinking about or talking about being the example. You ARE the example, and you are generating an influence. You are always influencing, every moment of your existence; you are always influencing. But how do you want to be influencing? What do you want to influence?

I would express to you, my friend, it is quite amusing listening to humans express so vehemently and so strongly how ultimately against violence they are, and how ultimately they are against the destruction of their planet and the violence in their world and the conflict between individuals. And in that, those same individuals in their daily activities will likely react and yell at their dog or their cat and will become frustrated and impatient and irritated with their children, and will establish their dominance with their children or their partners, and will insist on their rightness with their parents, and will express their lack of acceptance in their disagreement with their friends. And they do this every day while professing to be so against all of this conflict in their world and that they do not support that. And they support it every day in every moment of their lives by expressing it themselves.

And in that, that is the point. You are influencing every moment of your existence. What do you want to be influencing? HOW do you want to be influencing? And my expression to you in paying attention to what type of energy you are projecting is almost meaningless, for none of you understand what type of energy you are projecting, for you cannot see it. But you can see what you are doing, and as I have expressed to you repeatedly for an extended time framework, your energy is not indicated by your feelings. What type of energy you are projecting is indicated by what you are doing—not by what you are feeling or what you are thinking, but what you are doing.

Therefore, you can be aware, but for the most part most individuals have not heard that message yet, although I have been expressing it for years. (Laughs) But in that, when you move in this direction now of becoming more aware of being present, the advantage to yourselves and to your world is tremendous and unlimited. For it changes your influence so tremendously, and it gives you the ability to genuinely be self-directing and moving in the direction that you want to be moving, even in relation to ideas—ideas such as your boat.

JOHN: Yeah.

ELIAS: And inventions. And moving in those types of directions. For it gives you more clarity. You are uncluttered by all of the questions that merely move you in a direction of circling and circling and circling. It removes many of the expressions that genuinely are not important that are reactive.

Even in ideas, there are reactive elements: “I am researching this propulsion mechanism for the boat, and other individuals have done this research and have done these experiments and have engaged this conclusion. And I am investigating this other direction, but some other individuals have input with that also and I have researched that.” And you have all of this information that you have inputted. And in that, there are reactions. There are reactions to your own thinking and reactions to other input. How many times have you been researching and an individual may express, “What if you attempted this?” and the reaction is, “I already researched that. No, that will not work. I already know.” “What if you were to engage this action?” “No, that will not work either, for I already explored that, I already researched it, and it has already been proven not to work.”

Those are reactions. You are reacting to your own information. You are reacting to your own input. You view what other individuals have done, assess it to be absolute, and if anything contradicts that or questions it, it is wrong. No, it will not work. Therefore, what does that do? Does it aid you in clarity? No. It clutters you, and you hold all that information and you stop attempting in certain directions, for you accept that that has already been proven wrong. You stop your own intuition in some directions: “No, that must be wrong also, for this individual tried this and it was unsuccessful.” But the manner in which you may try it may be different from the manner in which the other individual tried it. But you will not move forward, for you already assessed, “That is wrong, therefore it will not work.”

JOHN: I’ve only done that about a hundred times.

ELIAS: That many?

JOHN: Actually, I do think that I’ve been naturally getting better at that, but — or I don’t know if naturally, but without a lot of effort getting better at that – but one thing that’s exciting now for me is what I’m trying I just can’t tell has ever been tried. Not that it’s huge, but it’s… There’s nothing to discourage me. (Laughs)

ELIAS: Excellent! That is excellent. And in that, it is a clear path.

JOHN: Yeah.

ELIAS: But it is worthy of your noting and attention that these are all factors, that the most significant aspect of being present is that it does change importances, and that gives you more freedom. For even if some outside source expresses an absolute to you, you do not place the importance on the absoluteness. You acknowledge that it may be absolute to that individual and that it is important to them, but you do not automatically accept that for yourself.

JOHN: I did want to hit on a couple of related subjects. So one is, what I was associating presence with was more kind of being aware of what’s going on around you. Like a lot of times when I’m walking to work, I’m reading emails. (Laughs) I might not even know how I got to the office.

ELIAS: And that is a factor.

JOHN: But then other times you realize what a nice day it is, you hear birds, you see something that you passed a thousand times. I’ll see it for the first time and stop and… Yeah, not one of these thoughts about what am I going to do today. (Elias chuckles) So I think of that as being present, and that happens, I don’t want to say rarely but not super often. I mean it happens more just when I’m in kind of nature. It might happen on a boat, if I’m not doing something.

ELIAS: Let me express to you, you can be present doing any of those actions. You can be interactive with your phone. You can be interactive with your computer. You can be reading your mail. You can be even playing a game and you can be present. It is not, as I expressed, that you are only paying attention to you or you are consumed with being aware of every aspect of yourself; no. It is not that extreme. And that is the reason that it is not difficult, is that it is merely a matter of INCLUDING yourself in whatever you are doing—that you are engaging your phone or you are engaging your computer, you are reading your mail, but you know you are doing it. It is not only the screen that occupies your reality. That you can be equally as present doing that as you are at the beach or in the woods or in nature, as you term it to be.

Let me express to you, being present is not synonymous with being more appreciative. Therefore, you may incorporate a tendency to think that you are more present in nature because you appreciate that or because you are noticing different aspects of it that you may have overlooked previously. Being present is not necessarily always appreciating. You could be frustrated and be being present. You could be irritated and be being present. The difference is not that you stop expressing any of your emotional communications and not that you are always blissfully happy when you are present, but that you are aware of your existence, your participation, that you exist and you are participating regardless of the situation. That importances change because reaction is not a factor.

JOHN: So I think that I naturally… or I’m not aware of a lot of automatic triggers I have. And like I’ve mentioned before, I rarely see things as black and white. I don’t have any real strongly held beliefs or whatever. Sometimes it feels like maybe I should or something, but I don’t. And so what I’ve gotten better about is like if somebody has this either black-and-white view or their perception of these things that happen are just wildly different than mine, and we’re both pretty much there, I just don’t spend as much energy trying to even show them or explain the way I look at it.

ELIAS: I am understanding. And that is excellent. And it is… in one manner, it creates more of an ease for you to move into that expression of being present. But let me express to you, as I did, reaction is not always what you think of as negative. And in that, it is not always expressed with an emotional signal. Ignoring and disconnecting is equally a reaction.

When you are engaged with a situation or another individual, either – it is not always another individual that may be contrary to your guidelines or your direction or what you believe – but as an easy example, with another individual, if they are expressing in a manner that is contrary to you – I acknowledge and agree with you that you are not expressive in the manner of disputing other individuals. And I also acknowledge that it is not difficult for you to express somewhat of an acceptance of other individuals’ differences. But you also move in the direction considerably consistently of ignoring them or being dismissive, in which it is not an overt expression, therefore you do not necessarily generate conflict with yourself or with another individual, but what you do is you, in a manner of speaking, disconnect. You ignore them or you dismiss them, and dismissing meaning not paying much attention any longer. Which outwardly – and even for yourself, inwardly – it does not create conflict, and it is not a bothersome action, but it is also not being present. And it is a reaction.

Reactions are not always overt in conflict. They can even be what you think of as good. Reactions can be excited, which can lead into what you think of as not good if you expect that from another individual and they do not express it. If another individual expects you to be reacting in a favorable manner and you do not, it becomes disappointing. Or the other individual will interpret that as they expressed somehow wrong and therefore did not elicit the response that they expected or that they were looking for.

In this, yes, in some capacities it may be easier for you – and there are other individuals similar to you that can view other individuals’ expressions as different and not be threatened by that, and to, within themselves, be content enough that it matters not and they are not invested in generating a conflict or that dominance in being right, and are satisfied with what they recognize as right in themselves, and that is enough and acceptable. And that is, in a manner of speaking, an advantage. For most individuals do not express in that manner. Therefore, it is an advantage.

But I would express that it is important to note that there are other types of reactions and that that is your gauge. That not necessarily that you should be or require to be more interactive; no. Or that you should be expressing differently or more to other individuals; no. But that you notice in yourself when those reactions are occurring, for those are your gauge: “I am not being present.” That is your indicator. It is the most obvious indicator: “This is not being present, if I am reacting.”

But I would be acknowledging of you that you have generated considerable forward movement since our previous meetings.

JOHN: Yeah.

ELIAS: And I would acknowledge you also in a similar capacity. You are being more present than you think. And in that, that is also indicated in the fewer times that you are expressing any type of reaction.

JOHN: Yeah, so like at work, I got to talk to you about some of the things I'm been working with, mostly as it relates to coworkers or other people I work with, but it’s gotten just kind of easier and easier, because I think, among other things that we’ve talked about, that maybe they thought I was invalidating their point of view of something that happened in the past. I don’t say, “Well, it didn’t really happen like that, whatever.” I don’t spend much energy there, more on, “Okay, well, we need to get this done.” (Laughs) And just what can we do for that. And the fact that I’m in this interesting situation where I would never have planned it this way, and I didn’t necessarily want it this way, but these people, other than this one project I’m working on, they don’t report to me in any way. So, I feel like I’m getting better and better at influencing people that don’t have to do what I’m saying. I mean, not that anyone ever has to, but I’m in this weird kind of situation that…

ELIAS: I am understanding.

JOHN: They could even completely ignore me, not return an email, and I’m getting better and better at still getting whatever needs to get done, done. And I do very little of it myself, but it’s sort of forcing me to get good at something that I was not good at. (Both laugh) And that’s a very—

ELIAS: Congratulations. (Both laugh) Which was the point, was it not?

JOHN: Yeah. Yeah. (Elias laughs)

There’s something else I want to talk about. So for me, I almost feel like I just deliberately… maybe not distract my mind, but I always want it focused on something. I can’t really… I don’t really enjoy reading a book. I read slow, for one thing, but my mind is just all over the place. I could even read a chapter and then be thinking about something and I can’t even remember a single (laughs) thing I read. Then you go back, and you know…Sometimes conversations are like that, too, and so I might be really engaged and then my mind is just off.

But I was… I think just a day or two ago, Ann was listening to something about some guy saying instead of working harder, working more hours, being more productive, you should take more vacations (group laughter), but that’s when ideas would come, that’s when you’re going to be creative, that’s when you’re going to figure things out….Well, for one thing, to some degree that has happened to me, but I also notice when I’m the most creative, even when we’re going on vacation, we’re often just doing things and… but when I’m probably the most creative is probably like between waking up and getting up in the morning. Where my mind is calm, these ideas start coming, more than any other. If I get an idea, then I might spend hours and hours on it, like kind of into the details, but that seems to be when I get… or I solve some puzzle kind of thing or get some clarity to something. So I can see kind of maybe going away, but not filling your day with stuff. (Laughs)

ELIAS: Ah! And why do you think you are so drawn to boats?

JOHN: (Laughs) That could be. (Laughs) Well, actually it is very relaxing. I mean, I was thinking about that. I had mentioned before that when I feel the most relaxed is when I’m backpacking out in the woods or something. But being on a boat sort of feels like that, but not like that. It feels like there's a—

ELIAS: It is more similar to when you are waking but not getting up yet.

JOHN: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But it feels like to a degree all the boating, people that own boats and are around boats are a little bit more like that too. They’re not all reacting to everything, and… (Laughs)

ELIAS: Yes. I would agree. And that is also why you are so drawn to boats, for it generates that type of state, in a manner of speaking.

JOHN: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

ELIAS: Boats can be very lulling, which creates an expression within you that is relaxed, and it also very naturally, to a degree, allows you to let go of control. The boat cradles you, the water supports you. And in that, it allows you to relax and relinquish that control. And when you do, you are inspired and generate considerable creativity.

JOHN: Right. Right. That’s interesting.

ELIAS: It is not an accident. (Laughs)

JOHN: And also, just that what I associate with being present, but like you’re just more aware of just kind of doing nothing, but all this stuff happening around you.

ELIAS: Being.

JOHN: Yeah. Yeah.

ELIAS: Yes. (Laughs)

JOHN: All right. We’re out of time, but that was excellent.

ELIAS: Very well.

JOHN: Very good talk there.

ELIAS: We shall continue shortly.

ANN: Yes, we shall.

ELIAS: Very well. I shall express my temporary au revoir. (Group laughter)

(Elias departs after 1 hour)