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April 17, 2004

Others write about the Present in other contexts. It is Ed who notices he trades better in the Present, nurtures this insight and integrates it with his everyday life. Even more important to the Tribes, he is willing to undertake the work of sharing this meta-technology and its application.

So what is he talking about? What is 'the Present'? Everyone, of course, intellectually grasps that 'now' exists, usually defined within a memorized construct where 'now' is a measureless speck moving along a timeline, preceded by an historical past and and succeeded by an indeterminable future. Schoolteachers enforce belief in this mythical timeline from childhood. They insist we believe in vast histories of time. Others insist we believe in beliefs. They train us to think of 'now' as very short, small, fleeting, just an interface between a vast, unchangeable past and a murky unknowable future. The English language itself reinforces this view, as describing past and future as real is easy and sometimes speaking in the present requires an awkward syntax. With most mental energy thus caught in the past and future, the moment of now seems to barely exist at all.

We are describing a state of consciousness rather than undertaking a scientific proof here. If we hypothesize that now is only a fleeting instant, constantly becoming the past, and constantly fed by the future, then this defines a flow. Where is this flow? Which direction is the flow? Can you identify it anywhere? No. You can't, because it is just a belief, like the flat earth.

Beyond belief, in a perceptive state we call the Present, those beliefs turns inside-out. In this state, we begin to appreciate that only now exists. 'Now' is all there is. It is an experience felt in one's psychosomatic nerve system where one's awareness enters the now zone, a definite experience, where one sometimes feels emotional knots release from where they've been tied in past and future, and this energy becomes more available. One feels more present, unburdened, undistracted, natural. One feels there is more happening right now than has ever happened in the past or will happen in the future.

From the perspective of the Present, we see the belief in time provides people a convenient consensual concept where we can store feelings we are not quite ready to face. The mental construct we call the 'past' provides a big closet in which to store mental snapshots and movies. The mental construct we refer to as the 'future' provides another big closet in which to put all the hopes and fears we are not willing to fully experience right now. These are both helpful partitions of the Present, as long as we recognize them as just that. We invest much of our emotions in these collections of snapshots and movies. Then it is we feel controlled by them, we feel a little apprehensive about that dark closet we call the future, and spend many of our waking and sleeping hours re-energizing it all. More specifically, we are controlled by the emotions we've stored behind these mental partitions.

It is one of our basic inner judges who creates and maintains this partitioning effect. This one governor judge seems to space out experiences so we can totally experience them at a pace which doesn’t overwhelm. Some cultures personify this judge. The Hawaiians call him Lono, for example. The Chinese call him Ho Toi. The Greeks know him as Chronos, this governor judge, the part of under-Fred responsible for the persistence of the illusion of time.

In a Tribe, Judge Chronos becomes our friendly magician. At each meeting we observe more of his sleight-of-mind tricks behind the conscious mind veil. We notice the strings and mirrors with which he creates his illusions.

As we become centered in the Present consciousness, the rate of experiences tends to speed up. Things happen more quickly in our life. In the intensity of the Present, we experience a feeling that all is right with our world, because it usually is. Rarely do people have trouble 'right now'. What they call 'trouble' is a feeling attached to some memory patterns, or fear connected to some event we hope won't happen. You can easily note that most of the now, -- right now -- you are all right. Things are fine.

From this center, we can make more effective trades. The discipline of being conscious of the reality of the present tends to keep us out of the emotions of euphoria and regret from good and bad trades.

Those who haven't tried it may imagine this gets boring, as they likely spend most of their day worrying about the thoughts in their 'future' closet, or mulling over the ever-growing collection in their 'past' closet. Boring it's not, as consciousness in the present awakens to a great power of observation. You begin to observe within yourself and others how intention is connected to results. How your energy level is connected to awareness, and how both are connected to breath.

Yes, breath. There are many entry points into greater awareness, and one of them is through conscious breathing, as documented by a number of ancient and modern researchers. One of the ways mankind becomes more conscious of the sole reality of now is to alter breathing. Most do not appreciate this connection. Close observation reveals one’s energy, awareness, will power and breathing are all intimately connected.

A practical application is observing where your will power is invested. Everyone has plenty of power, usually unconsciously dedicated to holding past and future beliefs intact. Then they wonder why they have no will power. Consider: those who say they have no will power always seem to have plenty of won't power. They have plenty of energy invested in the judges who decide what they won't do, and they are very, very successful at this work. They successfully won't do all kinds of things. They are extremely successful at non-accomplishment. That's where all their power is, usually modeled to replicate what they have seen in the company they keep.

The Tribe is effective in that we each keep the others in the Present during the meeting. The hot seat sender gets to discover various ways his awareness is tangled in thoughts and emotions of past and future, to realize it is all happening right now, and to choose to completely experience it and be free of its power. Or he can experience refusing, which he often ultimately finds laughable in this context. Outside the tribe meeting, the 'past' and the 'future' are the polite socially accepted consensual ways he avoids experiencing uncomplimentary emotions.

In the Present we become free --- right Now.