Chapter 21 – The Inter-present
As for relationships, don’t revel in the past nor long for the future.
In relationships, all we have is now.
Therefore, the right spot for inter-personal affairs is the present moment. Although this seems to be in line with the popular wisdom of ‘living in the now,’ this saying as catchy as it is, is not exact enough. To find our real self, mental traveling into the past to our source of life is vital. As we’ll see, the projection of the future in the broader context of humanity is indispensable for a fully developed Awareness Intelligence too. Intelligently living in the present moment has special psycho-spiritual validity for inter-personal relationships.
Therefore, the inter-present, the second Awareness Intelligence mode, is referencing the knowing about direct interactions with others in which the current moment rather than the past or future counts to avoid unhealthy relational transactionalities.
After adolescence, we don’t need relationships so much anymore as a matter of necessary support for survival and psychological well-being. Of course, expressing one’s love in direct interaction with other people is always enriching life. In addition, the connection to one’s source, others, and to humanity in its entirety, is addressed by the intra-past and extra-future awarenesses. These relationships can be established introspectively. Thanks to according right view, nobody needs to feel coming from solitude or having to walk the future alone anyway. However, the extreme emphasis of science and popular opinion on the promise of salvation through relationships as the most critical happiness factor is implying quite the opposite. Many people believe that they would not be complete without a legally bounded better half, that everybody needs somebody to romantically relate to and be taken care of, that one has to be someone’s personified treasure, and that an embodied relationship is the source of all strength. These prince-and-princess fairytales are sweet to promote the continuance of family lines, the stability of societal power structures, and the economy of dependability. The problem is that people are made to believe that without their dependency they would lose a part of themselves. They suffer from the misbelief that they wouldn’t be worthy anymore, or that they would lack the energy that can only be sourced from others from the outside.
This is severely compromising self-reliance and self-efficacy, both of which are the key factors for a human being to thrive and fulfill their purpose of life to be and give their true self.
Self-efficacy as the belief in one’s ability to succeed is crucial in achieving success in any aspect of life. However, if convictions in future achievements result in the establishment of goals and attachment to outcomes, then disappointment and fear of non-achievement and loss become inevitable. Believing in possibilities does not mean to sacrifice the present moment for anybody in the sense of not enjoying it together with others. We appreciate ourselves in giving joy to others.
The inter-present Awareness Intelligence mode is all about connecting one’s potential from the intra-past with the welfare of the extra-future for all to enjoy concrete inter-personal moments to its fullest.
Self-efficacy enables self-reliance. Only a team of self-reliant individuals can count on each other. Only a partnership built on interdependency rather than dependency harnesses both individuals’ potential, and only relationships with equal participants can support each other in personal and mutual growth.
Only if we think about our relationships being entirely present in the now, and only if we keep inter-personal affairs free from past and future considerations, do we cultivate awareness-intelligent liaisons. It is when we don’t judge others according to their past, when we don’t resent them for something they may have said or could say, and when we don’t expect anything for the future that we are free to see things and people how they really are now. The same is true for objects and even our body. They are meant to be enjoyed in the moment. What does it matter now how they were before and will be later on? The body underlies the law of the now; it can only be enjoyed in the present moment. As for the mind though, we got the ability, starting from a primordial self-awareness, to be alert in the present, and expand our awareness into the future. Such an extended and multi-directional quality of the mind does not fall prey to a present-moment boundedness and is able to navigate time freely. Like a bird can you let your thoughts fly across the infinite topology of awareness.
To be healthily social is keeping relationships consequently in the presence. If we refer to others according to their past, we don’t allow them to have changed, and we may miss who they presently really are. If our behavior towards others is influenced by future-directed fears of punishment or hopes for rewards, we put conditions on relationships.
If we expect reciprocity when exchanging favors, the relationship becomes transactional. Feelings of obligations and guilt are the result, which is quite the opposite of the true nature of love, which is unjudgmental and unconditional.
Have you ever noticed the realer than real reality of reading? This is because of the present moment interactivity between you and the book, decoupled from your sense of an identity respectively an inter-personal past or future. A book is always here for you but does not expect anything in return. A book is not interested in your past, it just responds to your current attention. It does not take it personally whether you take or leave its advice and what you make of it in the future. Books offer the same to everybody. However, the less you expect from them and the more open you are, the more you potentially will get. Every book contains the life a living author has breathed into it.
If we can experience others like a book and be for them like one too, we allow them and us non-transactionally, unconditionally loving realer than real life experiences.
Whatever our feelings towards others, if they are not good, it’s most probably because we project something into the person’s past or future. The mere act of past or future projection is distorting the true nature of others and, as we are the mirror ourselves, we are actively creating this temporally misinterpreted picture. The only way to love is to see the timelessness in others. It is the same timelessness we find when we look into our true selves’ intra-pasts. If we become aware of this holy and wholly presence, fundamental misunderstandings on a human level, mistrust, and perceptions of separateness fade.
Whenever somebody is accessing ours and letting access their timeless being, she or he has become an angel to us.
If you have forgiven people (which means you have prevented to stay in the unhealthy inter-past) and trust the future of your relationships (which means you have abandoned the harmful inter-future) you are ready to stay awareness-intelligently in the inter-present. This is the way of pure enjoyment.
Cultivating inter-presence as a psycho-spiritual stance will inevitably influence your further actions and interactions. You may still have to practically consider when to have to negotiate and enter transactions and manage projects of any kind with practical terms and conditions defining professional relationships along a timeline. However, always being aware of the self-empowering, unconditionally loving, and divinely intelligent energy that is emanating from a pure inter-presence awareness will align you with the real law and meaningful joy of life.
Chapter 22 – The Extra-future