The effects of presence are cumulative: they contribute to the flow, even when requiringcritical reflection. Presence can be challenging, questioning, unwilling to accept easyand superficial reactions, demanding in its impulse toward authenticity and meritoriousactions. The evolutionary context requires critical thinking, reflection on human limits,awareness of our own weaknesses and fallibility, and a capacity for negotiations withothers with whom we may disagree. Presence is not limited by disagreement or differences; indeed, the very existence of difference is an expression of presence. But inthe evolutionary or developmental context, what arises often requires negotiationbecause these differences matter in the sense of the commitment people give to them.There is also a certain quality of passive attention in presence because from Being andSpirit, every spring floods forth from a shared, deeply unitary ground. Therefore,patience, listening, receptivity, acceptance, and detached concern are inherent to thenecessary transparency that seeks reconciliation and balance. Additionally, criticalinquiry, respectful disagreement, resistance, and autonomy are also necessary qualitiesof a mature presence. These qualities arise contextually in relationship to what othersbring, but are also receptive to as-yet-undiscovered possibilities hovering at the margins.While the cultivation of presence may be difficult and challenging in many if not mostcircumstances, its actual realization is often spontaneous and subtle. Presence is not aparticular state
it is not a meditative condition (which can function as an escape frominteraction), not a passive resistance to wrong, not an emotional sense of loving another.Rather, it is an actualized, participatory awareness, a living transpersonal quality of Being and Spirit that energizes and induces transformation and insight. It cannot belimited to fixed states, explicit definitions, or particular mental or emotive conditions. Itssign is a creative, sustaining outflow into the lived context of the everyday. Someconditions can be noted as preparatory, such as holding a condition of openness to whatappears, being lucid in all interactions, being attentive to the entire field, including our subconscious, paranormal, and visionary impulses. Perhaps most central of all is thecapacity to sustain a deep respect for others, a loving regard for their well-being, and acreative attitude toward all interactions with others. Compassion is not sufficient for creative transformation; it is a foundational quality but, like all qualities, it must combinewith the full range of other capacities and not be held in isolation or captivity to a fixedideology or belief system. Above all, the practice of presence requires self-honesty andconstant self-
assessment of one’s own transparency.
In concluding this brief reflection, let me return to the variability of our inner states, our conditional relationship with the surrounding world, and our host of relationships withothers. The transpersonal field is really not a bound space or a definable, necessarily
measureable energy. I use the term “field” in this overview as a metaphor for multi
-spatial and multi-spectral domains of existence that are irreducible to any fixed quantity.I say this because the very nature of the field (or fields) is a mix of interpenetratedqualities of energy, mater, and consciousness, all inseparable from a profound continuityand wholeness that eludes my comprehension. I can intuit the fullness and have, onseveral occasions, had the good fortune to experience its mystical depths and vastenergies. We, as multi-spectral beings, that is, as beings capable of perception on manysubtle planes of experience, are immersed in a great ocean of Being and Spirit, and it isone of the highest of all arts to become a transparent beacon within the ocean in which
we dwell. And yet, a mother’s love for a child, a genuine handshake, a heartfelt
conversation, or a simple smile or kind disagreement can manifest its depth in ways thatutterly transcend words and descriptions. May our paths leads us to presence and may