Living with awareness

In life, we have two choices: to live unconsciously or to live consciously. Which do you choose? To live consciously means to be aware of not only what you are doing, but why you are doing it. Being conscious is about “being present,” which is a matter of paying attention to what is happening in your life right now, right here. So often, in some present time, we are thinking and fussing about some past event, an event we regret or wish we had done differently or we feel stuck and blocked by what we see as some past mistake.  Or if we are not lamenting the past, we are anticipating some dire future event that will be upsetting and unpleasant, an event that hasn’t happened, and for all we actually know may never happen, but it’s possibility looms in our life as this potent, unwanted reality.

Past lamenting and future foreboding  are both ways we have of not being present. If we are not present, we are not living consciously. We are not living with  attention. Being present is our most powerful option, because the present is all we ever have.  No matter where our mind is, we are always here. It is always now for us.  Whatever you want to do, whatever you want to accomplish,  the doing and the accomplishing all must always start right here, right now. There is no other alternative, which is why our present moment is the leverage point of all our power. If you want to live with power. If you want to live effectively. If you want your life to really work: live here, live now.


About The Practical Philosopher

I am a retired Philosophy professor. I taught philosophy for 43 years, and I would like to share some of what I have found pursuing the fascinating journey of philosophy.
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4 Responses to Living with awareness

  1. Hi Practical Philosopher,
    I’m really enjoying your posts and resonating with the importance of inquiry to both know thyself (one’s beliefs, values, attitudes, motivations, *philosophy*) and to develop a deeper understanding of the way that nature, upbringing, and our cultural “soup” impact our selves and our understanding of ourselves. What better choices we can all make once we become aware of (and can critically evaluate) our own guiding philosophy! These questions remind me of some I use in my True Path life coaching practice with clients (What is your personal mission? What values are most important to you and does your life show it?). Best, Christa

    • Thanks for the affirming of my posts. I hope to create a space where the process of inquiry can be opened up and enriched for people. I am hoping to start a dialog around what I think are seminal ideas for our lives. Thank you for beginning the dialog.

  2. warren says:

    Hi Bill. I’ve been meaning to spend a few moments to respond to some of your ideas. Your comments are thought provoking, though I don’t always agree. More often I want to hear more. I always wish we were having a face to face discussion about the topics, because I’d like to challenge an idea or supposition. Anyway, in this one you say

    Being present is our most powerful option, because the present is all we ever have. No matter where our mind is, we are always here. It is always now for us.

    What I find interesting is the subtle shift in the use of the word “present” to allow you to first be speaking of mind then to distinguish mind from the person (“we” vs “No matter where our mind (sic) is, we are always here.”) I think you first need to set some meanings here. What is “mind” or at least how are you distinguishing it from the I and how is I distinct from both the mind and from the body?

    If the I isn’t the mind, but the mind is what enables “present-ness” then we’re into the world of the humunculi, but deep. If “I am present only when mindful,” then don’t you have to argue that if I’m not mindful, I’m not present – and therefore when I’m not mindful I’m not “here,” and so on.

    What fun.

  3. Richard Petrino says:

    Hi Bill. Your ideas and the expression of your ideas are thought provoking, interesting, fresh, and fun. I find myself (now that’s an interesting expression that you might consider writing about) identifying with your explanations and examples. Thanks for sharing yourself this way.

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