Context and premise. Tomorrow is a word on my mind and a concept I think about every day without paying much attention to it. We all live under the strange notion that tomorrow actually exists and that it will indeed come, when? Tomorrow! The inescapable realization that everything that has ever happened to me always happened in a now present has affected me profoundly. Nothing ever happens tomorrow.
Life and countless events keep occurring but they always happen in a now time-space field. I may remember the past but when it happened, it happened in this constant now energy field. We can go as far as saying that the only constant is this now-moment. I have been calling it the now-moment to distinguish it as the true context of all things on this plane. The past is mostly selective memory and the future is imagination or speculation, as it hasn’t happened yet. We would be willing to bet that the sun will rise in the morning but we would only know that from memory, and for having seen or remembering so many past sun risings.
Most psychology is centered on the idea of ego, which Sigmund Freud invented. The self or ego, especially as distinct from the world and other selves, is considered a personal and separate self. In psychoanalysis, this separation of the psyche that is conscious most immediately controls thought and behavior. Duality is born out of this false sense of self that we believe to be real. The I that I think that I am is neither real nor tangible except in my thoughts. My senses, body sensations, feelings, thoughts, experiences, etc., all seem to be localized and happening to me. However, the “me” is always discreetly added.
If you continue on this path of inquiry scientifically, you come to realize that this “I” that I call me, is incapable of experiencing anything; it can only think about feelings whether pleasurable or painful. Furthermore, if it thinks about something, the feelings are now in the past. Yesterday, tomorrow and I, are the biggest myths of existence. Why such committed pursuit of tomorrow and how does this apply to communication and public speaking? According to psychologist Burt Harding, this “I” (me) is the greatest illusion man has ever known. It wreaks havoc in our lives and robs us of much needed direction and joyous experiencing.
When we feel something it is feeling that is happening NOT “me feeling”. The me is a witness not the actor. As a matter of fact, when we are completely absorbed in a task such as listening to music, writing or watching a movie, etc., we become completely transparent. All that remains is the experiencing without an “I” to remember. All experiencing is total. The minute I bring “me” into it there comes a split between the experience and the experiencer (me), and the now-moment is gone. Self-consciousness is always rooted in that split between experience and thinking about the experience. It is the most important aspect of relieving tension in public speaking.
There is now-moment experiencing and remembered living. When I remember living there is no experiencing, just brain activity at the cellular level that activates what has already happened in the form of imagery. In the context of the now-moment, all that is happening is in perfect synch and harmony. I like to call it surrendered living. The process has switched from memory to total experiencing. What is surrendered is the idea of a me as well as the surrender of the fear of not knowing what is going to happen next. Worrying about the future is a mind phenomena; it is a learnt process. In surrendered living there is no concern for tomorrow or the mystery of life. The best moments of our human existence are experienced; they are never remembered.
The connection to public performance of any kind is obvious. All public speaking is experiential in nature. It means it is not a mind process like math. Memory is only useful to facilitate fuller experiencing like remembering where you put your plane ticket before you go on a trip. When it tries to replace experiencing or take it hostage, all falls short. It’s like trying to fall in love with someone you just met from memory. Your mind may think it can because it remembers love experiences from the past but it is incapable of creating an experience.
Nirvana for speakers and performers is the simplicity of living in the present moment, empty of the past or the future.
If you need coaching or know someone who could benefit from honing these skills or you wish to comment, feel free to contact me on my cell at (310) 205-9219 or go to my contact page by clicking here!