I first came across the idea of thinking interrupting presence only recently, in reading Alan Watts’ work, The Wisdom of Insecurity.
Here is the idea:
Whenever we’re engaged in thinking we cannot be present — i.e. we lose touch with being present in our senses when we’re engaged in thought. Contemplation is the mid-ground — part thinking, part presence. Anytime we’re busy thinking, or doing for that matter, which is also beyond contemplation, we lose presence.
God is deeply part of each experience as we allow.
And each process — thinking, contemplation and presence — is of equal value. Each has a vital part in our contemplative experience. And of reality, each of these three melds with the others into our felt experience of reality, being that one cannot be separated out from the others with any firm distinction.
It could be deduced, then, that in doing and doing and doing, we’re also thinking too much. Not that it’s bad to think. No, it’s good to think. But to think too much makes the mind weary and dissuades the heart from its passion.
Presence is healing, and if presence is being without thought, then we need to simply sit and be, without thought, more often.
Could it be that nothing would add to our lives unless we were prepared to have some things taken away?
Could it be that less is more, and that more is disillusioned by the lies it’s been told?
Imagine if minimalist living really was the secret to experiencing healing, that presence, through the abandoning of thought, held the key to our contentment.
The idea of presence, which underpins rest, peace, and shalom, pivots around not thinking, but the absence of thought.