The sixth window of experience is presence, which means being there, in the world. We see presence dramatically in young children before they are socialized by the world in general and the educational system in particular. I recently sat with a depressed mother and her seven-year-old son. The mother was complaining in a rambling way, and I was simply looking at her. The boy was looking at a comic book he had brought with him. The mother was silent for a moment, and then asked, "Why are you looking at me?" Without looking up, the son answered for me, "Because you are more important than the telephone." That was a clear experiential description of presence.
The child is likely to lose much of that direct insight into presence. Most of us do as we are socialized. But one hopes he will regain enough of it in his adult life to make self-being possible. Absence characterizes selficide--either the absence of our being or the absence of our relationship to the world we live in. Thomas Wolfe was speaking about such absence in Of Time and the River: "We get together and talk, and say we think and feel and believe in such a way, and yet what we really think and feel and believe we never say at all." Unlike children, most adults are seldom present.
Taken from The Windows of Experience by Malone and Malone
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Jake Thiessen, PhD
I've been working with couples for a very long time. And, I love it! This blog is my attempt to communicate some of the things I've learned over the past 40 years.