Only Now - Leonard Jacobson

Leonard Jacobson BlogLeonard Jacobson is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. He teaches how to become fundamentally present and how to arise in mastery of your mind and ego, so that you are no longer involuntarily pulled out of Presence. He has been teaching people how to be present for over 25 years. Visit his site.
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Featured Video: Deepening into Presence PDF Print E-mail
Post by Leonard Jacobson   
Saturday, 12 February 2011 12:29

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In this video, Leonard Jacobson offers guidance on how we can deepen into Presence and make the present moment the foundation of our lives. He identifies the story that the majority of humanity is lost in and explains how we can free ourselves from this world of illusion and truly be here. Finally, Leonard reveals who we are when we relax out of the mind and settle into Presence, where life becomes simple, uncomplicated, and fulfilling. 

Leonard Jacobson's latest book, Journey into Now, is a complete guide along the path of awakening.

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Do We Create our own Future? PDF Print E-mail
Post by Leonard Jacobson   
Thursday, 19 August 2010 01:49

Question: Do we create our own future? There seem to be two opinions in the metaphysical world on this subject: The New Age thinkers say that whatever you want, you can make happen. You can create your own reality. Then there's A Course In Miracles, of which I am a student, that says that the "script has already been written." In other words, we pre-chose the events and circumstances of our life and therefore, we can't make up a new script. What's your opinion on this subject?

Leonard's Answer: Both the New age approach and the approach outlined in A Course in Miracles are true, but at different levels of consciousness.

Thoughts are creative, but for most people, thoughts and desires occur at an unconscious level. On the surface, you might want a new job or a partner to share your life with. You might pray for these things to appear in your life and yet they do not. This is because, at an unconscious level, you are harboring contradictory thoughts, beliefs and desires. For example, at an unconscious level, you might believe that you are not good enough or that you are unwanted or unloved. Or you might have decided that love hurts or that love leads to pain and separation and so you prefer to be alone. These things are in direct conflict with your conscious thoughts and desires and so life does not know how to respond to you. More than likely, your unconscious beliefs and desires will prevail.

Using the New Age approach, you bring these unconscious beliefs and desires into consciousness and replace them with positive beliefs. An example of New Age methodology is the use of affirmations and positive thinking. By being positive and very clear about what we want, it is created.

To some degree, this is true, but it is subject to a higher law, which flows from a higher level of consciousness. The law of Karma is involved here. Prior to our current incarnation, we existed at the level of soul, and one of our principal objectives in incarnating into this lifetime, is to heal and purify past Karma which is affecting the soul. We are here to learn our lessons about love, acceptance, power and compassion. We are here to awaken into love, truth and Oneness. We are here to deliver our own soul into the conscious experience of Immortality. And so, the script is written prior to our incarnating into physical form and it is intended to give us the highest impetus and opportunity to awaken and learn our lessons. The more open we are to learning our lessons, the less we have to experience pain and suffering.

This level of law, which is reflected in "A Course in Miracles" prevails over the New Age approach. In other words, it does not matter what you want. What will ultimately emerge in your life is whatever is for your highest good, and that is largely predetermined by the soul's script and the law of Karma.

There is yet another level of consciousness, which prevails over the two previous levels. As we awaken into the highest and most exalted level of consciousness, the script and pre-determinism of "A Course in Miracles" is also transcended.

Everything that occurs in your life is a part of God's plan to wake you up and bring you fully present. We are so fast asleep that sometimes God has to shake us up to wake us up. Whatever it takes! Once we are fully present, then basically, God wants us to have whatever we want, because then we are fully conscious and awakened Beings of Love. We know who we and we know Who, What and Where God is and we are awake in the truth of life.

We see that God has already created all that is, and we relax into the perfection of that. There is no need to create anything ourselves, At this level we begin to experience Heaven on Earth and our true and most perfect future unfolds through the doorway of the present moment. It is inevitable. This is a rare state of attainment at this stage of human evolution. But it is our ultimate destiny.

~Leonard Jacobson

Leonard Jacobson's latest book, Journey into Now, is a complete guide along the path of awakening.

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You are Love PDF Print E-mail
Post by Leonard Jacobson   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 04:59


When you are present, you are love, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You radiate love in the same way that a candle flame radiates light and it has nothing to do with who or what you love. Humanity has become hopelessly lost in love. We lose ourselves in the object of our love and in the process, we lose ourselves. We disconnect from the source of the love, which exists at the very center of our Being. Then we feel a certain kind of emptiness, because we have moved away from the center. We are afraid of the emptiness, and so we relentlessly pursue love outside of ourselves. We want to be loved. We fall in love. We lose ourselves in the object of the love, which takes us further from the center. Eventually, we become so lost in the pursuit of love and all the hope, pain, fear and attachments associated with it, that we can no longer be present. And if we cannot be present, we cannot find our way back to the source of the love, which is at the very center within us.

The truth is that if you love anyone or anything, it simply means that you are love. The one you are loving in the moment might be lovable, but the source of the love is always within you. If another loves you, do not take it too personally. It simply means that the other is love. If I am present and I am love, and you are present and you are love, then why do I need you to love me? Why do you need me to love you? The truth is that we do not need to be loved, for if we are present, we are love. So let us hold hands, and gaze together upon this wondrous world with love.

Love everything. Love the dogs. Love the children. Love the trees. Love your wife or husband. But remember it is because you are love.

~Leonard Jacobson

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Devotion to the Teacher PDF Print E-mail
Post by Leonard Jacobson   
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 14:33

From Leonard Jacobson’s latest book, Journey into Now.

journey-into-now

There is a tendency to project the source of truth onto another. This often happens in our relationship with the teacher and it acts as a barrier to true awakening.

One Thursday evening, at one of my teaching sessions in Corte Madera, Laura raised her hand to speak. She is an earnest young woman who had recently attended one of my five-day residential retreats.

“I feel confused,” she said. “A part of me wants to give myself over to you completely. I can feel devotion arising within me. But another part of me feels afraid. I do not trust you and I want to run from you.”

“That is perfectly natural,” I replied. “When someone is very present with you, it is a beautiful experience. It is the most perfect gift we can share with each other. It is appropriate that you would feel love for me. But the danger is that you will project the source of that love onto me, and that you will lose yourself in your devotion.”

She confessed that she had done this with a guru she had been with several years ago.

“There are many people on this planet who happily encourage your projections and are supported by your devotion. They want you to give yourself over to them and it is not surprising that mistrust should arise as a byproduct of your devotion.”

I paused for a while to allow my words to be absorbed.

“A true teacher will not allow you to project the source of love onto him. He or she will be very skilled at reflecting the love back to you, until you recognize that the love you feel is arising within you, and that you are the source of the love. A true teacher will insist that you reclaim all your projections, both positive and negative. A true teacher will not allow you to lose yourself in devotion.”

I could see that she was relaxing.

“What are you feeling in this moment?” I asked.

“I am feeling very present,” she replied quietly. “And I am feeling very intense love for you.”

“That is beautiful,” I told her. “It is only natural that you would feel love for me if you are very present with me. Just as I feel love for you. Now turn from me and be present with these flowers.”

She turned and was very present with the flowers on the table next to me.

“What are you feeling now?” I asked her.

She looked quite radiant as she responded.

“I am feeling very intense love for the flowers.”

“Good,” I said. “And if you were to behold the distant mountain, you would feel love for that. When you are present, you are love and everything that you are present with reflects that love to you.”

~Leonard Jacobson - Journey into Now
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Awakening Part 1: An Interview with Leonard Jacobson PDF Print E-mail
Post by Leonard Jacobson   
Sunday, 06 December 2009 05:33

First of a two-part series from, “The Edge” magazine, by Tim Miejan

In this age of heightened security, global uncertainty and climatic change, many spiritual teachers and guides continue to lead the human race toward conscious evolution. Leonard Jacobson is one such awakened soul who urges us to temper the desire of the ego for power and control, and to “integrate awakened consciousness into everyday life, enhancing every aspect of life and relationships.”

leonard jacobsonJacobson, 65, has been guiding people on the path of awakening for more than 20 years through three previous books [Words from Silence, Embracing the Present, and Bridging Heaven & Earth] and workshops in the U.S., Europe and his native Australia. In 2007, he brought to us the book Journey Into Now – Clear Guidance on the Path of Spiritual Awakening (Conscious Living Publication) in which he shares the details of his six remarkable awakenings, or peak experiences, and guides the reader out of the mind and into the present moment.

“Most of the conflict, abuse and injustice we experience is based upon the fact that the ego, with its self-serving attitude, and its need for power and control, has become too dominant in our lives,” Jacobson said. “For the most part, we are lost in a dangerous world of illusion, made real through the power of belief. Our beliefs separate us and lead to all kinds of cruelty and abuse in the name of our beliefs. The more rigid our beliefs, the more we are willing to wage war upon each other, and the more we will exploit each other and our environment.

“Quite frankly, we have become too technologically advanced to continue living unconsciously upon this planet. The only viable antidote is for millions of us to experience a spiritual awakening…an awakening out of separation and illusion into the Truth of our Oneness.”

The author and spiritual teacher, founder of The Conscious Living Foundation, spoke to us about the Journey Into Now from his home just outside of Santa Cruz in Northern California.

What’s the primary message of Journey into Now?

Leonard Jacobson: Well, it’s really a comprehensive guide to spiritual awakening,. When I speak of awakening, we have to ask what are we awakening from? And what are we awakening to? Essentially, we are awakening from the world of the human thinking mind. It is a world of the past and the future, a world of memory, idea, imagination, concept and belief. It is a world of never ending thought. It is a world of separation and illusion, and for the most part, humanity is imprisoned within this limited level of consciousness. When we awaken, we emerge from the past and future world of thought into the world of now. We open into the truth of life revealed through the present moment. We awaken from illusion into truth and from separation into Oneness.

journey into nowFrom the perspective of most people on the planet, they would call “reality” the part of life that you say we’re awakening from.
LJ:
Yes. They would say it’s reality – and that’s the problem. That’s where the world has gone astray. It is not until you awaken that you realize that it is all an illusion. You have to wake up from the dream to realize that you were lost in a dream. Let me sum up my entire teaching and the book in one sentence, which is this: In Truth, there is no life outside of this moment. How can we possibly live outside of this moment? It’s not possible, and yet we all miraculously manage to do so. How do we do that? We literally think ourselves into the past and future. We think ourselves out of the present moment, into a memory of the past or a fantasy of the future. We think our way out of the truth into our concepts, ideas and opinions, which have nothing to do with the truth. Then we become so absorbed into the world of the mind that we cannot find our way back to the present moment.

Some people, like yourself, have had peak experiences where you’re moved into that present moment. For other people, it has occurred more slowly over time. Why does it occur differently from person to person?
LJ:
It has something to do with the soul’s journey and past lifetimes. What I would say is that those who have peak experiences and those who go through a process of gradual awakening all finish up in the same place, which is here, now. This is the whole point of the journey. In fact, many people who have had those peak enlightenment experiences often get caught up in them and…

They think that they’re special?
LJ:
That often happens. After the experience has subsided, the ego identifies with it and thinks that it’s enlightened. It is very difficult to awaken out of an enlightened ego or an ego which has become spiritualized. The truth is that a peak enlightenment experience is just like any other experience. It’s something that arises within your consciousness and it passes. The real question is, “Who is experiencing?” Experiences come. Experiences go. This includes the peak experience. But the one experiencing remains the same. To realize this is to realize your true and essential nature.

How do you compare the terms “enlightenment” and “awakening?”
LJ:
I prefer the term “awakening.” We all go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. We know what it means to “wake up.” When we wake up in the morning, we are awakening from a world of sleep and dreams and unconsciousness. We then proceed through the day, believing that we are awake. What we don’t realize is that when we wake up in the morning we are not waking up fully. Just as in sleep, there is a dream stage, as we open our eyes and are in the process of waking up, there is also a dream stage. To the extent that we are lost in thought, or caught in some past memory or future imagining, or identified with our concepts, ideas, opinions and beliefs, we are still dreaming! To awaken fully in consciousness is to complete the process of awakening past the dream state. It is to awaken out of the past and future, and out of thought so fully that your mind is silent. In the awakened state, you are fully here, with what is here and you are nowhere else. You are not partially here, and partially lost in some past memory or future imagining. You are fully here and awake in the truth of life.

Enlightenment is more complex. Ultimately, enlightenment is a concept and all concepts keep us in the mind. It is very easy for the ego to become involved in the quest for enlightenment, which is a very powerful obstacle to awakening. The quest for enlightenment tends to keep you in the future., where as true awakening is about being present, and you can only be present now.

I have a very simple view of enlightenment. Most of our thoughts, beliefs, and repressed feelings function with us at an unconscious level. So much is hidden and buried within the darkness of our unconscious minds. As a part of the awakening process, all these things must surface into consciousness. As Jesus said, “All that is hidden shall be revealed!” As these things surface, we are becoming enlightened, in the sense that more and more of that which was hidden and unconscious is being revealed into the light of consciousness. We are becoming present and conscious Beings, rather than absent and unconscious Non-Beings.

Are most people in various stages in the process of awakening?
LJ:
We are all equally awake, in the sense that the fully awakened dimension of consciousness exists at the very center of each one of us. It always has and it always will. In truth, we are Eternal Beings. We exist in a state of Oneness. However, this awakened consciousness is only available to us when we are present. To varying degrees we have disconnected from our true nature as we became more absorbed into the past and future world of thought. Some of us are more grounded in Presence than others. Some of us are more lost in the mind than others. It is only in that sense that there are various stages in the process of awakening.

How does the experience that we have in our daily life, our relationships and our challenges and our problems and all that, relate to the process of awakening? Some would say that we are here in body to experience that and to learn from it.
LJ:
Everything that occurs in our lives is designed to propel us towards our own awakening. It could be a difficult relationship. It could be emotional or physical pain or it could be a difficult experience like loss of a loved one. There really are no exceptions. Life is a mirror reflecting to you what is in need of healing, or important lessons that you need to learn as a part of your process of awakening. But you have to know how to look into the mirror. Once you realize this, then all problems and difficulties are transformed into opportunities for awakening.

Is it sometimes difficult to explain the process of awakening through words?

LJ: No one can really understand what awakening is with the mind. The awakened state is always beyond understanding. Jesus referred to it as “The peace that passeth understanding.” This does not mean that I can’t speak of the awakened state and share the awakened state of consciousness with others. If I am speaking from Presence and members of the audience are hearing from Presence, then we will all experience the awakened state and open into Oneness.

The problem arises when I am speaking from Presence and a member of the audience is trying to understand with the mind. That audience member will miss what is being conveyed. To know the awakened state, you must experience it yourself. My Presence and my words spoken from Presence facilitate that experience. But just because you have experienced the awakened state of Presence does not mean that you are awake. To be awake is to be fundamentally grounded and established in Presence. This involves arising in mastery of the mind and ego. To this extent, my words can also be useful in revealing a way of awakening that leads to Presence and Mastery.

Do you find that the process of awakening is like other things we do in life where we need to practice, where we need classes, where we need to read about it to move toward that space?
LJ:
It’s a combination of all of those things you mentioned. Reading about it is helpful initially, of course. We need guidance. We need clarification of the way of awakening. Practice is good, to a point, but eventually practice has to be left behind. Visiting teachers is, of course, very useful, as long as you don’t project the awakened state onto the teacher. In other words, if you experience silence and Oneness in the presence of a teacher, it’s because silence and Oneness is arising within you. A true teacher will not allow that projection.

Do you use any practices to become present? Does it require any effort on your part??
LJ:
No, not now. I might have many years ago, but now I am fully established in Presence. There comes a point where you no longer live from within the mind. Your home is the present moment. You think when it is appropriate and when you are done thinking, you naturally and spontaneously return to the present moment. Even when you are thinking, you don’t really disconnect from the present moment. Eventually, the ego relaxes it hold over you. Its role is transformed as it learns to trust the flowering of Presence from within.

Most of us don’t really understand the ego, that it actually serves a good purpose in our lives.
LJ:
The ego came into our lives as our friend and protector. It came in at a very young age to help us cope with the pain that arises from having to live in a world where no one is truly present. The painful feelings of separation are too much to bear at such a young age, and so the ego literally pops into our existence. It is the custodian of the separation. It’s first job as our protector is to repress all those feelings that are too difficult to deal with. Once it has accomplished that, it assumes control of our lives with the explicit purpose of managing and controlling our lives in away that will minimize or at least manage the pain of separation. It will do whatever it takes to help you feel loved, accepted and acknowledged, and avoid painful feelings like judgment, rejection, failure and isolation.

The problem is that all these ego survival strategies are based in the past. The repressed feelings are based in the past, and so the ego’s dominance in our lives keeps us in the past. This is a profound obstacle to awakening into the present. It is only when we awaken that we realize that the ego has us imprisoned in a painful past so that it can maintain its role as our protector. It is not until we awaken that we realize that the separation is based in the past, and that if we will just become present, the separation dissolves and we open into Oneness. For most people, however, the ego has them imprisoned in a painful past, or a hopeful future, and it has no intention of releasing them.

There are six billion people living on this earth, each of us living in our individual worlds of separation. We get along with those who share the same set of illusions and we declare war on those who have a different set of illusions, and we are very destructive in our unconsciousness.

That’s not very pleasant to think about if you look at it that way.
LJ:
It’s not, but that’s what’s happening in our world. You see, the basic position of the ego as it develops within us is this: me, me, me; mine, mine, mine; I’m right, I’m right, I’m right; what’s in it for me; how can I use this; how do I take advantage. Now, if you have six million egos living in this way, what kind of world would we find ourselves living in? The answer is, the world as it is today. I’m not being negative or judgmental, but it really is time for us to awaken as a species. We’re the only species on the planet that is not awake.

We’re the only species that is not fully here. The monkey is here, the gorilla is here, the donkey, the tree, the mountain. They are all fully here. I have never met a tree or a donkey or a mosquito that is lost in thought. Everything is here in its Being-ness, except us. What happened to us? We got lost. Where did we get lost? We got lost in the past and future world of our mind, filled with our memories, our thoughts, our ideas, our concepts, our opinions, and our imaginings – none of which has any relationship to truth.

Do you think that humans at any time were here, awake?
LJ:
Throughout history, there have always been a small number of humans who have been awake. History has produced great teachers, like Buddha, Lao Tzu and Jesus. In our time, we have had teachers like Krishnamurti, Gurdjieff and Ramana Maharshi. And yet very few of us have awakened. There has been too much resistance and not enough to motivate us to collectively awaken. Until now! Perhaps it is a question of timing. The need to awaken has never before been so urgent. Our survival is at stake.

Because the potential for destruction is so great?
LJ:
Exactly. We have become so technologically advanced that we now have the ability to destroy ourselves and most of the species living on this planet. You can’t kill that many people with a sword. You can’t cut down that many trees with an axe. You couldn’t create so much pollution 200 years ago that it would become a threat to our survival. But with the advancement in technology, all that has changed. The advancement of technology is a function of the mind. The mind has created the problem, and we need to balance that with an awakening in consciousness, transcendent of the mind.

How would you describe the current state of human consciousness in terms of its level of awakening? Is it easier to awaken now than in the past? Are more people awakening?
LJ:
Absolutely! I’ve been doing this work for 25 years, since my first awakening. In those early days of teaching, I would have to work with people for a year or so, for them to really open into Presence and Oneness, but now that process is rapidly accelerating. In just one day or a weekend, people can have a very deep and lasting experience of the awakened state. People are much more interested in being present today than they were 25 years ago. The problem is that as more and more of us truly awaken in consciousness, it is met with a corresponding movement into unconsciousness. It’s as if the forces of consciousness and unconsciousness are battling it out within a dual realm. Of course when you awaken, you transcend duality and open into Oneness. In Oneness, there is no opposition. There is no resistance. There is no opposing force. We just need enough of us to awaken individually to impact at the collective level, and then it will become easier and easier and easier. That’s really our only hope, and I’m fairly optimistic.


Leonard Jacobson’s next book, Liberating Jesus, will be released in 2010. It is based on profound revelations about Jesus that Leonard had in his second awakening experience. He also will release a book for children, In Search of the Light. For more information on Leonard Jacobson and his work, please visit www.leonardjacobson.com

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Awakening Part 2: An Interview with Leonard Jacobson PDF Print E-mail
Post by Leonard Jacobson   
Sunday, 06 December 2009 05:31

Second of a two-part series from, “The Edge” magazine, by Tim Miejan

In the conclusion of this interview, Jacobson speaks with us about duality, the role of religion in the process of awakening, and about belief in God.

How would you describe the current state of human consciousness in terms of its level of awakening? Is it easier to awaken now than in the past? Are more people awakening?

LJ: Absolutely! I’ve been doing this work for 25 years, since my first awakening. In those early days of teaching, I would have to work with people for a year or so, for them to really open into Presence and Oneness, but now that process is rapidly accelerating. In just one day or a weekend, people can have a very deep and lasting experience of the awakened state. People are much more interested in being present today than they were 25 years ago.

The problem is that as more and more of us truly awaken in consciousness, it is met with a corresponding movement into unconsciousness. It’s as if the forces of consciousness and unconsciousness are battling it out within a dual realm. Of course when you awaken, you transcend duality and open into Oneness. In Oneness, there is no opposition. There is no resistance. There is no opposing force. We just need enough of us to awaken individually to impact the collective level, and it will become easier and easier and easier. That’s really our only hope, and I’m fairly optimistic.

And yet, when you’re in the awakened state you still have some concern for the state of duality?

LJ: Even those who are fully awake are aware of time, are aware of what is happening in the world as a result of human unconsciousness. You can’t help but observe what is going on. That does not mean that you enter into judgment. It does not mean that you disconnect from Presence because of your concern for the state of the world. Ultimately, everything is accepted for what it is, and that includes human extinction if that is the destiny that we create for ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is a natural response of Presence to express the truth when encountering illusion, even in the face of great resistance. History is full of such examples, from Jesus to Gandhi to Martin Luther King. When you awaken, you are much more aware of the beauty of the natural world and you recognize your role as a caretaker. And so you do your best to act consciously upon the earth, and encourage others to act consciously, rather than unconsciously and destructively. Essentially, it is an empowered response from Presence. I’m doing what I can by writing books and teaching and sharing a way of awakening with those who a ready to respond. And as each of awakens, it impacts at the collective level.

So you must feel pretty satisfied that there are other people who are also speaking about the present moment now, like Eckhart Tolle. I have received some of that from my experiences in person with people like Thich Nhat Hanh, with the walking meditation, being present in the moment on the ground, on the earth.

LJ: Yes, there’s no question about it. Being present is the key to awakening, and that seems to be emerging as the current and prominent teaching. The present moment reveals the eternal now. The present moment reveals Oneness. The present moment opens us up to the living presence of God, and ultimately reveals Heaven on Earth. We just have to realize that being present is not a practice or a meditation. It is our natural state.

What role has religion played in the process of awakening?journey into now

LJ: More than anything, religion has distracted us from the truth. What I would say is, “Don’t be a Buddhist, be a Buddha. Don’t be a Christian, be a Christ.” And Buddha and Jesus would support those statements unconditionally. That was the whole point of their teaching. They were not seeking to create a religion. Their Presence gave rise to the possibility not of millions of Buddhists and millions of Christians, but millions of Buddhas and millions of Christs. That is our true destiny, but it is impossible to know the true meaning of their words other than from within the awakened state of consciousness and then the meaning of their words is clear.

They put their messages out, but the people who were not awake misinterpreted what they were saying.

LJ: That’s absolutely true. It’s inevitable that that would occur, because you can’t know the truth of Christ or the truth of Buddha from within the mind. Jesus and Buddha were speaking from a dimension of truth transcendent of the mind, so the mind is always going to misunderstand and misinterpret. The ego is always going to misunderstand and misinterpret, and worse than that, the ego is going to misuse the truth toward it’s own ends.

Why do you write that belief in God is an obstacle to knowing God?

LJ: Because belief is a function of the mind and God is unknowable with the mind. To believe in God is to create God in man’s image and it doesn’t work. You can only know God through direct experience which arises out of the deepest levels of Presence. Did Jesus believe in God, or did he know God? For those who don’t know God through direct experience, all that’s really available is belief in God and belief in God has nothing to do with knowing God. God is unknowable with the mind, and yet we can experience God directly by coming to where God is. For me, God is the silent presence at the very heart of all things present. God is real. God is here, now, but we are not. We are lost in the past and future world of thought. We are lost in concepts, including spiritual and religious concepts and beliefs. If we want to experience the living presence of God, we will have to come to where God is, which is here, now. Then we will begin to experience God as the silent Presence at the very heart of all things present. That’s what omnipresence really means! For believers it’s a comforting concept. For mystics who are awake in the truth of life, it’s a living reality.

And that’s where we experience true happiness.

LJ: True awakening is beyond happiness, because happiness is in duality with sadness. Of course, when you are present, happiness will arise. But it will pass. Bliss will arise, but it will pass. If you identify with these feelings as they arise, you will take yourself into duality. You will invite unhappiness and despair into your life, because that is the nature of duality. All experience will pass but what remains constant is the one experiencing. True awakening is not about bliss or happiness. It is not about what you get out of it. It is just about being here, because when you are present, you are in the truth of life and you choose to be in the truth of life, rather than lost in a world of illusion.

So, the experience of knowing God through direct experience is ultimately where we’re moving toward through the process of awakening?

LJ: Yes, it’s our ultimate destiny. It’s every human’s ultimate destiny, but we’ve been dramatically sidetracked into the world of the mind, into the world of separation and illusion, where the ego reigns supreme. The ego is the custodian of the separation, and its role is to keep us imprisoned within the separation.

How does reincarnation work with the awakening process?

LJ: Well, it’s as if we’re reincarnating lifetime after lifetime until we get it right. The soul is on a journey from Oneness into separation, ultimately to return to Oneness. We are that part of the soul incarnating into this lifetime to advance the soul towards it’s ultimate destiny. In that sense, we are the champions of our own soul. We’re here to learn certain lessons that will advance the soul towards its immortality and restore the soul to Oneness. The are several key lessons that we are here to learn. What is the true nature of love? Because we’re all lost in a false notion of love. What is the true nature of power? Because we’re all painfully lost in false power. What is the true nature of acceptance? Because we are all lost in judgment. And what is the true nature of compassion? Because we have all disconnected from the pain of separation. These are fundamental lessons that will advance the soul towards redemption.

However, there is a master lesson that the soul itself is not aware of: Through the doorway of the present moment, Oneness is redeemed and the eternal is revealed. The soul believes that by perfecting itself over many lifetimes, it will eventually be restored to Oneness. It sees its destiny as somewhere in its future. And that is the soul’s mistake. I speak about it in my book, Journey into Now. There can be no deliverance in the future, because there is only now. The future that we believe in is an illusion. That is the master lesson that we can discover upon behalf of the soul. We cannot awaken in the future. We can only awaken now! And so we respond by becoming more and more present, until we are fundamentally established in Presence and the realization of Oneness. We have arisen in mastery of the mind and ego, so that we are no longer imprisoned within the past and future. And then, miraculously, we will come to realize that not only have we awakened in this lifetime, but through our awakening, we have delivered the soul into its own immortality.

Because then you’re not moving toward any future goal, you’re now.

LJ: That’s it. You’re here now. You relax, you settle, you enjoy, that’s it.

And we really haven’t had enough people do that to really share with everybody what lies beyond that.

LJ: That’s true. But there are a few who have awakened to a level where they can describe what life is like when we awaken. Most of humanity is lost in illusion. We’re so governed by the ego. We’re so caught in separation, through judgment. There are very powerful forces of resistance to awakening. That’s why we need a very, very, clear revealing of the way of awakening if we’re going to awaken at a collective level, and it has to be simple. It has to be clear. It has to be free of dogma and concept. It has to be free of the projection onto the guru.

The process of awakening, in one sense, seems as if it were something that would be simple to do. But, on the other hand, to truly come into awakening and to experience God directly, does that involve a lot of work in terms of, as you say, owning all the parts of who we are and moving through that whole process?

LJ: That’s a really good question. To be awake is as simple as being fully present in the moment of now. If you’re fully present with something that’s actually here in the moment with you, your mind will fall silent, thoughts will stop, and you’ll be awake in the truth of life. You’ll be fully here, now. And that is always instant and immediate. There’s no practice, there’s no delay, there’s no gap.

However, it is not so easy to remain present as we live our lives. It is not so easy to become fundamentally established in Presence and you are not truly awake until you’re fundamentally established in presence. The way of awakening that I teach involves two steps.

Step one involves learning the art of being present. Just bring yourself present with something that is here in the moment with you, and you will come out of the mind. Thoughts will stop. You will be a present and awakened being for as long as you remain present. Bring yourself present many times each day. Choose to be present whenever there is no need to be thinking. When you’re washing the dishes or having a shower, there is no need to be thinking. The more you choose to be present, rather than lost in the mind, the easier it will become.

Step two is essential for true awakening. It leads to mastery of the mind and ego. We have to go through a process of bringing consciousness to all the ways that we’re pulled out of presence. I’ve identified four aspects to step two. The first is the ego’s seduction and temptation. The ego is extremely skilled at pulling us out of the present moment into the past and future. We have to bring the ego’s subtle strategies of resistance to Presence to consciousness, and we have to come into right relationship with the ego. The second is denial of who we’ve become. We are deeply addicted to judging and denying certain aspects of ourselves which we are ashamed of. We have to go through a process of owning, acknowledging and confessing who we have become, if we are to open into the truth of who we are and we have to do so without judgment. We have to own and acknowledge all those aspects of ourselves that we have been judging, or hiding. This will lead to a deep relaxation as we go beyond all judgment of ourselves and others. The third is repression of emotions. We have to allow onto conscious experience and expression all those emotions repressed within us from our past. Otherwise those repressed emotions will constantly be triggered and projected onto the present. In a sense, those repressed emotions keep us imprisoned in a painful past. The fourth is entanglement in others. We have to bring to consciousness all the ways we lose ourselves in others. I explain all of this in detail in Journey into Now.Are you working on any other projects right now.

Are you working on any other projects right now.

LJ: Well, I’m working on a number of projects. I’m working on a children’s book, In search of the Light, which will be out in 2010. I’ve also written a play which I performed in Los Angeles for six weeks called “Liberating Jesus,” which is now available as a DVD. I am also planning to release it as a book. There are several other books which I am planning but haven’t started yet.


Leonard Jacobson’s next book, Liberating Jesus, will be released in 2010. It is based on profound revelations about Jesus that Leonard had in his second awakening experience. He also will release a book for children, In Search of the Light. For more information on Leonard Jacobson and his work, please visit www.leonardjacobson.com

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