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TOPIC: Personality and Presence

Sufi Spiritual Practice understands Human Beings as existing and functioning in several
different but inter-related dimensions simultaneously.   It focuses primarily on two of them:

Human Personality (including Mental, Emotional, and Bodily)
Essential Presence (including the Lataif).

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Personality consists of our conventional Mental, Emotional, and Bodily states and their
processes:  perception, thought, memory . . . emotion . . . physiological sensation and
activity, etc.   Through the ongoing "Arc of Descent", these combine at any given moment
to form the specific unfolding of the Diversity of Reality that is the conventional
dimension of an individual Human Being's existence and experience.

Essential Presence, on the other hand, is understood by Sufism to be a kind of second,
Unified spiritual dimension in Human Beings that underlies and supports the physical body
and is the ultimate source of its states and processes.

When experienced directly and unconditionedly, Presence is a distinct and persistent
experience with three simultaneous and unified qualities:   a "sensation" of tangible
Existence . . . an Awareness of itself . . . and an "affect" of Benevolence.   These aspects
parallel the Bodily, Mental, and Emotional Centers of the conventional Personality, which
Presence underlies and patterns.

But the experience of that Presence as a whole is typically indirect in most people most of
of the time.  Presence is only experienced as a kind of implicit "background" state which,
because it is always there, is rarely noticed or recognized in itself.