A stranger on my path
When I am confronted by a stranger on my path, I have to know whether he is really there and whether he will attack me or not. I have to establish the fact that he is there, who he is and whether I can trust him or not, whether I have to be prepared to fight. Riva, Waterworth and Waterworth argue that a maximum sense of presence evolves when all three layers of presence are actively involved and integrated. The more a sense of presence is developed, the greater the chance of survival. On the proto level of presence I realize the state of my own body, I am aware of its strength and its possibility to act. At the level of 'core' presence I perceive my environment with all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. It informs me of where I am, in what environment. I realize the distance between the stranger and myself and I realize at what time speed we are moving. With my 'extended' feeling of presence I recognize the situation, judge the stranger and remember all I have learned and experienced in situations like this. My understanding of the situation is utilised to a maximum to inform my actions in the moments to come.
When one of these layers of presence is not functioning, my chances of survival will be lessened since I don't judge the situation I am in to the maximum of my abilities. I may not be aware, or confused about the state of my body due to many factors. And also my senses may not be functioning well. I may be under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs or technology may influence me in such a way that I misinterpret the feedback, which my own body and my senses give me. On the other hand, technology and pharmaceuticals may also improve the state of my proto, core and extended presence by making me more alert, by enhancing my sensorial perception, by accelerating my speed of thought and association.