Excerpt About Presence

Presence Can Feel Substantial But it Has No Substance

When we explore what presence feels like, when we experience its luminosity, we recognize that, though it can feel substantial, it has no substance; it is not solid at all. Even though, when we first encounter it, we know that presence is what truly exists, our mind mistakenly conceives of its existence in the same way that we think a rock exists. But in doing that, we reify it, we concretize it, and miss its very nature. So we take presence to be existence, but the existence of presence is not like the existence of the body, for example, because it is not an object. Even though we say that presence is our being, that it is the authentic ontological ground of our consciousness, neither being nor existence are what we are referring to when we speak of the existence of a rock or a chair. We need to be very subtle in our understanding of what “presence is being” means. We need to recognize the pitfall of the tendency to objectify. This tendency to objectify is always an attempt to get away from this truth, from this reality that I am referring to as the black hole. And we are always trying to get away from it because it is always here; we cannot escape it. And somehow we are aware of that inescapability, we intuit it. We are continuously trying to create solidity because if we let ourselves completely relax, we will find out that the nature of presence itself is completely, absolutely nothing—it is more nothing than the nothing of empty space. It is nonbeing itself. So even though presence feels like being, when you recognize it, it is nonconceptual and therefore it is not—cannot be—the opposite of nonbeing. The notion of an opposite does not exist in the nonconceptual, and neither do being and nonbeing, because they are conceptual.

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