This post is mainly in response to the comments/questions made by ramesam on Dec. 19 (the main points are repeated here for convenience), and they touch on much larger issues. This response also will consist of two posts because of the scope of what ramesam touched on.
The first concerned the seeming experience of “lack.” Ramesam was contrasting the joy and simplicity of simply being Presence, with what also sometimes seems to be a feeling or sense of lack:
“But then, we are back again into duality. The sense of a ‘lack’ haunts as Mr. Anand said. And once again you led us into that ‘inexpressible’ space in your response to him.
I want to get to the root of this ‘lack’ – a lack not for any objective ‘thing’ but that gut feeling of “not satisficing”.
One way is to see the ‘lack’ to be “ALL”, the very Being. However, this looks to be a mere explanation.”
First, for any who may be new here, the “stance” or perspective of Reality Check and this website (and the “stance” of Self Itself!) is the unchanging allness of Presence, or Present-ness. There is only the absoluteness or fullness of Infinite Present Being, wherein no absence of Being occurs. And again, this is not just a theory, but the unchanging “direct experience” of this One being presently conscious. It is the presence of Pure Present Being Itself, which is unchangingly present “pre” all seeming thoughts and feelings.
For the following to be clear, “start” or “look out as” this Unchanging total Presence of the Present Itself, Pure Being, (which, again, is the only Self being presently conscious here, now).
Being cannot be, and simultaneously experience a lack of Its own being—and this as far as It goes. Stop right here. Why? Because this is what is true of Being Itself, and there is no other. Being’s Absolute Presence never is missing or absent, and there simply is no other “stuff” existent that could be missing or absent. Period. As Being Itself is all that is being and does not change, a lack of Being (or any other kind of lack) is “un-occur-able”—so there definitely is no agreement with the third statement, above.
In order to even attempt to say there was lack, one would first have to be in order to do so. Being’s Presence is not an absence. What’s more, if there could be a lack of Being, then nothing would be, there would be no Existence at all, thus no one to even say they “lacked.”
No, Being is not any observable form or “thing” either—but It is not a total void or a lack. This is not something one can think, but what One IS, as Alive Formlessness, pure Open Awareness.
Being, Awareness, in order to be, must wholly or completely be. There is no such thing as partial being. Being either is or It isn’t, and Being is. As Being wholly is, or completely is, It could be called Wholeness or Completeness. It could be called Self-Satisfaction, for Being, Self, never is experiencing a lack of Its own Presence, which is all the Presence there is. There simply is nothing besides to operate as a dis-satisfying element.
But all these words or thoughts about Being are not what is important, or what is “satisfying”—It is the “Stuff” Itself—Being’s presently alive Presence, which never is lacking for presence or aliveness. True Satisfaction is not the having of any thing, not even a mental or emotional state—but is the clarity that there is nothing besides Infinite Openness, Presence. And It does not “have” Itself; It IS Itself. This does not mean there is anything wrong with “having things” in daily experience–not at all–it’s just that One does not look to them for satisfaction or happiness.
To sum it all up, the fact that Being, the Pure Present is ALL that is present means that if there could be lack–and that’s saying if–then there would have to be a lack of the Present Itself. But that simply never happens.
That being said, if it seems (emphasis on seems) there still is a feeling of lack, or of being unsatisfied, what exactly would it seem to be?
Notice that any sense or feeling of lack (a seeming lack of a thing, or just a vague feeling of lack or dissatisfaction) would be just that—a sense or a feeling, basically an emotion. This feeling of lack often is intertwined with thoughts: “I wish I had this or that thing,” or “I wish I had a better experience,” etc. Meanwhile, the entire “time,” Being is unchangingly, fully, completely present, as Pure Open Awareness. So it’s a matter of where one “identifies”—as the Present, as Awareness—or with thoughts and feelings. And what is Present Awareness Itself “identifying as”? As Itself, of course! Is there another being conscious that could mis-identify? No.
We use expressions such as, “That thought or feeling of lack was going on yesterday.” And that’s exactly the point—it would be a feeling that is going, and one that seems to be on. All there would be to a sense of lack, is a constantly moving “mental state” going on from one thought or feeling to another. There is no Presence in it. It seems as if these “constantly going” thoughts and feelings are superimposed on boundlessly abundant Being, the Present, which never fails to be Present.
It is as if the Present, Self-Satisfaction, is totally overlooked, ignored, or bypassed by identification with all the “add-on” thoughts and feelings. All so-called lack would be this mere superimposed state of thought, imagining that something besides the Pure Present is of value and is missing. But—Being, the Present, already is all that is present and conscious to be anything, and none of It ever is missing or absent!
Put it this way: Is the Present Itself ever having a “gut feeling” that some of Its Presence is missing? No. Is there another being present? No. Can Infinite Openness Itself ever have a “gut feeling” that something besides Itself is missing? No—because to Infinite Openness, there never could be anything besides Its Infinity to begin with. Gut feelings of human dissatisfaction would be vibrations or emotions, and those take time. In the Present, time does not occur, thus no such feelings.
All seeming sense of “lack” never is an absence of some thing—rather, it seems to be the having of too much—it is the having of too many of those assumed or “add-on” thoughts and feelings. It’s just a lot of thoughts that there could or should be something present besides the Present Itself. But there can’t be. It seems to be an assuming, a “taking on” or a super-imposing of a lot of thoughts and feelings “on top of” Pure Aware Being, Self-Satisfaction, the Present that never fails to be totally present, all Presence. No amount of super-imposed thoughts or feelings ever can change this.
So the “answer” is not to try to overcome a state of lack, but to simply be present (Pure Awareness Itself, being) to Whom there is no lack of Present-ness, thus no lack! By simply abiding as effortlessly present Presence, the would-be “lack thoughts and feelings” seem to dissolve, because all there would be to them is an ignoring of Present-ness. And can the Present Itself (the only One presently conscious) ever actually ignore Itself, even for a moment? No!
The notion of lack would consist only of thought, and thought is time—for all thoughts require time to occur. But Pure Awareness is all-present and cannot change. Herein no time occurs, thus there is no possibility of thought. If one is going to knowingly ignore one’s Satisfied Present-ness in favor of dissatisfied thinking and feelings, then one only has oneself to blame. And yet, again, the Present Itself being changelessly present, not even this is really possible.
The only one that seems to experience lack would be the super-imposed “personal I-self” or “personal thinking mind” that functions entirely in time. If there really were such a thing, it definitely would lack, because it would be made out of thought, made out of time, and time completely lacks Presence or Present-ness! It literally would be a state of non-presence! Now that would be “lack”! Yet, as said repeatedly, when starting from or as the Present Itself (this very Pure Awareness), the Present simply never, never is absent. Never. Thus to Present Awareness, Present Being, there never is “lack.”
This “starting” AS the Present Itself (which this very Awareness here, now, is eternally “doing”) is a complete reversal of the so-called human way of experiencing. It also is a reversal of what is considered to be “something,” and “nothing.”
On the level of the sensing, thinking mind, things and the act of thinking itself seem to be a “something”; this “something” of things and thoughts might be an image, a form, whatever–which seems to have a kind of “substance” to it, even if only “mental substance.” In other words, thinking assumes that what it thinks or experiences is “something,” or of value. But the only one saying that is that very same thinking!
What’s more, all seeming experience on the level of the senses and thought consists only of form—thought forms, object forms, and so on. On this level, form is something. And to these same senses and thinking, which know only form, the Infinite Present’s complete absence of form seems like a “nothing.” To sensing and thinking, the Present is invisible or “nothing” because the Present is not some thing or form that can be sensed or thought!
When seen from the stance of Absolute Present-ness, Pure Timeless Being, (this very Awareness, which is all that is truly present), that which constitutes “something” and “nothing” is put in an entirely different light.
To Present Awareness, there is only Itself, Its Formless Infinite Being, and as this is absolutely all that is being, It is all that exists to be “substance” or “something” if one is going to use such terms. But It is purely “spiritual” something or substance, not a material substance.
What’s more, to the Pure Present, thoughts, sensations and feelings are seen to be moving, passing, from one to the next. They would be one with never-present passing time. They would be not-the-Present, or non-presence.
So now, rather than being a “something,” all thought would be non-presence, never-presence, or “nothing.” In fact, to the unchanging Absolute Present, time and thought doesn’t even get that much status, because it never occurs!
So—everything is “reversed.” Infinite Presence, Openness, or Formlessness is all that is present to be “stuff” or “something” (but which is no thing, no form or object). And anything sensed or thought in time would be non-presence, and having no presence, it would be “nothing.”
It may sometimes seem that one unwittingly accepts such thoughts and feelings as being one’s own—but they’re not. Don’t claim them! They do not belong to You, unchanging Present-ness, Pure Being.
To identify with, or as, thoughts and feelings (which are inseparable from time) would be identifying with exactly what the Pure Present is not! They would be exactly what You are not. Time-thoughts and feelings would be a total lack of the Present (if such were really possible, which it isn’t).
So to first identify with or as thoughts-and-feelings-that-come-and-go-in-time is to be doomed to an experience of lack, for one always would be lacking Present-ness or Presence, which is another way of saying “Satisfaction.” And Satisfaction always is IMMEDIATELY available as Pure Awareness, Being.
This is why there is so much emphasis here and in Consciousness Is All on “starting” or identifying—not with a state of thinking and feeling that knows about “an” Awareness, “a” Present—but identifying directly AS, or being the Present Itself, AS Pure un-thinking Awareness. There is all the difference in the world—and, after all, this is what Awareness Itself aware here, now, is “doing” or being.