When we refrain from mentally labeling something—even if just for 2 to 5 seconds—we learn to see beyond our mind and into the essence of the actual object. What shines forth is beyond thought and word: It is the very Presence of the thing itself, not the name we are conditioned to give it. Bentinho Massaro
Lesson 3 will help us discover how Presence applies not only to our personal existence, but to everything that exists.
It will help blur the imaginary lines between here versus there, now versus then, me versus you, Presence versus things, and reveal that all things are made out of the same Beingness.
Table of Contents
What is a “Thing”?
Pick an object.
In my experience, it may be easier to start with an object that has a fairly simple configuration and is somewhat homogeneous in nature (made of a single, or simple, material) and has decent-sized surfaces. For example: a glass instead of a toothpick (too small), or a rock over a cooked meal (too complex).
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you pick, so don’t think about it too long. (The example I’ll use here is a book.)
Now, place the object in front of you, or hold it in your hand. You’re going to discover how that object consists of Presence/Beingness.
The following sentence is your direct access to the experience that “everything has is-ness”:
Rule of thumb: Stop labeling what you see, and look at it as it is.
Two Ways to See Things
When I look at the book, I can either:
- Look at it through the tunnel-vision of my ideas about it.
- Notice my mind’s automatic labeling mechanism as it fires off words and ideas about the book, but choose to ignore these entirely (just say you’re not interested in labels anymore).
This second way of seeing—where I ignore the labels and words about the book because I desire to see its true presence—allows me to actually see beyond the haze of labels and words, until I sense the actual presence of the book itself.
It’s a process of consciously “tuning into” the object until your consciousness starts to match the frequency of the energy of the object, allowing you to “sense” or “get a feel for it” much more clearly.
When we’re tuning into something, rather than thinking about it, we get to experience the actual presence the object has, rather than be blinded by a myriad of assumptions and pre-conditioned ideas, names, and labels.
Can you see it? Can you sense the is-ness of your chosen object? Can you sense that no matter what label you throw at it, it will never actually touch the true presence of the object?
The object is free.
It is itself.
It is present Presence.
It is allowed to exist exactly as it is.
When you see the book like this, it is no longer really a book to you (even though common sense lets you know that it is), because in order for it to be a “book,” it needs to be perceived through the word “book” first.
In a wordless state of perception, what shines forth most predominantly from any object, is its immense, unique, and worthy presence: its true beauty, its true identity.
The more you place your attention on seeing the actual presence of the object, instead of talking about the object in your mind, you will find it is much like when the clouds part, allowing the presence of the sun to reveal its true glory.
“Thinking about something is the surest way to miss out on the beauty of that actual something.” Bentinho Massaro
None of your labels can survive the presence of the object itself. The presence of the object itself is simply Is-ness-Energy: Existence existing in the shape of that object, just as Existence is existing in the shape of your own body.
To fully see the ridiculous nature of labeling things, just realize that even a letter or a word is not actually “a letter” or “a word” because those are also labels. Letters and words and, yes, labels—even thoughts—are nothing but Presence-Energy!
So, in reality, when we perceive an object through a thought-label, we’re doing nothing more than perceiving energy distorted through more energy. If you apply the same exercise I demonstrated with the book to letters, words, labels, and thoughts, you will find they disappear from view as “things” and shine forth simply as being Presence-Energy.
So you see, since every thing is actually Presence-Energy (Existence itself), and since the very means we have to label things (words/thoughts) are also Existence existing, there really is no escaping the realization that Presence-Energy is the only “substance” in Creation; everything is made out of it.
Presence is inescapable. It’s everywhere. It’s everything.
You will find, as you practice this simple exercise over and over again, that the presence of objects starts to stand out to you more and more, and your ideas about objects start to seem more unreal and irrelevant, until they simply stop arising (unless they are relevant or practical).
“Do not mistake the finger pointing to the moon, to be the moon itself.” Bruce Lee, after Huineng
“Anything you’re completely uninterested in, naturally disappears from view.” Bentinho Massaro
When your labels for the object of perception no longer fool you into believing the word is the actual thing, you simply use them (labels) when it makes sense in the conversation you’re having, or because they are needed to perform a task.
Remember, when you’re thinking about an object, you’re not actually tuned into the vibration and the presence of the object itself; you’re just seeing your personal mind’s projection—biased and colored through years of unconscious assuming. This is not a true way to see anything, and not a valid way to respond to the amazing phenomena of creation.
As you practice this lesson’s seeing exercise, you will start to get a clearer sense of the veil of labels and words—the web of your personal mind’s conditioning. Seeing this, it becomes easier to ignore the mind’s interpretations and glimpse the vividness of Existence beyond the veil.
“You can’t not listen to what you don’t first hear is there. You can’t transcend what you don’t first know you have.” Bentinho Massaro
“You can only get better if you’re sick of being sick.” Tao Te Ching
And so, as you keep doing this exercise with different objects (of all sizes and structures, including the sky, planet Earth, your own body, the chair you’re sitting on, and finally that delicious-looking cooked meal), you start to see the same Beingness that you feel as “I Exist” reverberating inside of—and as—the objects of perception.
Your Presence Is Not Separate from Life’s Presence
Remember in Lesson 1, where you started to glimpse and realize the energy of (your) existence, that conscious I-AM-Presence? Well, in this lesson, you will see how that Presence extends to include not just your own consciousness, but the entirety of creation.
By applying the “seeing exercise” introduced at the start of this lesson, and by choosing the second way of looking at things directly, you will be able to see that same Beingness—that same Is-ness you feel as your Self—extended out into the rest of yourself—the world that you have assumed to be “out there.”
Feeling the presence of your own existence, and that of Existence itself, are not two different sensations or realizations. There is no boundary separating you from All-That-Is. You, and everything else, are the same one Beingness!
And so, more and more, as you proceed through these courses, you start to realize there never was an “out there;” there is only “inside” (or as) Presence-Consciousness.
All There Is, everything within creation, shares the same Is-ness. It is all-inclusive and all-pervasive.
Imagine a void, a nothingness—an infinity within which Presence appears as a cloud of pure, raw, creative energy (Presence-Energy). Within this cloud or sphere of Intelligent Presence-Energy, myriad forms are created, because Presence-Energy can express itself as infinite forms, shapes, sizes, dimensions, times, spaces, and so on. However, All-That-Is, Everything-That-Exists, is made out of this Presence-Energy and is simultaneously contained within it; anything that exists appears inside of this Presence-Energy, as part of its own self-expression.
This means there is nothing inside of this Presence-Creation that consists of something from outside of this Presence-Energy.
There is no substance other than this Presence-Energy—which is the entirety of Creation.
Thus, all experiences are made out of Presence/Beingness/Is-ness. And you can start to directly experience this truth by tuning into the actual presence of an object, space, time, reality, or location, while ignoring your conditioned mind’s mental suggestions.
If everything is the same being, why does it all look so different?
Let’s jump ahead a little, just for a moment. It’s okay if you don’t fully or immediately understand this; it will all become much clearer for you once you get to the courses under the Infinity teaching. For now, I just want to plant a seed and give it time to germinate before you reach the Infinity teaching. So, just relax the need to “get it,” and let it do its thing.
Presence-Consciousness—or simply put: Presence—is the expression (the presence) of The Absolute, The Infinite One.
The Infinite One in its original “stateless state” cannot—though it desires to—directly experience itself. It cannot directly experience itself because it is One and therefore has no reference point to experience itself from, or in relationship to.
The One is beyond experiencing. Beyond and before even Awareness.
You need two before experience—and therefore self-awareness—can occur.
In order for Awareness, or free agency, to come into full experiential beingness, there has to be a palpable differentiation of some kind. Since the One cannot experience itself from its own stateless state, it needs to experience itself through contrast, through an “other”—just as you need a mirror to see your own face.
And so the Absolute, out of its infinite possibilities, birthed Creation (Presence-Energy), and in the face of Presence the Infinite One could start to see its true, original infiniteness.
Over “time” (seemingly), Creation’s expression expanded and developed into countless forms, dimensions, perceptions, and perceivers. It is the role of Presence-Consciousness—its “job,” if you will—to express Infinity in all the ways that it possibly can.
Think about it (but not for too long): experience is a finite concept, so how does Presence-Energy express true Infinity by means of experience? It can only attempt this (impossible) goal by expressing experiences in as many ways as it possibly can, in order to even approach the reality of true Infinity by means of experience.
This explains why Creation is so varied in its expression—because its underlying drive is to express and reflect the Absolute, True Infinity. Hence, even though there is only one basic substance in all of Creation, Presence-Energy can express itself in infinite ways and appear as anything.
What is important to take away from this, for now, is that no matter what form, no matter what particular signature-vibration a particular object has (size, weight, color, dimension, molecular structure, etc.), all of these specifications that are part of an object’s unique vibration are still made out of Presence-Energy: The Absolute’s way of expressing itself.
There is no other substance but Presence-Energy for anything to be created out of. If something exists—if it has a presence—it must, at its heart, be Presence.
- Read this lesson’s text at least two more times in a relaxed manner, gently contemplating what the words point to.
- Practice the exercise of Sensing the Presence of Things Beyond Labels, with at least five different objects of entirely different signature-frequencies. For example, a car tire, a dog’s bark, the sky, the floor underneath your feet, and your own body. I highly recommend including your own body as one of your chosen objects.
- Don’t move on to the next object until you get a real sense (even if it’s just a momentary glimpse, that’s fine!) of the is-ness of the object, of the fact/sense that it exists.
- Feel free to apply this exercise to more than five objects—or even to expand it to include multiple objects or your entire surroundings simultaneously!
- Have fun with it, for it can lead into really interesting expansive experiences, and will begin shifting you from your sense of separation to a greater sense of connection (eventually inseparability) with your surroundings.