Lesson 4 – What has never changed? (Always Present)
I have gone through many personal transformations over the years: physical, mental, emotional, circumstantial, and spiritual. Yet, when I look in the mirror today, I feel the same underlying Self I’ve always felt myself to be. The same truth that underlies everything has always been with me, changelessly so. I know this is true for all beings. Bentinho Massaro
In Lesson Four, you will discover that Presence is never missing from your experience; it is always there.
You as a person-consciousness—the sense “I am this person”—will wake up to something “greater than you” and experience that Greater Self as the permanent basis of your existence.
Person wakes up to Presence.
Realizing the Changelessness of Being: A Two-Step Exercise
I ask you now to look at your direct experience of life, and locate that sense of being, which has never changed throughout the entirety of your life.
Step 1 – Feel the Presence of Being
First, recognize the presence of Being here and now, using the techniques you learned in previous lessons.
For example: Relax your thoughts for 2 to 5 seconds, and recognize that there is a sense of being-here that remains effortlessly.
Even in moments when you don’t think at all (not necessary, but possible!), Presence-Consciousness, or Beingness, remains clearly present as the basic energy of your existence itself. Presence remains undisturbed, indestructible, unwaveringly here and now…
Feel the sense that you exist, that sense that you are here, now.
Feel I AM.
Feel I Exist.
Feel Beingness.When you feel tuned in to the actual recognition and experience of the Here-and-Now, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2 – Realize the Changelessness of Being
Now that you’re tuned into the sense of Beingness, take a minute or two to pull up a memory from when you were a kid, perhaps 7 or 8 years old. Actually recall being there again, seeing through your own eyes as you were when you were a kid.
Do you see/feel it?
Now, notice how this same sense of Presence that you recognized in the here-and-now was unmistakably there when you were 8 years old as well…
It may not have been conscious to you at the time (or maybe it was!), but it was definitely there: that underlying sense of “there is something that never changes.” The sense of I-AM was fully present and intact, whether recognized at the time or not.
Next, pull up a memory of when you were around 16 to 18 years old and see that there was a sense of being present in that memory as well. Really go back to that memory as clearly as you can in your imagination and confirm that the sense of presence was right there, again, whether or not the personality you wore on top of your Beingness at that time was aware of this sense of presence. You are aware of it now, in retrospect.
Even if the personality you used to pretend to be was distracted at the time of your memory (for example, if the experience was intense), notice how presence was still fully there, pervading the whole experience. If Beingness-Consciousness had not been there, you would have had no memory of this experience.
After you’ve done that for a minute or two, pull up a vivid memory from yesterday, and tune into that experience again. Imagine it in as much detail as you can…
Feel how the same sense of beingness was present in your experience yesterday as well. Even if you did not notice it at the time, it was still there.
In a sense, we can say that, even when we were not present to Beingness-Consciousness at varying (most) times during our life, Beingness-Consciousness was nevertheless present to us.
Now, tune into the memory of a few minutes ago, when you went to open up this lesson and were just about to start reading this text. Notice how Presence-Consciousness was also there, underlying your every experience. Every detail you noticed on your computer screen in your memory of a few minutes ago was being witnessed by Consciousness, and there was a Presence enabling the entirety of your experience.
And finally, back to now. Experience that same sense of presence right here in your immediate circumstance.
Do you see now, how the sense of I-AM never changes? It is like the water in the waves of the ocean. You have moved your consciousness through different moments of time, but the Presence that is the Eternal Now is always present. No matter what shape or size a wave takes on, it will always be water.
Take a minute now to consider what this exercise has confirmed for you. For example, realize that all your mind’s stories about how difficult it is to maintain presence—how you sometimes attain presence, but then you lose it—none of this is true.
If you’re a typical “seeker” who stresses about “losing” presence, right now you may be inclined to smile and laugh at the absurdity of believing you could ever lose Beingness. Go ahead! 🙂
Presence always feels the same: present, here, now, alive, available, easeful. It comes infused with a consciousness, a cognizance; it has a sense of self-intelligence and an awareness-of-being.
Things change, but Presence never does
“Existence doesn’t have an off switch; you cannot stop existing. Notice this repeatedly.” Bentinho Massaro
Thoughts and emotions at these different times of your life may have changed dramatically; even who you believed yourself to be may have changed significantly, but that underlying, most essential sense of “I Exist” has never changed.
This sense of eternal presence is what most people tune into when they say, at 70 years old, “I feel the same inside as I felt when I was 24 years old. I don’t feel like I ever truly aged.”
The form of things changes, but the presence that these forms appear within, and are made out of, never changes; presence never leaves your experience and you never leave its experience.
You and Presence, are the same one, changeless and unalterable experience. No one and nothing can take beingness away from you.
Recognize this truth as clearly as you can in your direct experience with everyday-life experiences. Confirm this truth over and over again, tirelessly so, until you feel it naturally, automatically. Until your sense of being shifts from the person to Presence.
The more memories you pull up into your consciousness to investigate whether that same sense of present-beingness was there, the more obvious it will become that Presence is the ever-noticeable and reliable experience of Existence itself.
Explanation/Philosophy – You are Waking Up!
If Presence-Consciousness starts to become more (easily) noticeable to you, this signifies that your sense of self-awareness (where you place your perceived identity, your ”self”) is moving up the ladder of Self-Realization into a continually deeper seeing and knowing of yourself.
Your true being, your awareness, is unlocking itself from being so tightly wound around the idea of being a person and starts to instead identify more with changeless Presence-Energy, felt as the sense of I-AM or Being here, now, always.
Presence becoming more obvious to you indicates that your self-awareness is naturally (through recognition and interest) shifting from Person-World-Consciousness (the “I-AM-This” feeling) to Presence-Consciousness (the “I-AM” feeling), and is no longer rigidly identified with the personality.
Congratulations! You are waking up.
Don’t worry: This does not mean you will become unable to interact as a human being in the world, or that you will lose consciousness of the person and the world you have created for yourself. It simply means you are expanding into a greater awareness of the truth of Existence—and of your True Self—because, after all, Existence and your True Self are the exact same being. You’ll still be perfectly able to interact with your loved ones and enjoy relationships.
Presence-Consciousness and Person-World-Consciousness simultaneously co-exist right alongside/within one another. As do all four levels of Reality.* One level does not interfere or conflict with the existence of another.
- The Absolute
* These four levels reflect: I-AM-This, I-AM, I, and Beyond-I.
Presence-Consciousness is always already present, has never changed, and will never change. You can recognize this. When you recognize it repeatedly, your self-awareness (where you place your identity, what you perceive yourself to be) organically stops projecting itself full-time into the personality that you’ve been taught to identify with, and rests more effortlessly and naturally into the vibrancy of the true here-and-now.
In other words, you’re getting free from automatic pilot mode, and you’re becoming more alive, more spontaneous, freer, wiser, more loving! It’s good to know you are becoming more of your original, authentic, spontaneous, bold, highly-intelligent, and giddy Self. Isn’t it?
Overall, this shift results in a greater sense of everyday ease and liberation from a big chunk of your self-imposed mental and emotional suffering. It also results in a generally clearer consciousness of what is fundamentally true, compared to what is mind-created, imitated, contrived, unnecessary (suffering), or illusory.
Wisdom is arising from within you, thanks to your choice to wake up to truth. I thank you, on behalf of all of Creation, who is rejoicing at the sight of your expansion!
- Read Lesson Four at least once more, or as often as you need to, to get a clear understanding of the text, so that you feel comfortable and excited to move on to the next lesson.
- Practice the “Realizing the Changelessness of Being” 2-step exercise a few times, where you pick different times in your life to remember and then recognize that in each memory, there was the same sense of “being you”—that fundamental sense of existence itself—present in your experience. Also, throughout your everyday experiences, notice it present in and as the Here-and-Now.
- Practice the same memory exercise, but apply it to your imagined future. Just pick a handful of probable or desirable future experiences (future “memories”), and imagine that same exact sense of Beingness you’re now familiar with, present there in that experience as well.
Remember: When performing the “Realizing the Changelessness of Being” exercise, whether or not you were fully aware of this Presence at the time of the memory is not important. What is important is that you become aware of it now, and understand that it has nothing to do with whether or not you recognized it consciously, because it recognizes you. It’s similar to how you know you had a good, deep sleep; you know it because that underlying Existence was still present, registering every moment.
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