Lesson 18 – I-AM, without “This”
When you see very clearly that you exist, independent of the things that appear and disappear in your life—not separate from them, yet independent from them—then your identity shifts from things to Being. When this happens, usually through the direct recognition of Existence itself, you inherit all the benefits inherent in Beingness-Existence. Bentinho Massaro
Now that you’ve applied the Neti Neti approach to circumstances, thoughts, emotions, sensations and beliefs, in this lesson you will not so much focus on seeing that your I-AM is not tied to any appearance, but on experiencing this independence directly and solely, by withdrawing all attention away from the appearances, and noticing only the I-AM-Presence for a period of time.
This will allow you to really come to experience exactly how independent your I-AM-ness is from any appearance that appears within Presence-Energy (Creation). Enjoy your freedom! 🙂
Deepening I-AM—Becoming Undisturbed
Now, once you have applied this “contrasting” way of seeing that your I-AM is not the appearances in your consciousness, you can deepen your realization of I-AM, as independent from appearances, even further, by really turning your attention deeply into the sense I-AM itself—letting go of all focus on your individual world with its forms and changes.
Close your eyes, if that helps you to initially “spot” that I-AM-ness, without form and additions.
In this deep sense of beingness, of pure I-AM, you can start to see how there is no focus, necessarily, on thoughts, emotions, sensations, or things. “The World” ceases to appear—at least for the moments in which your attention is fully absorbed in I-AM, in Presence-Consciousness.
Remember the example of the jewelry store, mentioned in Lesson 8?
The one where, if you stand in front of the jewelry store window, you can either be focused on and aware of the jewelry behind the window—at the expense of seeing your own reflection in the window—or you can notice and become absorbed in your body’s reflection in the window, and for that moment of time, not be aware at all of the jewelry behind the window?
Both the jewelry and your body’s reflection co-exist within the same line of sight—the same space of being—yet, when you are very focused on one, the other appearance ceases to exist to you for that period of time. When one is obvious to you, the other one’s noticeability is greatly diminished.
The same goes for I-AM and This (the world of appearances).
When—with great dedication and desire—we really tune into our sense of I-Exist more than anything else for a moment… we only experience pure is-ness. I-AM, without this or that!
Suddenly, we start to notice that, not only is our I-AM not affected by appearances, but it becomes our immediate experience in a very powerful and confirming way.
We can now start to experience our essence without having to necessarily experience “external things” as affecting what we are anymore. Whenever we choose to, we can simply have our whole consciousness be filled up with I-AM, instead of with I-AM-This.
This feels profound, unshakably stable, reliable, and peaceful—perhaps even blissful to some extent.
It can be likened to taking your submarine of self-identity—of focus—and moving beyond the realm of waves and currents, into the depths of the oceanic waters, where there is only the experience of stable water—of is-ness—with no focus on or awareness of the movements of water.
In this sense of pure and independent beingness, where you pull your focus away from the world of form, and tune in profoundly to the sense I-Exist only, you will really recognize (as clearly as you can) that this I-AM exists independently from circumstance, emotions, thoughts, and bodily perceptions.
When you realize that your true being is free from worldly perceptions, you start to really tap into your realization of immortality beyond the body: the deathlessness of Presence-Consciousness becomes more of an experiential fact to you, rather than speculation or belief. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
Realizing that I-AM endures and exists independently from experiences coming and going, is the true “holy grail” of immortality. Eternal life is not sipped from a mythical artifact destined only for a few to find; it can be extracted from anyone’s direct experience with I-Exist-No-Matter-What.
Beingness Stands on Its Own
You can see, in the purity of feeling I-AM—with no distractions for just a few seconds—that this Beingness stands on its own.
It is one thing to discover the great I-AM. It is another to directly experience this as what you actually are. It is yet another to experience this as self-sufficient and standing entirely on its own, without anything life has to offer being able to destroy it or take it away. This is the freedom of immortality. Bentinho Massaro
In your direct experience with Presence-Beingness, can you notice that it has its own complete reality? Your here-and-now effortless existence has a right to exist; it does not depend on anything that comes and goes in your attention, and it does not need permission from anyone or anything.
See your Greater Self nakedly, free from forms other than its own presence.
Deeply feel into the ocean-like depths of I-AM, and see more and more, as you hold this light of I-AM against the appearance of this and that, that I-AM is independent—free from—being attached to, or defined by, appearances of any kind.
The more you explore this I-AM-Space by itself, as free from form, the easier it becomes to recognize that you are not the appearances that arise, even when they arise full-force!
What this means is that you become aware of, and intimately familiar with, a deep feeling of presence, peace, ease, and un-disturbedness. This sense of Presence-Energy—and the consciousness it is infused with—will start to reside more obviously at the heart of your existence throughout everyday activities and appearances.
Congratulations on your enlightenment . That wasn’t so hard, now was it?
This sense continues to deepen with practice, even after you have already clearly recognized it and its basic qualities, or truths. Enlightenment is easy, yet it has no end.
You Can Trust in I-AM
Beingness, I-AM-ness, Presence—is ever reliable and trustworthy. It always remains, and it is always with you. There has never been an experience where it has not been what you are. What could be more reliable than the indestructible essence of each moment?
Changeless I-AM-ness is already the case, and this implies that—no matter what happens in the realm of the body-mind-world, no matter what happens within the Person-World-Consciousness you previously identified yourself with—you can now surrender your defenses as you slip into an ever more expansive sense of your true Self.
Now that you have the ability to acknowledge and emphasize the experience of Beingness over the illusion of appearances, you have a most incredible tool at your disposal, at all times.
At any given moment, you can now choose to feel and highlight the sense of Presence, even in the face of challenging appearances, and you can identify with the undisturbed nature of your existence while everything around you goes nuts.
Appearances no longer sway you, for it is crystal clear to you now, that your true beingness remains as it is: unaffected, undisturbed, unmoved.
And so, you stop projecting your happiness onto appearances and the meaning-driven personality construct. You learn, for a period of time, to derive your joy and satisfaction instead from the depths of the eternal Now-Presence—free from needing any particular outcome in the world of changing forms.
You are now becoming truly self-satisfied, self-sufficient, and self-reliant.
You are fulfilled by your very own being-here and your choice to recognize this amazing existence that never ends, never stops, and knows no separation.
You are now at ease—or at least can choose to be—no matter what. Even when you freak out, you feel you are fundamentally at ease, underneath the surface-appearances of your person-world experience.
Movie Theater Analogy
When you’re watching a movie in a theater, you are fully engaged with a story for about two hours straight.
If the story is compelling enough, you may even forget that you exist and be completely engaged with the characters who are being projected by nothing but light, onto a screen that never changes, even as millions of images are projected onto it.
Your life is exactly like this.
You have been watching a movie this whole time, and you’ve forgotten for years— decades—that you were sitting in a movie theater. You have forgotten that you exist—independent from the movie—all this time.
And now, you are remembering to recognize that you are not the characters on the screen, engaged in their meaning-driven dramas, but that you are the changeless screen itself.
Or, from another angle, using the same analogy, you could think of yourself as the being sitting in the theater, the one to whom none of the movie’s events actually happened. You are the one who is able to walk out, at any time, and remember your own existence, once again.
Just as the screen has been the substratum that the images are projected onto, so, too, has the presence of your existence—your I-AM-ness—never been separate from the projections of your life, yet has never been affected by them, either.
The movie that is your life has never changed or affected your beingness. You have never actually been the movie you’ve been witnessing. You have never truly been defined by, or limited to, “your life.”
Now, remember what you really are.
“I Am Not My Body”This stage (6) truly signifies the crossing of a new threshold—a new realm of possibilities opening up.
However, in order to fully go there, some much needed practice with the previous five Neti Neti stages is in order. The meditation (above), “Remaining undisturbed and centered on Presence solely,” is extremely helpful for this purpose. So, practice it well and sincerely, and take your time before proceeding to the next lesson.
If you feel you wish to take a week or two off to integrate all you have learned so far, and to deepen your experience of I-AM throughout everyday life experiences—to allow it to become more natural—then please honor that desire.
Listen to whatever resonates.
Then, when you’re ready… In the next lesson, we will take what you’ve gained from your familiarization with this entire course, and your deepening experience with this chapter’s contents, and apply it to the core sense “I am this body.” For this tends to be the closest and deepest association that people have identified themselves with.
“I am this body” is an idea that has become a visceral, instinctual feeling, which has most likely penetrated deep into the different layers of your psyche. As such, it deserves its own full-sized lesson to help you unlatch your true being—I-AM— from your assumed being: I-AM-this-body.
This will catapult you into a whole new level of allowing true fearlessness to blossom in you, positively influencing every area of your life and transcending the majority of your fears. Just like that!
Now that you have applied the Neti Neti meditation to the different levels of your experience, withdraw your attention from the world of appearances altogether and rest solely in the recognition of I-AM, as much as you can without creating strain. Dedication and desire are key, but we don’t really wish to strain ourselves. If we strain ourselves, it could be an indication that we simply don’t yet desire as much of the pure I-AM experience as is possible, and that is totally OK. Everyone has their own timing with this, so just honor wherever you are at, while conjuring up as much desire as you can—to stay with the sense of Presence, at the expense of noticing worldly things, thoughts, appearances, and so on.
- Sit down, as in a meditation session, and conjure up as much desire as you can to really penetrate deeply into the secrets and independence of Presence-Beingness, or I-AM. Quite naturally, you will find that by now, your attention is naturally starting to enter into your own beingness; starting to realize its independence from all other experiences.
Do this in your own way—make it your own—applying whatever you have learned up to this point, to bring you to an experience of pure and undistracted I-Am-Ness. Even if just for 2 to 5 seconds at a time, frequently repeated in a single setting—focus on realizing, in this purity of experience, only I-AM—that it is, in a sense, detached from the world and its appearances.
Perform this meditation at least twice at separate times before continuing with the next lesson.
- As an additional support to your deepening Self-Realization, watch the guided meditation video “I-AM Alone Exists” a couple of times, or as often as you like, to really tune into the transmission, the vibration, the availability of Presence being reflected back to you from your own Self, in the form of that video.
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