Excerpts About Absence

The loss of the concept of Presence happens through the realization of the ultimate void (Sunyata), which is the absence of conceptualization. This is another radical departure from one's previous experience. One goes from a sense of absolute Presence to a sense of absolute Absence. One here realizes that for the first time a complete cessation of the sense of self is attained. There is no experience of self or person, without consciousness that there is no self or person. When the sense of Presence is lost, the last foothold for the sense of self (identity or person) is gone. In the state of Absence there is no self-consciousness at all, and one realizes that it is the self-reflective movement of the mind that is the core of the sense of self.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 461   •  discuss »
There is a state of complete absence, and there is also absence of the awareness of absence. There is no one and nothing there. And there is nobody there to be aware that there’s nobody and there’s nothing – complete absence of consciousness. That is the most awakened state.
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 127   •  discuss »

In the state of Absence there is no presence, consciousness or functioning. As functioning is needed there is then the awareness of consciousness arising. This consciousness is experienced as a loving presence, spontaneously arising in the voidness of the Absence. It is perceived to gradually transform itself into the presence of the Personal Essence. The functioning is then experienced as inseparable from the presence of the Personal Essence. Functioning and Personal Essence are seen to be equivalent. One is still Absence here, with complete lack of self consciousness. But there is the perception that the Personal Essence is an expression of oneself, as a specific formulation of Loving Consciousness, and is directly involved in functioning. One does not experience oneself as the Personal Essence, but experiences the Personal Essence as an arising conscious presence that is the source, and part and parcel of functioning. In other words, as Absence, one needs the Personal Essence for functioning. There is here no ego structure whatsoever. Functioning is completely spontaneous, in some sense, automatic. But it is a direct response to the situation, totally devoid of premeditation. This capacity is the result of the profound and completely organic integration of all organs of perception and action into the Personal Essence. It shows the unique place of the Personal Essence both to Being and to the world, to the Reality and to the appearance of things.

Pearl Beyond Price, p. 464   •  discuss »
It is not until this realization of Absence that one realizes that usually there is a continuous and incessant sense or feeling of self or "I". Every experience is related to this "I". Now there is an experience and perception of experience, but it is not related to an "I", not even to the "I" of oneness. There is pure awareness of phenomena, with complete absence of self or center. The Absence is so complete that there is not even consciousness of the Absence. The complete absorption in his condition is the cessation of all sensation and consciousness of oneself. There is Absence and there is absence of the consciousness of Absence. It is like deep sleep but one is not asleep.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 462   •  discuss »
In Absence one experiences oneself to be a pure subject, that is not an object. One is the source of awareness. One is not the witness, not the witnessing, not the witnessed. One recognizes oneself as an Absence, unknown and unknowable. When one looks inward there is no perception; there is absolute Absence without consciousness of Absence, because Absence is not an object of perception. It is in fact the absence of an object of perception.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 463   •  discuss »
But you have to allow yourself to feel that absence, feel the aloneness – which is the hole of the real relationship – before you will be able to experience the real relationship. You have to experience the absence of it completely – no relationship, I’m empty, nothing there, no contact. When you feel that way, you may also feel that you are not real, that you do not exist, because you cannot exist without relationship. The moment you allow the negative relationship to go, the mental relationship to go, the ego starts freaking out, starts disintegrating, disappearing, and the aloneness will be felt as some sort of emptiness, some kind of absence of self. So when the mental relationship goes, the part that is relating to it goes, too, and you start feeling the absence of self, an emptiness which will be felt as an aloneness. When the aloneness is accepted and tolerated, it is then possible for real contact to happen, and not before that.
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 211   •  discuss »
Absence is very difficult to describe. Imagine the absence of all of the sensations you experience in your body, all of your thoughts, images, and perceptions. Absence does not mean numbness, because numbness is still your consciousness sensing numbness. Neither does absence mean blockage, because blockage is your experience and sensation of blockage. Numbness and blockage can include an awareness that something is missing. In absence there is no sense that something is missing. Absence can be either the total nonexistence of awareness, or it can be absence with an awareness of surrounding phenomena. The former I call cessation and the latter absence. I will make this distinction more clear as we proceed.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 127   •  discuss »

Although there are no concepts in the state of Absence, when there is functioning there is duality. Absence is experienced as separate from, transcendent to, and totally uninvolved in functioning. One experiences oneself as not involved in functioning, and hence, there is the duality of Absence and functioning consciousness. Absence can be seen as the ultimate transcendence, but it is still not the ultimate reality. We can say it is the first glimpse into ultimate reality, and is still not complete. It is the absence of presence, and of all other concepts. However, there is a subtle conceptualization here, because Absence can be experienced as a definite state. Its definiteness is its absence of concepts. In other words, the concept of the absence of concepts becomes the subtle concept in the state of Absence. One is quite aware of the absence of presence, in particular. These considerations of the perception of duality and subtle conceptualization, amongst others, precipitate spontaneously the ultimate reality, the truly nonconceptual truth. Here, words will not say anything positive. Nonconceptual Reality is how things are. It is direct perception of reality without the involvement of the mind. It is both presence and absence, but also neither. It is neither self nor no-self, nor the absence of both self and no-self. It is both being and non-being and neither. It is everything and it is nothing. Whenever there is negation or affirmation there is conceptualization, and the true reality is gone. And hence we call reality as it is the Nameless; it cannot be named.

Pearl Beyond Price, p. 465   •  discuss »

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