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Nonbeingness

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Nonbeingness

Further Mysteries of the Nonbeingness of Being

As we continue to investigate the emptiness of self, we can discover further mysteries of the nonbeingness of Being. Most teachings understand the view that nonbeing underlies the unity of Being. This is the recognition that nonbeing brings about the transparency and the spaciousness of true nature, revealing how everything is one unified radiance, one unified manifestation, one unified light that is empty of substance. But we can see other possibilities of emptiness by examining the experience of unity. The unity of Being appears in many dimensions as true nature manifesting everything. All things are unified because they are manifestations of the same ground. This is the typical expression of unity as the image that all forms are waves of the same ocean. Thoughts and feelings and people and clouds and stars are all manifestations of the same radiant light. When we experience this kind of unity, we feel as if we could walk through everything because all forms are one immense transparency. Everything is empty, clear, vast, beautiful, and luminous—this kind of unity of Being is the fundamental mystical experience.

Nonbeingness is not an Expanse; it is Nothing at All

When we understand the nondimensionality of the absolute, we understand that the more open we are the more we are in touch with the nonbeingness of our true nature. The openness is the external manifestation of this nonbeingness. But nonbeingness is not an expanse; it is nothing at all, so how can it possess extension? It has no extension at all, it completely transcends the concept of distance. We experience this directly when we are more familiar with the emptiness and nonbeingness of the absolute. At the beginning it may feel like an openness, a spaciousness, or an expansive nothingness. When we know it more intimately we begin to see that it does not have the sense of extension, that it does not actually feel like space. The mind simply cannot comprehend this at the beginning, for it is nothing like anything it knows. We simply feel a simplicity and intimacy, a state that possesses no shape, no size, no extension. This is the essence of space, which is also the essence of the absolute. Therefore, when we feel more open with another we are more in touch with this extensionless condition of nonbeing. As a result, we experience less phenomenological distance from the other, which we feel psychologically as closeness and intimacy. And when we are fully in touch with the extensionless nonbeingness of the absolute, we experience no distance at all from the other. Because there is no extension, we experience no distance. The amazing result is the sense that we are totally one. We perceptually see the other at a distance, but feel no sense of distance; in fact the concept of distance is transcended. It is like our individual souls are spokes of the same wheel, but are aware of themselves only at the rim. At the rim it appears as if there are many souls, with distance between them. But when they become aware of their depth, at the center of the wheel, they feel no distance between them, for they are identically one

The Beingness of Living Presence has an Eternal Partner Inseparable from It, which is Its Nonbeingness

It turns out in the work we do here that a thorough understanding of the values, structures, and dynamics of the self is not separate from a thorough understanding of our true nature, its qualities, and its dimensions. In this exploration of our true nature, the more we understand Being, the more we are free from the conventional view. As we understand the nature and dimensions of Being, particularly as we understand emptiness, the freedom of the dynamism is liberated. The beingness of living presence has an eternal partner inseparable from it, which is its nonbeingness. And when we recognize and understand emptiness as the nonbeingness of Being, as the absence of what we ordinarily call existence, we discover the kind of emptiness that opens the liberation of the dynamism.

The Nonbeingness of Being Imbues Everything with a Lightness, a Freedom, an Expansiveness and a Transparency

The emptiness that is the source of the freedom of the dynamism manifests in many ways and degrees. I’ve mentioned various qualities of spaciousness going toward nothingness and openness, toward absence and nonbeing. The nonbeingness of Being opens up the presence of Being and imbues everything with a lightness, a freedom, an expansiveness, and a transparency. We can experience that the innerness of presence is its total lack of obstruction because there is nothing in it to obstruct, not even a sense of medium. So that dimension of experiencing emptiness as nonbeing means recognizing emptiness without the medium of space. In the experience of nonbeing, the medium of space is gone. This is, of course, a mysterious kind of understanding. The mind cannot grasp it, but when we actually experience this nonbeingness, it is an unmistakably clear and precise recognition and awareness that brings about total transparency and intimacy. This understanding of nonbeing moves the experience of the unity of Being to reveal its luminosity and its radiance. As we know from the various boundless dimensions, we can experience the unity of Being before we experience the dimension of nonbeing. Experiencing the emptiness of self reveals that the unity of Being cannot be without, at the same time, being the flip side, which is nonbeing.

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