PRESENCE AND ABSENCE
What we appear to be to ourselves and what we experience in our phenomenal world is being PRESENT – the sense of being. That is all we can know of ourselves and this is not knowledge or something known but just a 'knowing', something that cannot adequately be put into words. When we strip away everything associated with 'me' and the personality that we think of as 'mine', we are left with a sense of being present, which is the same feeling now as it was when we were little and will be the same when we die. It is the only thing about us that doesn't change (and it is not a 'thing' – things change). But what we really are noumenally (non-phenomenally) is Presence itself, for ever unaware of being present.
We are, again phenomenally, sentient beings; what we are noumenally (non-phenomenally) is Sentience itself, for ever insentient – incapable of sensing. Yet again, phenomenally we are aware; what we are is Awareness itself, for ever non-aware. We are conscious but what we really are is Consciousness itself.
So phenomenally we are present, sentient, aware, conscious beings. Noumenally we are Presence, Sentience and Awareness which is what Consciousness is. Unconscious Consciousness, absent Presence and unaware Awareness is what we are, becoming conscious, present and aware in the process of manifestation which is the objectifying of what is as phenomena. So our being as noumenality (Consciousness, Sentience, Presence and Awareness) can only be conscious, sentient, present and aware in phenomenality.
When we, as manifested, objectified beings, are present, we, as what we really are, are Absent. When the selves that we think we are are absent, what we really are is Present. We have as it were to take our apparent selves out of the way in order that we can live as what we really are. Objective Absence is subjective Presence.
Whenever you are present phenomenally as ‘you’ (as an apparent object to an ‘other’), you are absent as I – necessarily so – and vice versa, when you are absent as ‘you’ (without self) you are present as I. My absence as ‘me’ is my presence as I. Naturally, I am always present as I – how could it be otherwise? – but when I appear to be present as ‘you’ or ‘me’, I seem to be absent. One displaces the other. I could say that my absence as ‘that’ (which can be known) is My presence as THIS (which cannot be known).
Sentient and present phenomena of which we are aware, manifested and conceptually extended spatially and in duration (time) are appearances only and can have no autonomy or entity. Their only being lies in their noumenal Sentience and Presence, both phenomenally absent. Their manifested appearance is entirely 'in mind' in a conceptual universe and this 'mind' is nothing but Mind (Consciousness, Sentience, Awareness, Presence) operating through manifested bodies with all their limitations of supposed separation and limitation – there is nothing else.