Void of Presence...Coming Into Enlightenment

Submitted by Open on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 03:21

We're living in an illusion. But it's a very real illusion, a very noisy one. Our lives are full of busyness and external distraction like no other time in the history of mankind. It's as if everything created has been purposefully designed to pull us into the external drama, to tempt us, to invest us, to entrap us. The paradox is, that every external 'entertainment' is but a reflection, often quite a distorted one, of an end goal that each soul is really, ultimately looking for. It's a place of absolute perfection, crystal clear clarity. It is infinite potential yet absolutely empty. It is the beginning and the end of every inquiry and journey. It is the Void of Silence.

It begins with no-thing

The universe began with no-thing. If it began with some-thing, where did that some-thing come from? Who created it and how was the creator created? Throughout our history, the human mind has played endless control games with that conundrum. The problem is that the mind is so used to some-thing, that it's practically impossible to imagine no-thing. It's like trying to stop your heart beating or lungs breathing. That's what they're built for. Like a camera, the mind's purpose is to take continual 'snap-shots' of what's going on. And there's never no-thing going on.

So you can't truly imagine no-thing. All you can really do is experience it. And when you truly, ultimately do, it's like all the lights of realisation suddenly got turned on at once. After eons of struggling noisyness, there is crystal clear clarity, absolute silence in amongst life's busy goings-on. A realisation that's all there is: everything you've been seeking, a stillness and empty completeness, that eclipses all you've ever hopelessly searched for.

So when it happens, you simply know. And you can't know before it. You can't even imagine it. This is where it all came from. This is the ultimate 'creator', with the power to shape the microcosym of your life and simultaneously the macrocosym of the entire universe. It existed prior to the bigbang, and the baffling paradox is, it still exists here and now, in the background of every event, situation and circumstance, every thought, feeling and emotion we have. All phenomenal experience arises from this source, from this Void, from this presence.

Being and not-being

The known universe is a dynamic equilibrium between being and not-being. It is the state of infinite potential immediately prior to the bigbang, and simultaneously, everything that sprang from it that exists now. In this moment.

"To be" is the question.
"And to not be" is the answer.

The Void notionally separated into 'parts'. AND, at the same time, was, and is, constantly dissolving back into itself. It's a dynamic equlibrium between being and not-being. This equilibrium is how you can get some-thing from no-thing.

Paradoxically the some-thing that emerged was not a thing at all, but pure consciousness. Consciousness that is simply awareness of a difference: of "this" and "that", of "up" and "down" of "left" and "right". This simple dynamic emerged as a ripple of relativity through space. Consciousness and matter are one. Density, solidity and materiality are only manifestations of relativity, condensations of consciousness. They are simply transient experiences and nothing more. This is the ultimate problem the mind - the ego - has in trying to grasp it: the ego is used to singular truths. There is a truth for this and that. After initial Awakening, there's realisation and acceptance that we all have a truth, there's plurality yes, but still another step to be made:

The utlimate key to Enlightenment is being able to hold the notion of two, apparently contradictory, truths simultaneously: it is all an illusion, yet it is a very real illusion; There is existence, but resting within the condition of non existence, the background Void of Silence. All is here, in this singular moment of now.

Flight of the Kingfisher

There's two problems that people encounter when trying to find the Void of Silence: (1) if you're purposefully looking for it, then you immediately create the cause of separation from it. (2) when you find it, it is so complete, so crystal clear that the ego wants to own it with some kind of label, like "infinite love" for example. But once you've formed some kind of internal desire of it, and efforting towards it, then just like a mirage in the desert, the Void of Silence immediately vanishes...

"How can you see yourself when you are all there is? Here is the divine paradox - when you are looking for it, it remains just out of reach like a young child grasping at a helium filled balloon; but when you just let go and open yourself up, the ‘target’ of your aspiration moves to you. You fall into it.

For me it is metaphored wonderfully in the place of all clear answers - Mother Nature. Consider the Kingfisher; since light refracts (bends) when it leaves the surface of water, the Kingfisher never actually sees the exact location of the fish. It simply heads for the image, but knows at some point, that it must step off its trajectory and delve completely into the unknown. Ignoring the image itself - the illusionary reality - it dives through the surface into absolute truth, whereupon its goal is finally realised.

So it is with the soul. The soul is our trajectory to an illusionary target. We follow the path, but at some point, we will see past the target and simply fall into the truth. Then we become the truth and have continual experiences of it; all of life offers the opportunity to taste the constant crystal clear clarity of non-identified presence. Thoughts, emotions, feelings and even the heartfelt longing of the soul all arise within this infinite, unadulterated potential and yet it remains always there - the Seer - an inviolable eternal existence."

Explore more from this extract in: 5GATEWAYS: a profound spiritual routemap

Softening into Ego's tightness

So you can't find the Void of Silence with purposeful silence. Because the very act of intentful purpose creates the very condition of separation from it. You might still the mind for a while, but if you're purposefully aiming for the Void, you'll likely miss it when you're right on the edge of it, or get immediately bounced out when you drop into it. It is only ego that tries to get rid of the ego.

But there is something you can 'do'. You can continually cease doing, efforting, resisting, denying or trying at all. You can continually move into pure being. Which means - like the King Fisher - to follow the path of your soul - and allow authentic doing to arise from this place. It is to follow the heart felt pull and to trust that when you 'do' this, all answers, solutions and goals will simply fall into place.

The soul arises from the Void of Silence, which like the camera, the ego then owns an image of and forms an identity around. So if you continually confront the identity by observing inner tightness around day-to-day interactions - resistances, frustrations and need for an outcome - then soften into the tightness, which is unwinding the efforting your ego was already living with, then you'll drop into the trajectory of the soul. You'll become the soul. And here's the heavenly paradox...

By unwinding the need for any outcome, and surrendering to the heartfelt pull, softening into the ego's tightness, you'll experience the pure beingness of the soul - and simultaneously - you'll get a taste of the tasteless, that which precedes the soul, the dynamic equilibrium between being and not being is finally realised.

The delusion of non-duality

This heavenly dynamic equilibrium shines the light on another misconception prevalent in some spiritual circles right now: the delusion of non-duality.

It is the idea, the notion that we are all one and the same. Indeed, at an absolute level we are. But the absolute can only be experienced through multiplicity of form - through separation. You can't divorce yourself from everything that is going on around. Well, I should more accurately say, you can delude yourself that you are, but really all that's happening is another layer of identity that is avoiding experience. It actually creates a barrier to the Void of Silence. It's a bubble of unity which feels connected, calm and loving, one which people tend to touch on the journey to the pure presence of the Void. But like the Kingfisher, you have to burst through this bubble to truly fall into the Void.

The Void of Silence is to be found in and through all things. To be truly enlightened is to be enlightened in and through all events and circumstances, not avoiding anything. When we fully allow it, it moves to us. It simply and effortlessly arises in the background.

The Lens of Presence

When you stop efforting for the Void of Presence and instead continually work to align yourself with the soul, then you'll progressively soften the ego. It unravels and breaks down - including that aspect that is efforting for the presence - for Enlightenment. Crucially, you'll also start to soften that aspect that is close to the source, which tries to own the elation of absolution. Or else resists the absolute because there's fear of complete dissolution (it's only the ego that is being dissolved!).

At this point, where you've journied around the edge of the Void for sometime, you'll start to experience what I call the "lens" which is 'looking into the Void'. It's a subtle level of awareness that exists around the Void. If you look directly into the Void, the chances are it will disappear. But when you're in this subtle level of awareness around the Void, then the clarity and transparency of the Void effortlessly appears in the background of your experience. You realise it's there without efforting to hold onto it.

Now experience can come and go, emerge and dissolve. The soul can conduct its heavenly dance, which you're thoroughly enjoying and it's all being fed from the eternal existence of the source. Since it's not being owned, it's therefore not being constricted. I call this the "Sacred Ground of Being".

The Sacred Ground of Being...The Quintessence of Who We Are

Journey of the Soul

What we can do is to keep surrendering. Keep confronting the tightness, neediness or denial of what the moment is truly inviting. We can align with the heart felt pull - which connects into the mainstream of our soul. We can watch our motivations for action and soften into the need of any kind of outcome, yet totally committing ourselves without reservation to what we're given to do.

This will align us with the natural flow of the universe, with the journey of our soul. The universe is simply happening. No one intended it. If we can move without intention, we'll drop into the experience of the Void of Silence and simultaneously become it, expressing fully from it. It feels like heaven.

In fact such liberation, such emptiness, feels so good, and sometimes so terrifying, that we'll keep wanting to land on the safe shore of the ego once more; just for a respite as the trajectory into the void mercilessly shreds anything that is still hanging on. So we'll pop in and out of the Journey of the Soul until finally there is complete surrender, complete alignment. It is then that we fall finally into the Void of Silence.

To Gain Support in Experiencing the Void...Engage with Openhand's Course Program

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I resonate for sure with this, especially the lens.

I came across this lens in a sequence of journeys some time ago  I faced it several times and ended up smashing it. Another world became visible,  did I venture through...no, but I will.

Since that last journey,  after breaking through, the now dead and lifeless lens. I have found myself in and out or out and in. Like a dolphin coming out of the water world and into the air world  which one is the one.

I'm sure you have felt my frustration at this constant flipping of energy.  Especially in recent posts or replies to your writing's. 

Sometimes I feel so close, then blip  I'm now so far. 

In reply to by Keith (not verified)


Hi Keith,

I'm there with you. I understand exactly what you're experieincing. No worries dropping in and out of the flow is quite typical as we're breaking away from density inside. Often the density just creeps up on you: you don't know why or how, just that one day everything seems to have ground to a halt. At these times, as you recognise it, the key is to look for the tightness and rigidity that's locking down that moment. Take yourself out of the daily routine and ask "show me!" Then without any intention just let the flow point you to reflections. You'll start to pick up ideas and above all feelings of what might be limiting and blocking. It's then a case of working through attachment to allow flow to open up once more.

It's something I've expressed today in this post from the last Openhand retreat on La Palma about catching 5D waves...

Catching 5D waves in the Flow

Best wishes to you

Open 🙏


I've been waiting for another to join me in speaking of the 'Void' this way. 
I've been in connection with/re-'member'ing of, and speaking about the void beyond all for a few years now. 
And have been dropping little hints at what one really seeks and wants is 'No-Thing' and to 'Know No-thing now that is really something' etc... 'Beyond Everything is Nothing and beyond Nothing is Everything'. 
To be or not to be.. that is the 'Choice'. When we choose 'BE'ing we material'I'ze becomig Some'thing' , and when we let go of that choice we can choose No-thingness once again. It's quite the fun and amazing journey this Painfully, Beautifully, Blissfull, Eternal Life.
Yes... WooooHoooooo, aaand thaaank you for all you Be and Do!  Praying Emoji Wink Emoji Heart


Sandra hi,

I was very touched by the sharing of your awakening experience, which I read a few times and felt to drop a line and smile your way. :) Also, your post 'brought back' to awareness one of Open's older articles, which I hadn't read before and found very inspiring and timely.

Silence has always been a very grounding space for me and often an amazing mirror for the shedding of the self. Meditative silence either alone or in nature has often brought me into deep presence that felt all encompassing. Although I haven't had a huge experience like the one you described, the challenge I find with awakenings (smaller and bigger) is the permanent integration in every day life. How's this been for you?

Much love


Good afternoon from KCMO, everyone.  In between unloading the dishwasher and loading it up again, I felt led to respond to this discussion.  Silence is the only place I have ever experienced the most profound and life-changing spiritual events....those which, it seemed, changed my very DNA, my entire viewpoint(s) were either reversed or evaporated.  I have had many smaller occurrences, but those I tend not to remember as clearly as the very few huge ones that changed me in a nanosecond.  Those happened while we as a family were living in Saudi Arabia.

Silence was key, I think...not that nothing was occurring or that the flat was engulfed is a quiet state.  Yuri had taken the babies to the souq to buy both gas canisters and water jugs and was going to stop by the US Consulate on his way home.  That left me in an empty flat, but then in the living room, on a huge reel-to-reel that someone had given us who was returning to the States, was playing Handel's Messiah ever so softly.  It was Christmas time for the few of us western expats who were living in Riyadh....December, 1975.  No, the ''silence'' was internal...mindlessness, stillness as I washed and dried the dishes, not thinking of anything, nothing intentional or not intentional, blankness, just going through the motions, not even identifying with the music,  When suddenly, gently but intentionally, a presence entered the space...something took it over and me with it.  I saw no one, but something/someone unexplainable was there.and the walls/ceiling/floors/dishes/brinks-and boards shelves melted into tiny dancing points of brilliantly colored lights.  I had no strength of my own ...and collapsed onto the floor.  Even my eyelids had no strength to open them.  The presence entered me, surrounded me, impregnated me if you will with Love beyond description to comprehend much less explain in the limits of language.  I had no power to even breathe, and in a nano-second I knew who and what it was...That who has no need to be named....I was safe, secure, Loved and A-Lighted and my being joined with this Presence more and more.  The more I was joined, the more of Love that was poured into me, so that I lost shape and everything/anything I thought I was identified with.  I was nothing and yet everything but I had no thought of all this.  It was just a knowing...

Finally I gasped for air, which brought me back gently to my body, the hardness of the tile floor, the kitchen in Riyadh, the walls, the shelves, the faint Halleluia Chorus playing in the flat...somewhere....still no strength to get up, still blank but now transformed in my mind, everything the same but everything was different...very, very different.  The Visitor of Love now departed but yet not, not ever. I struggled to sit up, kneel up, stand up as the sound of babies calling ''Mommy Mommy came from the carport outside...Staggering to the door I opened it and ''saw'' for the very first time....how Holy and Divine EVERYTHING is, in spite of what is going on, regardless of what is going on, or not going on...

It is as though it were yesterday...and of course, in the reality of time, it wasn't.  It happens still now...again.




I really connect with this article, Open. There is so much good stuff in it. I was just writing a blog entry about the Stillness and holding space for possibilities. Your article provided a “connective tissue” for perceptions that seemed separate. More importantly, it provoked more questions that are now working their way in my consciousness.

You said:
“It's a place of absolute perfection, crystal clear clarity. It is infinite potential yet absolutely empty. It is the beginning, the end, and everything in between. It is the Void of Silence.”

I resonate with this a lot. If it is not empty, if you put something in it, it becomes finite. This emptiness is everything and it feels to me also like an unlimited potential. I like calling it Dynamic Stillness (a term coined by the craniosacral people) because even though it is empty it holds infinite possibilities.

From that Stillness arises intention to become, which then manifests as the drive to become (would it be the moment when soul's individual drive to express comes into play?). This powers the organization of elements, which leads to cohesion and into the physical manifestation of the original intention. That seems to me to be the transmutation process. It also seems that it is not quite as linear as I’m describing it here, like it is not really happening from left to right, but more from up to down and is not really locked to a moment in the linear timeline.

I was also pondering what happens when I hold on to something, may it be an expectation of a future event or current status quo? I feel this chokes the initial potential for manifestation. Just like in quantum physics, or in the case of the Shroedinger’s cat (the cat is both alive and dead as long as we don't open the box). When I focus on one possibility, one outcome, I exclude all the other. This seems to be creating an inertia (attachment) in my being. The inertia then becomes a fulcrum that redirects the flow. The recipe for a distortion!

You also said:
“Who created it and how was the creator created? Throughout our history, the human mind has played endless control games with that conundrum! The problem is that the mind is so used to some-thing, that it's practically impossible to imagine no-thing.”

I feel the question, not just the answer, may be distorted, because it assumes the linearity of time. This rigid model of time simply doesn’t reflect the nature of experience. I sometimes feel that time is not all that fixed… as a society we are simply used to the assumption that something happens before something else, but I feel something important is missing in that assumption. Also, time feels slower (and swelling up sideways) when I am aware and in the moment, speeds up (becoming thin) when I express a distortion. This whole time thing is a massive topic on its own and a very important one too. It is woven into most perceptions of "reality". I found busting some of the perception of time caused massive shifts in my consciousness. It is also possible that the shifts busted the perception of time or that all this happened simultaneously.

There is so much more to ponder in your article and it is all so very interesting. I’m really grateful that you can express it in such a coherent way! Thank you.


PS. I wrote the above yesterday and the page glitched out on me, posting only the empty space (the Void!). Wow. The Universe speaks so powerfully sometimes... :-)


I am feeling and having many different experiences lately, internal shifts and conscious integration's, I feel like I am connecting some dots, but I know this will lead me to more confusion and being lost again on my journey only to unravel more distortions. I must say it feels good to be in this place of the right now and how I feel, I am enjoying this but understanding no attachment's or identities need be.

This article is point on and giving a proper push :)

had a good laugh on your comment Open "that's the hard part"

Ya it is! :)


I like your idea that the universe is happening and no one intended it. I have often thought of the conscious experience as an autofuntion of the void. It cannot "not be." Existence is eternal and infinite with no beginning nor end, only permanent change. Sometimes the ego is afraid of the idea of impermanence, but this is simply a law of the universe. By becoming and living in each and every moment, the ego is exposed to the pure light of consciousness and has to decrease.

Thanks for this inspiring and encouraging article. I try to show the same truths you have expressed here through the Bible at www.spiritofthescripture.com, for I believe it is a mystical book that has been hijacked by the ego and turned into a religious book.