Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Aliveness
Being and Aliveness
But Being's perception of itself is immediate and direct. The experience is more like "I exist," felt with immediate, definite certainty. It is the feeling "I am." "I am because I am." The experience of Being is like being a certain medium or substance in which each point or atom is exquisitely and clearly aware of itself as pure sensation or consciousness. There is pure sensation, exquisite aliveness.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 65
Distortion of Our True Aliveness Becomes Emotional Energy
The charge in our emotional experience is part of that thread of aliveness. Distortion of our true aliveness becomes emotional energy. If you clarify that emotion and you feel the energy of it, it becomes an energetic propulsion that drives you deeper into the real. This is the tantric way—don’t express, don’t suppress, just be with it. We are saying neither yes nor no to it; we are simply interested in understanding our experience: What is it? What does it mean? We want to discern the meaning and penetrate to the very last detail. As we discern and understand, the unshackled energy allows the process to unfold and take new forms. In this way, through practice, we deepen back to the source and become a conduit for its expression. What begins as the release of emotional charge at the surface level of our existence becomes the entry into the freedom of continuous energetic renewal of our nature into manifestation. The ebb and flow of our consciousness is the expression of the pulse of life. The more you sense your belly and the more present you can be when you’re having reactions or experiences of any kind, the more any experience can be an opening to the underlying stillness with its intelligent, creative dynamism.
The Power of Divine Eros, pg. 206
Essence and Aliveness
It is true that essence is a substance, but it is not an inert substance. It is a substance that in itself is life, awareness, existence. Take clear water, for example. Imagine that this water is self-aware, that each molecule is aware of itself and of its own energy and excitation. Imagine now that you are this aware substance, the water. This is close to an experience of essential substance. Of course, this is hard to imagine for someone who does not know essence. And the essential experience is much more than this. Essence is not alive; it is aliveness. It is not aware; it is awareness. It does not have the quality of existence; it is existence. It is not loving; it is love. It is not joyful; it is joy. It is not true; it is truth.
Essence is Aliveness
It is true that essence is a substance, but it is not an inert substance. It is a substance that in itself is life, awareness, existence. Take clear water, for example. Imagine that this water is self-aware, that each molecule is aware of itself and of its own energy and excitation. Imagine now that you are this aware substance, the water. This is close to an experience of essential substance. Of course, this is hard to imagine for someone who does not know essence. And the essential experience is much more than this. Essence is not alive; it is aliveness. It is not aware; it is awareness. It does not have the quality of existence; it is existence. It is not loving; it is love. It is not joyful; it is joy. It is not true; it is truth. The quality of aliveness of essence is of a different order from that of the body. The body is alive, but essence is life itself. Essence is like packed, condensed, concentrated, completely pure life. It is 100 percent life. It is like a substance in which each atom is packed with live existence. Here, life and existence are not concepts, not ideas or abstract descriptions; rather, they are the most alive, most intimate, richest, deepest, most moving, and most touching stirrings within us. The experience of essential substance can have such a depth, such a richness, such a realness, such a meaningfulness, and such an impact on our minds that some people actually get dizzy, unable to take the impact directly.
Life and Aliveness
If we live to satisfy our usual worldly self, we are living a superficial life, a dead life, a life without true aliveness of spirit. Aliveness of the spirit is something much deeper, more intrinsic, more fundamental, than physical life and its needs. Aliveness has nothing to do with the satisfaction of those needs.
Material needs do need to be satisfied to some extent, because we need to survive, we need to have some kind of comfort in our life so that we can discover what true life is. Life is for realization, not the other way around.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 358
Pure Consciousness is More Fundamental than Life
The distinction between essence and soul is not easy to make, because it is a subtle differentiation. The main difficulty arises from confusing consciousness with life. When one experiences essence as a conscious presence it is not usually easy to recognize that this is different from aliveness, for one has not differentiated life from consciousness. In our normal experience, consciousness and aliveness are inseparable. We rarely, if ever, experience one without the other. And when we experience pure consciousness we cannot differentiate it from life, because we tend to believe that to be conscious is to be alive. Even researchers interested in death experiences, or out-of-body experiences, tend not to explore the question of whether in these conditions the soul experiences herself as alive or only as conscious. These researchers generally believe that life ends with death, and that even though some kind of awareness survives the death, there is no curiosity about whether this awareness will be experiencing itself as only conscious, or conscious and alive the way it is in the body. The implicit assumption seems to be that the awareness will continue to be imbued with the sense of aliveness, as it is in physical life, even though the belief is that life ends with death. The main reason behind this situation is that even though everyone knows the soul, albeit not explicitly, the experience of essence is rare. When we experience essence we know what pure consciousness is, that it is beyond the sense of aliveness, more fundamental than life.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 128
Soul and Aliveness
The soul is dynamic: she is in constant movement, is changeable, active and interactive, responsive and adaptive. We can have a very definite experience and feeling in which we know this is the soul but we cannot create a definite boundary and separate this experience from others. When we experience essence, on the other hand, we can precisely study and differentiate love from awareness, truth from will, peace from joy and so on. But when it comes to the soul it is different; to study the aliveness of the soul we cannot help but study her dynamism; to study her dynamism we have to explore her impressionability; to investigate her impressionability we begin easily to see it intimately connected to her capacity of imagination; our exploration goes on in this flowing stream.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 19
The Soul is Pulsing with Life and Vigor
The soul is not only conscious, it is also alive; it is pulsing with life and vigor. When we experience the quality of aliveness we feel a pulsation, a teeming vitality, robustness, and vigor. The robust feeling of life characterizes the conscious presence of the soul, and appears now as a distinct quality or property. We discover that life, or aliveness, is a particular dimension of the soul, a basic property of its presence. It is actually a Platonic form, independent from bodies and from matter in general. It is always inherent and present in the soul, but we can experience it explicitly. In other words, just as we can experience our soul as pure knowledge, we can also experience it as pure life. We are then not only alive; we are life. We are fundamental life, present as life, life that can imbue the body with its vigor and dynamism and empower it to function.