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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Aloneness?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Aloneness

Aloneness is Actually Inner Aloneness; One is Alone in One’s Mind

Hence, aloneness is not a matter of one being separate or physically alone. It means one is existing without ego, without self-image. For if there was self-image then one would be engaged in internalized object relations, and one would not feel alone then. Krishnamurti said one time that ego cannot exist in aloneness. And we see here how true this is, for ego involves internalized object relations. That is why the experience of the Personal Essence feels like aloneness, and brings about strong reactions from ego; ego reacts because it starts seeing the end of its story. Aloneness means the death of ego, the false personality based on past mental object relations. The loss or dissolution of boundaries frequently feels like aloneness; for it is the dissolution of the last identification systems of ego. Although boundaries make one feel separate, even isolated, one still does not feel alone. These ego boundaries are based on self-images that are part of internalized object relations. As they dissolve one starts feeling alone, but this means that one is entering the state of freedom, Being without ego. Aloneness is actually inner aloneness; one is alone in one’s mind. There are no umbilical cords (internalized object relations) connecting one to the past. One is here, now. This is a state of purity. One is, and there is no self-image. This indicates that all states of Being, all aspects of Essence, bring the state of aloneness, when experienced with no self-image. The absence of self-image means the mind is empty and immaculately clear. It means the presence of the aspect of Space, which is what dissolves the self-image. 

Aloneness of the Personal Essence

The aloneness of the Personal Essence is slightly different and more paradoxical than that of the other aspects of Being. The Personal Essence is a Personal Presence that is capable of making direct personal contact. So with it one can be relating to another human being and still be alone. One can be in intimate human contact, but feel completely alone within. This means one is being the Personal Essence in the presence of Space. One is an aloneness relating to another aloneness. One is an aloneness contacting another aloneness. This sounds paradoxical, but this is exactly the state of two human beings who are relating with the Personal Essence, from Being to Being.

Being Alone with No Feeling of Aloneness

When one is completely being the Essential Identity, the experience no longer takes the form of being or seeing a point of light. The sense of size disappears, even the feeling of identity disappears. Self-realization becomes a matter of being, purely being, with an increasing understanding of what this means. There is a sense of simplicity and innocence, just simply being. It is not a matter of being oneself and knowing this by reflecting on the experience of oneself. There is no reflection on the state, no desire to analyse it. There is a sense of being alone, without the concept or feeling of aloneness. The aloneness is the perception of oneself as pure, undefiled and uncontaminated. There is lightness and freedom. The mind is quiet and sometimes without thought.

Being Present without any Psychic Structure

The sense of aloneness arises because one loses the sense of being related to others in a conceptual way. This sense of being related to others is inseparable from all aspects of ego, because the self-image, which is by nature conceptual, is always seen from the perspective of a relationship to an object-image. When one is experiencing Being, as in the state of the Personal Essence, then one is not the self-image. This means one is not engaged at that time in any inner object relation. This feels like a state of aloneness. One is actually alone; one is not engaged in the interminable object relations that are the basis and origin of the self-image. This means that Being is not only the absence of relating to the object or his image, but it is complete independence from all inner past object relations. If one is identified with any part of the ego structure then there is no true aloneness yet. There might be a sense of separateness, but not aloneness. There might be a fear of aloneness, or a movement towards aloneness; and this causes the customary feelings of fear, sadness, longing and loneliness. But when one is finally alone then there is no loneliness, for there is no ego structure to feel alone. Aloneness means that Being is alone. It means one is present without any psychic structure; for psychic structure indicates the presence of internalized past object relations. It is freedom, from ego. It is pure beingness.

Difficulty Differentiating Between the State of Aloneness and the Affect of Loneliness

The dissolution of boundaries both intensifies and clarifies a certain state, the state of aloneness, which is encountered all the way through the process of realization and development of the Personal Essence. It appears from the beginning of experiencing the autonomy of the Personal Essence, and becomes more frequent until it becomes connected with the issue of ego boundaries. It is usually not understood objectively until one is deeply involved in the process of inner realization. Most people believe that they understand aloneness, but this initial understanding is superficial and faulty. At the beginning the student is not able to differentiate between the state of aloneness and the affect of loneliness. He feels usually both alone and lonely, which state is usually considered undesirable, and so is resisted along with states such as the Personal Essence that bring it about. It becomes one of the main barriers to the experience of the Personal Essence. Many students resist their autonomy, and cling for a long
time to the negative merged state, to avoid this state of aloneness.

Experiencing Transcendence as Aloneness

These developments in turn bring about a profound sense of aloneness, for the presence of Being is not connected psychically to any internalized object relation; it is autonomous from the structured sense of self that consists of representations of the self in relation to others. At the beginning the soul inevitably experiences this transcendence as aloneness, which tends to bring a fear of loss of contact, relatedness, connection, and communication. However deep and persistent inquiry reveals the intrinsic intimacy of essential presence, whose boundlessness and formlessness constitute a much more fundamental connectedness than that known by the ego-self. The soul contends with the notion of death and the fear of death, and learns, with persistent inquiry, that her true nature transcends both life and death, for it is the pure consciousness that forms the eternal ground of all phenomena. We see, then, that even though the inner journey confronts us, often painfully, with existential issues, the experience and understanding of essence provides resolution and a depth of wisdom not envisaged by existential philosophy or any form of psychotherapy.

The Urge to Connect with Others in Order to Maintain an Inner Sense of Equilibrium

It takes time to understand that the aloneness of the Supreme is a oneness of infinite unity, not a social aloneness of the individual self. Until then, the fear of loss of another person's support stimulates a strong urge to connect with others in order to maintain a sense of inner equilibrium. This unconscious draw toward a special connection to another person as one’s basic support is one of the deepest and most difficult issues to resolve, and we began to understand how it is often used to fortify a shared ego identity. As our ego identity is deconstructed through experiencing deep states of nondual awareness, one way it expresses itself is as the need to be the same or similar to another person or to other people. When the identity of the personality gets conflated with the Supreme identity, the need to maintain relational stability with others who have the same experiences or orientation becomes more pronounced, and differences in perspective are experienced as a lack of support. Our identity and the sense of mutual support remains centered in the relationships themselves rather than in knowing that we are the identity of the Supreme expressing itself through each one of us. If not understood, such a tendency will limit, or even completely obstruct, nondual realization.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 240

When the Personality is Gone

When the personality is gone, you feel alone, because the boundaries—your ideas and memories—are your father and mother. The separateness is your memories of your mother and father, your relationship with them and all your past experiences which you’re bringing into the present. Your past experience separates you from the now. That separation from the now is a boundary around you like an eggshell. To let the boundaries go means accepting aloneness. When aloneness is accepted, there are no boundaries. What you perceive then is just lack of boundaries. This will be experienced as a newness, a rebirth. You will see that there is an ocean with waves. You are a drop, but that drop does not have boundaries. It is a concentration of consciousness, and that consciousness is not separate from the rest. The whole of existence is a consciousness, and that consciousness is love. This love cannot be seen as long as there is a sense of boundary because that sense of boundary is a contradiction, a statement that this love does not exist.

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