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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Arrive?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Arrive

Are You Doing the Work to Acquire Something, to Arrive at a Certain Goal or are You Doing It Because You Love the Truth

When I tell you to love the truth, to love what is there, to accept completely what is there without any conditions, what does that mean? What is there at this very moment may be a rejection of what is there. Are you going to reject that rejection? It’s a subtle process to pay attention, and to be aware of that movement. The complete awareness of this movement will bring about understanding, which, as we have said, is the freedom. The truth of the situation is the freedom. Awareness does not need to be motivated. It is what is there. We’re always aware of something. As long as there is motivation for anything, awareness is restricted away from one thing and toward another. When there is no motivation, awareness will just be there, free. With awareness, there is a possibility of understanding, of seeing the truth. Because awareness and understanding are possible, freedom and happiness are possible. The correct perspective from which you can do this work is always to be aware of whether you are interested in the truth of what is happening right now, or whether you are trying to achieve something. Are you doing the work now to acquire something, to arrive at a certain goal, or are you doing it because you love the truth? This is a shift in attitude that is needed for us to finally understand the hopelessness of the situation. You are caught and divided because you still have hope that things will be different. That hope creates desire, that desire creates rejection of what is there, the rejection of what is there creates division, the division creates conflict, the conflict creates suffering, the suffering then creates searching. The searching creates more rejection and more conflict and the cycle continues.

At Some Point in Our Process, We are Bound to Arrive at the Understanding that Our Development is Incomplete Because We are Still Identified with the Surface of the Self, Rather than With its Core

In spiritual work, we can progress for some time without fully confronting our narcissism. This is because, for at least a few years, our development deals with issues that do not challenge the deeper structures of the self, such as those of self-identity or self-entity. Pursuing the open inquiry involved in our work brings up issues and conflicts related to the superego, neurotic or character conflicts, the pain and defenses related to early abuses of different kinds, and character distortions. The work challenges our inaccurate beliefs and assumptions about ourselves and reality, and exposes issues of separation and individuation, dependence and independence, and so on. Understanding these issues and clarifying the ego structures underlying them connects us to Essence. (See Appendix G) This process goes on for some time, with varying degrees of accomplishment, depending on our endowment and history, until the connection to Essence becomes more or less established. Then, at some point in our process, we are bound to arrive at the understanding that our development is incomplete because we are still identified with the surface of the self, rather than with its core. The beauty, depth and fulfillment attendant to the repeated or continuous experience of the presence of Essence activates our desire for a more fundamental integration of Essence, reflecting the guiding pressure of the optimizing force of Being. We become increasingly aware that our continual suffering, the limitations on our freedom and fulfillment, and our still incomplete access to the realm of Essence, result from continuing to identify with the self-representation. We become increasingly uncomfortable with our identification with the usual self in the conventional dimension of experience; it becomes ego-alien.

By Understanding the Experience Through Seeing its Truth, We Arrive at an Objectivity About It

In other words, understanding is a matter of clarity shining through the various manifestations, clarifying and dispelling obscurations and illuminating the truth. What is happening as we are clarifying is a rise in clarity. What is this rise in clarity? The whole field of experience, the whole soul, begins to become clearer. We become aware of the resistances and blockages, the wrong beliefs and fixed positions that cause such obscuration, dullness, and unclarity. And as we see them, we become clear about what they are and what they are about. As we become clear about them, we understand them and they are dispelled. Obscurations dissipate like clouds as clarity shines through. We discover more and more of the truth, and experience is illuminated. The truth begins to stand out and become manifest. This is the process we go through when we inquire. By understanding the experience through seeing its truth, we arrive at an objectivity about it. Arriving at this objectivity happens through clarifying our attitude about the experience as we clarify what the experience is. This process of recognizing the truth coincides with the soul herself, the consciousness, becoming clearer and more transparent, more luminous. We might not experience this directly as luminosity but as a greater intensity or as more specificity in what the experience is. Our awareness is now more intense, purer, clearer, and more lucid.

It is Possible to Arrive at a Place Where We Can Experience Ourselves as the Actual Phenomenon, the Actual Ontological Presence that We Are Rather than as Ideas and Feelings About Ourselves

Our experience of ourselves can be transformed from identifying with our mental self-images to having awareness of less contingent, more fundamentally real aspects of the self. It is possible to arrive at a place where we can experience ourselves as the actual phenomenon, the actual ontological presence that we are, rather than as ideas and feelings about ourselves. The more we are able to contact the actual presence that we are, the less we are alienated in a superficial or externally defined identity. The more we know the truth of who we are, the more we can be authentic and spontaneous, rather than merely living through concepts of ourselves. Among the many methods that shift the quality and depth of experience, those used by religious and spiritual traditions are more effective in contacting deeper dimensions of the self, with a more thoroughly developed understanding of these dimensions and their significance for living life than those used by the newer science of psychology. However, psychology has contributed powerful new knowledge about the human being that allows us to systematically work through the barriers to these deeper levels of self, especially the barriers to integrating these levels into one’s identity. In particular, the current understanding of narcissism is very useful for the process of inner realization, the process of learning to contact and appreciate the deeper levels of our nature and allowing these dimensions to actually affect our identity.

Nondual Absolute Presence Cannot be Arrived at by Pushing the Self Towards It as if It is an Aim or Achievement

Nondual absolute presence can become the constant condition of the self, but this cannot be arrived at by pushing the self towards it as if it is an aim or achievement. We stand in our own way when we judge and reject our present experience and try to manipulate ourselves into posited heights of realization. Such attitudes and efforts will only disconnect us from ourselves, and as we have seen, this disconnection is the hallmark of narcissistic alienation. We need from the beginning to respect our humanness, to appreciate our immediate experience, and to learn to simply be where we are. It is in the gentleness and acceptance of relaxing where we experientially find ourselves, and the openness to the present manifestation of our Being, that makes it possible for us to sink deeper into our nature. This open acceptance can express itself in a lighthearted curiosity about ourselves and our experience in the world, inviting the depths of our Being to reveal themselves naturally and spontaneously. When this becomes our way of life, the various human situations we find ourselves in will become the context for our unfoldment, revealing the riches of Being as the natural maturation of our humanness.

Once the Soul Arrives Home, Life is an Expression of that Origin, a Service of that Truth

What are our priorities in this world, in our lives? Is pleasure our priority? Self-aggrandizement? Fame? Recognition? Or do we seek something deeper, more intrinsic? The soul will not rest until she returns home, back to where she came from. And once the soul arrives home, life is an expression of that origin, a service of that truth. Without returning to our original nature, it’s difficult for us to see what our role in life is, because our minds and hearts are full of concerns and conflicts and problems. Our blessings and realizations are not simply for our enjoyment, but also for our guidance and transformation. And there is no true transformation unless we recognize the limitation of the lollipop stage and have a real motive to go beyond it. The balanced approach to experience is exactly what is needed to actually do the work. The more we have that balanced attitude, the easier the work is, and the more naturally and spontaneously it happens. We need to remember and be aware that it’s not simply the experience that matters, but how we relate to it. If we approach our experience with an attitude of greed, the experience will likely be used to feed an endless emptiness that can never be filled. But if we approach our experience with a balanced attitude, the experience could expose that bottomless chasm without trying to fill it. So our orientation toward experience needs to be one of learning. No matter how painful, pure, or wonderful, all experiences are good when approached with a correct attitude. Approaching an experience with the attitude of learning is an ultimate attunement to reality. Learning this attunement to reality is a challenging process that requires us to approach our difficulties with humility and detachment.

One of the Ways a Person Arrives at the Understanding that What We Take to be Our Identity is Actually an Empty Mental Construct

In the work of self-realization, the first and most important part of working on the narcissistic constellation involves exposing the shell. This means realizing directly that what we take ourselves to be is not real, that it is an empty shell, a facade constructed from images and identifications. For most students in our work, this happens completely naturally, in the course of self-exploration. It is not necessary for the teacher to introduce or create these perceptions. Simply by exploring our continuing experience of ourselves and inquiring into its meaning and truth, we come to see that what we take to be our identity is actually an empty mental construct. One of the main ways a person arrives at this understanding is through maturation of the well-integrated self. Maturing through a life lived with a competent ego integrating one’s experience, we are likely to experience some relaxation of the defensive ego structures. With the relaxation of these structures, we may then become aware of a sense of emptiness and meaninglessness, a sense that our life is pointless. This may happen, for example, when we live our lives according to our ambitions and ideals and actually complete our inner program. We can then relax and we can afford to be flexible in our positions and attitudes. This entails letting go of some of our defensive positions. Also, accomplishing our goals may give us a sense of inner value and felt wisdom, but the deepening of this wisdom will eventually require a transformation of identity. Frequently, an individual who has arrived at this awareness through maturity becomes interested in the deeper aspects of existence and seeks answers in philosophy, religion, or spiritual practice. This natural process is frequently what begins the inner search, especially in a well-integrated ego. It is the proverbial midlife crisis, although often, of course, the quest leads one to seek meaning in external life or activities.

Student Discovering that She Has Arrived Home

The state of poverty, which some traditions call “mystical poverty,” is the expression of the transformation of narcissistic emptiness into true inner spaciousness, a profound void now penetrating the shell due to the shell’s almost complete denudement. As the self is letting go of its representations of itself, which feels like the surrendering of everything she believed she possessed, she becomes increasingly transparent to the presentations of Being. She experiences a new profundity of true emptiness—black space—but it is reflected through a slight vestige of psychic structure, the concept of entity. So she feels this emptiness as the poverty of her sense of self. As the student remains in this condition, surrendering all manipulations and desires, this profound emptiness dissolves the remaining vestiges of structure, and propels her into the full and direct experience of this deepest of all voids. But she then discovers that this most profound inner spaciousness is also identical to the absolute depth of all Being. She has arrived home; her poverty has been the doorway. Although the process of transformation of narcissism at this level is similar to the general process of going through any level of fundamental narcissism, it has some differentiating properties which reflect the level of the true self being realized. The sense of poverty of the shell is an indirect reflection of the truth of this depth of Being. The deficient narcissistic emptiness specific to this stage is nothing but the associated inner spaciousness, experienced as deficient because of some subtle defensiveness on the part of the self. The presence of the thin membrane of the shell indicates an attachment to a vestige of structure, which means that there is a subtle resistance to the inner spaciousness. When this resistance is abandoned, the emptiness is experienced in its true condition as the most profound of all voids.

The Aim of Inquiry is Not to Arrive at Conclusions but to Enjoy the Exploration and the Thrill of Discovery

So the questioning in inquiry needs to be intelligent, needs to embody the openness of true nature that can use whatever we know. You know, for instance, that you have an unconscious. You do not have to discover it every time you inquire. So if you have an experience and you are seeing something about it, the fact that you know you have an unconscious makes you suspect that there may be more to what you see. If you say, “Let’s not use the knowledge of the mind at all,” and then begin to look at what is present in experience, you might have to go through a long process before recognizing that there is a psychodynamic cause for what is arising in your experience. But the fact that you know there is an unconscious, and that psychodynamics exist, opens the inquiry in a whole new way. At the same time, we need to be free from the mind, because the moment we see something, we think we know it. This is the tendency of the normal mind. Inquiry also uses the mind in formulating questions, in analysis and synthesis, and in using its various capacities, such as memory and correlation. The aim of inquiry, however, is not to arrive at conclusions but to enjoy the exploration and the thrill of discovery. This discovery is the unfoldment of the soul, and expresses the soul’s love of truth and reality, which itself is the expression of Being’s love of revealing itself. Openness includes openness to the mind and its accumulated knowledge, but it is also open to the mind’s being wrong or incomplete. Furthermore, there is openness to going beyond the mind and its ordinary knowledge. Openness of inquiry also means that whatever knowledge or insight we get to, we do not wrap it up in a package and put it on a shelf. The moment you do that, you close the path of inquiry. No insight is an ultimate insight. As soon as you believe that you have arrived at the ultimate insight, you know you are stuck.

The Future is Not Your Life; it Never Arrives. What is Actually Here is Always Only this Moment

Regardless of the stories you tell yourself, at this moment, this very moment, there is only this moment, here, now. Nothing else exists. For your direct experience, only the here and now is relevant. Only now is real. And it is always like that. At each moment, only that moment exists. So we need to ask why we put ourselves on hold, waiting for the right time, waiting for the right circumstances to arise in the future. Maybe the right time will never come. Maybe the conditions you have in mind will never come together for you. When will you begin to exist then? When will you begin to be here, to live? Regardless of the ideas about past and future that dominate your experience, right at this moment only this moment exists, and only this moment has any significance for you. The most direct and obvious fact of experience is that the moment, the here and now, is all that exists. This is all here is for this moment. Whatever is happening at this moment, that is your life. The future is not your life; it never arrives. What is actually here is always only this moment. So can you let yourself be? I am not suggesting that you let yourself be to get anything or do anything, even to understand anything. I mean just to be. Are you giving yourself the simple privilege of being, of existence? Why do you think that what you do, what you have, what you get or don’t get are more important than just being here? Why are you always wanting to get something or go somewhere? Why not just relax and be here, simply existing in all your cells, inhabiting all your body? When are you going to let yourself descend from your lofty preoccupations, and simply land where you are?

The Moment You Feel You’ve Arrived, Penetrate Deeper, Until there Comes a Time when You Do Not Care Whether You’ve Arrived or Not

So let it seek. Just watch your mind seeking, day and night. You are not going to be able to stop it, so let it happen. Ultimately, it is not a matter of seeking, it is ceasing the seeking. Seeking indicates going in a certain direction, towards something you want, something you can get. There isn’t anything like that. Whatever you want is part of your mind anyway. If you seek nothingness, nothingness is part of your mind. Reality is not nothingness, but it is also not a thingness. It is prior to nothingness and thingness. But you will experience nothingness sometimes. That’s part of the deeper layer of the mind, and it is fine to go through each layer. Do not ever let yourself feel you’ve arrived. The moment you feel you’ve arrived, penetrate deeper, until there comes a time when you do not care whether you’ve arrived or not. Then you have arrived, but you do not think you have arrived. You just do not care. You haven’t the slightest interest in whether you have arrived somewhere or not. That means the mind is finally quiet. As long as you care whether you have arrived or not, you haven’t. You might have had some experience, but the experience is not complete unless there is complete innocence, the way a baby is innocent—without the vaguest idea about reality or enlightenment. What’s that? I do not know—nothing, as far as I know. Innocence is before the whole thing developed: pre-mind.

The Soul Arrives at Openness by Letting Go of a Structure that Defines Her, Without Resorting to New Definitions of Who and What She Is

This openness of soul can only happen through the impact on the soul of a particular essential manifestation, inner spaciousness. Openness is the specific state that results in the soul when essential space arises in her. This openness is not a belief or an attitude based on beliefs. The soul arrives at it by letting go of a structure that defines her, without resorting to new definitions of who or what she is. If she does not manage to be this open, for instance if she is defensive, holding on to the self-image or immediately bringing up a different one, inner space may not arise, and she will not be able to liberate herself from the particular structure. Assuming that the inquiry continues to the point of recognizing the mental and historical nature of the particular self-image, inner space arises and erases the self-image. The soul arrives here at a wonderful state of freedom, feeling unencumbered by the depressing and dulling weight of the previous rigidity and heaviness of the ego structure. She experiences herself unpatterned, as a clear and luminous spaciousness, immaculate and light, joyous and lighthearted. She is openness, lightness, a formlessness that is freedom. In the state of essential space, she has no structure, but is open to all the potential of her being. As she continues in this essential state of spaciousness, with the curious and open-ended attitude of inquiry, essential presence will arise in one aspect or another to structure her experience, now from inside out. Essence will manifest in the soul in the aspect or aspects corresponding to the dissolved structure. In other words, the particular structure was either related to the loss of an essential aspect or was functioning in the place of one, and hence, when it is no longer in the way and the soul’s dynamism is free again, it will manifest this particular aspect.

Though it is Difficult, it is Possible to Arrive at a Place where You Love Only the Truth

As I said, though it is difficult, it is possible to arrive at a place where you love only the truth. This is not, however, required to activate the Guidance or to allow the unfoldment to happen. What is needed is only the pure, selfless love of the truth even if you have competing loves. But the Guidance can work most effectively when the love of truth outweighs our love for everything else. When does our love for the truth become the only love? When we recognize that there is nothing else but the truth. When our perception has opened up to the extent that we see an expression of the truth wherever we look, then we love only the truth. Then truth is not at all in contradiction to the other loves. We love everything. This is a beautiful condition to get to. We arrive there, however, only through first preferring the truth over everything else. Unless we truly perceive that everything is the truth, we cannot say, “Well, since everything is the truth, let me love it as much as the truth.” That won’t work. For us to say that everything is the truth, we must be actually perceiving for ourselves that this is the case. Before that, everything is not the truth, at least not as far as we are concerned. To say, “I love that,” about someone or something in your life without loving the truth in that moment indicates that what you are seeing is not true. You’re actually looking at falseness and that’s what you’re loving. In reality, there is no such thing as a person separate from the truth. So, if you love your husband, for instance, yet you are not loving him as a reflection of the truth, then what are you loving? Either your husband reflects the truth or you’re loving something that is false—some idea in your mind that is bound to take you away from the truth and be in competition with it.

We are Being. This is a Fact; it is Not Something You are Going to Arrive At

That is what Being does when it is present—if you let yourself be Being, its very nature is a source of Love, a source of Compassion, a source of Intelligence, Understanding, Will, Strength, and all of the essential aspects. When we go into the area of seeking, we cut ourselves off from these things and we feel deficient. If we really allow ourselves to be and we learn to digest our experiences, as I said, what will develop, what will emerge and mature is the Personal Essence. The Personal Essence is what is called the Son of Man. Another phrase for it is the Son of God. Because we are that, we are the children of Being. We are the individual personal manifestations of absolute Being. We are Being. This is a fact; it is not something you are going to arrive at. It is always the true state of affairs; it cannot be any other way. If we were not this Being, we would have no awareness.

We Need to Learn that if We are Going to Arrive at that Ultimate Fulfilment, We Don’t Want to get Stuck Forever at Any One Station on Our Journey

That is what we mean when we say that our deep human connections are based on the prototype of ultimate union that makes all forms of union possible, and desirable. In other words, all beloveds are expressions of the ultimate Beloved. In our movement toward anything we are attracted to, there is a very deep primordial longing for that union. The heart gravitates toward experiences of many different types of union, but as we are beginning to recognize, it does so because the heart loves to be united with its true Beloved. This is one way of understanding “being in the world but not of it.” We live a life of togetherness, social interaction, intimacy, connection, and union in the way humans experience these things, but living in this way is a direct expression, manifestation, and fulfillment of the union of the soul with its ultimate Beloved. So we need to look at our life and our humanness from that perspective. We need to learn that if we are going to arrive at that ultimate fulfillment, we don't want to get stuck forever at any one station on our journey. We want to keep rending the veils until union is complete—because nothing else will truly fulfill the heart. No situation, no relationship with another person or group, no activity, no interest, no accomplishment, no knowledge, no understanding—nothing in the world—can take the place of that union. And if we recognize our heart's deepest desire for this union—our total yearning for it—and start to allow that longing, then it is possible for us to arrive at that union. It is possible for the heart to be fulfilled—and to be fulfilled in such a fundamental way that our life situations truly fulfill us—not as a substitute but as a manifestation of that complete union.

Love Unveiled, pg. 144

We Never Arrive at True Spiritual Insight or Understanding by Simply Thinking

Each of us is different. Everybody has their history, capacities, and situations and, as we do our work, each of us will need to use whatever resources we have. But one thing we have in common—which I have observed both in my own experience and in the experience of others—is that when there is a true breakthrough, when there is a new knowledge about reality, when there is experience of reality that brings in new dimensions, it is always because of true nature. As we have seen, it is never because of our own individual efforts. It is never because of what we think we’re doing. This is a central insight of the dynamic of realization: In our practice, it is Total Being practicing. Whatever insight we have is because the depth of true nature, the sense of the purity of reality, has touched our mind and sparked an insight or an idea or a revelation. That is to say, we never arrive at true spiritual insight or understanding by simply thinking. Just as thinking alone will not do it, neither will doing anything in particular or feeling anything in particular. The realm of realization, the spiritual realm that brings about freedom, is not accessible to the intentions or efforts of our individual consciousness regardless of how heartfelt or intelligent or skillful they are. From the beginning of this teaching, it was always essential presence, spiritual presence—that purity of awareness or consciousness that is independent of thought, feeling, and sensation—that brought about both the realization and the teaching at the same time. Throughout the years, I’ve had many awakenings, realizations, and enlightenments that other people consider the definitive experience. When I look back, what I see is that the most important experience of all is the recognition of essential presence regardless of what quality or dimension it manifests. Knowing a quality of being—directly, immediately, beyond mind, beyond thought and emotion—is fundamental to waking up. We can experience essential presence as a mode of experience that is distinct, almost in a discontinuous way, from the rest of our ordinary experience. It was the continual inquiry into this essential presence and its relationship to everything else that brought about all the other awakenings as well as the development of the teaching.

What is Usually Considered Psychological Investigation Can Arrive at Dimensions of Experience which Have Always Been Considered to be the Product of Spiritual Practice or Discipline

The Diamond Mind knowledge is a multifaceted understanding of the nature of man, his consciousness or psyche, and the potential for expansion of his capacity for experience and inner development. These several points regarding the nature of this understanding will help to place it in context:

1. This knowledge includes an understanding of normal psychological functioning which also sheds light on some prevalent mental disorders. It adopts many of the findings of modern depth psychology, situating them in a more comprehensive view of man and also establishing their relevance for the pursuit of deeper truths about human nature beyond the levels psychology generally penetrates.

2. The psychological understanding is set within a metapsychological perspective that includes a broad outline of the domains of experience and functioning of the human psyche or soul. This metapsychology is not spelled out in any one of the volumes of the series, but is gradually developed throughout its several books.

3. This metapsychology is in turn set within a metaphysical outlook in which psychological experience is situated within a phenomenology of Being.

4. This work demonstrates that what is usually considered psychological investigation can arrive at dimensions of experience which have always been considered to be the product of spiritual practice or discipline. The psychological work is seen here not as an adjunct to spiritual practice, but as a spiritual practice on its own. This is the specific contribution of the Diamond Mind body of knowledge which prompted the idea of this series.

5. Not only can psychological investigation lead to realms of experience previously relegated to the spiritual, this work shows that when psychological understanding is refined by an openness to one’s spiritual nature, such investigation, if pursued deeply, inevitably will penetrate into the realm of spiritual, religious or mystical understanding. In the course of such exploration one result is that many currently prevalent psychological dysfunctions, such as some forms of narcissism and schizoid isolation, are revealed as direct consequences of spiritual alienation, which thus cannot be truly resolved by traditional psychotherapy.

The Void, pg. ii

When the Soul Arrives at Her Absolute Home, Recognizes Her True Beloved, and Recognizes it as her Ipseity Many Insights, Realizations and Feelings Spontaneously Arise

When the soul arrives at her absolute home, recognizes her true beloved, and realizes it as her ipseity, many insights, realizations, and feelings spontaneously arise. One’s life begins to show its overall pattern, seen from the perspective of the inner journey home. This culminates in the personalization of the absolute ipseity, where we learn to be a human being, a person, and to still abide in the absolute. This is an unusual and rarely known realization, where the vastness of the mystery, without ceasing to be the mystery, finds itself walking with two legs, touching with human hands, speaking with a mouth, and so on. (For the details of this process of personalization, see The Pearl Beyond Price, chapter 38.) At this point the soul is surprised by new feelings and realizations that occur spontaneously, as if brought home by the power of the self-realization. What spontaneously arises, without self-reflection or reasoning, is the feeling that the soul is at the end of a certain phase of life and work. She feels she has accomplished the task she had set for herself, or is in the last stages of finishing it. She recognizes her worldly accomplishments and her realization of her true nature. But the feeling is more general than the specific accomplishments. It is a sense of finishing something. There is a feeling of space or room left, open for new possibilities. She begins to feel completely relaxed and settled. Upon inquiry she feels she has reached her destination, even though she did not know it was the absolute that she was looking for. There results a sense of having lots of time, energy, and space to spare. She may feel willing and happy to give her time and energy to others. She feels at home now; her search is ended. It is as if she has been on a journey, searching for her beloved and her true home, but she did not know it consciously, at least she did not think of it in these terms. She does not have to decide to stop the search; the seeking ceases on its own, for the drive for seeking is spent. She sees that she has been consciously or unconsciously seeking, regardless what she was doing or involved in, because she was actually away from home, estranged in the profoundest way. Now she is home, and the reason for her search is gone. It is truly gone, not because she understands there is no need to seek, but because she does not feel the seeking energy anymore. The seeking energy is simply the tension of separation and the love for the union.

When We Arrive at the Experience of Unity, the Experience of Nonduality, the Question of Being Separate or Not Separate Moves to the Foreground

Because we ordinarily experience ourselves as beings in the world of objects and other beings, the issues around separateness are central to being human. When we arrive at the experience of unity, the experience of nonduality, the question of being separate or not separate moves to the foreground. Not being separate is equated with awakening, and being separate is a marker of duality and the experience of the ego self. But as we become more familiar with true nature, we recognize that separateness or not separateness is not relevant to true nature. That question is relevant to individuals who experience separateness and then the erasure of separateness. From the perspective of true nature, all manifestations of reality are neither separate nor not separate from each other. What, then, is the relationship of one thing to another? Given that we are all one, what does that mean about our relationships with each other? The oneness or the unity generally brings in a great deal of love and openness, a great deal of relatedness that we see is possible because the oneness does not destroy the differentiation. The oneness is the oneness of many things. We can see the world either from the perspective of boundaries, where there are things separate or not separate from one another, or the question of boundaries can altogether disappear. When the concept of separateness disappears, then things are neither separate nor not separate from each other. Being the individual that we are at the same time as being the true nature that is beyond time and space, we realize we are not other than anything else. The experience of oneness can change from unity to singularity.

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