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Being Oneself

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Being Oneself?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Being Oneself

Accessing True Nature

The key is: if you can find a way to understand how your present experience is related to your True Nature, then you are closer to accessing that True Nature—and that access is called truth. So how can you do that? At first, even when you have some sense about where you are, you don’t understand all that is happening in a given situation. Most of our experience is half conscious and not comprehended. When you are more fully intimate with your experience and have some real understanding of it, you then can say that you are seeing the truth of your experience. But what is the truth of our experience, and why is there such a thing?

Becoming Yourself

To be oneself is to question, to ask, "What is this is about? I don't want to listen to other people's explanations and stories, I want to know myself. I want to satisfy myself by my own experience, by my own investigation. It doesn't matter what authorities or teachers say if it doesn't make any sense in my own experience". The more you question and think for yourself, the more you become yourself. To be oneself means not to be conditioned by others, by the external, not to be an extension of the past, yours or anyone else's past. To be oneself means to be an original.

Being Oneself is Being Free from the Desires of the Personality

We believe that if we get what we want, what the personality wants, we will be fulfilled. But fulfillment is ultimately the freedom from desires. So what I am saying is that being oneself, being one’s Essence, free from the desires of the personality, is the fulfillment. It’s not that you want your Essence so you can get something else… When I say this principle is absolute, I mean just that. It is absolute in the way a physical law is absolute. It has nothing to do with your opinions or your preference. That’s the way reality is, it is the truth.

Being Ourselves Fully and Directly

When we are being ourselves fully and directly, free from all influence of past experience, a quantum leap occurs in the experience of the self. The perception of ourselves departs from the conventional dimension of experience, although most of the elements of that dimension remain available in the experience. To be ourselves fully, spontaneously, and authentically, means simply to be. Not to be a reaction, not to be determined or influenced by image or experience from the past, not to be according to memory and mind—is to simply be. This is far more than the colloquial meaning of the phrase “being oneself.” It is the experience of Being. To be—and in the experience we know this with certainty—is not an action, not even an inner action. Being ourselves, we find, is being Being. In self-realization we experience ourselves being present as presence. It is not the presence of the body, the emotions, the thoughts. It is the presence of presence. To be fully cognizant of oneself as presence is the central and most positive characteristic of the experience of self-realization. (See Appendix B.) The absolute given in perception is presence. Presence is not a characteristic of mind or body. It is a concrete ontological given, more fundamental than either the mind or the body. The presence of Being is deeper than our conventional experience of the existence of our minds or bodies.

Being Ourselves is Evoked by Seeing Through the Beliefs We Have About Who We are and Letting Go of All the Ways We Stop Ourselves From Being Who We Are

However, this capacity to know and be who we are is not based on what we understand conceptually about manifestations and how they all fit together. Being ourselves is not the outcome of mentally arranging all the pieces of a puzzle correctly to get the complete picture. It arises—or you could say it is evoked—by seeing through the beliefs we have about who we are and letting go of all the ways we stop ourselves from being who we are. And as this being who we are is revealed, we simultaneously come to know it directly without relying on our mind. In this chapter, we will be exploring a new dimension of Being that is the ground for this nonconceptual self-knowing. We have been working with the practice of nondoing by learning how to be where we are without doing anything to be where we are. We have seen how by simply being aware, we are able to recognize at some point what is happening in our experience, to understand it, see the meaning of it. We have seen that this meaning over time becomes a thread of meaning, our personal thread, which transforms into essential meaning, which is the presence of True Nature itself. We have seen how our mind recognizes our experience, reifies it, and then identifies with those reifications. We have explored how the reification process makes objects out of the elements in our experience and how, through identification, our mind constrains the flow of that experience. And we have noticed how our mind blocks the natural unfoldment of our experience by attempting to hold on to some parts of it and reject or change others, thus creating a fixed sense of self.

Being Spontaneous

The moment that you are conscious of yourself, you are conscious of the consciousness, you are conscious only of the daytime. You see the light of day but not the darkness of the night that far transcends and contains the day. You see the transitory but not the eternal. You see the manifestation but not the unmanifest ground. You see the front but not the back. Your back, your ground, is the night. When you are the night you can behold the day but you see it as your front. Your back is something you cannot see, for it is the seer itself, the primordial eye of awareness.

Being Where We Are

Being who we are requires first finding out where we are. And although being aware of where we are does not necessarily mean we are being ourselves yet, it’s a start. That’s because it contains an element or flavor of our true self. And that flavor, or that element, is what we call truth. So wherever we are, whatever our experience happens to be, is related to our True Nature in some way. It may be distant or disconnected, or it may be a reaction, a reflection, or a substitute. But it still is somehow related to who we truly are.

Ego Imitates

The ego tries to bring the Divine life to earth and actualize it; but it uses ways which don't work. The usual result is a personal life which is an imitation of the true one. The ego can imitate only because, at some level, it knows what the real life would be. It is an imitation only because an original exists. It can't be that we are born to become enlightened and disappear; if we were already pure, why come and suffer, and return to what we were before. What is the point of that?

Experiencing All that is Possible for a Human Being

The only way we can experience all that is possible for a human being is to be ourselves. If we are not ourselves, any other development is only a sector of human experience. To be a complete human being, to be a totality and experience wholeness, to be able to experience all possibilities and all potential for a human being, first we need to be ourselves.

Genuinely Being What We Are

Many people get caught up in spiritual experiences and perceptions and all kinds of interesting, subtle impressions, some of which can be exciting and uplifting. But there is nothing like the simplicity of being oneself—settling into yourself, just being there, recognizing what you are, and feeling the sense of intimacy and realness of that. All of the inner journey, all of spiritual practice, ultimately comes down to this: that we are able to be genuinely what we are. If you want to do inner practice in order to develop certain powers or go to other dimensions or have special experiences, you still don’t know what spiritual work is. And this is because you are not yet recognizing what reality is or what being real means.

Just Being

If I am being my True Nature, it is not an identification; it is just simply being, which is not an activity. Now the word “being” is a little tricky in English. Because the verb is “to be,” “I am being” implies that I am doing being. But that is not what the phrase means. It means that I am not doing anything to be myself. I am just myself. I don’t need anything to be it. I am it. However, when I am it, there is nobody, no I, that is being it. There is no separation. I and it are one thing; there is no I to claim it. So, when I say I am the light, I am the presence, I don’t mean that there is an I that is identifying with light or presence. It is just a recognition, a knowingness, a seeing, an awareness of that which is here.

Mind, Heart and Body are External Manifestations

I exist as me. The mind, the heart, the body, are an external manifestation of me; but I'm the core, the being itself. I am the source and the ground of all of my experience. Only then are my thoughts, actions, and feelings original. Now they have nothing to do with what my mother or father, or even Christ or Buddha, said. To be me does not mean that I'm impersonal, universal light. That is a different experience, and that ocean of light, love, bliss is for me. I'm its flowering. It is in celebration of me, not the other way around. The pleasure, the joy, the love, the enlightenment are for me -- for me as a being. So the being that we truly are is the point of it all, is why there is earth. The reason we are on earth is to be that.

The Feeling of Being Ourselves

Being ourselves is a delight. It is an intimacy; it is a genuineness, a preciousness. It is indescribable how satisfying it feels to us. But what I want to point to here is the fact that being ourselves implies an openness, a kind of gentleness. When we are being ourselves, we feel intimate, we feel close to ourselves. Our heart is open, our mind is clear, our soul is settled; there is no sense of thickness or inner agitation or fighting within ourselves. We experience an inner unity that feels peaceful, relaxed, contented. And whether we are feeling one specific quality or aspect of our being or we are feeling True Nature in its transcendence or boundlessness, we enjoy a delightful freedom and satisfaction.

To Be Oneself Means to Be

To be oneself clearly includes having your own feelings and expressing yourself, but even these are just processes and activities. They may be what is visible, but the central experience, what is germane, is not the expression but the actual experience of Being. To be oneself means to be.

To Not Identify is to Simply Be

Furthermore, not to identify means not doing anything to form an identity. This means we are not looking self-reflexively at ourselves or conceptualizing ourselves. If we are not experiencing ourselves self-reflexively and conceptually (whether with old or new concepts), then we are experiencing ourselves immediately, directly, and nonconceptually. We are then aware of ourselves by merely being. In other words, not to identify is simply to be. This is the experience of self-realization. When the self is not engaged in the act of identifying, it is merely perceiving itself. It is the pure awareness of what is present in consciousness. This pure awareness is totally direct and unmediated. The self is not experiencing itself through a representation, so there is no identification. So awareness and being coincide in complete nonidentification. This is the experience of presence in self-realization. But since all our normal notions of self-recognition involve awareness of ideas about and images of ourselves, how can there be self-recognition in the situation of no identification?

When We are Being Ourselves, Implicit in that is the Trust, the Security, the Certainty, the Easy, Natural, Relaxed Way of Simply Being There

Identification can happen with anything. Some people are identified with their jobs. Most people are identified with being a man or with being a woman. We believe that if we drop the identification, the reality will drop off. But, in fact, whatever is truly real is not created or maintained by our identification with it. When we are being ourselves, implicit in that is the trust, the security, the certainty, the easy, natural, relaxed way of simply being there. The recognition of this is the illumination of who we are. Thus, if I know completely that this is who I am, I don’t need to engage in a mental operation to establish it or try to remember it. And if I really recognize that it is me, I don’t need to remind myself that it is me. Wherever I go, it is me. But if I am not confident that it is me, then I will struggle to remember who I am. Another way to say this is: if we don’t have that certainty, if we don’t trust who we are, then we reify ourselves so that we carry an identity around with us. And we go around asserting it to others. Some people are identified with being the Absolute, and if somebody tells them they are not the Absolute, they feel wounded. “Can’t you see that I am? Everybody should see that I am the Absolute!” That can happen to spiritually advanced adults. But this means that there is an identification. And even though the person might be actually experiencing themselves as the Absolute, the identification creates a gap, what I call the narcissistic gap. In that gap of needing to be seen as what we are, we are not being completely ourselves, we are not being where we are. We are not simply being.

You are Created Fresh in Every Moment

That is the mystery -- that the true person includes the universal, includes the Divine. The building blocks of the true person are the universal, the Divine substance. You are created fresh in every moment. There is a new birth in that -- God gives birth. Without this experience, you will always feel incomplete. It is for the birth and for the growth of this person, the personal being, the Personal Essence, often referred to as the "Pearl beyond Price", that everything else exists. This is the key, the entry into all the mysteries, and to all the celebrations of existence. To be oneself means to be the synthesis of all that exists as you; to be you. You are the fruit of the universe.

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