Main Pages

By Region



Being (Simply Being)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Being (Simply Being)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Being (Simply Being)

Ceasing to Identify with the Self-Image and Simply Being, it is Clear that the Autonomy of Ego is a Sham

When one does have the experience of ceasing to identify with the self-image and simply being, it is clear that the autonomy of ego is a sham, since the ego personality is perceived not only as ephemeral, a kind of surface phenomenon which is in the nature of an idea, but also as reactive, responding automatically to the world. From Being, which is felt as the true and solid reality, ego’s individuality is seen as simply a dark network composed of beliefs in the mind and patterns of tension in the body. Thus the supposed autonomy of ego is, from this perspective, nothing but the feeling that accompanies an image in its relation to another image. It is striking that this is exactly what object relations theory states: that autonomy is based on the establishment of a self-image. We wonder how one can know that what he believes he is, is simply an image, and stop at that, without feeling that something is not right?

Consciousness Can be Directly Aware of Its Fundamental Existence Only When We are Simply Being

Four concepts are paramount in the understanding of self-realization: self (or soul), presence, Essence, and identity. In precise terms, self-realization is identity with the essence of the self, which is presence. What is self? The soul, as we have discussed, is an organism of consciousness that contains and cognizes all of our experience. Although we have said that self-realization is a matter of being ourselves, this is not a completely accurate description. We have used the phrase “being ourselves” to refer to the sense of being real or authentic. But actually, the soul is always being itself. It cannot be anything other than itself, for it is the very experiencing consciousness. This consciousness—which is the self—has a fundamental existence, an ontological mode of being. And it can be directly aware of this fundamental existence. This is possible only when we are simply being, not conceptualizing our identity, not reacting, and not manipulating. In other words, we experience our ontological ground when our experience of ourselves is completely unmediated. Although the self is always being itself, the experience of the self is incomplete until a certain development occurs: self-recognition. In self-realization, the soul recognizes its own nature, the presence of Being. It is this immediate, intrinsic self-recognition that gives the state of self-realization the sense of exquisite intimacy.

Inner Psychological Activity is the Primary Barrier to Simply Being

From this perspective, we come to understand that we may support ourselves to simply be not by doing anything, but by letting go of all inner activities towards that aim. The dimension of the Diamond Will provides guidance about the various barriers to this wisdom. It reveals, by its mere presence, how inner psychological activity is the primary barrier to simply being. It challenges all the false supports, all the activities and mechanisms that the self utilizes to gain support. The understanding that arises as we integrate this dimension of experience attains great subtlety and profundity. It includes the understanding of mental functioning and no-mind, timelessness, surrender and nondoing, and the ending of the search.

Pure Presence is Simply Being, with Nothing Added

As the boundless dimensions emerge, they take the soul nearer to the transcendent state of true nature, with each succeeding dimension a little nearer to the primordial simplicity, each one a little simpler, with fewer qualities and features. Divine love is manifest true nature with the quality of love, true nature as heart. Love is a differentiated, recognizable quality, a discriminated quality of Being. The next dimension to emerge is simpler; it arises through the transcendence of the quality of love. We have already seen that love is the source of affective qualities. This gives us a hint of what the next dimension will be like. We refer to it as pure being, or pure presence. Divine love, like all qualities of essence, is being or presence; and all these qualities are definitely pure and undefiled. Here, however, purity is not simply the absence of defilement; it is the absence of differentiated qualities. Pure presence is presence with no qualities, with no discernible color, affect, or taste. It is simply being, with nothing added. It is the simplicity of presence, before presence manifests its qualities and aspects. In a sense, it is like divine love with the love removed, and only the sense of presence or light remaining. But when there are no qualities, the light is not white light. It becomes clear, transparent, colorless light, like clear water or empty space. 

Soul Experiences Herself by Simply Being

When we can finally be ourselves fully, we recognize ourselves as presence, and apprehend that this presence is nothing but the ontological reality of consciousness. We feel our presence as a medium, like a material medium, such as water or clear fluid. This medium is homogeneous, unified, whole, and undivided, exactly like a body of water. This homogeneous medium is consciousness. The medium is conscious and aware of itself. It is not aware of itself by reflecting on itself, but by being itself. In other words, its very existence is the same as awareness of its existence. To continue the physical metaphor, it is as if the atoms of this medium are self-aware. Presence is aware of itself through self-pervasive consciousness, where this self-pervasive consciousness is the very substance or medium of the presence itself, not an element added to it. From the perspective of self-realization, then, the soul is simply our consciousness, free from the occlusive veil of past experience. She can experience herself directly, without any intermediary. She is thus dispensing not only with the veil of past experience, but also with the self-reflective act. She experiences herself by simply being. She knows herself to be a presence, a self-aware medium in which the awareness is simply of presence itself. She is. She is presence, pure and simple. She is aware that she is presence because presence is indistinguishable from awareness.

Soul’s Experience that is No Longer a Continuity of Being

When the environment is not taking care of her adequately, the soul tries to take things into her own hands, going into a sort of emergency overdrive. She manifests forms of behavior that aim to bring about the needed responses from the environment; when she grows up these become forms of behavior aimed at changing the environment directly or attempts to deal with her inner condition on her own. Now the soul is no longer simply being, she is reacting. Her experience is no longer a continuity of being. When the soul loses her inner balance and tries to take things into her own hands, especially at times when such attempts are futile, she has to leave her place of abiding. Reacting is specifically not being, and so the continuity of being is lost. When the soul moves or acts from a relaxed and trusting place, her presence flows into the appropriate forms and shapes effortlessly and easily. Her actions and movements are then a continuity of being, for she moves while abiding in her nature. There is smoothness, a sense of grace and harmony, and her presence exudes radiance and well-being. But when she reacts, she screams and screeches, flails about disharmoniously, and exudes anxiety, discomfort, and irritating energy. The former is a manifestation of the continuity of being, and the latter of the reactivity that disrupts this continuity.

The Soul Learns that Being Her Essence is a Matter of Simply Being and that this Essence is Recognized by Being It

The diamond dome embodies the wisdom of the necessity of ego death for the free unfoldment of the soul, and provides knowledge of how essence works toward this death. It reveals that essence is inseparable from knowledge, and ushers the student into the perception that being Being and knowing Being are the same. This perception is itself revealed through working through each of the essential aspects in such a way that the knowingness of each of the qualities is seen to be intrinsic to the experience of that quality. Working through the issues of the diamond dome reveals that, in contrast, the ego identity subsists through its inner activity, based on rejection, hope, and desire. The soul learns that being her essence is a matter of simply being, and that this essence is recognized by being it. No activity is needed for the soul to be herself. This insight brings about the end of the attitude of seeking that began the inner journey, revealing it as a continuation of the ego activity.

The Ultimate Resistance is the Resistance to Simply Being, the Resistance to Our True Nature

When you are resisting, you are basically resisting yourself. It is a kind of self-resistance. Instead of being with yourself, you are resisting being with yourself. Instead of being yourself, you are resisting being yourself. That is what it means to resist our True Nature. The ego experience, which is by its nature not an experience of simply being ourselves, implies resistance to being. The moment we take the posture of ego, of identification with our history, it implies resistance. There is no such thing as ego with no resistance, and the ultimate resistance is the resistance to simply being, the resistance to our True Nature. And that’s because ego is always trying to do one thing or another, and True Nature isn’t doing anything. It just is. It is nature. It is luminous presence. The nature of ego itself is an ongoing resistance to what is. Even just manifesting as ego implies that we are resisting our nature, because if we didn’t resist our nature we would instantly be our nature. So, the fact that we are not experiencing ourselves as our True Nature, the fact that we are not this spacious presence, implies resistance.

We Don’t Sufficiently Value Simply Being

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? Stop striving after all kinds of things; stop dreaming, scheming, planning, working, achieving, attempting, moving, manipulating, trying to be something, trying to get somewhere. You forget the simplest, most obvious thing, which is to be here. If you are not in your body, you miss the source of all significance, meaning, and satisfaction. How can you feel the satisfaction, if you aren’t here? We miss who we are, which is fundamentally beingness, existence. If we are not here, we exist only on the fringes of reality. We don’t sufficiently value simply being. Instead, we value what we want to accomplish, or what we want to possess. It is our biggest mistake. It is called the “great betrayal.” We are always looking for pleasure, frantically seeking happiness in many ways, and totally missing the simplest, most fundamental pleasure, which actually is also the greatest pleasure: just being here. When we are really present, the presence itself is made out of fullness, contentment, and blissful pleasure.

We Experience Our Essence When We are Simply Being, Instead of Reacting or Conceptualizing Our Experience or Ourselves

The awareness of the existence of the soul’s true nature constitutes the core understanding in all major spiritual teachings. The primary understanding in any authentic experience of spiritual realization is that our soul (our self, our consciousness) possesses a true nature—its essence. Being is the essence or true nature of the soul, as it is of all manifestation. In the Diamond Approach, we use the word Essence to refer to the specific experience of Being in its various aspects when it arises as the nature of the human soul. We experience ourselves as Essence if our experience is free, unfabricated, and spontaneously arising. If our experience of ourselves is not dictated or determined by any external influence—that is, by any influence extraneous to the simplicity of just being—we are the essence of who we are. True or essential nature, therefore, refers to how the soul experiences herself when she is not conditioned by the past or by any mental images or self-concepts. We experience our essence when we are simply being, instead of reacting or conceptualizing our experience or ourselves. Essence is not an object we find within ourselves; it is the true nature of who we are when we are relaxed and authentic, when we are not pretending to be one way or another, consciously or unconsciously. Essence is the truth of our very presence, the purity of our consciousness and awareness. It is what we are in our original and undefiled beingness, the ultimate core reality of our soul. Essence is the authentic presence of our Being; it is, in fact, Being in its thatness.

When a Person is Identified with Something Other than Primordial Presence, He is Not Simply Being

In the experience of self-realization, the self recognizes its identity as presence. When a person is identified with something other than the primordial presence, self-realization is absent. He is not then being himself; he is not simply being. He is not one with his essence. The most fundamental and deepest aspect of the soul is absent in his experience of himself. This is the root of narcissism. In narcissism, the experience of the self is disconnected from its core, from the depths of what it is. It is estranged from its true nature, exiled from its primordial home. The soul’s estrangement from its true nature is the basis of narcissism.

When We are Simply Being, Our Experience of Ourselves is Direct, Immediate and Free from the Influence of the Thick Veil of Accumulated Memories, Ideas, Ideals and Images

We have seen that in order for us to be authentically and fully ourselves, our identity must include the ontological depth of the soul, essential presence, and that to be presence means simply to be. When we are simply being, our experience of ourselves is direct, immediate, spontaneous, and natural, free from the influence of the thick veil of accumulated memories, ideas, ideals, and images. We have also seen that conventional experience does not allow the experience of self-realization because conventional experience is virtually determined by this thick veil of personal history. We have noted that ordinarily the self cannot experience itself separately from the self-representation, and that, in fact, it experiences itself from within, and through, that representation. If it has not already been clear to the reader, it now becomes clear that the veil of personal history is the self-representation. Regardless of how realistic the self-representation is, it cannot contain the true reality of the self.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter