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Beyond Mind

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Beyond Mind?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Beyond Mind

Being has No Mind

Being has no mind. When you are the Being, Being is not experienced as your own being. There is no American Being or Russian Being. There is no earth’s Being separate from the sun’s Being. There isn’t this galaxy’s Being and then the rest of the universe’s Being. Being is One all the way through. The Being acts in unity in one action; and the action of Being, because it comes from Being, takes into consideration the whole of existence in an instant. So mind is not involved. Such action is called instinctual because it acts the way it is supposed to act. When the tiger acts, it acts. It’s not thinking of other tigers. It’s not thinking about whether there will be war or peace. The action is complete, and it’s the right action. Such action is beyond mind. Even if there is preference, the preference itself is an action initiated by Being. When there is a need for action, Being responds, it does not react. Being responds by manifesting a state, a quality that is needed objectively at the moment. 

Being Itself is Beyond Mind, Beyond Knowledge, Beyond Awareness

Completeness is beyond awareness. It is just Being itself. You’re complete without having to know that you’re complete. From that Being comes awareness; it is the light of Being. Being itself is beyond mind, beyond knowledge, beyond awareness. If you allow yourself to be the awareness, you will become the completeness. The completeness is the awareness with the absence of desires. If you’re not identified with the past as desires, then the awareness becomes completeness. It’s not as if the completeness is not already there; it is there. But you’re taking yourself to be something else. As I said, it’s not something to reach. We miss it because it’s something so simple, so already there. It is when there are no desires, needs and fears, or when you’re just tired of them and rest, that you realize there is completeness. When you can see the desires, the fears, the pleasures and the pain, when you can sense the fullness and the emptiness, and no response arises within you to any of them, then there is completeness.

Confronting the Mind Itself

A known world is a dead world. The actual world is in some deep sense unknowable, is a mystery, and is always changing. There is always change, there is always transformation. The exploration we’ve begun today is the exploration of reality beyond mind. To know reality and to discover who we are beyond the ideas that we learned in childhood, we must confront those ideas. On this level the Work is not a matter of exotic experiences, but of seeing the reality of the things we already know. When we see through the concepts that we already know, we can see the truth that is always there. To see through the concepts that have calcified our minds and our perceptions is to see reality freshly, immediately, to see it the way it is, not the way our minds have defined it. At the beginning, this might sound like an intellectual exploration, but actually we are confronting the intellectual. We’re confronting the mind itself. We’re challenging our mental notions so that we can see through them. So, in this phase of the Work, you might feel more mental than usual for a while. We will come to appreciate, however, that the mental knowledge is not just knowledge in our heads—it completely determines what we experience. If we believe that we know reality, and we act and we react according to what we believe we know, there is no possibility of knowing or experiencing something new, something fresh. We will continue to rearrange our old world. What we want is to be able to live and participate in a world that is completely fresh, completely new, not determined by the past.

Experiencing Truth and Certainty as Not Conceptual, Totally Beyond Mind and Thought

I now experience my identity, which is the nature of everything, as a crystal black absence. I feel myself, my existence, as the immensity of presence, absolutely dense and infinitely deep. Yet this immensity and density feels totally light and weightless, completely devoid of any sensation. It is so empty it is total absence. It is nothing, but at the same time it is dense presence. To describe it exactly, it is radiant black crystalline dense absence. How can absence, which is not existence, have qualities like radiance and density? This is absolutely paradoxical, but this is my experience. How does this absence feel? Like the absence of everything. But this absence of everything is simultaneously the solid ground and nature of everything. The sense of this truth is that it is neither presence nor absence but, at the same time, it combines presence and absence. It feels absolute in its truth and certainty. The sense of truth and certainty are not conceptual; they are totally beyond mind and thought. 

Going Beyond Mind but Also Beyond Time

The realization of the point can become so complete that one goes not only beyond mind, but also beyond time. The experience then is of the absence of time, of timelessness, or of time stopping. The presence is totally in the now without a hint of the past. One feels that time has ceased to pass. One lives now in a wonderful universe of realization, insight, wonder, and profundity. Many perceptions arise and a continuity of being persists, but the experience that is the door to it all is when one realizes, “I am,” without this being a thought. This “I-am-ness” is the primary experience of the Essential Identity that gives the self the capacity to experience Being, in any manifestation or dimension, in a nondual way. Then one can be love, can be stillness, can be luminosity, can be harmony . . .

Going Beyond Mind Will Initially Appear to the Soul as Going Beyond the World

As the soul begins to realize her identity beyond mind, she may return to existential issues. Going beyond mind will initially appear to the soul as going beyond the world, which again raises fears and concerns regarding isolation, aloneness, possibility of loss of love and relationship, and so on. Most deeply it means separation; for at this point it becomes clear that the world stands for mother, who was the whole world at the beginning of the soul’s life. In other words, an epistemological issue can bring up existential, structural, and psychodynamic ones, if these are not completely resolved. The wisdom and guidance of true nature can reveal the projections on and ignorance of the phenomenology of Being, an ignorance that the soul fills with her physical and atomistic view. True nature reveals that its Riemannian manifold embraces all of Reality, transforming the worldview of the soul, and penetrating her original and primordial ignorance.

Seeing that Personal Existence is Beyond Mind and History

This experience of being so real and certain as a person continues throughout dinner. I continue to converse with my dinner companions, while I am spontaneously attending to the inner transformation. The unusually substantial sense of presence affects the atmosphere at dinner in a subtle way not recognized by my companions. The conversation merely turns towards basic things in life, less abstract and more personal. My body feels as if all of its atoms are pulled downward, as if gravity has increased, but there is no physical discomfort. In fact, the body relaxes; the muscles let go and condense downward. I realize that there is no real basis for believing that in order to have a personal life I need to be enmeshed in it. This is true for the person of ego, who is formed by images and psychological patterns. Now, however, I have the certainty that my personal existence is beyond any of that. My personal existence is beyond mind and history, for it is an essential manifestation of the fundamental existence of Being. I can be a person, and live a personal life in a truly involved way, without being enmeshed in any of its particulars. This is certain.

Soul Wakes Up to the Fact that She has Never Lost Her True Nature, that Her Nature Has Always Been with Her

This recognition is an explosive insight, a momentous awakening. Pure presence is now revealed, felt, and known as the very presence of awakened awareness, the very reality of awakeness. Soul awakens to her true nature, and experiences her presence as the presence of awakened awareness. She is now awake, bright, clear, lucent, and transparent. She is also full of bliss and delight, beyond mind and reflection. She is drunk with awakeness, delighted with lucidity, and free beyond bounds. The primary awakening is the recognition of her ordinary awareness, which has always been familiar to her, as her true nature. Such recognition intensifies ordinary awareness to a phenomenological and psychological experience of awakeness. Ordinary awareness becomes awakened awareness, which now reveals itself to be the true nature of all phenomenal appearance. She recognizes that her ordinary awareness is actually both presence and openness, fullness and nothingness, inseparable and undifferentiated. She also wakes up to the fact that she has never lost her true nature, that her nature has always been with her, in all her conscious experiences, and that she can never lose it. True nature is so near to her that it does not make sense to lose it, an insight that intensifies her joy and delight, and shows her that she has always been free, always herself. She can lose touch with many of the differentiated qualities of her true nature; but its undifferentiated ground is always what she is.

Spiritual Nature Beyond Mind and Normal Experience

The understanding reflected in this book is a result of a particular spiritual transformation that reveals the ground and nature of consciousness. This ground turns out to be the underlying nature of everything, even the physical universe—and hence the body and its brain. This spiritual ground, what we call Essence—the essence of consciousness and all of reality—reveals itself through many qualities, which are primordially inherent to it. These qualities may manifest undifferentiated from each other—as the presence of spiritual nature beyond mind and normal experience—or as differentiated and discriminated experiences of ontological presence. In the latter case, spiritual nature manifests itself through differentiated qualities, which we refer to as essential aspects. These essential aspects are intimately related to our various mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual faculties. One thing we discover in this revelation of the nature of spirit is that it is characterized not only by qualities such as Power, Love, and Truth, but also by a particular luminosity that appears to our mind to be intelligence. In other words, we realize that we can actually experience intelligence directly—not through an activity, as we normally do, but as a palpable presence, as a presence of pure consciousness characterized by intelligence. We find out that intelligence is an inherent quality of our spiritual nature, fundamentally inseparable from it. Yet in functional activities, it flows through our consciousness, and through its physiological supports—the brain and the nervous system—to give these functions a kind of efficiency and completeness we usually associate with intelligence.

Brilliancy, pg. 2

Suchness, Pure Suchness

In this manifestation there is no sense of individual or self, but no sense of their absence, for either would be a concept. Everything seems to be part of this immense clarity, which is totally itself, without it needing to be conceptualized. All objects and persons appear as part of this transparent clarity, pervaded with it, constituted of it, but only as transparent patterns in this nameless reality. Thus, duality is transcended before it is even conceptualized. It is suchness, pure suchness. We cannot say anything about it. We cannot say it is self, we cannot say it is not self, we cannot say it is God, we cannot say it is the universe, we cannot say it is a person, we cannot say it is not a person; the moment we say anything, we are within mind. If we use any concept here, even the concept of purity, simplicity, or whatever, we are within the mind, and we are blocking that which cannot be named. The only thing that is there is consciousness. But consciousness here is not exactly a concept; it is just the fact of consciousness. We are not unconscious, that’s all. There is consciousness, but there is no one who is conscious. Here, we are going into the true nature of Being, the true nature of God, or the true nature of the universe, before any mind, before any conceptualization, before any specification, before any differentiation, before we can experience or say anything; so this pure consciousness is beyond experience, beyond mind, beyond concept, beyond all these things.

The Absolute . . . . is Everything and It is Beyond Everything

The Nonconceptual Nameless Reality is the same as Nondifferentiated Pure Being, but realized beyond mind. The Absolute is the same as the Nameless Reality, but now realized beyond consciousness. This means it is the nature of all existence, it is all existence, it is everything and it is beyond everything. Hence it is the ultimate nature of all differentiated aspects of Being. There can be perception of differentiation, which here means difference and variety, but not separation. There is absolute oneness of all that appears to perception; however, it is not conceived of as oneness, since there is no conceptualization. There is unity as the nature and essence of all.

The Awareness that is Beyond Mind Cannot Make Any Distinction Between Doing and Nondoing

But many people think that if mind is gone, there will be no experience. In fact, the opposite is true: awareness continues with more intensity, more clarity, more transparency; colors are more vivid and forms are much more distinct. That is because everything becomes much more itself, since all the veils, all the projections, all the concepts are gone. We perceive without anything intervening, so everything is naked as itself. To believe that when the mind is gone, we won’t see anything, we must believe that everything exists only in our limited, discursive mind. Hence, from the place that is beyond mind, we do not reify nondoing, because we don’t conceptualize it. The awareness that is beyond mind cannot make any distinction between doing and nondoing because the distinction between doing and nondoing is conceptual; it involves knowing. We see here the layer where conceptualization becomes the obstacle, the barrier. The reification of the concepts of doing and nondoing in this dimension of experience is not the barrier—the conceptualization itself, the knowing itself, is the obstacle. Actually, it is even more subtle than that. The knowing itself is not inherently an obstacle, but because it can easily become the ground for reification, it becomes the building block that the mind uses to reify.

The Personal Mind, or the Realm of Personality is Not What Actually Exists in Reality

What is this territory we are exploring? The totality of all that exists, with all this variation, is the Universal Mind, or Nous. The Nous includes everything that exists in reality, with all the differentiations. It includes everything that can be perceived or experienced, and anything that can be conceptualized. What we call in our Work the Diamond Guidance is the Nous on the level of Essence, the manifestation which allows the individual soul to be affected by the Nous. The Nameless or nonconceptual is beyond the Nous; it is the ground of the Nous, which wouldn’t exist without it. The Nameless is beyond mind, and the Absolute is beyond that. In contrast, the personal mind, or the realm of personality, is not what actually exists in reality. The content of the personal mind is determined by one’s particular history and conditioning, including all kinds of cultural forms and values in addition to concepts formed by one’s individual situation. The process of constructing and reifying concepts leads us to perceive the world and even ourselves through—actually as—these concepts in the mind. In addition, the personal mind contains evaluations of all this content: Judgments, emotional associations, preferences, and reactions.

The Realization of any Essential Aspect Beyond Mind and Concepts

This clarifies a particular aspect of our understanding regarding the realization of Essential Identity. The realization of any essential aspect beyond mind and concepts means the objective understanding of this aspect of Essence. To be objective about it means to see it from its own perspective, independent from mind. This objectivity always reveals the aspect in a diamond-like form, giving the experience clarity, precision, and sharpness. When we become objective about the Essential Identity, the point of light, when we recognize it just as it is, it appears as a diamond point. This is an amazing perception, unexpected and unimaginable in the conventional dimension of experience. We behold the Essential Identity as a faceted point of light. There is then a certainty about our identity, without this having anything to do with a conceptual or self-reflective knowledge. This objectivity, however, is not related to the color the point manifests itself in.

Things do not Exist in the Way You Think of Them, but in a Different Way

We are so involved in that process of thinking and conceptualization that we never stop to question it. You are sitting there in a chair, and you think that you are there, sitting in the chair. Many times, that is not what I experience. I do not experience that there is a chair, and I do not experience someone sitting in a chair. The chair, me, and everything else are the same thing, and the whole thing does not have a name, and I cannot say what it is. I can look, and see that there is my body, there is the chair. But it is very clear to me that that’s how things appear, not how things are. When we believe so completely in what appears, we do not see that we are somewhat responsible for the way we see things. We think that everything is thrust upon us, everything is given. But reality is not like that. You are the one who is projecting the whole universe outside of you. You are saying, “This is the universe.” When you begin to see this, it is possible to let go, to go beyond mind and the conceptual way of looking at things. Then it is possible to see the true reality of what is here. Only when that happens does the support for, the ground of, the world of the personality, begin to crumble. The personality begins to lose its supports and its substantiality. You realize that how you think of things is incomplete and erroneous. Things do not exist in the way you think of them, but in a different way.

To be Able to Look with Fresh Eyes, We Need to Look Without the Mind that Labels

We are confronting our reality from its roots, from its basis. In time, hopefully, our experience will reveal the true reality that exists beyond the mind, beyond the ideas, the fresh awareness of how things actually are. The truth, or reality, or God, whatever we call it, is always here. Reality is not somewhere else, it is here, it is everything. It is the world when it is seen in its true nature, in its true light. When you can see the whole world, including yourself, without concepts, without these ways of knowing things you are accustomed to, you will see a completely fresh world, a new world. What is the truth that is actually here? Reality in its newness is beyond our personal history. What has happened or not happened in the past is irrelevant to what is now. What is now is just now and that’s what really exists. What is this something that we live in? What is it that exists? What is true existence? We need to be careful not to give this something that we are exploring a name right away because then we just turn it into another concept in our mental world. To be able to look with fresh eyes, we need to look without the mind that labels. When you label what your eyes see, the associations come with the label, and from that, all your reactions and emotions and identifications.

To Go Beyond the Mind is to Go Beyond the Realm of Ego Structure, Memory and History

We find that the difficulty with these issues stems partly from their intertwining with structural and psychodynamic ones. As the soul continues to experience her essential presence and begins to recognize how profoundly this reality is beyond mind, she can again become terrified. To go beyond the mind is to go beyond the realm of ego structure, memory, and history: that is, beyond where her accustomed identity grew. The possible loss of identity and structure is greater than ever before, for now deep and primitive structures are exposed, substrata that she has taken all this time to be bedrock reality. The structural fears that arise can also be associated to earlier times of not knowing, vulnerability, and loss of control that accompanied trauma, sickness, loss, or abuse. The epistemological shift brings up psychodynamic material—emotions and conflicts—that make it difficult to stay focused on the purely epistemological task, or attend to the purely phenomenological characteristics of being, which are quite subtle.

To See Reality as It is, to Experience the Truth as It Actually Stands, One Must Go Beyond One’s Mind

Most spiritual techniques are based on the need to go beyond concepts, and beyond the words that reflect them. To see reality as it is, to experience the truth as it actually stands, one must go beyond one’s mind, beyond one’s words, beyond one’s ideas. This is why it has been very important for us here to understand concepts, to understand what a concept is. How do concepts affect our lives, our minds? How do we create our reality through concepts? It is simple but not easy to understand what a concept is. The moment you understand truly what a concept is, you go beyond concepts. You begin to perceive nonconceptually, to see without the overlay of your own mind, your past history and prejudices. In most spiritual traditions and teachings, the ultimate point of view is that you have to go beyond the mind to see and know reality directly, without veils. We work with psychodynamic issues not because working through these issues will ultimately bring us to reality or complete freedom, but because we are cut off from reality by so many entrenched concepts. We believe in the ideas and memories that have conditioned us so completely that we have to focus on some of them and their associations to lighten them up, before we can even entertain the possibility of approaching them as concepts. With all the memories and feelings you have about your mother, it is very difficult to start seeing that mother is a concept. You see? We have to deal with all the psychodynamic issues to get a little space from them before you can come to a place where you can truly see that mother is a concept, and doesn’t really exist in the manner you normally believe.

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