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Black Diamond

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Black Diamond?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Black Diamond

Annihilation Means that What is There Becomes Seen in Its True Nature

Part of this power to cut through comes from the particular understanding of knowledge that the Black diamond provides. The knowledge that is characteristic of identifications and concepts does not exist in any fundamental or ultimate manner. So when we talk about the sharp edge ascutting, this cutting is merely understanding that, “Oh, what I have taken as truth is just a concept, a creation of my mind. I was identifying with something that isn’t real.” It is not that somebody comes and slashes through something. Annihilation doesn’t mean that something that is there ceases to be there. It is more accurate to say that what is there becomes seen in its true nature. Our mental fabrications are exposed as such, and true manifestations of reality are seen in their ultimate nature, neither existing nor not existing. They appear, but never really exist. This means that as things are displayed, they are never solidified. They just keep getting displayed, without ever really existing. So the insight is the sharp cut, but it has now become insight into ultimate reality, which is beyond existence and nonexistence. In this way, the annihilating quality of the Black brings everything back to reality. Annihilation is the first of the characteristics of our true nature in its total openness and freedom. In that openness and freedom, there is no solidity, no content. It is so open, so free, so light, that it is empty. Everything disappears into that stillness. That is why stillness and peace are connected with annihilation

Becoming Able to Perceive the Beginning Movements of Ego

So the Black diamond, when it functions as part of the Diamond Guidance, gives it the capacity to cut through all the way to the Absolute. Then our consciousness is that stillness and silence that is clear, objective, exquisitely precise, and sharp. There is a sense of silent knowledge and mysterious power, a settled sufficiency, and an unspeakable contentment. This diamond reminds us of the Absolute itself, as if the Absolute had condensed and formed itself into a diamond. The blackness is so black that it glimmers and shines. There is a sense of majesty, awe, and mystery. It is an exquisite consciousness of silence, which silences all chatter and stills it into its own beautiful stillness. With this diamond in the Diamond Guidance, inquiry becomes so sharp, so effective, and so powerful that it begins to expose the first arisings of the ego consciousness—the background of all attitudes and positions. We become able to perceive the beginning movements of ego—the tendency to go someplace, the impulse to desire, the impulse to reject, the impulse to hope. And just the clear discernment of these impulses annihilates the ego, for by now we are very near the translucence of our true nature.

The Black Diamond is the Presence of the Aspect of Peace in Inquiry

In this natural state, whenever a position happens to arise, the practice of inquiry is merely the recognition of that position. The simple apprehension of the subtle movement of taking a position annihilates it. In other words, understanding itself will reveal the barrier and annihilate it. There is no need to do anything, because our nature inherently tends to display things clearly and to spontaneously reveal the truth. We are not making it reveal the truth. Just by seeing our positions and our attempts to get someplace, we cease and desist. We stop identifying with that activity, without trying to stop identifying—because the moment we try to stop identifying, we are active again. At this level of insight, inquiry becomes subtle, which means that the Diamond Guidance needs to operate in a very subtle way. This requires the Black diamond to come into play. The Black diamond is the presence of the aspect of Peace in inquiry, as a manifestation of the Guidance. This brings in another capacity that has always been present in inquiry and understanding but which now becomes more obvious. The Black latifa gives the Guidance—and our inquiry—the element of power.

The Black Diamond Represents the Precise and Sharp Clarity that Eliminates Whatever Falsehood it Encounters

The capacity of true power appears in the Black diamond of the Guidance as sharpness. It is its cutting edge. Whatever you are seeing, the cutting edge discriminates it so precisely that it shows its absolute relationship to our ultimate nature. In doing so, it annihilates it, because our ultimate nature is absolute stillness. So the slightest deviation from our true nature dissolves into Peace. The Black diamond represents the precise and sharp clarity that annihilates whatever falsehood it encounters by the power of its stilling silence. So the precision of the Black diamond gives insight and understanding a tremendous transformative power. To express it more precisely, when the Black diamond dominates the functioning of the Diamond Guidance, it embodies the power of cutting through. All the diamonds have the quality of cutting through lies and concepts; however, this capacity attains its full power with the Black diamond. Its sharpness is that of annihilation: The edges of the diamond are so sharp that they actually disappear into absence—they actually cease to exist. So when the Black diamond touches something, it makes what it touches not exist. It doesn’t actually cut, it simply eliminates what it touches, because the sharp edge of the diamond is so sharp that you cannot say it is an edge anymore.

The Personality and the World are Inseparable; they Constitute One General Object Relation

The answer arrives through a greater appreciation of the completely black diamond presence. One day the diamond-like presence reemerges as completely black, but now its inner emptiness is utterly complete, revealing itself as total annihilation. Sensing the hardness of the presence, I experience it as a sharply faceted diamond-like density. Feeling its emptiness, consciousness totally disappears, with no awareness left. In other words, contemplating the sense of emptiness coemergent with the presence, consciousness ceases. When consciousness returns it has the fresh and precise clarity of the faceted form. The understanding which manifests does not feel separate from the sharp, faceted presence. The precise faceted form of presence discloses itself as the precise understanding of cessation, the annihilation of consciousness. The identity with the personality, or ego-self, is annihilated when I realize myself as the silent witness, or any essential manifestation of Being. However, the identity of the personality does not completely annihilate without the world itself annihilating. This is because the personality and the world are inseparable; they constitute one general object relation.

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