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Black Essence/Aspect

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Black Essence/Aspect?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Black Essence/Aspect

Beginning to Understand the Relationship Between Peace, Stillness and Annihilation

It is true that in your first encounters with it, the Black Essence arises mostly as peace, but when you further investigate this peace, you might recognize that the peacefulness is related to an exquisite, calm stillness. When you experience this stillness, you may think of it as peacefulness, but the concept of peacefulness doesn’t exactly capture the flavor of the experience. Stillness as the direct inner experience of the Black Essence is slightly, subtly different from peacefulness. And when you contemplate the stillness and explore it, you might find out that stillness is not static. This is difficult for the mind to grasp. Usually you think that stillness means stillness—nothing moving—which your mind understands as static, so that is generally how it is remembered when the experience of stillness is stored in your mind. Now when Black returns and you bring back the remembered experience, which has become a concept of stillness, you don’t recognize that stillness has a dynamic effect; you think of it as static and unchanging. In actuality, there is nothing static about the Black Essence. The dynamic effect—which is felt at the moment stillness comes in contact with the mind—is to erase the mind. It destroys its content, annihilates it, and makes the mind still like itself. When you recognize this annihilating action of the Black Essence, you can begin to understand the relationship between peace, stillness, and annihilation. And if you stay open, without allowing the concepts of annihilation, stillness, or peacefulness to limit your contact with what you are experiencing, you might recognize that the Black Essence is also powerful, for it can quiet down the agitation of the mind easily and effortlessly. This might allow the Black Essence to arise as power, and you can then recognize that Black is the essence of power.

Manifestations of the Black Essence

Now we have gone from peace to power, though we wouldn’t initially have seen any connection between them. If we had remained bound to the memory of our original experience of Black as peace—filed it away in our computer as a bit of final knowledge and closed our mind to further possibilities—we might never have arrived at real power. But even power is not necessarily the end, because if you stay with your experience in an attitude of dynamic openness, the Black Essence can also manifest as the essence of magic and the essence of beauty. And if you continue to be open and curious, you might see, “Oh, it is some kind of unfathomable mystery.” And so it goes, as the unfoldment of the richness of Being continues endlessly. This doesn’t mean that the Black Essence is not truly peace, it doesn’t mean it’s not true stillness or true power. It is all of these, but we need to remember that the essence of Being cannot be finally determined—this is what I call the inexhaustible mystery of Being. You can know it and know it and know it and know it, but you can never exhaust it. This is true about any manifestation of Being—in fact, about anything in life, anything you experience. You can know the experience precisely, but this precise knowledge is never final. It is this ultimate mystery that allows the unknowingness to continue being there, for regardless of how much we know, we still don’t know. There is always unknowingness.

Movement Toward the Peace of Black Essence and the Longing for Your Mother; a Conjunction

For instance, let’s say the optimizing force is taking you toward the quality of peace. Stillness and peacefulness happen to be the next things for you to learn. But you hit a certain barrier, which is a deep longing for your mother. The conjunction of the two—the movement toward the peace of Black Essence and the longing for your mother—may appear as a pattern of falling in love with people who have dark features. You find yourself always attracted to women with black hair and dark eyes. Every time you fall in love, it feels great. You feel, “Now I’ve got it, now my love is going to be peaceful. Now I’m going to have what I want.” But then you keep losing your lovers; the relationships never work out. You are seeing something true about the peacefulness—that it has to do with the blackness and the darkness. But it is mixed up with a need that you haven’t finished with: You still want your mother. So this combination manifests as falling in love with someone who is like your mother: a woman who also is like peace—dark. You could call that a barrier—you might even say that the optimizing force has created this barrier. It is more accurate, though, to see it as a manifestation of the optimizing force as it interacts with your mind. If you are attuned to the guidance and you are really observant, you might realize while you are fantasizing about your dark-haired lover that what you are seeing in your mind is that black, shining hair. That might make you wonder, “Why that black, shining hair, why always black, shining hair? What does that make me feel?” You might discover that it gives you a sense of richness, a sense of mystery. This line of inquiry will access the guidance, which will lead you to what it is you are really after.

The Power of Our Being is an Annihilating Force

Power is one of the ways of experiencing the Black Essence. The Black Essence has two sides—the peaceful side and the wrathful side. The peaceful side is the stillness, mystery, and magic—qualities of the night. “Wrathful” is used here in the sense of the Tibetan tradition of being fierce and annihilating in the service of truth. The wrathful side is the quality of power . . . . . . . But what actually is the power of Being? The power of Being is just an active manifestation of peace, a dynamic application of stillness. It is not a pushing, it is not a destructiveness. When peace touches the soul, it simply stills it. All of her activities, agitation, and reactions simply dissolve the moment the presence of stillness touches them. They are annihilated. That is the power of stillness, the Peace aspect of Essence. So the power of our Being is an annihilating force, which annihilates ego attitudes and positions by revealing that they don’t truly exist. The power of Peace takes everything back to its original source, which is total stillness. All of the qualities of Essence color the field of the soul in their own likeness when they touch it. In fact, the soul transforms into the very quality that touches her. So when the Black Essence touches the manifestations of the soul, it brings them back to its own nature, which is peacefulness, and the Peace of true nature is a sense of stillness in which nothing stirs. It is total stillness, which, when precisely understood, turns out to be one hundred percent annihilation. It is an intense sensitivity, but the sensitivity has become so intense that it is absolute, for absolutely nothing stirs.

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