A Pure Black Light where there is Nothing but Light, this Light Preceding Not Only What We Usually Know as Light but Also Being Itself
What do we expect transcendence to be? It is absolute nonmanifestation, and true nature requires the mirror of forms in order for it to reflect and know itself the way we understand knowing. Transcendence knowing itself is simply absolutely being itself, where the beingness of itself is completely absolute, and hence there is no hint of self-reflection, not even self-awareness. Self-awareness is already the beginning of manifestation. We might view this pure experience of transcendence as indicating that the source of awareness is inherently not aware of itself, that it is aware of itself only when it manifests the world with its light of consciousness. Another view is that true nature is inherently a mystery, a pure black light where there is nothing but light, this light preceding not only what we usually know as light, but also Being itself. Since its nature is mystery and indetermination, increased intimacy with this dark light will not produce more knowledge; it will instead produce more mystery. To experience mystery is to know the mystery as mystery. It is absolutely empty of any determination, devoid of any quality or form, and so to know it is to have no experience. This total absence of experience is not darkness, but rather total and absolute knowledge. It is the absence of all obscuration, but also the absence of all manifestation. Since there is no obscuration, no obstacles, not even the distraction of the forms of manifestation, why would we think of it as ignorance or darkness? Why think of it as not knowing or unknowing? Since the transcendent true nature is inherently mysterious and indeterminable, this is the absolute limit of mystery and indetermination. It is absolute knowing. It is the mode of knowledge of transcendent true nature, Being without mirrors, not even the mirror of awareness. We can easily arrive at the same view by considering absolute absence of differentiation, or quality. It makes more sense that this condition is total knowing, because the approach to it is increasing, and increasingly direct, knowing of the divine light.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 256
Black Light is the Luminous Divine Darkness, the Source of All Light, and the Origin of Awareness
Clearly, the nature of this process and its accompanying experience can lead us to the conclusion that the absolutely transcendent truth is unknowable. When absolute transcendence is taken to mean true nature totally apart from any manifest form, this is true. However, we see this as one possible understanding of this process. While it is true that our experience is such that we feel we know less and less as we are enveloped in the divine darkness, we are actually becoming increasingly intimate with the divine light, the absolute transcendent truth. We perceive and discriminate less, but this decrease of discrimination is not an increasing ignorance. It is the increase of a different kind of knowledge, a knowledge that is in its nature beyond discrimination, beyond the recognition of qualities and attributes. It is the simplicity of the source, which is so single that its knowing is an unknowing. As we become more enveloped in the divine darkness we are actually enveloped in divine light, for the divine light is dark. It is black light, the source of all light, not colorless but pre-color. We might think that clear light is the ultimate light, as is asserted by some Buddhist schools. However, clarity is an attribute, albeit a fundamental one. It is the absence of color, but not the ontological antecedent of color. Black light is the luminous divine darkness, the source of all light, and the origin of awareness.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 255
Black Light, Clear Light and Brilliant Light Don’t Exist in Nature
As we have seen, no color can be called brilliance; brilliance is always a quality of a color. The closest experience there is to brilliant light in nature is when we look at the stars at night or look directly into the sun. The light from these bodies is actually composed of many colors, but it is so intense that our eyes can’t discriminate the colors. With brilliant light, however, though the colors are all explicitly present, we cannot discriminate them because they are not differentiated. Thus, the aspect of Brilliancy doesn’t exist in the physical world. Neither does clear light. We never see clear light. We never see black light. Black light, clear light, and brilliant light don’t exist in nature. But they are all specific dimensions of our true nature that can manifest on their own without characterizing something else.
Brilliancy, pg. 66
Clear Light Does Not Manifest the Prismatic Colors, Nor Does Black Light
At one of the stages of its manifestation, the Absolute presents itself as explicit perfection. Here, perfection and completeness are explicit, with all the various perfections present—but in this stage, the qualities are still undifferentiated. We cannot separate one from another. We can know and recognize Love in this manifestation, for example, but we cannot differentiate it from Will. And we can’t differentiate Will from Clarity, Clarity from Strength, Strength from Fulfillment, or Fulfillment from Joy. All the qualities are explicit and manifest but not differentiated. We refer to this manifestation as Brilliancy. When we experience Brilliancy, we experience perfection and completeness explicitly because our true nature is manifesting to us in a form characterized by perfection and completeness. By inquiring into Brilliancy, we recognize it as intelligence. It is the presence of pure radiance, pure brilliance. The brilliance, the radiance, is like white light that contains all the colors of the spectrum. Clear light does not manifest the prismatic colors, nor does black light. More precisely, the clarity and the blackness have all the colors in an implicit way, not explicitly. In Brilliancy, they are explicit but not differentiated, not discriminated yet. That’s why when we experience manifestation directly out of the Absolute, we always see it as a radiance, as a brilliance, as illumination.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 404
Seeing the Light that Makes Vision Possible
We saw in chapter 18, note 9, that some Sufis consider the absolute, the source of light, to be black light. Yet, this does not make it similar to the clear light of pure awareness, for it is a light prior to the light of awareness and vision. It is actually so mysterious that to call it light is simply an attempt to understand it through familiar categories, but it actually fails as an ultimate and final description if we think of it in terms of our familiar experience of light. However this does not contradict the Sufi perspective, which holds that we never actually see light, but always see its sources or its reflection. Even when we experience clear light we are actually experiencing the effect of light; namely, we experience in this case the clear, colorless, and transparent qualities of the medium, made visible by the light. And when we finally experience light we see blackness, for there is no form or medium that is illuminated by it; we simply see it, the light that makes vision possible.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 682
The Experience of Nonconceptual Reality is like Clear Colorless Light while the Absolute has More a Sense of Clear Black Light
The experience of the Absolute is similar to that of nonconceptual reality, with an important difference: In looking towards the depths of presence instead of towards manifestation (that is, focusing the attention on the quality of presence rather than on the forms and colors that it displays), we find clarity characterized by absence in the latter and cessation of all perception in the former. The experience of nonconceptual reality is like clear, colorless light, while the Absolute has more a sense of clear, black light. The blackness of the Absolute is not a color, however; it is the absence of perception. It is cessation. So the experience of the Absolute is even more paradoxical than that of the non-conceptual dimension.
The Point of Existence, pg. 434
We Never See Black Light
No color can be called brilliance; brilliance is always a quality of a color. The closest experience there is to brilliant light in nature is when we look at the stars at night or glance at the bright sun. The light from these bodies is actually composed of many colors, but it is so intense that our eyes can’t discriminate the colors. With brilliant light, however, though the colors are all explicitly present, we cannot discriminate them because they are not differentiated. Thus, the aspect of Brilliancy doesn’t exist in the physical world. Neither does clear light. We never see clear light. We never see black light. Black light, clear light, and brilliant light don’t exist in nature. But they are all specific dimensions of our true nature that can manifest on their own without characterizing something else.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 405
When We are the Transcendent Light, We See Nothing and Experience Nothing
As we approach the transcendent light, we see less because we are accustomed to seeing white, colored, or clear light. When we do not see these, we believe we do not see and do not know; in fact, we are seeing black light and knowing the transcendent light. As we are enveloped increasingly in this beautiful and intimate darkness we see less and less of the manifestation, and more of this light, which is pure night. Hence, the increasing darkness can actually be recognized as an increase in the direct and intimate knowing of the transcendent true nature. It is because of this that there is an intensification and deepening of the sense of intimacy, love, contentment, peace, that mystics are known to experience in the divine darkness. When we completely know it, when we are totally one with it, when we are the transcendent light, we see nothing and experience nothing. It is a condition of absolute cessation of the light of knowledge and consciousness, for true nature is beyond such light. True nature is the source of light. What some call a complete lack of knowledge is, in some sense, a complete knowledge of transcendence.