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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Boundlessness?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Boundlessness

Complete Transcendence of Individual Human Experience

To use religious terminology, we can work on understanding the soul, or we can work on understanding God, or the supreme being. To understand the nature of everything is to understand what the supreme being is, the nature of God, or the universal spirit. And when I use the terms “God,” “divine being,” or “supreme being” here, I don’t mean an entity that lives in some heaven, that creates things in time and sends emissaries to reward or punish us or anything like that. If we think of it in that way, we’re still looking from the viewpoint of the individual soul. In the boundless dimensions there are no separate entities, human or divine. One of the main barriers to understanding any of the boundless dimensions is insisting on experiencing yourself or the divine being as an entity that walks around in space and time and does things to other entities. Some people maintain that God created space and time, but also see God as having legs and walking and talking and all that. But how can God have legs and walk and talk, and create space and time? God needs space and time to walk and talk. Of course, people do have experiences or visions of a form of divine presentation, like a figure sitting on a throne and that kind of thing. These things can happen, but that’s not what I mean here by the divine or supreme presence and boundless dimensions. I mean it in the sense of a complete transcendence of individual human experience.

Entering the Boundlessness

From this description of entering a boundless dimension, in this case Divine Love, you can see that it doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to physical reality. No, physical reality—the TV, the garden, the trees, my partner, my own body—it’s all still there and needs to be attended to as usual. And there’s no conflict in this, because we see that physical reality isn’t separate from our essential nature, so it actually makes it easier for us to deal with the physical, not more difficult. So I’ll say it once more, entering the boundlessness doesn’t mean rejecting the physical and not taking care of it. In fact we want to know our physical reality and our body as deeply as possible, and as we go deeper, we see what physical reality is rooted in what holds it all, which awakens in our soul the longing for liberation and release.

Essence Being Experienced from the Perspective of Essence Itself

As the pearl beyond price develops and as the true self is understood and integrated, there occurs another radical transformation. The identity starts shifting from personality to essence. The individual starts experiencing himself as essence, instead of the experiencer of essence. Experiences of ego death occur here. Inner aloneness is accepted. Personal boundaries dissolve. Essence begins to be experienced from the perspective of essence itself. One starts to understand and experience boundlessness, timelessness, not doing, innocence, and purity. Essence and mind start becoming one. This manifests either as complete absence of thoughts, or the thoughts themselves are experienced as the spontaneous outpouring of insight. Life continues to be a process of creative discovery. The process of learning, unfolding, and expansion never stops. Essence continues to unfold, new dimensions arise, new modes of experience and insight emerge, new capacities manifest. The process of understanding continues; however, it is not seen as a necessity, as work, but rather as the process of creative discovery itself.

In the Boundlessness of Divine Love Consciousness or Presence is Everywhere

But consciousness exists without individual experience, without a separate individual having an experience. In the boundlessness of divine love, consciousness or presence is everywhere. It’s everywhere in the way that space is everywhere, inside the physical, even inside the atoms. Nothing escapes it. There’s no place where it isn’t. And it is one, undivided wholeness. And within this ocean of loving consciousness, our personal presence is simply a further condensation—a denser, fuller drop of ocean nectar. The ocean of divine love remains undivided, and it is the very substance of this drop of nectar, which is never separate from the ocean of love.

Seeing that there is no Place that is not Translucent Beingness

So the experience of boundlessness that arises as we move into the formless dimensions becomes the deepest level of truth that we perceive. On the level of the Supreme (the dimension of Pure Presence or Pure Being), for example, you realize that everything is a translucent Beingness. You see that it is not as though translucent Beingness is in everything or that everything exists in it, but that everything is the translucence. It is inside things, outside things, and in between them. There is no place that is not translucent Beingness. On this level of the Supreme, there is no separation between what we call appearance and reality, the form and the meaning. They are all one thing; there is a unity. The perception of this unity arises through merely seeking to understand the truth of the situation. It is not a matter of generating a particular experience; you just open your eyes to what is here. When you experience this level of truth, you not only perceive this inherent unity, but you also see that as you stay with one boundless dimension, it reveals another, deeper one. Dimensions of formless Being reveal themselves until we come to the origin and source of all dimensions, the Absolute.

Facets of Unity, pg. 78

The Boundlessness and Nondual Realization of the Second Turning of the Wheel

The language I am using combines the dual and nondual views. Many of us think that awakening and illumination happen either because we do something or because we step aside and surrender to the sudden eruption of realization. This is true from the perspective of the first turning of the teaching. But the boundlessness and nondual realization of the second turning of the wheel show us that there isn’t an independent self that can either do or not do. So nobody does anything, including stepping aside. Although the dualistic view is useful at times depending on where we are and the situation at hand, it can also become an impediment to experiencing reality in other ways. Thinking that realization happens because “I am stepping aside” is the same thing as thinking that realization happens because “I am meditating.” Both positions take awakening and illumination to be a result of something we are doing. This becomes problematic because it prevents reality from revealing the fact that true nature is always the illuminator. It is the light that illuminates. It is the awareness that discerns. It is the knowledge that knows. The self or the individual or the practitioner doesn’t have these powers, doesn’t have these capacities. And when we use the ordinary style of language—where the subject doing the action is always an “I” or a self—we are appropriating the capacities of true nature. As I said, from the nonhierarchical view, we see that reality does appear this way sometimes, but if we assume that this is the only way that reality is, we limit our experience of reality and miss all kinds of freedom and fun.

The Feeling of Boundlessness

Student: I have a hard time seeing what you mean by boundlessness. Is it possible for you to describe it? Almaas: You don’t see boundlessness by trying to see it, by trying to eliminate your boundaries. You don’t see a boundary and then realize that it doesn’t exist. You only see the boundlessness when you see the boundaries and let yourself be—then you see there is no boundary. It’s not an act of rejecting boundaries, nor an act of dismantling them. It’s not even an act of perception. You see boundlessness by being boundlessness. You just are. That beingness itself is the experience of no boundaries. Being doesn’t have boundaries. When you feel the boundary, you are the boundary. When you are the love, you are your loving consciousness. Then there are no boundaries. It feels somewhat like humility. It’s a humility, a gentleness, a softness, a lightness, an acceptance, a compassion. Love is the breath of the boundless Being. It pervades all existence and melts all boundaries in sweetness and gentleness. Love is the caring arms of Being holding all beings, letting them rest, let go, and merge with the boundless.

The Mystical Experience of Boundlessness and Infinity, and that of Eternity and Nowness

Even though the now holds all time, it has no duration, no time length. Hence, any instant is the present, which is the now, which is all other instants. From this discussion of the reflection of timelessness and spacelessness in the space-time manifest reality, we see that all instants are contained in one instant and all points in one point. This is the most subtle way we can describe the reflection of transcendent true nature in manifestation. If we pursue this line of inquiry, we can only get into deeper paradoxes, but we see at least that true nature is the experience of boundlessness and nowness in the condition of self-realization. From the above considerations we see that even though true nature is fundamentally free from spatial and temporal extensions, it appears in manifestation as the experience of infinity and eternity, boundlessness and nowness. However, the mystical experience of boundlessness and infinity, and that of eternity and nowness, is not the most direct experience of true nature; rather, it is the experience of true nature from the perspective of the time space grid of manifestation. This is why true nature is usually described as infinite expanse, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, endlessness, infinity, eternity, and so on. In the view of the Diamond Approach, true nature reveals these characteristics, and many others, by revealing itself as consisting of many dimensions, each illuminating some of these qualities. In other words, rather than viewing reality as true nature appearing in manifestation with such characteristics, we view true nature as manifesting itself with many dimensions.

The Primary Obstacle to the Arising and Integration of the Boundlessness of True Nature

The primary obstacle to the arising and integration of the boundlessness of true nature is the ego principle, the idea that the self is a separate and autonomous entity or person. The soul’s development leaves her deeply convinced that she is separate from other souls, and from Reality as a whole. She believes that she is an island that comes into contact with other separate islands. This sense of separateness is due to the ego structure of self-entity that provides the soul with the experience of herself as a bounded entity. (For a precise discussion of this, see The Point of Existence, chapter 9.) One of the primary achievements of ego development is the structuring of the soul according to the surface contours of the body. The soul perceives herself as a discrete entity because of the discreteness of her experience of her body and other objects. This discreteness has been shown by developmental psychology to be absent in the infant’s mind.

The Universal Witness Seen as the Backdrop from Which all the Boundless Realms Emerged

The universal witness became the backdrop from which all the boundless realms emerged. In our Work, we see that boundless reality is experienced in five ways – love, knowledge, awareness, spaciousness, and dynamism. Each of these dimensions is one component of an indivisible truth, and each reveals more of what we are as the vastness and develops our experience and knowledge of the nature of all manifestation. It is like diving deeper into the sea; at each fathom, another color drops away from perception, until all that is left is the fathomless depth itself. Boundlessness or nondual reality is where the Diamond Approach overlaps with many other spiritual paths. The boundless dimensions are equivalent to nondual realisation in other traditions, but our understanding differs from those in several significant ways. For example, nonduality in a more classical sense is the underlying spacious unity of Being and of all manifestation as one: the sky knows itself as the nature of all stars. In the Diamond Approach, the Point is considered nondual because the individual consciousness and essence are one. Each star knows itself as the immediacy of light.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 220

Truth is Neither Inside nor Outside; It’s Both and Neither

When we use the religious approach in an objective way as part of our unfoldment, as part of the inquiry of the individual soul addressing the truth, it is not a matter of a truth that is outside of the soul, that God is out there. To consider that the truth, sacred reality, or God is outside, or to wonder if the divine is inside, means that you’re still believing in your separating boundaries. Truth is neither inside nor outside; it’s both, and neither. That’s the truth of boundlessness—it means everywhere. And when we get all the way to nonlocality, we recognize that the question of “where?” is irrelevant. The question of where the truth is, whether it’s inside or outside, means you believe that space is ultimate to the truth, which it isn’t. So when addressing or loving the truth, you don’t think of it as outside you or inside you. You just devote yourself to the truth. That opens the door for the truth to reveal itself.

You Can be Aware of the Boundlessness and Infinity of the Nondual Condition and, at the Same Time, Recognize Yourself as an Individual

This viewpoint opens the possibility that you can be aware of the boundlessness and infinity of the nondual condition and, at the same time, recognize yourself as an individual. The individual can be part of the wholeness, can be a particular expression of the wholeness, or can be the wholeness that does not lose the sense of being a unique individual. You can realize yourself as the universe of Being that fills all space and all time and, at the same time, be a distinct individual. That is a mysterious and paradoxical possibility. How can you be completely the whole and completely the particular at once? As we explore this dynamic, this fulcrum, between particular and whole, reality is revealing itself more and more, and what it reveals is more and more enigmatic.

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