Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Cessation
Cessation Brings an End to Suffering
You realize that your nature can be neither described nor known. You can't say that you exist and you don't know that you don't exist. If you know that you don't exist, you exist. Complete non-existence is complete cessation of consciousness, of knowingness. It is the cosmic sleep, the cosmic night. It is the deepest peace. This is not a permanent state of realization, but a phase for the deeper realization. What is called the divine coma, where there is no experience of sensation or perception, becomes the rite of entry into the realm of mystery, the mystery of the Absolute. To wake up from this divine coma without leaving the mystery of the absolute is total peace and cessation of suffering. You realize that the end of suffering is not happiness but peace. From that peace arise happiness, fulfillment, love, and all the qualities of being.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 118
Cessation is Unknowable
Deep sleep without dreams is similar to complete absence. Cessation does not have consciousness or awareness. It is unknowable. In its completeness cessation exists without the presence of anything else. Nothing is there and nobody is there to see nothing being there. You can only know absence by being it. And as I’ve said, when the awareness returns in the state of absence, one can be aware of one’s environment but with no self to be aware of it. This is a more subtle state than cessation.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 129
Complete Disappearance Into the Unmanifest Absolute
Cessation can also happen as part of the love affair that the soul has with her true nature. As she opens up and becomes fully present, without defenses or pretensions, she may feel her intimate love for the absolute. Such love may appear as an ardent desire and longing, or a resistance and unwillingness to keep living in manifestation. She feels she would rather dissolve in the absolute and disappear than experience the various realms. Such longing may lead to a complete disappearance into the unmanifest absolute, as the soul feels enveloped by its delicious darkness, and caressed by its infinite mystery. This intimate embrace can reveal to the soul that she is like a cloud of consciousness particles. As she dissolves she feels only a few particles, conscious of themselves and of black nothingness. As consciousness thins away it disappears in the nothingness. All perception and sensation are lost. There is then not even consciousness of nothing. It is as if unconsciousness. There is absence of consciousness. There is absence of existence, absence and no awareness of absence. It is as if the consciousness thins away like air and
the awareness itself disappears. When there is no consciousness at all, there is no experience whatsoever, and no awareness of no experience.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 383
In the experience of cessation the apprehending consciousness dissolves in the absolute. Subsequent experiences of consciousness apprehending the absolute nonbeing do not lead necessarily to annihilation, but to the mixing of the two. The apprehending consciousness becomes one with emptiness, resulting in the coemergence of being with nonbeing. The deepest coemergence is of the absolute dimension itself, the luminous black fullness of emptiness.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 683
The Experience of Nonexistence
As this space arises, the individual encounters fears of death, of disappearing, of annihilation, of nonexistence. This space is actually the experience of nonexistence, of complete extinction of self, of cessation. The cessation can be so deep that even awareness and consciousness cease for a time. The person here is not only afraid of the death of the body, but is also afraid that his mind will cease to exist. And this cessation of mind is exactly the experience of this space.
The Void, pg. 18
The Realization of Selflessness
This realization goes beyond cessation to the realization of selflessness, which is equivalent to the realization of the absolute truth of Being. An avalanche of perceptions and insights arises at this point; here we will note a few that are most relevant for our understanding of the transformation of narcissism and its relation to self-realization.
The Point of Existence, pg. 18
Understanding of Cessation
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.
Luminous Night's Journey, pg. 18
We are Always Living Daily life from the Place of Cessation
Actually, we are always living daily life from the place of cessation, without being aware of it. Cessation is the underlying ground of our experience all of the time. We are always living from the state of absolute absence. Because, you see, nothing else is. The ultimate reality, the ultimate nature of everything, is absence of being, or nonbeing. Everything that you experience is an expression of nonbeing. If we are to think of the absence of being as useful, that is its usefulness—it makes everything arise and underlies all existence. Without absence, traditionally referred to as emptiness, nothing can exist. Absolute absence is the source of all that is. Practically speaking, you cannot get anything from absence. Absence does not make you feel good or bad. It does not help you make money or win an argument with a friend. What absolute absence does is give you presence, which you might consider useful or not.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 129
What People Usually Think of as Death
So, nothingness as a space goes so deep that after a while it eliminates the consciousness of itself... This experience is called cessation or extinction: complete death. It is what people usually think of as death. It is exactly how death is. You don't have to die physically to experience it. This does not necessarily mean that if you die physically you'll experience this kind of death. It is the complete cessation and absence of everything. As I said, this experience is needed partly because the personality has its own consciousness, which has to go. However, after it goes it is possible for another kind of consciousness to be there to experience the complete, unbounded, limitless space as it is.