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Clarification of the Soul

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Clarification of the Soul?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Clarification of the Soul

Allowing Ourselves to Continue to Question and Discriminate What is Happening in the Moment

As you have experienced in opening to this teaching, strength and aliveness arise within anger; tenderness and gentleness are awakened through sadness, and so on. Being in a field of spiritual inquiry, you can open to new levels of experience with only a small amount of encouragement and guidance. Approaching your experience in a different way than usual—by suspending your ideas and beliefs—opens up new potentials. And through understanding what the emotional charge was about and staying with it, you can see how it deepens your experience and releases the energy that was held inside the emotions. Ideas, history, associations, and beliefs will all arise, but if we stay present and allow ourselves to continue to question and discriminate what is happening in the moment, then the content of what we are hurt by, feeling angry about, or disappointed in becomes clarified. Through understanding, we distill consciousness, in a sense, and are left with a purity, presence, energy. Sometimes we may recognize the loss of our connection to our nature, which can arise as a feeling of emptiness or of something lacking. In allowing this loss and the attendant feelings of grief and longing, we might discover and reconnect to the quality of Being that the emotion was cloaking, along with the liberated energetic dynamism of our aliveness. The charge in our emotional experience is part of that thread of aliveness. Distortion of our true aliveness becomes emotional energy. If you clarify that emotion and you feel the energy of it, it becomes an energetic propulsion that drives you deeper into the real. This is the tantric way—don’t express, don’t suppress, just be with it. We are saying neither yes nor no to it; we are simply interested in understanding our experience: What is it? What does it mean? We want to discern the meaning and penetrate to the very last detail. As we discern and understand, the unshackled energy allows the process to unfold and take new forms.

Clarification of the Personality

This is the process of the clarification of the personality: Each time you understand an issue or an identification with a past conflict or a now unnecessary defense, you discharge feelings associated with the issue and work through the feelings and the beliefs about it. As you have seen many times, working through an issue—which involves ceasing to be identified with it—typically allows the arising of an essential state. In this process of working through an issue related to any essential quality, the personality confronts the part of its structure that substitutes and compensates for the lack of that true quality. For example, issues around essential strength will uncover the false strength of the personality. When this compensation is seen through and the essential strength is freed, there is no more need for the personality structure of the false strength. Thus, the arising of each essential aspect will shed light on a certain element of the ignorance in the personality. When you are inquiring, the presence of an essential state allows you to become very specific about your issues. In the process of inquiry, the personality becomes clearer and purer each time a quality of essence is realized and the issues around it are understood.

Clarification of the Self from all Rigid Ego Structures

Many seekers of spiritual development come to believe that having profound experiences, like the ones discussed above, is enough to bring about total liberation. This is a vestige of the oral self, believing that one good nursing is all that one needs. The situation is much more involved; permanent realization requires a great deal more than the arising of the experience of self-realization. The difficult work is that of the clarification of the self from all rigid ego structures, and this does not happen automatically by the mere experiencing of the state of self-realization. We need to become aware of the various ego structures and their associated affects and desires. We need to understand them to the extent of completely seeing their mental nature, and hence, their lack of ultimate reality. We need to see, understand, and be released from, the various misunderstandings, tendencies, and attachments of the self that orient it away from its inherent endowments and cause it to stand in its own way. This is a deep, slow process of maturation, but it is greatly aided by the arising of various experiences of self-realization. As the student clarifies the various structures of the self, Being—in its various manifestations —becomes a permanent center of experience and eventually the constant
ground and fabric of the self.

Clarification of the Soul is the Development of the Personal Essence

This process of clarification—which is the clarification of the soul—is the development of the Personal Essence, what we call the Pearl Beyond Price. The development of the Pearl is a process which keeps moving towards further clarification until it becomes the Supreme Personal Essence. Each essential state has become personalized as the personality has become clarified, as each essential aspect has become you. You yourself become the personal essential reality, and thus, this reality can be integrated at the level of the Pearl. When you experience Compassion, that Compassion becomes you. “I, personally, am Compassion. I am Value, I am Truth.” When you own it, it is no longer you experiencing it, but you know you are it. The personality becomes so permeable that it is completely merged with the aspect. This is what I call the personalization of the essential state. As the essential aspects are personalized—Compassion, Merging Love, Will, Peace, Value, Identity, and so on—you will reach a further, a more boundless personalization, which is the personalization of the Supreme. The surprise is that this is what you have been all the time. It’s never been otherwise. You’ve always been the supreme person, all the time, in your very substance, including the substance of the personality. That’s why you have always identified with it, that’s why you cannot disidentify from it: It is you. How can you disidentify from that? How can you get rid of that? It is ultimately you. Here we see that to try to disidentify from the personality and live from a transcendent identity is to leave the very ground of the reality that was never truly separate from personality.  


Essential Realization that has not Clarified the Personality

Many spiritual teachers describe their experience of realization as if they suddenly became realized and the personality just died, or fell away. So it is understandable that you might fantasize that one day you will finish your meditation and there will be no personality left. This idea of enlightenment or self-realization is misguided, although it is true that you can experience sudden revelations or insights that can change the rest of your life. My perception of what happens with people who claim to have lost their personality totally and spontaneously is that there often remains a split-off or suppressed part which will manifest as a distortion or a lack of integration. This means that there has been an essential realization, but the realization has not clarified the personality. It is, rather, a state of transcendence of the ego personality. If the personality is abandoned rather than integrated, the totality of life cannot be lived. We can look at the process of realization from the perspective of transcendence or from the perspective of embodiment. When people talk about getting rid of the ego, they’re talking about a transcendent experience. It is possible to transcend the personality or the ego, or even physical existence. However, there is a more difficult process which leads to the state of embodiment of reality. Rather than simply transcending the personality or physical existence, this state involves actually embodying essential existence in one’s life.

Levels of Clarification

So as we become clearer, inquiry goes deeper. Clarification brings understanding of our relative truth—the issues and situations of our life. Then it brings understanding of our essential truth—all the essential qualities and pure aspects that arise as a result of this understanding. And at a still deeper level, the increasing clarity reveals our absolute true nature, which is the ground of luminosity. This ground is both a transparency and a luminosity. And clarity is nothing but transparent luminosity.

Recognizing Thoughts and Desires as Resistance

When the issues are clarified, it is easier to become aware of the movement itself, of the wheels in motion – not of what is being churned but of the actual churning itself. When you become aware that you are the machine in action you are completely convinced that the activity itself is what is churning up problems, only then is it possible for the wheels to stop… When the activity stops, you recognize that most of your thoughts and desires and efforts are resistance and what you have been resisting is the present moment, the now.

The Process of Clarification Occurs Through Understanding

The thing that we experience as personality at the beginning, and for a long time on the path is actually nothing but the soul. The personality is our soul, but our soul imprinted and shaped by past experience. Our past experience shapes and forms our experience of ourselves and of our conscious and dynamic soul, and obscures its true nature by remaining as residual content in our true nature. These residues are the self-images, the internalized object relations, the reactions, the suppressed feelings, memories, and the many defenses we use to protect ourselves. The process of clarification is basically the dissolution of these residues through the light of understanding. This way the personality reveals itself as the soul developing towards individuation. The soul develops into the Supreme Pearl Beyond Price, which is the individuation of Being. This is the embodiment of Being.

Understanding an Issue Leads to Discharge of Associated Feelings

Each time you understand an issue or an identification with a past conflict or a now-unnecessary defense, you discharge feelings associated with the issue and work through the feelings and the beliefs about it. As you have seen many times, working through an issue – which involves ceasing to be identified with it – typically allows the arising of an essential state. In this process of working through an issue related to any essential quality, the personality confronts the part of its structure that substitutes and compensates for the lack of that true quality. For example, issues around essential strength will uncover the false strength of the personality. When this compensation is seen through and the essential strength is freed, there is no more need for the personality structure of the false strength.

We Have to Deal with Ourselves

Becoming a mature human being doesn’t happen easily or instantly. Although there is grace and there is blessing, it is only to help you confront and deal with your situation. Grace won’t do the whole thing for you. It will give you more confidence, more trust, but you will still have to deal with yourself. The help of the school, the teaching, and the teacher are small things compared with what you need to do yourself. This is part of the educational process of the inner path. The path requires the clarification and the transparency of all that determines your experience and perception of yourself and of the world. Whatever questions you have, whatever you do not understand about yourself, you have to pursue. If you have any dissatisfaction, any discontentment, you need to pursue it. Teachings and teachers provide help, guidance, and orientation so that you don’t spend too much time dealing with the wrong issues. The teacher saves you time, energy, and effort. But the teacher can’t do it for you. The teacher gives you guidelines to help you do the practice and to help you deal with yourself. Doing it yourself does not mean twisting reality’s arm. You might find out that you can’t do it yourself. Maybe that’s part of the education. You might find out that you are just a little kid floating in a huge ocean. If that is the case, then you need to find out that you really don’t know or maybe you can’t do it. Or maybe growing up happens in a way totally different from what you thought. Maybe you find out that you have been wrong to start with, that the whole world has been a figment of your imagination. Maybe you thought all this time that you had to do things and then find out that they are done by themselves. That will be a big relief, but you still need to find out for yourself.

When the Personality is Completely Clarified, the Personality Doesn’t Disappear

You must see the totality of your personality in the present—all the thoughts, desires, feelings, and dreams, which are continuous with your past. You may also see your personality, at all times continuous with the social structure around you, in all your relationships, the influence of your society on your personality, and so on. You will see that your ego activity is what connects you to the social network of personality, making you vulnerable to the various external influences that obscure the truth of who you are, and what reality is. When you see this completely, it is possible for the movement in you—that connects you with the rest of society—to stop. When it stops, you become pure, clarified personality, soul with no ego structure. This clarifies and heals the split from Being. The split simply is not there. In that instant you see that you and the supreme reality are one. For the first time, you can perceive the actual substance of the personality without the past. The basis of the personality, the underlying principle that makes it possible for you to be a person, the thing that you have rejected all this time, is nothing but the supreme reality as a person. The very substance of the personality is ultimately a substance which I call the Supreme Pearl, or the supreme person: pure personal presence with no qualities. It is just Being, pure and simple, but manifesting as a human person. So when the personality is completely clarified, and yet you feel you are a person, the personality doesn’t disappear; it is now the supreme person, the truest person. This is a sublime reality existing as you, the human individual.

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