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Clear Essence

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

What is Clear Essence?

The perception of luminosity in nondual realization may allow us to recognize clear light as a form in itself. It is the everlasting ground of all phenomena, but it can also be experienced as a state in itself, as clear essence in the soul.

— A. H. Almaas

Clear Essence is clarity and transparency, which teaches you that your nature is lucid and clear.

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Clear Essence

Clarity

Clarity is nothing but transparent luminosity. 

Clear Essence Discloses Object Relations

Let's look at an example of how the interaction between the center and the field of your mandala might occur. Suppose you're experiencing the presence of Clear Essence. It is clarity and transparency, which teaches you that your nature is lucid and clear. You may begin then to see a thickness around your head. You can investigate this thickness much more effectively while the clarity is present because the clarity reveals the thickness, the obscurations, in contrast with its own clear nature. You start seeing the history of this thickness and what it is connected with—the object relations and their history—and at some point you realize that one object relation becomes more dominant. You realize that your clarity wasn't seen, wasn't recognized or appreciated by your parents when you were a small child. As you are dealing with the issue of your clarity not being recognized, you notice that your essential presence has changed from Clear Essence to Amber Essence. This is because the issues that you are encountering have changed to those of value. The dominant quality of your essential presence might be value for a few hours, a few minutes, a few weeks, maybe a few months. During this time, the transformation will activate all the questions relating to value at different levels.

Recognizing True Nature as the Coemergence of Being and Nonbeing

The perception of luminosity in nondual realization may allow us to recognize clear light as a form in itself. It is the everlasting ground of all phenomena, but it can also be experienced as a state in itself, as clear essence in the soul. When we experience it thus we experience it as presence. Clear light, or transparent luminosity, turns out to be the ground presence of essential manifestations. It is pure being, authentic nondifferentiated presence. When we experience it in its inseparability from emptiness we recognize true nature as the coemergence of being and nonbeing. But this state is totally nonconceptual, and this conceptual description does not communicate the experience completely. Here we experience everything as radiance, as the presence yet absence of existence. It is a completely paradoxical perception if we look at it conceptually. Experientially it is simplicity itself—clarity, lightness, and freedom. We cannot say we exist, and we cannot say we do not exist. In fact, it does not occur to us to say one or the other, because in this experience the concept of existence, or being, is gone without even a memory of it. True nature, here, is nonconceptual, has gone beyond all conceptual dichotomies, including those of being and nonbeing.

The Awake Essence

This aspect of essence, which the Dalai Lama calls subtle consciousness, subtle air, subtle energy, subtle mind, subtle body, and clear light is an aspect of essence connected with the state of awakening. We call it clear essence or the awake essence. This quality of clarity and awakeness is characteristic of Buddhism in general. This is contrasted with the blue consciousness of Muktananda, which is more characteristic of samadhi or absorption. This shows the main difference of emphasis between Buddhism and Hinduism: Buddhism emphasizes awakening, and Hinduism emphasizes samadhi (absorption), as ways toward enlightenment. Both of these qualities are seen as consciousness because they are aspects of essence corresponding to the centers of the head. The heart centers will manifest essence in different aspects, which are those of love. Buddhism is aware of the heart qualities as essential substances.

The Most Specific Experience of Essence

Let’s not confuse being specific with being precise. They are not the same. Being precise is a function of the Clear Essence, the Clear diamond. Being specific is a function of the Point. The Point is the most specific essential presence there is. When you experience the Point, you are a singularity, as specific as one can be. There is no more specific experience of Essence than the Point—a one-pointed, singular, concentrated sense of identity and presence. It is the most specific way one can experience oneself. That’s why we say that it is simplicity itself. It has no parts—it’s one thing, very simple, very specific. And because it is the most specific quality, it aids us in being able to be specific about anything. Precision, however, is a matter of exactness, of distinguishing one thing from another.

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