Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Clear Light
Becoming a Body of Clear Light
You come to realize, then, that the purified, clarified personality, which is what I call the supreme person, is just a clarity. You experience yourself as the clarity. It’s not just that your mind is clear; all of you is a clarity, an absolute openness and clarity, completely light. When all the impurities go, you remain as a lightness, an openness. But this is a personal openness, a person who is freedom. You are not a free person, you are a person who is the freedom. It is complete personal freedom. As the past is digested and eliminated, that personal freedom remains as the freedom of the personal Supreme, or the eternal person. You are a transparent personal form of pure presence, a body of clear light.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 14
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. 67
Clear Light is Needed for Awakening in the State of Liberation
When this diamond consciousness finally perceives the state of liberation, it just melts, becomes softer, delicate, liquid, relaxed, and flowing. There is no structure, no fixation, no holding this way or that way, no preference one way or another. It’s not as if you’re objective or not objective, or you’re kind or not kind, it’s none of those. They’re all there in a sort of melted, free-flowing loose way. They’re so loose, they’re so free that you don’t think of yourself as kind, you don’t think of yourself as happy. The moment you say, “Oh, I’m happy now,” it’s gone. You are it and that’s it. You’re not concerned about it, you go about your business, have breakfast, read the paper, go to work, have a fight. It doesn’t matter. There is total freedom. You have learned how to hang loose. You are liberated and you are awake. The quality of the clear light is important because you are awake and you know that you know. That’s the moment of recognition. A child may be in a liberated state but doesn’t recognize it, loses it and doesn’t even know he lost it. But when you’re an adult you recognize it, you’re awake. That’s why the Buddhists emphasize the clear light, the awakening, because it is an ingredient that is needed. You need the clear light to be awake in this state, and to recognize it. You’re absorbed in it. You’re not trying feverishly to hold onto it.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 10
Clear Light of the Awakened Mind
The awakened mind is clear joy when experienced in the physical heart. When freedom arises, the fulfillment is experienced in the heart. What is in the head or mind is the same thing that is in the heart, and feels like clear light or rich nectar and is the same consciousness.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 25
Implicit Clear Light of the Absolute
I see that the absolute has a luminosity, a clarity, but not the same as clear light or pure presence. Clear light is colorless, transparent luminosity, a very light and delicate presence. Pure presence is also colorless and transparent, but with a sense of fullness. These levels of consciousness can apprehend the absolute, and can be manifest by the absolute as the ground of all appearance. Yet the clarity and luminosity of the absolute are even subtler than these very subtle forms of consciousness. Its clarity and luminosity are implicit, not manifest. Its blackness is not the absence of light, but its source. The inherent clarity of the absolute is prior to light. There is complete absence of obscurations. The fact that it is nonbeing makes it totally transparent, without this transparency appearing as clear light. But since, on the other hand, the absolute is not a vacant emptiness, but what truly is, this transparency becomes awareness. The awareness of its facticity is then inherent in the reality of its facticity. This inherent clarity of the absolute is its own intrinsic knowingness. Its facticity is inherently knowing. I experience this knowing as an implicit clear light, not differentiated as clear light, but which can plumb the depths of the absolute. It is a clear consciousness completely inseparable from the absolute.
Luminous Night's Journey, pg. 117
Presence Experienced as Clear Light
Presence can be experienced on many levels of subtlety and refinement. It can be experienced as the presence of light, the presence of consciousness, the presence of awareness, the presence of love, the presence of clear light, or the presence that is the nonduality (coemergence) of consciousness (or light) and emptiness. Even emptiness, as conceived of by the Theravada and some of the Mahayana schools of Buddhism, can actually be experienced as presence. But then we move into very subtle domains of discrimination, where emptiness is described as neither being nor nonbeing.
The Point of Existence, pg. 467
Purposeful Arising of Clear Light
The innermost nature of everything which exists is this source and agent of unity. Without it, we wouldn’t be human beings; we wouldn’t be alive. It is the innermost nature of our being; and it is not something vague, but something actually substantial. You might not be aware of it, but without it you cannot read this or understand me right now. You can perceive it. It is amazing that the agent of unification is the same as the agent of transformation, that transformation is transformation towards unity. It is miraculous and mysterious. First it is revealed in experiences of the heart or mind revealing facets, qualities, or aspects. It allows you to see yourself as compassion, love, or clarity, but the way it shows you that is by it, itself, being that. “Hu” becomes, through the brilliance, that which is you. You are learning what is you at that moment. If what you need is enlightenment, it becomes clear light. It teaches first by unifying, by directing your experiences toward more unity. In time it will lead to the inner experience in which it manifests as the agent of transformation itself, the elixir. It is also called the philosopher’s stone and the water of life.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 28
The Clear Light of Pure Presence is Self-Existing
Pure being is complete being because it is transcendent being, the source of all. It is the original and primordial presence of true nature, before it manifests through the display of its qualities, qualities that it possesses totally but implicitly in its completeness. As transcendent being, it is not differentiated into qualities. Pure being is nondifferentiated presence, presence before differentiation. Pure presence is simply true nature before it differentiates into its discriminated aspects of presence. The central insight here is that pure presence is nondifferentiated presence. The implication is that it is like white light, and the aspects are like its prismatic colors. However, pure presence is not white, but colorless. It is clear light. It is clear light because it is not a reflected light and not a refracted light. It is a self-existing light, which appears directly in awareness as clear light, and is experienced as pure transparent presence.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 296
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 the 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 thing 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. We recognize this nonconceptual presence – absence as the ground, essence, and true nature of everything.