Main Pages

By Region




Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Dissolution

Dissolution of Boundaries Frequently Feels like Aloneness

Hence, aloneness is not a matter of one being separate or physically alone. It means one is existing without ego, without self-image. For if there was self-image then one would be engaged in internalized object relations, and one would not feel alone then. Krishnamurti said one time that ego cannot exist in aloneness. And we see here how true this is, for ego involves internalized object relations. That is why the experience of the Personal Essence feels like aloneness, and brings about strong reactions from ego; ego reacts because it starts seeing the end of its story. Aloneness means the death of ego, the false personality based on past mental object relations. The loss or dissolution of boundaries frequently feels like aloneness; for it is the dissolution of the last identification systems of ego. Although boundaries make one feel separate, even isolated, one still does not feel alone. These ego boundaries are based on self-images that are part of internalized object relations. As they dissolve one starts feeling alone, but this means that one is entering the state of freedom, Being without ego.

Dissolution of Concepts

So little by little the concepts go away. The concept of being the body, the concept of being an individual, the concept of past, present, and future, the concept of space all dissolve. The final concept to go is existence, the notion that something is there. Awareness of existence is called consciousness. We are attached to the sense that there is beingness. And even when the sense of beingness goes, there can remain a sense of consciousness. If the sense of presence or existence goes, there will be just consciousness. Pure consciousness is awareness without content. In Zen, this is often called fundamental reality. There is no sense of existence, there is just awareness. There is knowingness, but not knowingness of anything in particular. Nothing can be said about it. But even this open knowingness has to go at some point. It doesn’t go and never come back, but we discover that knowingness is not final, that consciousness is not final.

Dissolution of Identity

In our work, we use the true self to expose the false self. But there is always the danger of trying to hold on to an identity. The Buddhists, for instance, don’t talk about a true self, because they see this danger. They say there is no such thing as a true self, because your belief in a true self might enhance or substantiate an experience of ego. Here, then, we see the need for the dissolution of identity itself, whether true or false. We are attached to identity itself, and any attachment to identity, even to an experience of true self, becomes the false identity. We want to hold on to identity because we assume that we need a center. “Now I have a true center,” says ego, “finally I’m self-realized.” The ego is gloating over its victory, “I have slain the ego,” says ego. “Now I am a star, I’m no longer a human being,” says ego. Then the next level of the void needs to arise, the level of the dissolution of identity. We need to see that the attachment to identity itself is also hell and frustration. At this point you begin to see hell more clearly, more palpably. You start burning. The more attached you are to that identity, the more the burning and frustration. Then the dissolution of self, or the dissolution of identity, is what we call extinction, annihilation or nonexistence, which is a new level of the void. Not only your body is gone, but also your identity, your ego is gone.

Dissolution of the Conscious Presence of the Soul into the Absolute

In the process of dissolution of the conscious presence of the soul into the absolute, or in any experience of inquiring into the nature of the absolute, we discover that the last vestige of consciousness is a multimodal sensory one. As we see and feel the mysterious darkness of nonbeing we feel our presence as a kind of sensation. Our presence becomes simply the presence of simple sensation, sensing itself and the nonbeing of the absolute. As it apprehends the absolute it sees and senses it. The seeing becomes a seeing of darkness, which culminates in the total cessation of perception. The sensing becomes a sensing of absence of being, which culminates in the total cessation of sensation. As we learn to acclimate to the reality of the absolute, and experience it as our truth, we experience ourselves as its vast emptiness, as the infinity of the luminous night. We are then the absolute nonbeing witnessing the emergence of the forms of experience.

Dissolution of the Psychic Structure

The final outcome of the process of disidentification is the experience of the dissolution of the psychic structure or self-image. This is the experience of space, of what is sometimes called the void—when self-image is dissolved, the person will experience the loss of boundaries, both physical and mental. The nature of the mind is then revealed as an emptiness, a void, an immaculately empty space. The void and the absence of the identifications that form the psychic structure are the same thing. There are various depths and levels of empty space. We can say that the beginning of the void is the absence of identification with the self-image. There is self-image but there is no identification with it. What results is the inner sense of expansion and spaciousness. Then, at a deeper level, the self-image is gone, dissolved. There is only the experience of empty open space, which is boundless, clear, and crisp. The focus is not on the content of the mind but on the spacious emptiness that is its nature.

Dissolution of the Shell

When a student is able to deal with the narcissistic wound and the attendant rage, he can come to understand and accept the hurt. This allows him to be open to the essential quality of loving-kindness and hence to develop a greater tolerance of this wound, which is felt as a rip in the shell of the self. As we have seen in some student's records, the wound then expands and deepens, culminating in the experience of the dissolution of the shell. The experience generally proceeds until the student experiences no shell and no wound. There remains only an awareness of boundless emptiness, and nothingness that stretches out forever. The emptiness in the emptiness wound expands until its boundaries extended indefinitely. The emptiness within the shell is now completely revealed.

Dissolving the Veil of Ordinary Knowledge

A more encompassing and open inquiry will disclose to us a discriminating knowingness not bound by ordinary knowledge and its positions, but simply aware whenever positions are in operation. The more open your inquiry becomes, the more you are able to see how ordinary knowledge creates a film through which you are always peering into what you are experiencing right now. Through inquiry, you open up this recognition, this basic knowledge; it begins to become available. By dissolving or parting the veil of ordinary knowledge, you start looking directly, immediately, and intimately, and the experience is now more purely basic knowledge. Observer and observed dissolve. This movement, which is a transformation of awareness, happens through understanding. However, this understanding/transformation is not just a movement from ordinary knowledge to basic knowledge. The change can be the unfoldment in the purity of basic knowledge itself.

Need for the Dissolution of Muscular Armor

Emotions and feelings are primarily sensations, and these are sensations of the body. If the body is insensitive, there will be no awareness of these sensations and hence no awareness of feelings. This will preclude the possibility of understanding. So sensitization of the body is required via the dissolution of muscular armor and its tension patterns. But the sensitization of the body is not just for the awareness of sensations and feelings. These are the first to be encountered by the expanding awareness. But the sensitivity, in time, needs to get deeper, and the perceptions need to get finer so that the organism can be aware of the subtler presence of essence itself. Essence is an embodied existence and will be experienced in the body, not somewhere else or abstractly.

Purification of the Soul Dissolves the Belief in Separate Existence

So our job is to be a servant. And to serve is to express. And to express is to be a clear and unimpeded medium for the truth. For that to happen, we need to be purified of our coarser elements. If we approach experience as if it were a lollipop, the objective function of the soul is not fulfilled. The more our soul is aware of the deeper realms and the more correct its attitude toward those realms, the more we express the truth. The deeper realm, the realm of objective reality, is ultimately the home of the soul—its origin, source, and nature. The absolute reality is the nature and origin not only of the soul but of everything. What better master to serve than the innermost nature of you and of everything! So being a servant is an exalted position. Purification is necessary, but on its own it is not sufficient in order for the soul to serve. Purification makes us, in some sense, acceptable for service but not yet necessarily capable of service. To be capable of service, there needs to be development of the capacities, development of the knowledge, development of all possibilities of the human soul. So the servant first has to be worthy, and then has to be capable of the service. The purification of the soul allows the attitudes of serenity, humility, and truthfulness toward our experience to arise by dissolving the belief in separate existence.

There is No Dissolution of Boundaries Without the Action of Space

We have already shown that the self-boundaries which form self-image are boundaries that bound space. They structuralize space. We have seen that the dissolution of boundaries leads to the freeing of space, and can be seen as the same phenomenon as the emergence of space. Space always manifests in one’s consciousness as the self-boundaries disintegrate. We can say either that space melts away boundaries or that dissolution of boundaries allows space to manifest. It is one phenomenon. The dissolution of boundaries cannot be separated from the emergence of space. So here we see the role of space in inner change: There is no lasting change without a change in self-image, there is no change in self-image without a dissolution of self-boundaries, and there is no dissolution of boundaries without the action of space.

The Void, pg. 105

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter