Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Divine Coma
A Complete State of Ego Death where Even the Consciousness of Experience is Gone
Student: Is it possible to lose daily life in the state of cessation?
Almaas: It certainly appears so. You have in a sense lost a portion of your life span because there is a gap in your conscious experience. However, total cessation is transitory. You let go of the self and all of its supports for this period of time. Cessation is a complete state of ego death, where even the consciousness of experience is gone. Some people call this aspect of absence divine coma. But cessation is only the beginning of the capacity to experience the condition of absence, which subsequently can occur within perception and action. 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. 128
Divine Coma, the Cessation of Experience
More exactly, creation or the flow of Being is basically replacement: One unified appearance is replaced by another unified appearance. The word creation might make you think that something new and different is being created, but from the perspective of self-revelation, Being is simply revealing itself through the innumerable manifestations of objects, beings, and events that we experience. So by seeing this flow as a self-revelation, we see that there is no distinction between what is created and what is creating. Here, then, the continuity of Being is its self-revelation, through which we are able to perceive it. As long as there is perception of Being, it is always perceived through the forms it manifests. When you perceive Being without any form, there is no perception. This is the divine coma, the cessation of experience. The forms through which we perceive it are the manifestations of Being itself, so it is not as though Being is manifesting us. Being is manifesting itself, and we are part of that Being. So we have seen Holy Law as a flow of Being, a creativity, and a self-revelation. Experientially, there is a different flavor to each of these perceptions, and they are progressively more subtle. The self-revelation has more of a magical quality: The whole of reality is Being, magically displaying its qualities and potentialities by making them appear just like that, out of nothing. But that appearance is Being itself, not something separate.
Facets of Unity, pg. 263
If You Experience Yourself Exclusively as the Absolute, with No Concepts, You Cannot Function in the World
Without differentiations, there would be no experience, no knowledge, no action, no life, no universe—nothing but the unmanifest Absolute. This is why understanding the nature of boundaries is significant in terms of understanding reality. Someone who experiences only Holy Truth, only unity with no differentiations—without even the concepts of experience, unity, ordifferentiations—for all practical purposes is not alive. Such a person would be in a kind of coma, a divine coma. When you reach the true essence of the truth, this ultimate reality is in a coma in the sense that it doesn’t know itself. It is unconscious because it has no boundaries, no distinctions. Differentiation is completely gone, so there are no differences. Therefore, there is nothing to see, nothing to experience. This is what makes it the unmanifest Absolute. If you experience yourself exclusively as the Absolute with no concepts, you cannot function in the world. If you are in deep meditation, you can sink into it, but you can’t walk around that way since you wouldn’t be able to discriminate a truck heading your way, for instance. A truck is nothing but differentiating outlines and boundaries—the Universal Mind heading toward you with a certain density and at a certain speed! So it is important to perceive the Holy Truth because that is the ultimate nature of reality, but it is also important to know Holy Omniscience because without it, there would be no life, nor anyone to know the Holy Truth.
Facets of Unity, pg. 106
With the Divine Coma there is No Experience of Sensation or Perception
Losing the notion of existence doesn’t mean you cease to exist. But the desire is exactly for that: absolute cessation. You wish that you would disappear, that you would cease to know that you had ever appeared. This is the deepest wish, the wish for the most fundamental dimension. And the deep love is a deep fear too, because of the attachment to existence. 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 nonexistence 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.