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Divine Love (Nondual Love)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Divine Love (Nondual Love)?

In the boundlessness of divine love, consciousness or presence is everywhere. It’s everywhere in the way that space is everywhere, inside the physical, even inside the atoms. Nothing escapes it. There’s no place where it isn’t. And it is one, undivided wholeness.

— A. H. Almaas

Divine love is the dimension of true nature responsible for the arising of qualities, feelings, and affects in experience. It is not only light, which is consciousness, but also love .Our true nature is divine love, which can be experienced as love, as presence, or as light. 

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Divine Love (Nondual Love)

A Corrective to Our Whole Worldview

That’s why, when we experience divine love, it will put pressure on our personality and expose our Jabba the Hutt—the part of us that believes the physical world is disconnected and in separate compartments, some of which have goodies in them, which we need to find and accumulate as much as possible. From the perspective of divine love, the whole thing is a goody. The whole thing is wonderful and sweet and loving. I don’t need to get love from anywhere; everything is love. I don’t need to fill myself with anything, I’m already full. The whole universe is full. But it’s filled with appreciation, with consciousness, not with objects that you need to accumulate. And in truth, what’s the point of accumulating objects if it’s all one thing?

This brings a corrective to our whole worldview. We don’t lose our sense of who we are—we’re still human beings. But we are human beings that are expressions of this love. We begin to see ourself and the universe in a more objective light, as what is truly there. There will still be chairs, trees and cars but they are nothing but manifestations of divine love. A car is a theophany. So is the ocean. So is your body. All of it expresses the divinity of existence. Divinity means that it’s pure, it’s harmonious, and it’s sacred in the sense of not contaminated. It’s not contaminated because it is as it is, in its original pure state, without being distorted by wrong ideas or beliefs.

So as you can see, the experience of the boundlessness of our being really begins to resolve our issues, our needs and fears, in a very fundamental way. You don’t resolve the issue of love by working through the fact that your mother didn’t love you, until finally you find somebody who does love you. That way of working out a solution is still within the delusion. It is good for therapy, but not for a spiritual path. The true solution is to recognize that you don’t need anybody to love you. Everything is love, and you are love. If there’s someone who loves you and you love them back, that is part of the manifestation of that boundless love. You’re just expressing it and living it. You’re not “getting” it.

Being Melted by Grace

The extreme softness and delicacy of divine love means that when it touches something, it can only melt it. You may notice your experience sometimes when you touch something very delicate and soft—you yourself tend to soften and relax and let go. It’s like that, but this delicate softness touches you from all over, inside and out. There’s a sense of pleasure and deliciousness, and a melting and surrender. We can call it letting go, or surrender, but all that means is that we are being melted by the grace of this presence. Generally, everyone yearns for the experience of uniting with this boundless and immense wholeness, with its exquisite lovingness. Everybody some place in their soul yearns and longs for this realization—wanting the experience of uniting with the oneness that is boundlessness, immensity and the most exquisite lovingness. Being held in the gentlest, the safest, the most nourishing and caring way possible. We long for that and can imagine that when it happens it will bring total release, complete freedom and utter carefreeness.

Divine Love Differentiates Into the Essential Aspects

Divine love is the dimension of true nature responsible for the arising of qualities, feelings, and affects in experience. It is not only light, which is consciousness, but also love. Love is the primordial feeling, the source of all affects. Light differentiates into colors; love differentiates into various affects. Divine love is golden white, white for light and golden for love. It is typically experienced as an ocean of golden light, a homogeneous medium, but it can differentiate within this field into various forms of manifestation, with their myriad shapes and colors. An important and special differentiation is that of the essential aspects, where the very substance of the medium assumes, either throughout the entirety of its manifold or in some local regions, different colors and textures.

 

Divine Love Reveals that the Soul is an Inseparable Offspring of True Nature

Divine love reveals that the soul is an inseparable offspring of true nature, a child of the divine. The soul is a body of light, a drop of grace that embodies the total potential of the transcendent, but in a particular and individual manner. She is a potential necessary for the emergence of further possibilities within true nature. This dimension also reveals that the soul is the expression of the love and grace of true nature, and the carrier of this love in the world of manifestation. The soul is the manifestation that can consciously experience true nature in all of its fullness and splendor, contemplate its knowledge and mysteries, reflect on its miraculousness and majesty, and celebrate its beauty and magic. The soul is the organ of experience and expression of true nature and, hence, the organ of consciousness of Reality.

Estrangement of the Soul from Divine Love

The absence of adequate holding in early childhood marks the specific stage at which the soul becomes estranged from divine love. Not only does the soul develop basic distrust, but she begins to lose the precognitive experience of holding and the oceanic sense of presence as her environment. She reacts and takes things psychologically into her own hands. This reaction is generally suffused with bitterness, disappointment, frustration, and hatred. She develops the position that there is no inherent benevolence in the world, within various degrees of distrust.

Exploring Divine Love

Beginning to Experience Our Nature Closer to What It Really Is

When our soul is open to the dimension of Divine Love we begin to experience our true nature, free from limitations. Before that we may experience our true nature as essential presence, but we experience it as inside our body, as the inner nature of the soul. In the dimension of Divine Love, we begin to experience our nature closer to what it really is. It’s now free from the limitation of the ego principle, the term we use for the identification with being a limited entity, a bounded individual. The term “ego principle” sounds modern and western, but it’s just one way of translating the ancient Sanskrit term ahamkara. It’s the way most people experience themselves and it’s nothing esoteric. It’s how the soul experiences itself when it is imprinted by the ego structure: “I am this person, this separate individual, who was born and now lives, and I do this and do that, and I interact with other people, who are also separate and different from me. I have my uniqueness and they have their own uniqueness. We can interact and share or fight and all that.” All that is the basis of the ego principle, the ahamkara.

Seeing Our True Nature is Divine Love Which Can Be experienced as Love, as Presence or as Light

As we penetrate through that, as we’re able to experience our essential nature without that limitation (which is simply a construction of mind that has become habitual), we experience our true nature in slightly different ways, depending on which one of the boundless dimensions is revealing itself. In the dimension we are exploring, we realize that instead of consciousness or awareness, our true nature is divine love, which can be experienced as love, as presence, or as light. How we experience it depends on which of our three subtle centers is dominant. We experience it as presence if the belly center is dominant, as love if the heart center is dominant, and as light if the head center is dominant. It’s all one thing, however—they’re not separate, with different characteristics. Reality is presence, the presence itself can express itself as love, and the love itself is the light. And it is divine because it is free from the limitation of the ego perspective. There is the recognition that my nature, what I am, is no different from what reality is, this infinite undivided ocean of pure loving light that is existence or presence.

The Light Can Manifest Itself in Various Degrees of Intensity

The light can manifest itself in various degrees of intensity—it can be dimmer or brighter. The more intense and brighter the light is, the more you will see the reality of how things are. The less intense and dimmer the light is, the more obscured and inaccurate your perception will be. This light, or love, or presence, generally manifests more intensely in human beings than it does, for instance, in rocks or trees. But even in human beings it manifests in various degrees of purity, intensity and brilliance. When it manifests in a human being dimly, the dimness of the light means that this being experiences itself as a limited separate individual. Everything looks separate because the boundaries of things, their surfaces, become less transparent; they are dense and opaque to this light because it isn’t so intense. The surface of things becomes more dominant in that person’s perception of reality, and therefore more important. Eventually the partition between things becomes so predominant that the person believes they are this limited entity sitting there in their separate body, in a world full of separate people and physical objects.

Different Degrees of the Light Can Result in Very Different Perceptions of Reality

But if this light intensifies in the location of the body, it penetrates through these surfaces and boundaries more. And the more it does that, the more it reveals that these surfaces are ultimately not opaque; the light is actually present all the way through them. So when the light is dim, we have the conventional experience of the ego. When the light is bright, we have what is called the Buddha, or the realized individual. It’s the same light in both, the same presence, the same consciousness and beingness, but different degrees of it can result in very different perceptions of reality.

Is there Personality When Our Beingness Manifests as Universal Love?

All aspects of love can coexist with the personality, and the identity can be maintained, except in the presence of one particular aspect of love. This is called universal love, Christ love, or divine love. When our beingness manifests as universal love there is no personality. It is this love that spiritual teachers refer to when they say that as long as there is ego, there is no love. They are talking about universal love. Universal means it is not restricted to you; it is not individual. When you feel universal love, there is no “I” that loves. Universal love is needed to melt the identity and self-centeredness. When you experience universal love or Christ love, you understand what love really is. Until then, all other qualities of love can be perceived as accomplishments, because the personality will claim them. Finally, you will see that what gets in the way of love are not issues of liking and rejection, of merging and separation, of desire and passion, but the presence of the ego—the presence of the identity, what you call your self. You see that the real issue ultimately is you. You are in the way. To understand this is to understand the Christ love, the universal love which does not come from someone or go toward someone, but is an overflowing, a love which is the expression of abundance. It is still a sweetness and a presence, but more expanded.

Love or Boundless Being is the Nature of Things

It’s possible. There are people who have done it. There are stories about people who were able to actually use the experience of being in a concentration camp to begin to experience love in some universal way. It’s not easy, definitely. Most people don’t do it. But it’s possible. The fact that it’s possible attests to its truth. The fact that it is not common does not mean it’s not true; it means it’s difficult. And for somebody who understands it, who experiences it, that person will recognize that it’s difficult for most people—for almost everybody—but that it is true, that it is possible. It is definitely a perspective that is very hard to accept, because our usual experience is so overwhelming, seems so real, so solid, right?

So if somebody shoots you, even if you’re experiencing yourself as Divine Love, you’ll begin to bleed. However, if you’re experiencing the Divine Love, you’ll recognize that the blood is made out of love. Experiencing everything as Divine Love doesn’t mean you won’t bleed. It means you’ll bleed, but the blood itself will be Divine Love. So will the bullet. As I’ve said, love or boundless being is the nature of things. When I say the nature of things, that means the inner constituency of things—just like the inner constituency of the physical body is protoplasm. And the cells can be healthy or not healthy, but they’re still made out of the same thing. How they manifest depends on the pattern that determines their development, but they’re always made out of the same thing. So if that was the focal setting for you, you could continue seeing the protoplasm all the time that you’re seeing a particular part of the body, and that would be the same as seeing Divine Love in everything, regardless of what happens. When you do that, you’ll tend to be more loving, you’ll tend to be less aggressive, more helpful and compassionate. And the more people do that, the more that love will be expressed. It’s definitely a subtle thing and doesn’t make logical sense according to our usual experience. So that’s why, when the realized person bleeds, they bleed love.

On the Dimension of Divine Love Your Recognition of Yourself is Different

The you that you usually know yourself as, that can’t exist there. Your mode of existence would change. When you exist on the dimension of Divine Love, your form exists and the body is still there, but your recognition of yourself is different. The you that you’re used to feeling, that you won’t be there. It will be something different, and how things exist will also be different. For instance, you won’t exist as something separate from other things. In the boundless dimensions there are no separate objects. It’s just like it is in your dreams. When you dream, you dream of yourself, your partner, your house, your dog— your dreams are filled with other people and things, right? And they all feel real in the dream, as if they exist as separate entities. But do they really exist separately from each other? No, because it’s all in your mind, isn’t it? Well, the whole universe is in God’s mind—it’s the same thing.

Opening Up to this Nectar that Composes the Whole Universe

And when we open up to this divine love, this nectar that composes the whole universe, we get a sense of it sweetness, its exquisiteness, and its harmony. Those are the qualities of the presence itself: sweetness, softness, a sense of flowing, a lightness, a radiance, and a glowing quality. And the effect it has on us is to bring a sense of release and freedom—complete release complete freedom, and complete delight. There is a state of not having a care in the world. I mean, why would you have a care in the world if you realize that the whole world is love?

What’s left then is to see the parts of yourself that don’t see the omnipresent love and work through them. And that doesn’t mean you question the love; you simply question those parts of you that don’t see it—that’s the intelligent thing to do. If you really feel this love for yourself, you’ll begin to see all the places inside you that don’t believe it’s true. And so you ask, “What’s all this about? Here it is, all this love, it’s all around me. How come parts of me don’t believe it?” Because if we really see the love and are convinced of it, if our mind accepts that, then the love will just be there. It doesn’t matter then what suffering there is in you and in the world, because there is always freedom from it. There is always the possibility of liberation, delight, and a lightness of being. And if there is pain, the lightness can be felt as compassion. Where there’s difficulty and barriers, the sense of freedom can become a source of strength and power. But it’s a divine strength and a divine power, so it’s much more potent and has a much greater impact.

Reality Appearing Magnificent, Radiant, Full of Color, Rich with Feelings

On this dimension of Being we experience all manifestation as heart. The whole universe appears as the heart of Being, the love of God. All manifestation is love; its differentiation is the richness of the heart of Being. Hence, it is not only glowing and graceful, but also absolutely harmonious and peaceful. Everything appears to consciousness as plenitude and harmony, the way a full, fulfilled, and peaceful heart will feel. The harmony gives appearance an aura and feeling of beauty. Reality appears magnificent, radiant, and resplendent, full of color, abundant with light, rich with feelings. The affects are deep and full, the colors luminous and rich, the aromas heavenly and delightful, and the smooth and soft textures can only melt the body and quiet the mind. This full, rich, melting experience is just what the heart of the soul has always wanted existence to be and life to embody. The soul, particularly the animal aspect of the soul, is generally ignorant of the possibility of this realization. As we have discussed, because the ego-structured soul is dominated by the animal potential, which has an external orientation, it sees abundance and richness only outside itself, and only in certain locations. Divine love reveals that richness and abundance, all that the soul desires, is not only inside, but everywhere. It is a nonlocal phenomenon that reflects the nondimensionality of transcendence in manifestation. All Reality is full and overflowing with richness and wonderful fulfilling qualities. The soul does not need to seek emotional gratification anywhere in particular. Fulfillment is available everywhere, for the very substance of everything is fulfillment. Therefore, to truly and fully integrate this dimension will liberate the soul from the inner compulsion to seek; there will be no more inner emptiness, no more inner psychic hunger. The soul will be full and overflowing, and the abundance of her true nature will manifest in her as overflowing generosity. She cannot help but give, not because she wants to, but because she is authentically so rich she cannot help but overflow. Her generosity is fundamentally boundless, bounded only by her material circumstances. And she gives joyfully, with total gratitude and celebration.

The Hole of Divine Love

The theory of holes that we use in this teaching describes the process of filling a lack in our soul through substitution, activity or denial. When the filling with something other than what is actually missing is recognized and stopped, the lack or emptiness becomes apparent. This is what we call a hole in our consciousness: a place where some quality of our nature is not felt or experienced. Since the lack is painful or distressing, we cover it over by looking for a substitute or imitation on the outside to compensate for what’s missing. Stopping the looking allows the absence to be felt again, and that emptiness, once fully acknowledged, becomes the space within which the lost quality of our essence can arise. As long as we are denying the deficiency or attempting to fill the hole, this can’t happen.

So here, with this hole, the imitation is the usual experience of the personality in relationship to the usual universe. When we begin to question that, we start experiencing that we are Jabba the Hut relating to the physical universe, which appears to promise instinctual gratification for our physical, animal nature. As we stay with our inner Jabba, we experience an emptiness pervading everything, as the cosmic emptiness, the cosmic hole, which is the hole of divine love. If we don’t reject it, but allow it to be, then the quality that we have lost begins to arise and fill this whole emptiness. The arising quality of love will show us that it is the true nature of everything, including the nature of the soul. Seeing that allows the experience of your true identity as this love that everything is made of. Everything appears as one thing, and you are part of it. The individual soul is inseparable from the ground of true nature, revealed as divine love. We will experience, then, the true fluffiness, not the fake fluffiness. Jabba’s fat shell is fake fluffiness, it’s the fluffiness of the physical level. But the true fluffiness is divine love, which is soft, sweet, real and authentic, and it’s light. It’s light without being empty. When you’re Jabba the Hut with that fat shell, you may feel light, but that’s because you’re empty; there’s nothing to you, really.

The Whole Universe is Experienced as this Exquisite Sense of Purity

This quality directly reveals the fundamental benevolence of reality. When it is experienced as an aspect of presence affecting us as individual souls, we call it Living Daylight because of its palpable goodness, similar to the positive impact that sunlight has for all life on earth. It evokes in the soul a basic trust in the goodness of reality—a sense of safety, of relaxation, of support in the loving embrace of the universe. As a boundless dimension, it is a flowing, gentle and holding presence of love that is exceptionally fine and delicate, touching us with its sense of purity. The complete purity of this love has an exquisiteness and refinement that is hard to describe. It’s such a pure, selfless and completely motiveless kind of love, and so exquisitely subtle and refined that it’s difficult to call it anything but divine. This divine quality gives the love an incredible softness and gentleness, as well as an amazing beauty and sense of harmony. Its boundlessness is evident in the way this exquisite, delicate, soft, graceful, harmonious sense of sweetness and presence comes through everything. It comes through the walls and fills the air. It holds the earth, it holds the whole universe, pervading everything, constituting everything. It is omnipresent—it is literally everywhere and in everything. It is not somebody’s love. When we say divine love, we mean it’s the love of the divine being, and the divine being holds the whole universe. So the whole universe, all of physical reality, including human and all other beings, is experienced as this exquisite sense of purity, which is fresh and intensely sweet at the same time.

Transition of the Soul from Divine Love to Pure Presence

The transition from divine love, with its rich and fulfilling qualities, to pure presence, with its transparent simplicity, generally activates many issues and resistances in the soul. Although the realization of pure presence is undiluted bliss and freedom, it is a momentous loss for the soul that has become accustomed to the richness of divine love. The soul is not familiar with such simplicity and emptiness, and may resist it regardless of how wonderful and free it actually is. She has been attached to richness, color, quality, abundance, texture, flavor, and so on; these attachments now become obvious. Since the beginning of her essential development, and even before that, she has loved such rich textures and colors, the fluffiness and softness that goes with them. She loved and enjoyed all the sweet intimacies and juicy pleasures of life, and her essential development has magnified those pleasures a great deal. To the soul who has been enjoying this blessing, the transition to pure presence seems to mean losing love and all its wonderful qualities: sweetness, intimacy, richness, fullness, warmth, depth, texture, variety, color, and so on. Hence the soul resists the state of simple presence, resulting in contraction and disconnection from Being.

True Nature in Its Fullness

The dimension of divine love is the experience of true nature in its fullness, in its richness, in its abundance. The ocean of love is a rich and richly textured medium, like a boundless ocean of ambrosia, fluid and outflowing. Its outflow is manifestation, an unfolding juicy womb constantly birthing the universe. It is a total generosity, a giving out of substance, existence, life, forms, qualities, capacities, all as manifestations of love. The universe is so rich, so abundant with goodness and wonderful qualities and forms, that when the soul beholds it she cannot help but be completely fulfilled and satisfied, overflowing with deep and sweet gratitude. She now recognizes how impoverished her normal world has been, how empty and barren, and how unreal. She recognizes that this inherent abundance and richness has always been lying in her depths and at the base of all manifestation, but she did not see it because she was looking through filters that specifically filtered out the ground true nature. Belief in her separateness and pride in her independence have functioned as the primary obscurations that disconnected her from this heavenly world. Heaven, it turns out, is always here, but only the purified and sincere soul can enter it. And the price is her head, her independent selfhood.

We Cause Hurt to Ourselves and to Others if We Don’t Know Love as the Ground of Reality

The soft sweetness of Divine Love took us through some jarring turbulence. As our small flock – Hameed, Faisal, me, and a few unsuspecting students – took flight into the boundless skies, we were confronted with earthbound trusses that were limiting our freedom. To cruise beyond Earth’s orbit, we had to deal with the darkest of feelings: beastly hatred, mistrust of God, and the pessimistic outlook of ego towards this underlying positivity we were now present to. Also, being in touch with the vast generous and regenerative nature of unlimited love highlighted the ego’s greed, avarice, possessiveness, and disharmony. It takes time, but when we see that we are ultimately a benevolent presence, and that the true nature of all and everything is good, we understand that we cause hurt to ourselves and to others if we don't know love as the ground of reality. When we have embraced that new perspective, generosity becomes a way of living and we have a more comprehensive view of the world and its pain. The strife and discord of ordinary experience is no longer the only or truest reality for us because we now have the correct outlook: Our disconnection from the ground of love is the main source of agony, and we have ways to find our way back to it.

The Jeweled Path, pg. 222

What is the Experience of the Dimension of Divine Love?

Because this dimension of true nature is of the most pure and gentle love, it impacts the soul in ways she has always longed for but could not fully attain. Its softness is soothing, lulling the mind into rest, the body into natural relaxation, and the heart into serene openness. When touched by this amazingly soft and flowing medium one cannot help but let go and relax. Tensions naturally release, anxieties subside, concerns diminish, and activity becomes easygoing and carefree. One spontaneously feels at ease as if touched by a heavenly soothing hand, letting go like a baby responding to its loving mother’s intimate holding and comforting. A distinguishing characteristic of this dimension is a sense of being at ease and carefree. The body melts, as if it has been on a prolonged location in a tropical paradise, with one’s every need completely taken care of. There is not a worry in the world; instead there is complete security and safety, fullness and abundance. The soul lets go of all her protective and defensive devices and strategies, for in this realm there is no danger possible, and the heart is so secure and serene that even the concept of trouble does not exist. It is actually quite similar to how the infant human infant feels when it is completely taken care of, completely loved and cherished, with abundance of loving care all around, unquestionably available.

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