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Error (Momentous Error)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Error (Momentous Error)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Error (Momentous Error)

At Some Point We Start Seeing and Believing the Reality which is Our Conditioned Mind

It is our lot as human beings to fall into a momentous error. This error is so momentous that we not only end up not knowing and not recognizing who or what we are, but we end up not seeing the world around us as it is. We are born with physical bodies, and we grow up little by little to become independent, functioning human beings, and through this long process mind develops. At some point we see ourselves not as the reality that we truly are, that we were born as, but we start seeing and believing the reality which is our conditioned mind. Our awareness of our true reality and potential is so fragile, so delicate, so pure, that even in the moment we notice it, it disappears. The moment you begin knowing you are here, the moment consciousness dawns and self-reflection starts and knowing happens, you’re gone, you’re lost. What you are, what reality is—gone. Completely gone. You cannot say that it is forgotten, because it is not really a content of your mind. It just becomes unperceived and unperceivable. A certain natural development of the mind, of our cognitive and functional capacities, is necessary to enable us to live and to function. However, this development tends to establish us in a perspective which is not an accurate reflection of reality. This perspective tends to exclude some aspects of reality and emphasize others, and the perspective that allows us to function in the world tends to become the only reality that we perceive. We take a very small part to be the whole. This loss is much more momentous than can be imagined from the perspective of conventional reality. So your mind and personality develop, and you end up being the personality, the ego-self, living in the world of the mind. The personality is the creation of the mind. The representational mind is itself a mental creation. So you end up being a ghost, living in a ghost world. That ghost world is dark compared to reality—not only dark, but dank and old. It is merely a repeat of previous thoughts. We forget reality so thoroughly that we live our lives completely seeking the values of our conditioned mind, one conditioned goal after another, whether we call it goodness, love, success, or happiness. All these are creations of our minds. They do not exist; they never existed. They exist only in our minds. They are mirages. We seek them all our lives, and when we find them, we find that there is nothing there.

Taking Reflection to Be Reality

We can see more clearly now the momentous error I talked about at the beginning; you fall into this error by taking the reflection to be the reality. The world you see is a reflection like a reflection in water. You want to solidify the reflection to make it reality, but then you are not seeing what reality is, without which there would be no reflection. Reality has nothing to do with what will happen and what will not happen, what has happened and what is going to happen; here, even the word “happen” has no meaning. It is possible to be aware of reality before having words of any sort, before the dawn of cognition, before the beginning of thinking and conceptualization. Everything else is a repetition of the past, of ideas, images, and feelings from the past. 

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