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Feeling (Pure Feeling)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Feeling (Pure Feeling)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Feeling (Pure Feeling)

The Feeling of an Essential Presence is Part of its Very Substance

The Essential Identity is a simple, pure sense of presence which feels like self, like “I.” It is so simple that it is a subtle matter to differentiate it from other feelings. It is what gives the self the capacity for self-recognition in the essential dimension. It is not the typical sense of identity that most of us know. The typical feeling of identity is only a reflection of the essential identity. When we say that the Essential Identity gives the self the feeling of identity, we do not mean that it is the usual kind of feeling, like an emotion or sensation. The feeling of an essential presence is part of its very substance; it is a quality of consciousness, a felt knowingness, a state with a recognizable quality. The closest we can come to describing the present quality is to call it a feeling of identity. We believe that this quality is the prototype of the feeling of identity. This pure feeling of identity is a basic self-existing category of experience. It is not a combination of feelings or images, or the result of such a combination. It is elemental; thus, we call it a Platonic form. The self’s feeling of identity in the presence of the Essential Identity is simple and immediate, unlike the normal sense of identity which is an affect based on past experience. Although this affect does differentiate each person’s sense of self from others, it is not as clear and definite as the sense of identity in the Essential Identity. The normal sense of identity is usually somewhat vague, and we do not generally become aware of it unless we experience its absence.

The Normal Feeling of Identity is Based on Memories of the Original Pure Feeling of Identity

The severity of narcissism depends not only on the extent of alienation from the essential presence in general, but also, and more specifically, on the extent of alienation from the Essential Identity. It is easy to see this in a very simple way. The Essential Identity is the factor responsible for the initial feeling of identity, that makes it possible for the child to develop and integrate the normal sense of identity. More specifically, the normal feeling of identity is based on memories of the original pure feeling of identity characterizing the experience of the Essential Identity. This means that the child’s final integration of this sense of identity will depend in part on the degree to which she experienced the Essential Identity in terms of frequency, duration, and depth.

The Sensation of Sensation, the Feeling of Feeling

Pure feeling turns out to be something like nondifferentiated sensation, just an ocean of sensations. We can be aware of the differences within this ocean but, if the conceptualizing mind is not operative, we simply experience the waves as inseparable from the ocean. We experience an expanse, a field with no boundaries and no content. We experience the sensation of sensation, the feeling of feeling, the consciousness of the expanse itself as an expanse of feeling or sensation. We are then experiencing pure consciousness, a field of presence that is self-aware. It is awareness of the presence of the field, with this presence being nothing but the ocean of sensation. The awareness of the field is identical to the field, for it is a field of awareness. There is no duality in the awareness or pure consciousness that is an expanse of sensation.

To Annihilate Mind in Heart is to Go to Pure Feeling

We are now approaching what the poem means by “annihilate mind in heart.” We need the belief in the existence of differentiated feelings to know and to express ourselves. To annihilate mind in heart does not advocate having feelings instead of thoughts. Annihilating mind in heart means going beyond differentiated feelings, which are inseparable from the sense of Entityhood which is itself a feeling differentiated and patterned by the idea of an independently existing entity. To move to the dimension of the night, we need to go beyond the experience of ourselves as an entity, which is a mentally determined perception based on the physical. To go into the night requires that we move beyond our normal conceptualizing mind. And without the concepts of this mind, there will be no differentiated feelings. So, to annihilate mind in heart is to go to pure feeling, which is beyond the feelings carved out by the conceptualizing mind. But what is feeling free from the conceptualizing mind? If we suspend our conceptualizing mind for a moment, we realize that the only thing we know for sure about our inner experience is that sensations arise. If, for a moment, we do not use the mind and do not say that this sensation is anger or hurt or fear, if we just forget about these names for a while, we will have the chance to see what “annihilate mind in heart” means. To see what heart without mind is, we need to be willing to let go of our sense of being an entity. When we do that and simply look at our feelings, what we actually experience is nothing but sensations.

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