A Boundless Spaciousness, Continuous with a Fullness of Presence
The presence of the Personal Essence allows the ego boundaries to melt and dissolve. Then one feels oneself as a full presence and a spaciousness. One is both the fullness and the openness. So instead of the contracting boundaries around one’s personal presence, one feels the openness, spaciousness, lightness and clarity of Space. The experience of the Personal Essence without boundaries is nothing but the experience of one’s personal presence in clear and empty space. One suddenly feels so much room, so much space, so much clarity, all around one. This is not even exact; one feels one is both the presence and the Space. There is no sense of boundaries, no sense of separateness. One is a boundless spaciousness, continuous with a fullness of presence. What a delight, what a joy and a lightness, is this personal presence without heaviness. One feels in direct open contact with everything, without barriers between one’s presence and the rest of the universe.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 409
A Quality of Experience Completely Incomprehensible to the Conceptual Mind
When we experience the absolute through the belly center, we experience it as a solid and immense presence, more substantial than any physical substance. We feel we are more fundamental, more basic, than anything else; all manifestation, including the physical world, appears as ephemeral and wispy. Yet, when we sense inside that we cannot find anything, there is no sensation of any quality. We are completely empty inside, so empty that our inside is total absence. The full impression is that we are so light and free because we are total absence; yet at the same time we are immense and solid for we are the most fundamental truth. We are both absence and presence, the emptiness of nonbeing and the fullness and solidity of being. Yet the fullness and solidity of being is not another quality added to the emptiness of nonbeing. The solidity feels more like full emptiness, solid absence. We are this solid nothingness, immense and immeasurable, and the universe is simply the glow of its intensity. When we are precise and exact in our understanding of the absolute nature, the solidity can attain a faceted and crystalline quality. We experience ourselves then as a crystalline absence, a clear and absolutely transparent immensity. This experience is completely paradoxical. We feel totally solid and full, with crystalline sharpness and clarity, yet simultaneously we feel so light, so empty, so not there, that we are the absolute absence of anything. We are both simultaneously, a quality of experience completely incomprehensible to the conceptual mind. Yet it is the most beautiful, the most aesthetically satisfying, and the most dazzling of perceptions. We feel fully present, but our presence is so smooth and crystalline because it is solid absence, with no coarseness and no opaqueness.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 395
Beginning to See and Appreciate the Energy, the Vitality, the Color, the Glow and the Intelligence of Life in Everyone
Life is a manifestation of a presence, a fullness that is clearly missing from a corpse. Living people still retain this fullness, and one might be able to distinguish it clearly from the energetic condition of a living body. Exploring the contrast between a corpse and living people can be an occasion to recognize what people actually are, to discern that they are souls, and to see clearly the characteristics of these souls. They seem to exude something, to have some kind of fullness and luminosity that seems to radiate from their pores. The corpse is missing this quality, this presence. The moment we recognize the living soul it becomes possible for us to see others as souls, and not just bodies. We may begin to see and appreciate the energy, the vitality, the color, the glow, and the intelligence of life in everyone. We can come to appreciate these qualities as manifestations of the presence of the soul, rather than viewing them as properties of the body. Recognizing in this way what a human being is naturally brings us to a deeper respect for people, and an appreciation of humanness.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 123
Being is Simply an Appearance in the Ground
The fullness and thereness of the ground of reality, which we can call Being, is not being in the sense of a being that continues in time. The Being of reality is not like a bird that emerges in space, that exists on its own, as its own identified existence. Being is simply an appearance in the ground. The bird is simply a form that the ground takes. And, as it manifests, the form has a sense of presence. The form is there. If we experience it immediately, we experience its thereness. But how can that be? We’ve just said that the deepest truth about the nature of reality is complete emptiness and nonbeing. Now we say that the form is actually there. The intriguing mystery is that the nature of forms, the nature of the body, the nature of consciousness, the nature of all phenomena, include both emptiness and presence, both Being and nonbeing, in a mysterious juxtaposition. This interpenetration of Being and nonbeing in reality is even more mysterious than pure or nonconceptual awareness. Pure awareness is an aware ground, an aware medium that doesn’t know what it is aware of and doesn’t discern one thing from another. By nonconceptual I do not simply mean not mental, not constructed. I mean the barest minimum of sensitivity, the ground that is simply the capacity to be aware, to perceive. Therefore, by nonconceptual we mean noncognitive. There is perception, but there is no knowing, no cognition of any kind. Although we see that nonconceptual awareness is both emptiness and presence, both Being and nonbeing, we cannot say this in the actual experience of nonconceptual awareness. We cannot say anything, because pure awareness lacks recognition, lacks knowing.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 354
Essence is a Fullness, Something More Substantial than Space
It is in the nature of physical space that it can coexist with the body. The body occupies a region of space, but this is not like the liquid in the bowl. The body does not displace space. The body and space overlap and occupy the same place. This is because they exist in different dimensions. Physical space and physical matter can occupy the same location because they are two different dimensions of existence. It is the same with essence and the body. Essence is within us just as space is within us. It is on a different dimension from the body. Essence is a different order of existence from the body, and it is in this sense that it is within us. Yet this analogy fails to do justice to the actual relationship between essence and the body. Because we usually think of space as a nonexistence, we find it easy to imagine space and the body coexisting in the same location. However, essence is not a nonexistence. It is not empty the way physical space is. It is, on the contrary, a fullness. It is something much more substantial than space. It has a substantiality similar to the physical body but in a different dimension. In fact, essence is experienced as a kind of a substance but on a different order of existence from physical matter.
Feeling You’re Losing Whatever is Filling Your Holes
When you relate to someone in a deep way, you fill your holes with the other person. Some of your holes get filled with what you believe you’re getting from the other person. For example, you may feel valued because this person appreciates you. You don’t know consciously that you’re filling the hole with their appreciation. But when you are with that person, you feel valuable, and unconsciously you feel the other person is responsible for your value. Whatever this person is giving you feels like a part of you; it is part of the fullness that you experience. Your unconscious does not see that part of the person that makes you feel valuable as separate; you see it as part of you. When the person dies or the relationship ends, you don’t feel that you’re losing that person; you feel you’re losing whatever is filling the hole. You experience the loss of a part of yourself. That is why it is so painful. It feels like you’re being cut and something is being taken out of you. That’s what the wound and the pain are about—the hurt of loss. You may feel as if you lost your heart, your security, your strength, your will—whatever the person fulfilled for you. When you lose a person close to you, you feel whatever hole that person has filled. That’s one thing people are talking about when they say that we “fit” each other. Each person fits the other’s holes. This fits into this hole, that fits into that hole. When two people live together, they may feel full and complete because they feel themselves as complementary; together they make a unified whole.
Diamond Heart Book One, pg. 18
Fulfilling Desires that Arise from the Unconscious is not the Same Fufillment as We Experience in Essential Life
Most people don’t understand this. They think they can achieve contentment, love, and happiness by getting this or that. They want the right kind of body, the right kind of lover, the right house. When you see what you can experience in the realm of Essence, you see that these things are peanuts. Absolutely nothing. It’s a degradation of human life to prefer these things over what is possible for Essence. When you align yourself with the truth, then beauty, majesty, nobility, fullness, pleasure, joy, and love are all available to you. The more you see your essence, the more you see that what you wanted before was nothing. When you get deeper and deeper into your essence, you enter into the universal levels of essential reality where the beauty, fulfillment, and possibility are beyond human imagination. There is no way for the mind to grasp it. As you actualize your Personal Essence, you can bring that fullness into your life. Then everything in your life—your work, your job, your relationship with your lover, children, friends—can become filled with Essence rather than substituting for Essence. The point is to realize Essence in your life; that’s why we’re here. We’re not here to suffer. We’re not here just to work or raise children. We’re here to completely fulfill our potential. We are here to learn what it’s like to be really human. It is very rare to know what it’s like to be a complete, mature human being. Fulfilling desires that arise from the unconscious is not the same fulfillment as we experience in essential life. The unconscious believes that fulfillment has to do with what others give us, think of us, or feel toward us. The unconscious is rarely focused on being itself. It is focused on the mind’s desires, expectations, projections, and memories.
Diamond Heart Book One, pg. 75
Fulfillment is Nothing but the Fullness of Our Presence
This world we live in, the world of appearance and everything that is in it, has nothing wrong with it. In a sense, it is neutral in that things are neither good nor bad. What makes it a place of suffering is that we are not present in it; what makes it a place of fulfillment is that we are present in it. For fulfillment is nothing but the fullness of our presence.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 34
Fullness of Being and Nothingness of Space are Two Inseparable Sides of the Same Presence, of the Same Perception and Sensation
Fullness of Being and nothingness of space are two inseparable sides of the same presence, of the same perception and sensation. Each side may dominate experience, depending on the particulars of experience. Sometimes we feel ourselves as the boundless truth in its full beingness; at those times, we feel the whole world as the fullness of Being, real and substantial. We are the solid ground of everything, the true existence of all forms and appearances. At other times, we feel light and empty, like a boundless nothingness. Everything is nothing, where the nothing is what truly is. Nothing has any substance or sense of existence; all forms appear as empty appearances, like a mirage reflected in the clarity of nothingness. We feel like nothing, totally light and empty. But it is a wonderful emptiness, for it is a lightness and delight, a freedom and release. There is no heaviness or depression of any kind, not even the weighty fullness of presence. We are lighter than light, emptier than space, a nothing that is the ground of all things. Sensing ourselves, there is nothing to find, just a lightness and an infinite openness. At the same time by remaining with this nothingness we realize it is also fullness, beingness, and presence. The dimension of pure presence is the beginning of the paradoxes of Being, where logical dichotomies no longer hold. Being and nothing are not two things here, for they have not yet been differentiated for the conceptual mind to make them into a dichotomy.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 305
Fullness of the Personal Essence
The Personal Essence fullness is the presence of consciousness in a unique sensation of firmness, strength, smoothness, dense fluidity and flexibility. One experiences oneself as a full and rounded presence, like a firm, strong and well-developed muscle, vibrant with robust life and sensuous pleasure. One is truly full for one is the consciousness of fullness itself. There is no deficiency or lack. One is the sensuousness, the smoothness, the firmness, the robustness, the aliveness, which are not characteristics of some object, but are the actual constituents of the beingness and substance of the Personal Essence itself. These characteristics of the consciousness of the Personal Essence are not described here in a metaphorical or allegorical way. Certain aspects are described in some of the more esoteric areas of the traditional spiritual literature, Taoist and Sufi for example, and these descriptions are very like much of the experience of many of our students, who show a remarkable consistency in their reports in this regard.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 65
Life Becoming Full of Meaning, for it Embodies, then, the Fullness of Our Soul
This line of thought demonstrates that in some fundamental and literal sense our life is our soul. Our life is constituted by the various forms that arise in our consciousness, which is our soul. Our life is actually the transformations and unfoldment of the soul. This is the essence of our life, the felt core of our experiences. To put it differently, our life is the life of the soul, where the life of the soul is her flow and unfoldment. This understanding brings our life closer to home. To recognize this truth helps us to feel our life directly, rather than knowing it as dispersed into various pieces of content. With this understanding and recognition, life becomes more direct, more experiential, more intimate. It is no longer the rarified life of the discursive mind that takes its life to be the external content it reifies and conceptualizes. The perspective of the life of the soul that we present here can allow us to know our lives as integrated into a unified current, an unfolding stream of continual actualization. Our life becomes full of meaning, for it embodies then the fullness of our soul. As our inner journey progresses and our soul unfolds, this way of understanding life begins to prevail. We become so attuned to the actual field of the soul, so present as the conscious presence of the soul, that this field of presence becomes the center of life, the actual substance of life. It is then the current that fills and impregnates all the external situations that we conventionally call our life. We then are present in our contexts; we are the embodiment of life.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 114
Seeking, By Its Nature, is a Movement Away from the Fullness of Reality
To the extent that we live from the perspective of trying to find fulfillment, or from trying to get better, we live in an empty world. However, if we just rest, forget all the searching and give up the seeking, the world becomes beautiful and full. When you are seeking, you separate your consciousness, your soul, from your being, from your source, so that your whole perception then is perception devoid of being. Regardless of what you acquire or achieve, you are poverty-stricken because you are operating from an impoverished perspective. In this situation, you can only perpetuate your impoverished point of view. That seeking, by its nature, is a movement away from the fullness of reality and the source of pleasure, peace, or whatever is so feverishly being sought. Reality can’t be reached by seeking; you do not see it because you are seeking for something else. Whatever you are seeking, it could seem more and more refined, or closer to the truth, or closer to fulfillment, but none of this will make a difference. It is the activity of seeking that matters; no matter what you seek, this activity is the same. You might be seeking your father’s approval, or a lover, or success in your work, or enlightenment. It is all seeking, so it is all the same. In all seeking, and in the activity inherent in seeking, there is an assumption that you are deficient. This is one way the activity of seeking reinforces the sense of poverty. My observation is that regardless of how many times a person hears this, or even realizes it, he tends to continue behaving in a way that implies deficiency. This is a deep conviction: that we are fundamentally deficient, that we do not have anything good or real. From this ingrained perspective, the good stuff is always somewhere else; it can be found only somewhere else or sometime in the future or even the past.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 22
Soul’s Realization of Liberated Indifference
To be established in the nonconceptual is to attain an inconceivable freedom. The soul realizes her nature in such a way that she does not need to know what it is. She does not need to know she is enlightened. She is beyond the concept of enlightenment and liberation. She is innocent, not knowing she is enlightened, and not caring to know. She has attained liberated indifference, for the fullness of realization takes her to such completion that there is no distinction between falsehood and truth, soul and essence, enlightenment or delusion. There is no reflection on one’s realization, no excitement about it, no narcissistic congratulations, and no need to talk about it. One is, Reality is thus, and one goes about one’s business. The aspirant’s mind is open and free, totally unencumbered by any position, philosophy, or system. He has no perspective that he takes to be ultimate and final. Yet, he is free to use any system. Since he is established in the nonconceptual he sees all perspectives for what they are, conceptual perspectives, and hence not ultimate truth. But because he can use his discriminating mind, he can see when a given perspective is useful or necessary for some functioning or teaching, and is free to use it. Nevertheless, he uses it without having to believe it is ultimate and can drop it whenever it becomes unnecessary. He needs no perspective for his own experience, for he lives where no perspective can enter. Although he understands the need for the correct perspective for those who have not attained the nonconceptual, he recognizes that what is necessary for the soul’s freedom is not a particular perspective, but liberation from all conceptual limitations.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 341
Space Itself can Develop into a Form that is Neither Empty Nor Full
Our main interest here, however, is not in the golden merged state but in space and its connection to merging. The fact that, in some cases, the emptiness of space leads into a fulfilling golden fullness gives us a glimpse of the further uses of space, of the creative aspect of space. The golden fullness is not the only fruit of the creativity of space. We have discussed it briefly only as an example to illustrate the creative dimension of space. The creativity of space is boundless. In fact, the experience of space itself can develop and deepen into a higher form of space, a space that is neither empty nor full. It is a dimension of space where the physical boundaries of the body are not erased by emptiness, but experienced as space itself. In this case, space simultaneously holds two opposites: emptiness and fullness. It feels empty and light, but also feels full and has density. Space here is not an absence, but a presence. This is unfamiliar for the ordinary mind. However, this unfamiliarity is only a boundary that can be dissolved, or in this case itself seen as a space. This phenomenon is known in Buddhism and referred to as the unity of emptiness and form. The prajna-paramita sutra says: “Form is empty, emptiness is form; form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form.” (Chogyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, p. 188.)
The Void, pg. 65
The Pearl is Itself Fullness
Some people interested in inner development try to become objective and impersonal, to move away from identifying with the personality. The personality is personal, and so the personal feeling is mistrusted and avoided. However, the pearl beyond price feels personal without being the personality. It has the capacity to make a personal contact with another human being and still be free, totally unconditioned, free from the past and its influences. It is the most personally intimate aspect of oneself. Everyone recognizes what it is when he first sees it. Sometimes even the vaguest perception of it brings out the exclamation “but this feels like me, intimately me.” And yet it is not selfish like the personality. The personality is based on deficiency, and this is the source of its selfishness. But the pearl is based on true value and true fullness. In fact, it is itself fullness. All of essential development is ultimately the development of the pearl. All of the essential aspects are for the pearl, for the life, use, enjoyment, and fulfillment of the pearl. That is why in the stories it is represented as a princess of unsurpassable beauty. The joy of the essence is its joy. The love is its love. The pleasure of the essence is for it, the majesty of the essence is its grandeur, the beauty of the essence is it, itself.
The Subtle Nature of Reality is Not Only Radiance, but Radiance that Has Fullness and Thereness
The deepest ontological truth about this emptiness of the ground, this openness, this spaciousness, is nonbeing, which is very difficult for most of us to understand. Nonbeing confounds the mental faculties. At the same time that nothing exists, experience arises and forms manifest. For forms to manifest, they manifest being; they manifest presence. Forms are not simply constructed by our individual mind; they are truly manifesting in the field, as a kind of beingness that we experience as presence, as a subtle fullness of the luminosity. The subtle nature of reality is not only radiance, but radiance that has fullness and thereness. The fullness and thereness of the ground of reality, which we can call Being, is not being in the sense of a being that continues in time. The Being of reality is not like a bird that emerges in space, that exists on its own, as its own identified existence. Being is simply an appearance in the ground. The bird is simply a form that the ground takes. And, as it manifests, the form has a sense of presence. The form is there. If we experience it immediately, we experience its thereness. But how can that be? We’ve just said that the deepest truth about the nature of reality is complete emptiness and nonbeing. Now we say that the form is actually there. The intriguing mystery is that the nature of forms, the nature of the body, the nature of consciousness, the nature of all phenomena, include both emptiness and presence, both Being and nonbeing, in a mysterious juxtaposition.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 354
When the Personality Realizes that It Itself is the Barrier to the Life of Fullness and Abundance
Therefore, it is extremely difficult for the personality, and especially for the ego identity (self-concept), to loosen its grip and let go when it believes that only lack and emptiness will result. It knows, although vaguely and unconsciously, that richness and fulfillment are possible, and it continues to hold out for them. However, if the essential aspects are uncovered and the various functions of essence realized, it is much easier for the personality to let go. The personality then will not be letting go out of desperation and hopelessness. It will let go because of understanding. It will melt away because it will see that its life is suffering and that the fulfillment of the life of essence is impeded by its own very existence. The personality will realize that it itself is the barrier to the life of fullness and abundance. It will see the necessity of its own death. It will long for it. And then it will not only disintegrate into emptiness, it will melt and disappear into the sweet honey of the divine essence.
You Need to go Beyond Looking at Yourself from the Perspective of Deficiency Versus Fullness
But this still does not come from the heart of truth. This heart will say to the truth, “Take me, get rid of me, I just want you to be there, whatever you are.” The heart feels, “I really don’t know what the truth is, but whatever it is, I wouldn’t mind if it just takes over and only the truth remains. I do not even know what or where it is. Is it outside, inside, here, elsewhere—who knows? I love it, I love it so much I do not care what will happen, whatever it is.” If you do not feel this unconditional passion for the truth, if you are unwilling to submit completely to the truth, you remain a worshipper of belief, what was in the old days called the worshipper of idols, an infidel. If you are going to wake up, you will need to eliminate all your beliefs, all your ideas, all your needs, all your desires, so that you simply wake up and see the truth. You wake up as the truth. You need to go beyond looking at yourself from the perspective of deficiency versus fullness, from concerns about whether you are good or bad, weak or strong, small or large. All these things are just part of the self-centered perspective. What really matters? What does it matter, ultimately, whether you have a year or two of depression or misery, if ultimately you are the totality of the whole universe? What difference does it make whether you are living in a wonderful palace or a little cottage, if you realize that who you are, what you are, is the immensity from which the totality of the universe arises?