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Inner Forms

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Inner Forms?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Inner Forms

By Coming in Touch with the Inner Field of Presence We May See How Our Consciousness Functions

Inner content does not enter consciousness from somewhere else. It arises in the field of consciousness itself, as the field modifying itself at the particular region the content arises. In other words, content arises within the field of consciousness as part of the field. Content is composed of particular forms the consciousness assumes at certain regions of its presence. Such a form could be a feeling, like warm kindness or anger. It can be a thought, a word, or a string of words. It can be an image, with or without colors. It can be inner movement, as in the kinesthetic sense. It can be inner sounds, tastes, or smells, as in imagination or memory. All these are inner forms that arise in our consciousness. We normally think of them as entering our consciousness, happening to us, or that we actively produce them. We do not see them as forms arising through our inner field of consciousness plastically changing itself to create them out of its very substance. We do not see this process of inner creation because we are not in touch with the field directly, so we end up perceiving only the forms it takes. By coming in touch with the inner field of presence, we have the wonderful opportunity of seeing how our consciousness functions to create its own inner forms. Not only does our field of consciousness manifest forms by morphing itself; it also perceives these manifestations. These forms are perceived not through the operation of looking at them from a distance, but by immediate awareness. Our soul is aware of her inner content by being inside all of the manifesting forms. Her conscious field completely pervades all forms completely and thoroughly, since it constitutes the totality of each form. And, being pure consciousness, the soul knows these forms directly and in the present moment. This is what we call noesis.

Experiencing Presence as the Substantial Existence of Various Inner Forms

For a long time my inner experience has included a dimension that can best be described as alchemical. “Alchemical” describes the sense of my own presence as different substantial qualities which transform. It began when I first discovered that I could experience presence instead of only feelings and thoughts. I saw also that I could experience this presence as the substantial existence of various inner forms. The presence sometimes takes the form of naturally occurring substances, like lead, iron, gold, mercury, wood, water, air, clouds, bone, diamonds, pearls, and so on. The experience is not exactly the same as seeing or touching these naturally occurring manifestations, but of qualities of consciousness that take forms that feel or look like these phenomena. I experience inner sensations of texture and temperature, taste, sight and sound, which correspond exactly to the naturally manifesting substances, although it is clear that they are manifestations of consciousness. This kind of experience is unusual in our everyday awareness, but this realm of experience becomes available at a certain depth of spiritual development, and in time becomes a normal part of ongoing experience. This dimension of perception greatly enriches our understanding, and endows it with a definiteness and precision not available in normal experience, for each form expresses a specific meaning. Some of these forms are the basis of metaphors in various languages. For example, when we feel “crystal clear” it is possible to perceive that this is the effect of an arising presence in the form of a faceted diamond in the head. These meanings can be known precisely only through the operation of the diamond-like nous.

Presence Unifies its Various Manifestations in a Wholeness

Perceiving the constant, dynamic creativity of presence displaying the richness and color of all manifestation, we see that everything is unified, making up a harmonious whole. The underlying presence—a nondual medium —unifies its various manifestations in a wholeness that cannot be imagined in an ordinary state of mind. In normal experience we perceive inner forms as objects, separate from each other and existing in some unobservable way in the mind, the body, or the self. Discrete thoughts seem unconnected to the body; feelings are connected only through association; images in the mind seem to pop up from nowhere. This experience is fragmented compared to the awareness of unity. In full self-realization we not only experience our essential nature—the primordial presence; we also experience the wholeness of the self; nothing is excluded. This integration is not mental, nor is it a product of integrating separate objects. We merely perceive ourselves as we are, in our totality and wholeness.

The Silence and Stillness of the Absolute Means that there is no Inner Content

Therefore, the absolute is the absence of all the components that give us the sense of self. The silence and stillness of the absolute means that there is no inner content, no inner forms, not even sensation. There is absolutely nothing upon which to base a sense of self. There is no sense of boundary or image, no sense of center or existence, and hence nothing to give us the feeling of self. We experience ourselves as totally selfless, completely devoid of self. There is absolutely nothing, and such nothing is the source and nature of all our manifestations; it simply witnesses them. There is no sense of a self that experiences or is aware of manifestations or movements. More precisely, to experience the absolute is to experience the absence of self, person, entity, soul, essence, substance, presence. We realize very distinctly that the sense of the entity of the self is actually a result of holding different things together with some sort of glue. The glue is the concept of entity, giving the illusion of entitihood. When this holding is relaxed, then nothing remains; there does not remain even a sense of being. In other words, when we realize our deepest nature we realize it is pure and absolute selflessness. We have nothing inside, even though we are the source and ground of all existence. We are not a self, and do not have a self. We are the mystery of nonbeing, the absence of any basis for self or personality.

Unfoldment of the Soul

The objective inner balance in the journey of the soul challenges her rigidity and fixation, exposing that at the apex of this tendency is her ego identity. It reveals how the unfoldment of the soul can move most optimally when it is balanced and not fixated, when there is a total flexibility in the inner forms that the soul can manifest and assume. This understanding challenges the ego identity, which normally requires rigid and fixed forms to recognize itself. The arising of the diamond dome exposes the ego identity as the primary issue for the state of essential balance, and hence as the central issue for the diamond dome. This diamond vehicle manifests here the wisdom of its various diamonds, revealing how each essential aspect can be a path toward ego death, the transcendence of the ego identity.

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