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Inner Perception

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Inner Perception?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Inner Perception

Direct Recognition of the Conscious Presence, which is the Soul, Gives Us a New Ability to Understand Our Capacity for Inner Perception

However, in the course of many meditative and some philosophical approaches to knowledge, we begin to move from this conventional view, to challenge this assumption of a separate observer. When we say, “I feel compassionate,” or “I have a headache,” or even “I see a dog,” we know we can become clearer about what is this compassion, where in the head it hurts, or what sort of dog we are seeing. But the “I” who is feeling or hurting or seeing is, as we said, usually vague and in the background. We don’t think to ask, what is this “I” who feels or hurts or sees? This is a central element in many paths: beginning to explore what is the location of experience, and to appreciate the field of awareness itself as the ground and medium of perception and experience. Direct recognition of the conscious presence, which is the soul, gives us a new ability to understand our capacity for inner perception. When we recognize that this field is a presence that is ontologically more fundamental than inner content, we understand that the content must be arising within this field. 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.

If You Use the other Capacities of Inner Perception but Not the Inner Touch, You Won’t be Embodying Essence

Any of the subtle capacities provides our experience in general, and inquiry in particular, with a discrimination that wasn’t available before, a discrimination that is necessary for our understanding to go beyond the physical and emotional realms. How can our inquiry penetrate the essential realm if we don’t have the capacity to perceive that realm and discern its characteristics? With the inner touch, you can discern each aspect and differentiate it from the others. You can also distinguish each whole dimension of Being from the others by using this capacity to discriminate essential sensation. The inner touch is also necessary for the embodiment of Essence. If you use the other capacities of inner perception but not the inner touch, you won’t be embodying Essence. You will be experiencing it more psychically—perhaps as an image, sound, or smell—in a disembodied fashion. This points to the fact that essential presence, and the presence of the soul itself, has a texture. We say that the soul sometimes feels like a flowing plasma. Plasma is physical; it has substance and texture. When the soul is transformed by an essential state, this texture of the presence may get smoother to the point of complete fluidity, so that it feels just like mercury. At another time, it cleanses all of you and feels like a delicate, pure oil, which is the essential anointing of the soul.

If Your Perception is Unobscured by Your Beliefs, Your Inner Perception Becomes Unblocked and the Universe Looks Quite Different

The most important understanding of Holy Truth is that physical reality and true existence are not separate. Physical reality is made up of objects which can be discriminated. If you perceive the world exclusively through the physical senses, you perceive only discrete objects, such as people, trees, animals, rocks, clouds, oceans, earth. If you experience this level only, which is the basis of the egoic perspective, the universe that you see is dualistic. But if your perception is unobscured by your beliefs, your inner perception becomes unblocked, and the universe looks quite different. If your perceptual capacities are clear, you recognize that other dimensions exist in addition to physical reality, such as love, Beingness, and awareness. At this level of perception, you see that there is only one existence, one homogeneous medium. This medium encompasses physical reality, which is one particularization of it. Objects are seen as objects, but they are not discrete—they are more like waves on the surface of an ocean, lacking existence without the whole of the ocean. So differentiations exist, but not ultimate divisions.

Facets of Unity, pg. 86

In the Dissolution of a Self-Boundary there Usually Involves, Sooner or Later. a Sense of Expansion, of Experiencing Oneself as More Spacious

Since our interest here is the nature of the mind, we will concern ourselves more with a person’s inner perception of himself than with external changes. A person whose “weak” self-image is dissolving sees and feels that he is “stronger,” more capable, freer. His direct sense of himself, his inner experience, is of greater relaxation and decreased tension, both mental and physical. As a result, especially when this change of self-image is accepted, he feels his body and mind are more comfortable, bigger, roomier, more expanded. In the dissolution of a self-boundary there usually involves, sooner or later, a sense of expansion, of experiencing oneself as more spacious. Of course, it is likely that anxieties will arise in response to the expansion, anxieties which will be experienced as contraction, particularly in borderline personality structures, as we will discuss later. For now, we will consider only the relatively stable psychic structure. We want to stress this experience of expansion, not just in the field of action in the world, but more significantly for our discussion, in the intimate experience of one’s body and mind. The body feels roomier and the mind less cluttered and more open. In our example, we see a direct relation between the removal of self-boundaries and the experience of greater freedom and spaciousness. This is a very consistent phenomenon in persons involved in psychotherapy or spiritual work. It is in fact safe to assert that the sense of spaciousness is directly proportional to the expansion of self-boundaries.

The Void, pg. 18

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