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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Innocence?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Innocence

Absolute Innocence Means that We Must Be Defenseless

So if you continue to perceive reality without knowing it, what is that? It is mysterious. Because we believe our dead world, our dead mind, we are afraid of this innocence. This innocence scares the hell out of us, scares the hell out of the person in the mind, because when it appears, this innocence has an effect like the sun coming out from behind the cloud: immediate incineration of the dark world. More specifically, to be innocent like that, to understand or to be in that condition of absolute innocence also means that we must be defenseless; we cannot be innocent and have defenses. We have to be absolutely without protection – even the protection of our ideas. We have to be completely vulnerable.

Innocence is One of the Qualities of Brilliancy

There is an innocence. Very good insight. Innocence is one of the qualities of Brilliancy. You have to be innocent to allow it. It’s like the innocence allows brilliancy to be organic and free flowing. You don’t expect the ideas that come and the Brilliancy in those ideas and the actions you then take. And that’s how children are in the beginning. They lose this living intelligence little by little; but in their early years, there is spontaneity and innocence as part of that intelligence. The kinds of things that kids come up with can amaze you, even shock you. Brilliancy, as you see, does need that flexibility and innocence. The rigidity that starts to set in as the ego develops tends to eliminate these qualities, tends to block them. And you can’t use your intelligence if you have to be rigid. The very nature of intelligence is that it opens up new possibilities and alternatives. You start to see various situations in creative and unexpectedly different ways.

Brilliancy, pg. 108

Innocence Means No Knowing, Complete Naiveté

Innocence means no knowing, complete naiveté. It is to be completely naive, as if you’ve never known anything. It is not that your mind is quiet; your mind hasn’t begun. There is consciousness, but prior to knowing. Your brain cells do not have information in them at all. Not only are you not thinking, thoughts are not in the brain cells. A cold wind has passed through your brain cells and cleansed them; they have become translucent. You need to be naive, completely helpless; but in a sense you are not helpless because you do not feel as if there is anything to do. You do not even know whether there is something to do or not do. You don’t even know what that means, to do or not do. Not only do you not know what that means, you haven’t even contemplated the question. You haven’t arrived at the place where you can think there is such a thing as doing. Your mind still hasn’t gotten to the future where there is something in the future that needs to be done. It is absolutely now, so completely now that not only are you in the present, so much now that there isn’t even the feeling that it is the present. You are without even the slightest, the vaguest beginning of an idea of future, or of time.


The Innocence of Absolute Openness

Openness can go further and further till it becomes absolute. Once it is absolute, it has no position. The greater this openness, and the deeper it is, the more our inquiry becomes powerful, effective, vital, and dynamic, and the more it explodes the manifestations of the ego-self. But we do not want to explode them to get someplace; we want to explode them to find out what is in them. We want to open up the wrapping of the gift because we want to see what is inside. When we are open, inquiry is merely the enjoyment of the exploration: having a good time experiencing the path and the terrain of unfoldment. It is an investigation, and an involvement in the investigation. Then there is a lightness to it instead of the dreary heaviness of trying to get someplace. Dreary heaviness means no openness. When inquiry embodies this openness, it becomes an exciting adventure. It is fun. This fun implies not-knowing, but this not-knowing is not a heavy kind of not-knowing, where there is anxiety and self-blame. It is the not-knowing that is the opening to knowing, the not knowing that eliminates the barrier—which is the accumulation of what you know. It is true not-knowing. It is innocence.





The Motiveless Interest in the Truth

At the beginning you use effort, and that is fine. You will continue using effort until you understand at some point that effort is a problem. You’ll see that it’s not a matter of stopping the effort. You cannot stop effort and you cannot stop desire. If you want to stop effort or desire, what are you doing? You’re engaging in the personality’s point of view. The only thing you can do is to understand the movement of effort. What we’re doing here is activating a flame, a flame which loves the truth. I’m not interested in teaching you to reject something or accept something else. There is a possibility of a certain perception, a certain way of living that is not based on anything in the personality—not on desire, effort, conflict, hope, search, past, future, any of that—but is a purely motiveless interest in the truth. That motiveless interest in the truth can be quite a relief. Imagine nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to achieve. Imagine yourself sitting sometime with nowhere to get to, no enlightenment to achieve, nothing to get rid of. Isn’t that a carefree attitude? That’s how we were when we were kids. We didn’t think we had a personality to get rid of. We had no idea that there was something like enlightenment or essence. We just did what we did and that was it. That’s the natural state, the state of innocence.

The Regaining of Original Innocence

When we allow what is there in our experience we are not rejecting the pain as we did when we were babies. It can become like it was before the pain and rejection, when you were a very young baby and were confident that when the pain came it would go away at some time. Even more than this: it is the regaining of original innocence through the development of confidence and basic trust. It is a return to the natural process: I eat, my belly is full, I digest the food, I shit it out. There is no desire, no hope, no rejection; the feelings and sensations come, they are experienced and assimilated, and what’s left over is discharged, washed away. Then there is spontaneity. Our work is learning how to be in the truth, how to surrender to the truth. You see, although we see acceptance in terms of washing away of tensions, which is a washing away of the personality contractions, it must begin with accepting the truth of those very contractions. So the attitude of complete acceptance and complete perception of the truth coincide. You cannot understand an experience if you are rejecting it, or rejecting part of it.

The Simplicity and Innocence of Just Simply Being

When one is completely being the Essential Identity, the experience no longer takes the form of being or seeing a point of light. The sense of size disappears, even the feeling of identity disappears. Self-realization becomes a matter of being, purely being, with an increasing understanding of what this means. There is a sense of simplicity and innocence, of just simply being. It is not a matter of being oneself and knowing this by reflecting on the experience of oneself. There is no reflection on the state, no desire to analyze it. There is a sense of being alone, without the concept or feeling of aloneness. The aloneness is the perception of oneself as pure, undefiled and uncontaminated. There is lightness and freedom. The mind is quiet and sometimes without thought. This is a delicate state of the Essential Identity and is very vulnerable to obscuration by concepts and ideas. Concepts and ideas—even those of enlightenment and liberation—tend to obscure this state, even to eliminate it. Words cannot totally capture it. It is being prior to conceptualization. More than all the discourses in the world, the clarity of this pure being illuminates the barriers against realizing it, gross and subtle. We begin to see that locating ourselves anywhere within the self-structure separates us from this simplicity. Any motive, any hope, any desire, any ego movement means identifying with the structured self, with the ego-self. Thus, any movement of rejection, choice, desire, motive, hope, preference, holding, grasping, trying or effort will separate the self from this simplicity of being.

The Very Essence of Innocence

I see through everything, through the surfaces of the various forms, and behold what underlies everything, what fundamentally constitutes all. I penetrate to the center of the universe, to the real nature of existence. What I behold baffles the mind, shatters it and enchants it beyond all knowing: The universe is one infinite perfect crystal, totally transparent, and absolutely clear. A density and immensity beyond comprehension, a solidity infinitely more fundamental than physical matter. The reality of the world is a solid transparency, a compact emptiness so clear it feels like the total absence of any sensation. This sheer clarity, this solid void, is so empty of mind and concept that it feels exhiliratingly fresh, so uncorrupted that it strikes me as the very essence of innocence. It is the virgin reality, before mind arises, before thought knows, before memory is born. . . . . The experience is not only visual or perceptual. It includes a feeling of delicious transport, of delight and release, of openness and lightness. It is a freedom beyond freedom, a place where no mind ever treads, where concepts are incinerated instantly with the ice coolness of an arctic wind. This coolness, that seems to pervade all of consciousness, is identical to the feeling of freshness, of newness, of virginity, of purity, of innocence. It is the total ecstasy of clarity.

What it Means to Regain Our Original Innocence

You might remember that when you were a very young child things seemed to be new. Things were fresh, they had some kind of openness and excitement about them. As a child, every time you go somewhere that you have never seen before—oh, new!—it is exciting. So maybe there is a wisp of a memory of what freshness is, of what innocence is. You have to be naive, unknowing, completely helpless, utterly defenseless. You have to be absolutely vulnerable. There is a sense of innocence and virginity, with the sense that everything is new and nothing has yet happened. So who you are is a very original reality—it hasn’t been broken. You become a window through which the day breaks. It is like the first moment of knowing there is anything. It is the dawn of consciousness, the daybreak of consciousness. There is just the slightest glimmer of perception, before you know that there is perception, before the mind creeps in with a layer of deadness. This is original reality, our original face. Clearly, there is no way that we can penetrate or open our eyes to that totally fresh, totally virginal, absolutely innocent reality unless we let ourselves be completely defenseless and vulnerable, with no ideas or preconceptions, without even a movement of mind or consciousness. Whatever we are, whatever we see, is spontaneous, the completely uncontrollable wild explosiveness of reality. Every second is a big bang, before anything got formulated yet. That’s what it means not to look through the mind. That’s what it means to be fresh; that’s what it means to regain our original innocence.

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