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Knowledge (Pure Knowledge)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Knowledge (Pure Knowledge)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Knowledge (Pure Knowledge)

A Source of Pure and Real Knowledge

The Diamond Guidance functions as a source of pure and real knowledge, new basic knowledge, completely fresh discrimination. Because it is made up of elements that are each gnostic, or direct, knowledge about an essential aspect, the Diamond Guidance becomes a source of knowledge about anything it touches in our experience. Real knowledge is not only basic knowledge, but basic knowledge that is free from ordinary knowledge and that originates in reality.

By Dissolving or Parting the Veil of Ordinary Knowledge, You Start Looking Directly, Immediately and Intimately and the Experience is Now More Purely Basic Knowledge

We have seen that inquiry will remain limited as long as it is understood as a means for attaining the personal goals that we adopt on the basis of our ordinary knowledge, for our personal goals are based on what we believe we already know, on our already possessed knowledge. Since our goals are based on this knowledge, if we believe that the purpose of inquiry is to fulfill these goals, our inquiry is bound to be narrow and limited. A more encompassing and open inquiry will disclose to us a discriminating knowingness not bound by ordinary knowledge and its positions, but simply aware whenever positions are in operation. The more open your inquiry becomes, the more you are able to see how ordinary knowledge creates a film through which you are always peering into what you are experiencing right now. Through inquiry, you open up this recognition, this basic knowledge; it begins to become available. By dissolving or parting the veil of ordinary knowledge, you start looking directly, immediately, and intimately, and the experience is now more purely basic knowledge. Observer and observed dissolve. This movement, which is a transformation of awareness, happens through understanding.

Essence Actually Exists Just as Honey Exists

When we say the Sarmoun Darq stores human knowledge, we do not mean information. Information can be collected in books. There is no need to form a school or a secret society to store information. Unlike information, this knowledge is material in the way that honey is material. The knowledge is actually collected in the same way that bees collect nectar from flowers and change it into honey. This is why the school is called The Beehive; its function is to collect all kinds of nectars—aspects of essential knowledge. The members have the capacity to concentrate it and change all the aromatic, beautiful nectars into very thick, sweet honey which they can then store in special flasks. When the right time comes, the flasks are opened and the knowledge is given out according to what is needed. The nectars are the different aspects of knowledge about Essence, and the honey is the distilled pure knowledge of Essence. The image of the bees and the honey and the hive and the nectar is the closest description of the actual reality of the school. It is the closest description of the actual reality because knowledge of Essence is material that can be collected, concentrated, and distilled. This becomes obvious when we understand that Essence actually exists just as honey exists, just as nectars exist. The real knowledge about Essence is Essence itself. Essence is itself the knowledge.

Experiencing the Soul as Pure Knowledge

In other words, the forms are literally forms of knowledge, constituted by knowledge. The forms are sculpted knowledge. It is as if knowledge is the potential of the dark room that can manifest, lighting up in a display of forms of knowledge. It is difficult to envision this kind of knowledge, mostly because what we have for a long time taken to be knowledge is only a subset of a much larger field of knowledge, a subset that has become increasingly alienated from its ground of pure knowledge. When we are able to experience our soul directly, and recognize the knowledge dimension of consciousness, that of basic knowledge, we may have the opportunity to discern the nature of its mode of consciousness, the essence of knowledge. This is a particular experience of the soul, where we experience the soul as pure knowledge. This is not a matter of experiencing and cognizing a form arising in the field of the soul; it is experiencing the field itself as knowledge. It is presence, and the presence is knowledge. The soul experiences herself as a presence aware of its presence, with an awareness inseparable from and coemergent with presence. Simultaneously with this awareness of presence there is, inseparable from and coemergent with this awareness, the recognition of this presence as knowledge. It is like a medium, such as a perfumed oil, made out of knowledge. It is as if the atoms of the oil are knowledge. It is both the capacity of cognition, the faculty of knowing, and the presence of knowledge itself. This is similar to our understanding of consciousness, in which we see that the presence of pure consciousness is both a medium of sensitivity and, because of that, the capacity to be conscious of something.

In the Knowledge Dimension of Consciousness the Soul is Pure Knowledge

This mind experiment can give us a sense of what we mean by potential knowledge. So far we have used the term knowledge mainly to mean the discriminating knowing of the forms of our experience. However, since everything is knowledge, the very substance of the forms is also knowledge. Knowledge is not only awareness of the details, but it is literally everywhere. There is knowledge even in regions where we do not discern forms. In other words, in the knowledge dimension of consciousness the soul is knowledge. The whole fabric, the conscious presence itself—not the patterns and forms—is pure knowledge. For how can there be forms of knowledge manifesting out of, without dissociating from, a medium, if this medium itself is not knowledge? Knowledge is not only recognition of forms; it is more basically a particular mode of consciousness, in the sense that love is a mode of consciousness. This mode of consciousness is what makes it possible for our soul to know, and to manifest forms of knowledge

In this Dimension of Pure Basic Knowledge, Knowing and Concept are the Same; Cognition is Simply the Presence of a Basic Concept Clothing Presence

Pure being is true nature inseparable from its basic knowingness, which is itself a cognitive dimension. More precisely, pure nondifferentiated presence is true nature in its transcendence appearing clothed and embodied with its own inherent knowingness. This inherent knowingness is initially simply the knowingness of its presence, but here it differentiates into the explicit knowingness of the inherent perfections of this presence. Each aspect arises in this dimension as presence, but presence inseparable from a differentiated knowing. Each differentiated knowing is a differentiated concept, as if the original concept has differentiated into many subconcepts. In this dimension of pure basic knowledge, knowing and concept are the same; cognition is simply the presence of a basic concept clothing presence. This concept is nothing but the expression of a cognitive dimension that structures the manifold of true nature, in parallel to the other dimensions, those of color, texture, affect, and so on. It is the differentiation of the cognitive dimension, while the simple knowingness of Being is the nondifferentiated cognitive dimension.

Just as We can Experience Our Soul as Pure Knowledge We can Also Experience it as Pure Life

The soul is not only conscious, it is also alive; it is pulsing with life and vigor. When we experience the quality of aliveness we feel a pulsation, a teeming vitality, robustness, and vigor. The robust feeling of life characterizes the conscious presence of the soul, and appears now as a distinct quality or property. We discover that life, or aliveness, is a particular dimension of the soul, a basic property of its presence. It is actually a Platonic form, independent from bodies and from matter in general. It is always inherent and present in the soul, but we can experience it explicitly. In other words, just as we can experience our soul as pure knowledge, we can also experience it as pure life. We are then not only alive; we are life. We are fundamental life, present as life, life that can imbue the body with its vigor and dynamism and empower it to function.

Knowing We are Experiencing Our Soul Directly Instead of the Indirect and Alienated Way of Egoic Experience

By discussing the experience of soul as pure knowledge, or potential knowledge, we enter more specifically into the identifying experiences of the soul. When we experience ourselves in these ways, we know we are experiencing our soul directly, instead of the indirect and alienated way of egoic experience. In other words, these ways of experiencing soul indicate that we are experiencing the soul herself, the organism of consciousness, instead of one of the inner objects of the soul. We experience then the conscious field of presence itself, rather than the forms that arise within it. These forms of experience indicate to us that we are recognizing our soul, a recognition necessary for the development of the inner vessel, and most helpful for our inner journey. By understanding them we understand more clearly and fully the locus, agency, and field of the soul. These forms of experience reveal to us the basic properties of soul, properties always implicit in the soul, but here experienced explicitly, identified and understood. If the soul is like a mirror and all experiences are like the images in the mirror, then these properties are those of the mirror, and not of the images that appear in it. We will find them in all of our inner experiences, because the images of the mirror always contain the properties of the mirror. These properties are the universal characteristics of the soul, underlying all of our experience, and the sources of all our inner faculties and functions. They characterize soul herself, and hence differentiate her from essence. They also reveal the relation of soul to essence, and to ego.

Potential Knowledge, the Essence of Knowledge that is the Potential for All Knowledge

Soul appears here as potential knowledge, the essence of knowledge that is the potential for all knowledge. The subjective experience is that of the presence of the soul as an infinity of knowledge. This sense of knowledge is not mental, not cerebral. It is not an idea that I am pure knowledge, not an insight that I am knowledge, not an image of knowledge. The very conscious substance of the soul is knowledge. We feel it as real knowledge, intuitive knowledge, direct knowledge, useful knowledge, relevant knowledge, with the characteristic organic and nonlinear qualities of the soul. When we feel the soul as an infinity of knowledge it is not a matter of experiencing an infinite content of knowledge, an infinite number of forms and manifestations of knowledge. That would be basic knowledge. Pure knowledge is like the experience of holding a book and feeling, “This is knowledge,” without opening the book and seeing what the specifics of the knowledge are. We just know, “This is knowledge.” This is a very specific feeling, a specific taste that tastes like knowledge.

Pure Basic Knowledge is Both Protoconcept and Sense of Presence, but Memory Cannot Retain the Sense of Presence

The soul possesses memory, which makes it possible for her to retain impressions of basic knowledge. Her first memories are bound to be of elements of pure basic knowledge, direct and simple experiences and perceptions. However, she cannot retain the fullness of the impression, but most importantly, she cannot retain the knowingness of being. Pure basic knowledge is both protoconcept and sense of presence, but memory cannot retain the sense of presence, as we discussed in chapter 11. So it retains only the concept, the defining outlines of the element of knowledge in question—the shape, color, texture, affect, and cognitive garb. Basic knowledge further manifests in the soul the capacity to label such concepts. The label is usually a word, which is another form of basic knowledge that refers to the remembered one. Memory and labeling become the initial steps of the process of representation. Conceptualizing develops into full-blown formal concepts that refer to categories and categories of categories. Memory can then connect one concept to another, remembering relationships and correspondences, beginning the process of thinking.

Pure Knowledge is a Fundamental Property of the Soul

We have first explored the most fundamental of these properties, functioning as the ground of all inner experience. We discussed the field of pure consciousness and presence, and then differentiated it into nonconceptual mirror-like awareness and basic knowledge. The last one we discussed, pure knowledge, even though it is fundamental in that it forms the ground of basic knowledge, is yet specific, although it is not easily recognized as present in all inner experiences, as in the case of basic knowledge. It arises as a particular experience of the soul, rare and unexpected. Also, it points to other experiences of the soul, specific and particular like it. Pure knowledge is, nevertheless, a fundamental property of the soul. Some properties of the soul, such as consciousness and basic knowledge, can easily be seen to be always present in experience; but others, such as presence and pure knowledge, are not so easily recognized, and tend to arise as particular experiences, at least at the beginning stages of the inner journey. We will continue exploring some of these fundamental properties, and begin where we left off. Pure knowledge is potential knowledge; experiencing it we understand how soul is the potential for all knowledge. This points to a property even more inclusive for the soul, potential itself. We can see the soul’s potential as knowledge, but not necessarily. It is always knowledge, but we can view it differently, from different angles, emphasizing different qualities. Therefore, another way of experiencing the soul is not as potential knowledge, but as simply potential. Again, this is an unusual and unexpected kind of experience. We do not ordinarily think that we can experience potential directly; we do not envision that potential is a category of direct experience, that it is a quality that can be experienced similarly to love or clarity.

The Pure Knowledge of the Soul Manifests as the Various Forms of Knowledge

It is the essence of life to change and unfold, evolving into new forms and functions. The life of the soul is inseparable from her dynamism and changeability. The pure knowledge of the soul manifests as the various forms of knowledge, giving pure life her inner content. This morphogenic property of the living soul indicates another basic property: malleability. The soul transforms by molding herself into the various forms of experience. She can move from experiencing herself as an adult man with arms and legs, to a chubby baby, to an empty sense of being a formless self, to a sense of being a bubbling fountain, to being a torrential rain of tears, to being an empty vast space, and so on. All these phenomena are the same soul changing her form to be one thing or another. Malleability is the property of the soul necessary for her to change from one form to another. This is what some ancient thinkers were referring to when they called the soul a chameleon. The soul actually is more plastic than a chameleon. Her plasticity and malleability are closer to the changelings in science fiction novels. She can change not only her color, but the totality of her manifestation, across all the dimensions of the inner Riemannian manifold.

When We Open up to Pure Knowledge Access to Real Knowledge Becomes Easier

It is easy to become flabbergasted with this sense of knowledge, and with the sense of infinity of knowledge, of the infinite potential of knowledge. We might have assumed that we had a great deal of knowledge, but with this experience of consciousness we recognize how meager is our knowledge, and how it will always stay meager, puny, in contrast to the immense infinity of potential knowledge. There is then in the experience a sense of immensity, power, and amazing energy that can manifest as knowledge, all kinds of forms of knowledge, in many fields and in numerous dimensions. When we open up to pure knowledge, access to real knowledge becomes easier. We are then in touch with the knowledge potential in consciousness, the inexhaustible source of all possible knowledge. When we need to learn something specific about the soul, about mind, about essence, about Reality, we can simply turn our attention there and we will discover that we are guided. Knowledge flows out, unfolds; our eyes will begin to see the right objects, our ears will hear the relevant words, we will somehow pick up the right books, we will find ourselves in the right circumstances. Everything around us will begin to point to the relevant forms of knowledge we are seeking. Pure knowledge will differentiate; the flow from within will manifest, as insights, realizations, understanding. And the more we explore, the more there is of it, an infinite ocean of knowledge.

Where True Nature is Pure Knowledge Without Differentiation

The boundless dimension of being-knowledge is inherently knowing; its very substance is knowledge, for it is the original knowledge of simple being. We have seen that knower, known, and knowledge are the same in this dimension. True nature here is the knower, the known, but also knowledge. It is pure knowledge without differentiation; it is the very substance of knowing, which is knowledge. The whole expanse of this dimension is spanned by knowledge, constituted by knowledge, knowledge undifferentiated from the experience of presence. The expanse is the space of pure basic knowledge, untouched by ordinary knowledge. The expanse functions as the background against and within which noetic forms manifest themselves.

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