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Life (Pure Life)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Life (Pure Life)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Life (Pure Life)

Babies and Young Children are Generally More Robust than Most People at their Physical Prime

Even though this understanding of the arising of life and consciousness in the cosmos might be correct from a certain viewpoint, our perspective here is that life is not a property of the body, but of the soul. Two specific observations are sufficient to suggest this possibility. If life is a characteristic of the body then it should be more apparently present the healthier the body, and should peak at the body’s physical prime. We would observe more aliveness when our bodies are at their physical prime; namely, less at the beginning of life when the body is still developing, and even less at the end of life when the body is deteriorating. It is clear to observation that babies and young children are generally more robust and exude more pure life energy than most people at their physical prime. Life seems to be not complete at the beginning of our human life, but it is definitely present in a robust and full manner. Babies and young children are bundles of vitality and life—life within them seems to be uncontrollable and overflowing—while mature adults frequently are not. As has been explored by many existential philosophers and discussed by many psychologists, adults frequently experience their life force as being blocked, constricted, and twisted, not as vigorous as they know it can be. The life force does not seem to be experientially as available to adults in their prime as it is to young children. In fact many adults have to engage in sports or exercise regimes to feel the vitality and vigor of life. Adults engage in many more activities than young children, and they are more capable of self-organization, but this is different from the raw life force, the excitatory state that we feel more alive when experiencing.

Essence is Like Packed, Condensed, Concentrated, Completely Pure Life

The quality of aliveness of essence is of a different order from that of the body. The body is alive, but essence is life itself. Essence is like packed, condensed, concentrated, completely pure life. It is 100 percent life. It is like a substance in which each atom is packed with live existence. Here, life and existence are not concepts, not ideas or abstract descriptions; rather, they are the most alive, most intimate, richest, deepest, most moving, and most touching stirrings within us. The experience of essential substance can have such a depth, such a richness, such a realness, such a meaningfulness, and such an impact on our minds that some people actually get dizzy, unable to take the impact directly. It is not experienced as something alien, distant, or neutral, like a physical object or an idea. No, we experience it as that which is most intimately ourselves. It is most deeply our nature, and it is the most precious and most beautiful center of us. It is our significance, our meaning, our nature, our identity. It is what moves our hearts, illuminates our minds, fulfills our lives. It is so near a thing to our hearts that only the heart can taste it. It is so near a thing to us that it is actually the very substance of our identity. It is so significant a thing for us that it is the only true nutrient for our life. It is the reality of us, the truth of us. It is the very substance of truth and the innermost secret of all truths. It is the most precious thing in existence.

Pure Knowledge of the Soul Manifests as the Various Forms of Knowledge, Giving Pure Life Her Inner Content

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.1 She can change not only her color, but the totality of her manifestation, across all the dimensions of the inner Riemannian manifold.

The Flowing Current Which is an Expression of Pure Life

We have discussed life by exploring things around it, by addressing evolution, self-organization, manifestations of aliveness, dying, and so on, in order to demonstrate that life is a property of soul. What is the direct experience of this property? If it is a property of the soul we can experience it as a type of consciousness, as a presence with particular characteristics. This is actually the case; for just as forms of experience turn out to be manifestations of basic knowledge, which is in turn an expression of pure knowledge, the content and characteristics of life are also forms and manifestations of the life of the soul, as a flowing current, which is in turn an expression of pure life. We can experience our soul as the presence of life, as a conscious field characterized by life. The manifestations of aliveness we have discussed are the experiential qualities of this mode of presence.

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