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Manifestation (Pure Manifestation)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Manifestation (Pure Manifestation)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Manifestation (Pure Manifestation)

An Inner Field that Feels Exactly like Empty Physical Space

Only when we allow this emptiness to be, without judgment or rejection, without reaction or opinion, does it shed its obscurations and reveal its inherent truth: the state of no self, the freedom and openness of our Being. We experience ourselves then as a luminous night sky, transparent and pure, light and happy, cool and virginal, deep and peaceful. An emptiness, yes, but a stillness, a silence, where we recognize the absence of the familiar identity as the absence of agitation. This is black space, an inner spaciousness that manifests naturally when we accept the absence of self with no reaction at all. It arises when the self is free from identifying itself through representations. We experience freedom from the familiar identity and its structure. We experience ourselves without any structure, as openness, spaciousness, as boundless and infinite space. Whenever we become free from our identification with any self-representation, we experience ourselves as free from the structure patterned by it. This always manifests as some kind of space, as an inner field that feels exactly like empty physical space, but it is a state of consciousness, a pure manifestation of Being. When the self-image is part of the self-identity structure—which functions to provide the self with the sense of identity—the space that arises is a black space, like the empty and starless night sky, or the depth of intergalactic space. When the self-image is part of the self-entity structure—which functions to provide the self with a sense of separating boundaries—the space that arises is clear, colorless space, like the clear space of daytime. The experience of black space goes through a deepening and a refinement, depending on the depth of the self-representations whose dissolution precipitates the experience. Our present discussion of the phenomenology of black space is general. (See The Void [Almaas, 1986], Chapter 6, for more discussion of the relation between space and self-image.)

An Understanding that Leads to the Experience of Specific, Pure Manifestations of Essence

In other words, the direct methods, like those of Dzogchen and Zen, regardless of how powerful they are, do not have a place for understanding, especially the psychological understanding of the self. Therefore, it is our understanding that they are effective only for the few fortunate individuals with an unusual endowment and/or an unusually harmonious and balanced development of the self. A great deal of preparatory work is necessary for most individuals before they can possess the capacity to experience self-realization and retain it as a permanent condition. The integration of the aspects of Essence, which we have described as supporting self-realization, may be seen as such preparation. However, in the Diamond ApproachSM in particular, this work is not only a preparation, but a partial realization. In other words, elements of self-realization are present in the initial stages of integrating essential presence. So self-realization occurs, then, as a completion of development, and not only a result of preparation. What usually occurs in the Diamond ApproachSM is that very precise understanding about particular issues is possible. This understanding leads to the experience of specific pure manifestations of Essence. Essential experience is not complete self-realization at this point, but it is far more accessible because it is much easier to deal with a particular segment of self-structure than with the whole thing. This experience deepens and expands as more and deeper segments of the self are precisely understood, until it reaches self-realization. One encounters the issues of narcissism specifically at the transition to self-realization, although they also manifest occasionally and generally as part of the personality of the individual.

At Some Point Unfoldment Will Appear in Pure Manifestations - the Direct, Unobscured Experience of True Nature

Whatever arises is the manifestation of Being and always has a meaning, whether it is distorted and constrained or free and open. The distortions, including emotional pain and difficulties, are nothing but the presentations of the dynamism of Being happening through the filter of our ordinary knowledge. Fixed beliefs, attitudes, and positions, mostly based on ego structures and defenses, impede and distort the flow. What you end up with is a painful, constricted, and dark repetition of old knowledge. What inquiry does is activate and invoke the optimizing thrust of the dynamism, inviting Being to exhibit its hidden richness. Inquiring opens up our knowledge by challenging it, questioning it, understanding it, and this happens by seeing the truth that transforms, rejuvenates, and deepens our experience. By understanding the distortions, we can see and get to what Being is trying to unfold. At some point, that unfoldment will appear in pure manifestations—the direct, unobscured experience of true nature. Such an experience of true nature transforms our direct knowledge, taking it to new and fresh dimensions. So the transformation of our experience is the transformation of our knowledge.

Diamond Guidance is itself a Pure Manifestation of Our Being which is Necessary for It to be Able to Guide Us in the Essential Dimension

As the dynamism takes the soul into new realms, our Being reveals many pure qualities, which I have called essential aspects. It displays the quality of Love, the quality of Clarity, the quality of Strength, the quality of Peace, the quality of Truth, the quality of Contentment, the quality of Spaciousness, the quality of Existence, the quality of Passion, and so on. These qualities are elements from the beyond, from the unseen world, and our conventional wisdom cannot fathom them, can’t really see or discern their meaning, function, or usefulness. So how can we discern what these essential qualities are? We need to recognize what they mean; we need to understand how they are related to our conventional experience and how they can optimize our lives. For this, we need a vehicle of understanding—a source of discrimination and knowledge—that originates from the same or a deeper dimension than the one these qualities come from. The specific guidance that makes this possible is what I call the Diamond Guidance. The Diamond Guidance is itself a pure manifestation of our Being, which is necessary for it to be able to guide us in the essential dimension. Our Being not only displays its richness, it also provides us with the capacity to comprehend, appreciate, and integrate that richness. Without this discrimination, we are only able to approach this richness as candy. We don’t understand the significance of the richness, that it is really part of our inner nature, so we just want more and more of the candy—these things that taste sweet and wonderful but are separate from who we are.

Divesting Ego, and Personal Consciousness Itself, of All Existence

It is here that the understanding of personalization reaches its peak. It is again a long and difficult process, in which one must pass through the dark night of the spirit, and attain the station of complete mystical poverty. This means divesting ego, and personal consciousness itself, of all existence. Then one realizes at some point that to be the Personal Essence here is to be a personal expression of the Absolute, a particular but pure manifestation of the ultimate mystery. As the Personal Essence at this dimension one is part of the very fabric of the ultimate mystery. In other words, to be a particular unique expression of the Absolute in ordinary life one must have realized the Personal Essence. But one realizes that only the Absolute has true existence. So, is one here the Absolute or the expression of the Absolute? This mystery, the relationship—which is not an object relation—between the lover (the individual expression) and the Beloved (He, the Absolute) is expressed by a Sufi poet:


 Look close: all is He—

but He is manifest through me,

All ME, no doubt—

but through Him.

[Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi, Divine Flashes, p. 79]


Functioning here is absolutely spontaneous, without any trace of self-consciousness. It is the Absolute functioning through the integrated human being, but not separate from it. It is a mystery, where one is both an individual personal expression of the Absolute and the immensity of the Absolute, in some indescribable dual unity, which is beyond any comprehension of the mind.

Our Lives are Rarely the Pure Manifestation of Only One Side of Our Potential

Our lives are rarely the pure manifestation of only one side of our potential—whether it is the freedom or the darkness. Most of us live a mixture of both in constantly varying proportions. Naturally we all work very hard to maximize the freedom and joy, but we know from bitter experience how hard that is to do. We try this and that, listen to this teacher or that authority, lose heart and renew our resolve, but rarely do we feel certain about what will bring us to the states we desire. Rarely do we experience the positive human possibilities we yearn to embody. Yet even when they do manifest in our experience, we frequently fight them or become afraid of them. We yearn to expand and complete our humanity, and make great efforts to do so, but so often end up thwarted and frustrated. Our successes are meager, and never seem to last. When the dynamism of our Being unfolds our experience in its dark and negative possibilities, we find ourselves trapped in repeating patterns and closed loops. Although these closed loops of perception and action are dynamic, they are also compulsive and repetitive, robbing our experience of its freshness, our dynamism of its creativity, and our life of its expansion and adventure. The vast universe of human possibilities becomes restricted to a very limited region of habitual experience. Freshness, newness, development, and the thrill of discovery are all stifled. The situation is not hopeless, however, and we all know this someplace in our hearts. We know—perhaps vaguely, perhaps incompletely—that the human spirit possesses the possibility of enlarging its experience, of opening up its richness. We have many strengths to draw on: sensitivity, intelligence, discrimination, the potential for investigation and insight. We have, most of all, the capacity to learn.

The State of No Self is Actually a Pure Manifestation of Inner Spacious Reality

The narcissistic emptiness sheds its deficiency and reveals its truth, as an emptiness that has no sense of self, but is spacious and peaceful. The deficient emptiness is actually nothing but this inner spaciousness, experienced through the judgment of deficiency. The state of no self is actually a pure manifestation of inner spacious reality, Being in its openness, we experience it as empty space, immaculate and pure, light and clean, empty of everything structured by the mind. However, the self reacts to the sense of no self in many ways—as a loss, as a deficiency, and so on, plus the associations, memories, and feelings that go with these interpretations. All this psychic content pervades the inner spaciousness so that we lose sight of its lightness, purity, immaculateness, and freedom. Instead, we feel it as deficient emptiness, dull and flat, heavy and dark. Only when we allow this emptiness to be, without judgment or rejection, without reaction or opinion, does it shed its obscurations and reveal its inherent truth: the state of no self, the freedom and openness of our Being. We experience ourselves then as a luminous night sky, transparent and pure, light and happy, cool and virginal, deep and peaceful. An emptiness, yes, but a stillness, a silence, where we recognize the absence of the familiar identity as the absence of agitation.

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