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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Network?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Network

A Universal Network that Includes All of Humanity

If the experience continues to expand, the student recognizes that the network that comprises the totality of his personality is actually not separate from the totalities of all the people he knows and has known, and they in turn are connected to others, and so on. It becomes clear that his total personality is a part of a universal network that includes all of humanity, like a psychic network covering all the earth. This universal network includes all of human knowledge. Parts of the network are darker than others, with some brightness here and there. But it is generally dull and dark, heavy and complicated, in contrast to the simplicity, purity, and lightness of being the Essential Identity. One comes to realize that all the spiritual knowledge of humankind is included in this network. This knowledge is the uppermost, subtlest, and brightest layer of this network, but nevertheless still dull and complicated. As long as it is knowledge in memory, it is not the presence of Being, and hence lacks the true luster of direct realization. He experiences all these teachings, including his own previous insights and discoveries, as artificial, external to the simplicity of being. This perception may expand to reveal that this universal network is continuous with the totality of its past, which is human history. The student realizes that all of human history is alive and functioning through the minds and lives of present humanity. So his own psychological totality is inseparable from, and continuous with, the totality of the history of humanity. He recognizes the immensity of the darkness he has been carrying all this time, of the tremendous weight that has been muffling his experience of himself. He appreciates, also, the extent of the task of self-realization, which involves becoming free from all this conditioning.

Krishnamurti describes this perception eloquently:  So our consciousness is not actually yours or mine; it is the consciousness of man, evolved, grown, accumulated through many, many centuries. In that consciousness is the faith, the gods, all the rituals man has invented. It is really an activity of thought; it is thought that has made the content—behavior, action, culture, aspiration; the whole activity of man is the activity of thought. And this consciousness is the self, is the ‘me,’ the I, the ego, the personality and so on. (Krishnamurti, 1987, p. 32).

Ego’s Individuality is Seen as Simply a Dark Network Composed of Beliefs in the Mind and Patterns of Tension in the Body

Only when developmental psychology takes into consideration the fact that the nature of man is Being will a true understanding of autonomy emerge. Again we note that its perspective is not incorrect, only limited. (A similar limitation is seen sometimes on the side of the man of spirit. Some people actually seek out the impersonal levels of Being in order to avoid dealing with the issues of autonomy which must be faced in ordinary ego development as well as in the development of the Personal Essence.) When one does have the experience of ceasing to identify with the self-image and simply being, it is clear that the autonomy of ego is a sham, since the ego personality is perceived not only as ephemeral, a kind of surface phenomenon which is in the nature of an idea, but also as reactive, responding automatically to the world. From Being, which is felt as the true and solid reality, ego’s individuality is seen as simply a dark network composed of beliefs in the mind and patterns of tension in the body. Thus the supposed autonomy of ego is, from this perspective, nothing but the feeling that accompanies an image in its relation to another image. It is striking that this is exactly what object relations theory states: that autonomy is based on the establishment of a self-image. We wonder how one can know that what he believes he is, is simply an image, and stop at that, without feeling that something is not right?

Seeing How the Familiar Identity is a Product of a Mental Network that is Perpetuated by a Mental Process

The empty shell appears at this time, as specific tensions around the head, indicating the concentration of the structure of the shell at the head. The student feels he is an empty shell, and his head is the thickest layer of the shell. Thinking becomes obsessive and speedy, and the empty shell feels more and more dry and abstract. Slowly, with patient inquiry into this manifestation, the student begins to realize the mental nature of the empty shell. He begins to see quite directly, and in lived experience, how his sense of self originates in his mind, how his familiar identity is a product of a mental network that is perpetuated by a mental process. He can see sometimes how mental his experience of himself and the world has been, even when he is quite emotional or physical. The more he understands the mental quality of his life and world, the more he begins to feel empty, meaningless, superficial, and dry. The mental shell becomes emptier and flimsier when he begins to see how he used ideas, mental postures, and concepts to define himself.

Seeing that Your Ego Activity is What Connects You to the Social Network of Personality

You must see the totality of your personality in the present—all the thoughts, desires, feelings, and dreams, which are continuous with your past. You may also see your personality, at all times continuous with the social structure around you, in all your relationships, the influence of your society on your personality, and so on. You will see that your ego activity is what connects you to the social network of personality, making you vulnerable to the various external influences that obscure the truth of who you are, and what reality is. When you see this completely, it is possible for the movement in you—that connects you with the rest of society—to stop. When it stops, you become pure, clarified personality, soul with no ego structure. This clarifies and heals the split from Being. The split simply is not there. In that instant you see that you and the supreme reality are one. For the first time, you can perceive the actual substance of the personality without the past. The basis of the personality, the underlying principle that makes it possible for you to be a person, the thing that you have rejected all this time, is nothing but the supreme reality as a person. The very substance of the personality is ultimately a substance which I call the Supreme Pearl, or the supreme person: pure personal presence with no qualities. It is just Being, pure and simple, but manifesting as a human person. So when the personality is completely clarified, and yet you feel you are a person, the personality doesn’t disappear; it is now the supreme person, the truest person. This is a sublime reality existing as you, the human individual.

Sensing a Network of Subtle Physical Tensions, Mostly on the Left Side of the Body

As the inquiry takes this direction I remember a small detail of the experience: As I saw the whole universe shrinking to a point, I simultaneously felt a network of subtle physical tensions, mostly on the left side of the body, including the ego-line, concentrating into a point at the mobius. At the instant the universe became a point in my vision, the subtle tension network collapses into a point at the mobius. The collapsed center of tension totally dissolves as the point disappears. At this instant I find myself as the vast silence of awareness, boundless and centerless. Does this mean that the world that has disappeared is only the universe of the ego-self? What does it mean when the experience is comprised only of the silent witness, with the sense that the world is not? In the fleeting experience, the silent witness experiences the world as not. The experience-vision is definitely that the world is ending. The awareness witnesses an “event” of universal annihilation. At this point of the contemplation, I become aware that the mind assumes that this disappearance of the world is only the experience of the witness, and that at other levels the world still exists objectively. This makes rational sense, since I continue to perceive the immediate manifestations of the universe. The universe has not actually disappeared, although a sheer luminous awareness now suffuses it. Nevertheless, the inner vision is an actual experience that means something significant, for I feel my mind very deeply affected. Something has annihilated, which is clearly related to the total structure of the personality. But how does this relate to my experience of the actual universe?  

Student’s Perception May Expand to Reveal the Totality of the Personality

This capacity to be the Essential Identity allows a kind of global awareness and understanding of the hitherto normal experience of the self. One can see the totality of the ego-self, with all its images, structures, object relations, ideas, feelings, plans, ideals, hopes, and patterns. It is not a matter of seeing all the specific details distinctly, but of seeing the totality and knowing that it is the totality of the familiar self, without completely delineating all the specific detail. The details are in constant motion, some taking foreground for a while, then receding for another detail to take its place. There is the sense that the whole personality is there, perceived by a center of awareness separate from it, but totally compassionate towards it. This experience has a sense of duality, but there is no duality in the way the self is experiencing the Essential Identity. Then the student’s perception may expand to reveal that the totality of the personality, with all its thoughts, feelings, hopes, desires, and so on, is a part of a larger whole. It is an inseparable part of a universal network that includes all of his life, involving every person he has any relation to. It feels like a heavy network of images, representations, affects, and thoughts that pervades all his life, comprising an interconnected totality. It is a heavy, dark, and complicated network. He is now experiencing the totality of his self-structure, seeing that it includes everything and everyone his mind remembers and thinks about. He experiences the totality of his personality as outside of him, separate from his pure being, but now as a continuity of a personal history. He can see that the totality of his personality is not only continuous with all of the situations of his life, but also continuous with all of his past history. He sees that it is part of the continuity of this totality as a dynamic network of psychic structures.

We are a Network

We are not separate. We are a network. Just as you have cells and organs in your body which cooperate to make a harmonious entity, all life on earth, all forms of life cooperate to make one body. Our individual health will contribute to the health of the whole. This is why the more open you are, the more willing you are to be loving and to serve. This comes from a recognition that we are one being. It’s no longer a question of giving. It’s a flow—a flow from one cell to another for the health and maintenance of the whole organism. To think in terms of giving is to think from the perspective of the ego, which is that someone is there giving and someone is there receiving—separate entities. It is not a giving but a circulation, and we are happiest and most alive when we are part of that natural circulation, without anything obstructing that circulation. When the ego has a point of view and works to maintain it, you put up a barrier, a dam. This blocks one little meridian of the earth.

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