Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about No Self
A Pure Manifestation of Inner Spacious Reality
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.
The Point of Existence, pg. 337
Absence of Mind, Consciousness and Sensation
There is consciousness and a kind of emptiness, a void that has no sense of self and no need for a sense of self. The step after that is the loss of consciousness of no-self, and when that consciousness is gone, there is no consciousness of self, or no-self and no knowing that there is no consciousness of self or no-self. This is the absence of mind, consciousness, and sensation. When that happens, it is then possible to be truly spontaneous because there is no self there to reflect on. If you reflect on yourself in this state, the only thing that happens is that you realize your head is turned around and that you are looking outside. There is nothing else to look into; you can only look outward. The main barrier to all these transitions is the belief that you are the person that is connected to the body. You’re taking what we call the shell (because it functions as a defensive shell) to be you. Identifying with the shell brings the terror that you are going to lose the sense of being a person. But what you actually are is not a person; you are a window to the universe.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 131
Being Completely Unconscious of Yourself
Here, we are changing the terminology from what we have been using. To be free means to be completely unconscious of yourself because at the deepest level there is no self to be conscious of. You don’t know who you are. You don’t know what you’re doing. You are just doing it. You are not even doing it: it just happens. You’ll be eating and suddenly you realize that you are eating, and then you can reflect on yourself. But most of the time that you are eating you don’t know that you are eating or that somebody is eating. There is eating; that’s all. There is an awareness of the food but there is no awareness of your mouth or anything like that. You are not seeing your image if you are completely spontaneous. No, there is just the process of eating. This is a fact: It is only when you reflect on yourself and think about things that you feel there is a person there. There is a body there, and there is food. If you just let everything be there on its own, get it out of your mind completely, you will simply know the process of eating. This is the spontaneous life that is both Existence and Love. Imagine a child who is about six months old, who is eating. Does she know she is sitting there and that she is eating? Does she know she is eating? No, not mentally. Infants do not have the self-reflection that you have; they do not have the notion that there is a person who is there, there is food there, they are eating, and eating is for such and such. All these things are in your mind, but if your mind is silent, none of that is there. I’m not saying that there is no food going in the stomach. The whole thing is a process; that’s all.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 125
Deficient Emptiness Accompanied by the Affect of the Sense of No Self
Now, what is the phenomenon of space when it is filled with the self? In other words, what is the mind filled with the psychic structure? On the surface it is the usual experience of the personality with its various manifestations. But, at the core, it is the deficient emptiness. This means that if the totality of the personality is seen objectively and graphically it looks like an empty shell; the shell is composed of many layers, each standing for a self-representation. Identifying with the shell gives the feeling of self or identity. When one ceases identifying with the shell as a whole there will emerge the experience of deficient emptiness, accompanied by the affect of the sense of no self. The sense of being an empty shell, when it is finally perceived, is accompanied by the feeling of being fake and a sense of shame that is a reaction to the fakeness.
The Void, pg. 136
Reactions of the Self to the Sense of No Self
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.
The Point of Existence, pg. 337
The Experience of Absence
Ego psychologists have assumed that the infant perceives things somewhat similarly to adults. So when they have observed behavior that indicates projection they have concluded that the child is aware of an inside as opposed to an outside. This is probably not an accurate conclusion. From the perspective of Being, when there are no ego identifications at all, it is possible to experience perception from a certain state, which we call the experience of Absence, in which both the sense of individuality and self arc absent. There is no self-consciousness whatsoever, although there is perception and functioning. The perception includes one’s body as part of the environment. But the perception is not related to a frame of reference, or to a self as a center. There is the perception of all that appears to the senses, without the slightest movement of referring anything perceived to a self or entity. It is as if there is the perception of the outside without a concept of inside.