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Nonconceptual Presence

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Nonconceptual Presence?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Nonconceptual Presence

Nonconceptual Presence Exposes the Ego Identity as Composed Not Only of Reifications but of Concepts

When true nature presents its nonconceptual dimension, we begin to detect a deeper source of this sense of self. We see that the soul cannot be completely free from the shell of reifications because as long as there are concepts available to it the mind will reify them to create such a shell. Nonconceptual presence exposes the ego identity, the shell of the separate self, as composed not only of reifications but of concepts. We realize that every time we recognize ourselves, even when the recognition is basic and immediate knowing, the mind takes the concepts of this recognition and builds reifications that then coalesce into the shell of ego. Understanding this level of the creation of the shell of self we realize pure awareness, and our being and identity become established as nonconceptual presence, beyond mind and concepts. We are, without knowing what we are. In fact, we do not even know we are. We simply experience freedom, without recognizing it as freedom. We are simply free, aware of our nature without cognizing it as “our” or “nature.” (We discuss this process in greater detail, exploring some of the psychodynamic and structural issues involved in this process of self-realization, in The Point of Existence, chapter 40.)

Nonconceptual Presence Revealing Itself to be the Nature of Everything

One example of such a barrier is the conceptual position that there is a difference between spirit and matter. There is no such distinction on the nonconceptual dimension, but it is such a deeply held dichotomy that most people believe it is an ultimate truth. When one is experiencing or approaching the experience of nonconceptual awareness, this conceptual position may arise as a contraction of awareness, or some emotional issue. Often it appears as the fear of loss of the world, as we begin to see that there is no physical world the way we normally know it. It may arise as a rapprochement issue, the fear of loss of mother if we leave or go beyond her, which is equated with losing the world. These are ultimately conceptual issues that reflect the lack of understanding of the nonconceptual ground of Reality. The crystal guidance appears to illuminate these issues, and as they become transparent various specific crystals may emerge. The merging essence crystal arises because merging essence stands in the unconscious for the mother one is afraid of losing; the truth gold crystal emerges as well, pointing to the fact that there is nonconceptual truth we are not seeing. Their emergence will coincide with the arising of the recognition of our position as a conceptual one. We see it for what it is, a conceptual position and not an ultimate reality. When we see this, the conceptual position dissolves as the crystals dominate consciousness. We do not feel them as merging love and truth, but as nonconceptual presence that then reveals itself to be the nature of everything.

Remembering Pure Awareness as Nonconceptual Presence that Transcends the Dichotomy of Being and Nonbeing

Nevertheless, we need to remember that all dimensions of true nature are ultimately inseparable. They are all coemergent even though they can emerge separately. We have seen this in our discussion of emptiness, seeing that emptiness or nonbeing cannot exist on its own; it is always accompanying and characterizing manifest being. Yet, there is a deeper subtlety and mystery to the absolute, besides its ultimate coemergence with the other boundless dimensions. To explore this we need first to remember that in our discussion of pure awareness, in chapter 19, we saw it as nonconceptual presence that transcends the dichotomy of being and nonbeing. Does this mean it is deeper than the dimension of the absolute, and more fundamental than it? For we have been discussing the absolute as nonbeing. In actuality, the absolute is also nonconceptual, and beyond all conceptual dichotomies, including that of being and nonbeing. Does this mean we have two nonconceptual dimensions, and if so, what does that mean and how are they different? This is part of the mystery of true nature, which appears as the ultimate mystery of the absolute. Experientially we recognize both pure awareness and the absolute as nonconceptual. Yet they are phenomenologically different. They differ as day differs from night. Pure nonconceptual awareness is clear, colorless, transparent light that feels like the coemergence of presence and absence. We see a vast expansive space, clear and colorless, bright and limpid. It is a space full of light, just like space in daylight. Yet, it is also a presence with the sense of solidity and fullness. In experiencing the absolute, we perceive a transparent and clear space, but dark, so dark it is absolutely black. The blackness is not a color, but the absence of light. In other words, nonconceptual awareness possesses light while the absolute is ontologically prior to light. They are both transcendent to being and nonbeing, but they differ in their relation to light.

Soul Learns from Direct Experience that Nonattachment is Nothing but the Nonconceptual Presence in the Heart

Understanding attachment, and the freedom from attachment that arises through the impact of nonconceptual presence, liberates the heart from its habit of orienting according to fixed preferences. The heart becomes transparent to the operation of essential intelligence, functioning from a ground of nonattachment. Its love and joy are now free, totally unattached. It can love fully without having to possess what it loves, liberating its joy and delight, which become the celebration of Reality, immaculate presence, and pristine awareness. The soul learns from direct experience that nonattachment is nothing but the nonconceptual presence in the heart, as the heart of enlightenment, the crystal heart. Such heart responds openly, spontaneously, without premeditation or prejudice. It responds without hesitation to the objective needs of the situation, with a nonconceptual intelligence that needs no inner recognition. As the discriminating mind dissolves under the impact of nonconceptual presence the dichotomies merge into each other, and all polarities reveal their underlying unity as the uniformly blissful field of awareness.

The Nonconceptual Presence of Pure Awareness

Another difference is that the nonconceptual presence of pure awareness retains the experience of inner sensation, while the absolute is precisely the absence of all sensation. We can say that nonbeing dominates in the absolute more completely than it does in pure nonconceptual awareness, to the extent of annihilating all sensation. Because of this characteristic the understanding of emptiness and insubstantiality is much clearer and more precise in this dimension. That is why it becomes the dimension of emptiness, while in fact it is nonconceptual and beyond being and nonbeing.

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