Main Pages

By Region



Now (The)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Now (The)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Now (The)

Any Hope, Desire, Activity or Reactivity Necessitates Rejection of the Now

When the personality is analyzed in its minutiae you will see the cycle of action and reaction. Originally, there is the reality of what is there, and then there is saying no to that reality. Then there is hope for another reality. Then there is desire for that other reality. Right? There is a rejection of now, a hope for something else in the future, and then a desire for it. The cycle of rejection, hope and desire all together leads to an activity, to trying to achieve what is desired. Any hope, desire, activity, or reactivity necessitates more than anything else rejection of the now. If the now is completely accepted there will not be a hope, there will not be a desire, there will not be a movement away from or toward, or any movement at all. There will be stillness, complete stillness.

Essence is Presence so It can Only be in the Now

In essence, there is a movement towards what is good, but what is good is now, and the movement of essence is towards the now. It is not towards something else in the future. You might experience it as a movement in the future because that’s how your mind functions. However, the greater the presence of essence, the more you are in the now. Essence is presence so it can only be in the now. Your mind can function only according to what happened to you in the past; but “what is” has nothing to do with what happened in the past. What is is what is. But you want to condition “what is” according to what was. Who says what happened in the past is supposed to happen again, or is not supposed to happen again? Who are you to tell?

Everything that is Conceivable and Experienceable Exists Right Now as One

Oscar Ichazo’s definition of Holy Truth is: “The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now; that this existence is its own definition, and continues whether an individual understands it or not; and that the individual experiences the truth of Reality most completely when he views each moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening.” Let’s break this down and see what we can understand. The awareness that the cosmos objectively exists now. He is saying that the totality of all that exists, on all its levels (which is what he means when he uses the word cosmos), is the nowness of experience and that this totality objectively exists. It is “its own definition,” meaning that it does not depend on our opinions about it; and “continues whether an individual understands it or not,” meaning that it actually exists whether or not we understand it. To experience reality fully, one must view “each moment fresh, without preconceptions about what should be happening,” meaning that if we are completely open and not filtering our experience of the moment through our subjectivity, we will see this unity existing right now, and that now does not refer to time, but to the immediately apprehended existence of the universe itself. So everything that is conceivable and experienceable exists right now as one. The formless dimensions, the essential states, and physical reality are not separate from each other, nor are physical objects separate from each other; there is no division anywhere—only complete unity. The alchemical concept for this is the idea of the macrocosm, the totality of the universe.

Facets of Unity, pg. 80

Our Only Hope of Really Seeing Things as They are is to Suspend the Mind

Our only hope of really seeing things as they are is to suspend the mind, to go through the mind. And, as we have seen today, to go through the mind means to suspend what we believe we know about the world, about ourselves, about reality, about everything. That is usually scary, and it will not be easy. It is quite a jump, but that is what we want to work on. Only when we can do this can we perceive what is called objective reality—what truly exists, what truly is. Only then do we know in a deep sense, in a real sense what we are, what the world is, and what’s really happening. This is the beginning of a real world, a real universe, a true living from the moment, from the now. Then true life happens. True existence is lived. In a sense, what we are talking about today is something that cannot be talked about. How can you talk about something if you don’t use concepts? When you are completely experiencing reality without concepts, you can’t even say that something exists—existence is a concept. Ultimately, “experience” is a concept. We have tried to live according to these concepts; we have tried to know the world through them and fit our experience into them. What will happen if we don’t do it that way? What will happen if our knowing is one hundred percent spontaneous?

Presence or Being is Experienced as a Nowness but this Nowness is Not a Moment of Time

The most central and basic insight is that of Holy Truth: that the totality of the cosmos is pure existence, pure Being. This means recognizing not only that presence is Essence inside of you, but recognizing that everything is presence. This is what is meant by stating that reality is existence, is Being, is presence. Presence is directly experiential; this presence in the present, in the now, is the meaning of Being. This presence in the now is not the juncture between the past and the future; the present moment is the entry into the presence of Being, but it is not time. Presence exists only in the moment and not in the past or the future. Even physical reality is presence, but we do not ordinarily perceive this because we are looking only at its surface without perceiving its other levels. It is like perceiving only the skin of an onion and eliminating the rest of it, so you take an onion to be brittle and stiff and believe that it has no soft and juicy part. It is interesting that presence or Being is experienced as a nowness, but that this nowness is not a moment of time. The nowness is more of a medium, more of the actual presence, the actual consciousness, the actual substance, of Being. When we realize it is everything that exists, we see that it includes all time. We see, in fact, that it is beyond time, and that time is merely a concept that exists within it.

Facets of Unity, pg. 169

The Now is Not Caused by the Past but is Continuously Generated Out of the Absolute

It is clear in such experience that there is only the now, that the now is not caused by the past, but is continuously generated out of the absolute. There is the certainty that there is no continuity in time and no movement in space and time. There is only the continual manifestation of appearance, as a cosmic and universal act, all at once. There is absolutely no room in this perception for individual action. There is only cosmic continual appearing, beyond which is the mystery of the absolute. There is only the now, which is not continuous with the past, but with the absolute as source. It is interesting that not only sight is appearance, but also hearing, and the input of all the senses. Sound does not seem to come from various sources, for that implies a process in time. We perceive sound only in the now, as originating from the absolute. We see the absolute as the reality behind the appearance, penetrating the surface of appearance and suffusing it. A deep sense of peace pervades, within a blissful harmony.

The Now is Not Only this Instant, It is All Instants

We experience the presence of true nature here inseparable from the present. The present is a differentiation of time, which is a differentiation of pure presence. Thus we experience pure presence as the presence of the present. The presence of the present is now, the nowness of the present. In the self-realization of pure presence, when we are aware of the passage of time, we experience presence as the now. Now includes all differentiations, and hence all the changes in differentiation. Now, therefore, includes all time. It is the now of all time, which we experience as pure presence at any time. The now is not only this instant, it is all instants. More accurately, an instant is a snapshot of differentiation, the next instant is the next snapshot of differentiation, and so on. All these snapshots are differentiations, a flow of differentiations where the awareness of flow depends also on differentiations. All time flows in the now. All time passes now. Now is always, for it is pre-time. It is pre-time because time is differentiation; and now is pure presence, which is pre-differentiation. Being pure presence, one is present at all times, just as one is present at all places. Time and space are coordinates differentiated within the now. Time-space is the self-structuring of now, which is Being.

The Now is Nothing but True Nature Experienced in Manifestation

True nature appears at all times as the now. The now is nothing but true nature experienced in manifestation. This now extends through all time. It is an eternal now. More specifically, we experience true nature in manifestation as the eternal now, the now that extends through all time. For true nature, all time occurs now because now is the recognition of its timelessness within manifestation. The now holds all time, just as it holds all space, for it is nothing but the timeless and spaceless true nature. The now is nothing but the omnipresence, present through all time. Presence of true nature is indivisible, spatially and temporally. In other words, now is Being, and Being is now. From this we see that our ordinary concept and experience of present time is a reflection of the eternal now. The present moment is the time we experience our presence. Our presence is ultimately the presence of true nature, but we do not see it because we are enraptured by the forms of manifestation, the forms that presence takes. Put differently, we can say that the present moment is the intersection of time with the eternal now. Time touches the now at the present moment, giving us our concept and experience of present time. But this touching expresses the fact that the now touches all time, for it is all time. But it touches all time only at the present of any time.

To Trust the Now Completely Can Lead to the Experience of Yourself as a Self-Originating Presence

Presence also has something to do with time. In one sense, presence is compacted time. It is as if you took all of time and compressed it into the present moment. Normally, your experience of yourself is spread over time— that is, into the past and the future as well as the present—in accordance with your ideas, beliefs, hopes, and fears. If you withdraw your awareness from the past and future and concentrate it solely in the present, your experience of yourself focuses into a single moment: now. To trust the now completely can lead to the experience of yourself as a self-originating presence. Many of the ways of describing Essence refer to this awareness—Self-Originating or the Unoriginated, the Self-Arising, the Self-Existing, Pure Existence, the I AM, the pure fact of Isness—and all of them indicate that your existence is pure presence and that nothing in your experience of this existence is determined by your memories. The experience of presence is spontaneously itself, 100 percent.

Brilliancy, pg. 44

What Is, Obviously, Must be in the Moment, Now, Because Only Now Exists

To see things as they are is to see them without filters, without veils. To see what is means to perceive objectively. Objective perception requires that we apprehend or perceive without the usual filters, without the projections of the past onto the present. What is, obviously must be in the moment—now, because only now exists. Only this very moment exists. You can see that logically for yourself. I am not saying anything esoteric here; what exists is now. The past reality is not here. The future hasn’t come yet. To see what is means to see the now, as it is. But to see the now as it is means to see without the influence of the past. In the various aspects of the work we’ve done, we have seen that many of our problems and illusions come from past experience. We have seen how we project our patterns on our interpersonal relationships, how we project our relationships with our parents and others in our early childhood onto our present life, how we react in ways that have nothing to do with the present. This is one way of seeing some of the more obvious psychological and emotional filters. We don’t see people the way they are; we see them according to our past experience. We are always projecting images and patterns of relationship that do not actually exist now. The most fundamental and subtlest of these projections is the projection of concepts. Concepts actually constitute the material of our experience. They constitute the content of our minds. We have seen how the mind is inseparable from the world we live in—that the world we believe we live in and our minds are not two things. We can come to a direct perception of this fact—it is not an idea. You can discover that the world you live in is determined by what you believe the world to be.

What Matters is the Experience in the Moment, the Lived Experience, What You are Actually in Touch With

The way we work is to find out what is happening right now: What are you experiencing right now? What are you feeling right now? And then to follow that. If you don’t focus on right now, you won’t really have understanding. This is true even if you want to understand your childhood. You can’t understand it by just thinking about it. The only way thinking about it would help is if that brought the childhood experience into the now so you could experience it. For example, if you were hurt by your father in childhood, you can’t just think of the hurt and have it remain a memory in your mind—that doesn’t do it. If you think, “I was hurt by my father in childhood,” and then you feel the hurt now, in this very moment, then understanding can happen. Otherwise there is no understanding, no transformation. What matters is the experience in the moment, the lived experience, what you are actually in touch with. If it happens that you are not in touch with anything, then that lack of intouchness is what you need to be in touch with. We have to start where we are. If our consciousness is hovering in a place that is not deep, then by knowing where it is—I mean, knowing exactly what our consciousness is experiencing —it will drop down. When it drops down, it will expand time and become more focused in the present. And when you know precisely where your consciousness is in this next moment, it will drop down even further. The further down it drops, the more present you are, until you recognize exactly where you are in your process at this moment.

Brilliancy, pg. 50

When You Settle Into the Moment You Realize that there is Not Much Happening

What is useful to recognize, then, is that our time orientation will disconnect us from our True Nature because it contradicts the now-ness, the timelessness, of our True Nature. It is paradoxical, of course, to think about things that way because we are always thinking in terms of time. The time axis is very important for the mind. The mind is always thinking of things in the past and of what it is going to do in the future. It rarely settles in the moment. If it did, it would become quiet. When you settle into the moment, you realize that there is not much happening—a few things here and there. The primary awareness is of the immediacy of the moment. This is because presence—being in the now—is characterized by beingness, simply being here now. In contrast, our familiar self is based on doing, going, making things happen. We do not trust that action can arise and proceed from inner stillness; we do not recognize that Being is the ground of everything. To be in the now connects you with that quiet beingness that underlies all changes, all activity—the simple hereness where what is most basic is not activity but presence.

Your Mind Thinks It Knows What is Best for You

As we have seen, when you are trying to make something happen, you are not trusting the natural order; you don’t trust that essence itself will manifest in the way it is needed. The first point of departure from this trust is always a rejection of the now. To apply the perspective of basic trust, of true will, you must have the complete confidence that staying completely with what you are experiencing in this moment, will result in what needs to happen, without your having to think about a certain outcome. When the confidence is there, your awareness of exactly what is happening in you will allow you to see that your organism will do the best it can in the situation. Your mind, however, doesn’t allow that complete presence in the now; it thinks it knows what is best for you, but of course it knows only what has happened in the past, and can lead you only in ways conditioned by your history. Because you don’t know that you have an innate intelligence that knows what needs to be done, you don’t allow it to operate.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach