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Objective Perception

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Objective Perception?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Objective Perception

Objective Perception in the Experience of Unity

In the experience of unity, the objective perception of reality is that the boundaries that you see are actually creations of your mind. They are figments of your imagination. You have created this image and idea in your mind, and then said, “That’s me. I end here, and the other person starts there. I end here, and the chair starts there. You start over there, and you end over there.” That is how we experience ourselves. But what if it is not really like that? You just think it is that way, and because you think it is that way, you see reality that way. Of course, if you see reality through the idea that you start here and end here—of course, you will live your life in a certain way. The interests of other people might not be your interests, and your interests might conflict with the interests of others, and then comes the issue of what’s mine and what’s yours. Can I have my share, can you have your share? With the assumption of separateness come the issues of giving and receiving, loving and being loved, having and acquiring, and all of that. All these things which are the causes of people’s problems are based on the assumption that we have a circumference. If you have no circumference, all these concerns go. Then you do not say, “I want you to love me.” “I want you to love me” means there is a person here, and that person over there is going to love this person here. But there isn’t that boundary; there is only one, there is only a oneness. In that unity, what could it mean that you want someone to love you? What could it mean that you are going to love someone? What does it mean that you are going to give anything to anyone? What does it mean that you are going to get anything from the universe? You are the universe.

Seeing Things as They Are

Objective perception means perceiving reality, all that confronts our awareness, as it is. It is a matter of seeing things as they are, rather than seeing them from a certain point of view or position. So by objective we do not mean the scientific positivist sense, in which objective means what exists physically outside us rather than in the mind. We also do not mean objective in the sense of not being emotional, or not being experiential. We mean seeing things, seeing internal or external things as they are, instead of subjectively. Subjective is the antithesis; it means according to our positions, feelings, filters, beliefs and attitudes. So objective perception means pure perception, free from all positions, bias, filters, conflicts, intentions etc. It is perceiving whatever it is without any obscuration or intermediacy, so we see it just the way it is in itself.

The Void, pg. 151

Staying With Your Experience

To stay with your experience without manipulating it means you have to be objective about what’s here. Objectivity doesn't mean being cold. Objectivity means not laying your trips on what’s actually here. True objectivity does not mean that you are unfeeling but that you are full of love for the truth. To be objective means that you don’t burden what’s actually here with your preconceptions and ideas from the past. You simply let it be as it is. In examining your weakness, you see that you have to eliminate your associations, reactions, and beliefs about it. You have to find out what this weakness is right now. If you really go about it that way, the hole of weakness emerges, which is the opening for the aspect of strength. And suddenly strength arises and you are this raging fire. You have the courage and excitement, the openness and curiosity to go on finding out who you are and what the world is.

The Way We Ordinarily See the World is Not the Way It Really Is

When our perception is like a clear mirror, without subjective judgment, we find reality to be just right. If our mirror creates any distortion, if our perception of reality contains any subjective preferences or ideas, then we are seeing reality from a deluded point of view and we will miss its inherent perfection. This makes our work very obvious: to find out what is in the way of perceiving reality as it is—to find out what our obscurations are, where our perception is deluded. The way we ordinarily see the world is not the way it really is because we see it from the perspective of our judgments and preferences, our likes and dislikes, our fears and our ideas of how things should be. So to see things as they really are, which is to see things objectively, we have to put these aside—in other words, we have to let go of our minds. Seeing things objectively means that it doesn’t matter whether we think what we’re looking at is good or bad—it means just seeing it as it is. If a scientist is conducting an experiment, he doesn’t say, “I don’t like this so I’ll ignore it.” He may not personally care for the results because they don’t confirm his theory, but pure science means seeing things the way they really are. If he says he is not going to pay attention to the experiment because he doesn’t like it, that is not science. Yet, this is the way most of us deal with reality, inwardly and outwardly.

Facets of Unity, pg. 141

There's No Objective Perception or Experience of Anything

Look at a mountain. It goes up, there’s snow on the top. Do you ever just look at a mountain? Or do you look at it through the lens of this self perspective? Do you just look at the mountain, or are you feeling this or that about it? Are you thinking it reminds you of this, it’s associated with that Maybe you want to go skiing or mountain climbing. Maybe it makes you feel small or big. You see the mountain only as it relates to you, not the mountain as a mountain on its own. So you never really see a mountain. Never! What you see is yourself reflected in the mountain. What you see is your own island with a mirror outside. The same thing happens with every object and person you encounter. This is how you function, how you have always functioned, how you feel you’re always going to function, how everyone else functions. What does this mean? The first implication is that you don’t see things or people for themselves. You don’t see them objectively. There’s no objective perception or experience of anything. You don’t really see a mountain. You don’t really know a person. To really know people means to look at them without any point of view of your own. You cannot then look at them from your perspective of your ideas, your standards, your lens.

You Can Discover that the World You Live in is Determined by What You Believe the World to Be

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.

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