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Objective Truth

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Objective Truth?

When there is love of truth and true curiosity about it, it becomes possible to see the objective truth in the particular experience. 

— A. H. Almaas

Objective truth simply means that there is something discernibly true arising in experience. It exists independent of the mind of the person experiencing it.  

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Objective Truth

Believing that there is Discernable Meaning in Our Experience

This is an important consideration for our work of inquiry and understanding. When you are convinced that you can discern an objective truth through exploring your direct experience, you will be more motivated to put out the effort to find out what that truth is. But if you take the position that everyone sees things differently, and therefore all inner knowing is relative, your motivation will suffer. You’re just going to perceive your experience as an isolated happening whose truth is not relevant to anyone else or to any other situation than this one. But if we believe that there is an objective truth—a discernible meaning—in our experience, then we can see more value in exploring our inner reality. Then our inner experience has significance andcan function as a support, as a bedrock of reality. The presence of objective truth in our experience can aid us in developing our basic trust, our commitment, our sincerity, and our openness. We can explore this question from several angles—epistemological, philosophical, or theological. But regardless of our approach, how we answer the question is very important in determining how we orient to our personal experience, how much conviction and certainty we have in our experience, and ultimately how we relate to our actions and life in general. It also has important implications for spiritual work. If we take the position that everything in our personal experience is relative, then we cannot have a teaching. That is because a spiritual teaching is based on a set of universal truths about human consciousness.

Does Objective Truth Exist Independent of the Mind of the Person Experiencing It?

Generally speaking, spiritual traditions and teachings take the position that there is such a thing as objective truth. In fact, a spiritual teaching is nothing but a way to reach this objective truth. However, the various spiritual traditions have different ideas about what this objective truth is. The theistic religions believe in the existence of God. The Hindu systems have other ultimate truths: Atman, Brahman, or Shiva. Buddhism talks of shunyata (emptiness) or Buddha nature. But they all believe that we can find some ultimate truth in experience. The Diamond Approach is also based on the recognition that such a thing as objective truth exists independent of the mind of the person experiencing it. However, what we mean by “truth” is not merely the ultimate truth of reality. We use the word to refer to a specific element in any experience: the truth of the experience (or the situation), which can be confirmed by several independent observers. This objective truth, which is independent of one’s subjective positions, is not static, nor is it an object. It’s not as though you look into your experience and find the truth, and this truth stays the truth forever and ever. In each moment there is truth arising anew in your experience. The next moment, the truth in your experience might be different from the truth you discovered last. So the truth is dynamic, constantly shifting, changing, and transforming. And inquiry is the dynamic process that reveals increasing degrees and depths of that truth. But truth always refers to something actually present—how things objectively are at the moment—even though that truth will change. At each moment there is one truth, even though it can be viewed from different perspectives, attitudes, or positions. Seeing it from these various positions will definitely color the perception of the truth, without negating the fact that an objective element of truth is present.

Essence is the Most Objective Truth of What the Soul Is

We have seen that essence is the true nature of the soul in both of these senses: it is her ultimate existential mode and ground, and it is the most objective truth of what she is. In the same way, essence reveals itself at this juncture of the inner journey as the essence and true nature of everything. Essential presence is the ontological ground of all phenomena. It is their ultimate substance. It is the true nature of plants, animals, rocks, atoms, elementary particles, energy, light, oceans, planets, galaxies, whatever universes exist, and so on, and the true nature of all thoughts, feelings, sensations, images, and all processes involving any of these objects. Nothing is outside the compass of true nature. We saw in our discussion of the soul that her essence is not composed of distinct isolated parts, not composed of atoms. Essence is a homogeneous and indivisible medium, a true unified field. Seeing this indivisibility, it is actually a short logical step to recognize that it must be everywhere, as the essence of everything. More fundamentally, however, we increasingly appreciate the characteristics of true nature; it is timeless and infinite, beyond time and space, transcendent to all manifestation, and so on. Here we can explore these characteristics more specifically, to develop our understanding of the transcendence of phenomena, especially of time and space, from the perspective of true nature itself.

Knowing by Being Rather than Through Mental Activity

Living according to objective Truth automatically exposes the part that is unwilling to live in this way. This part is the ego self, whose development involved the increasing cathexis of physical reality and the abandonment of Being. So this self becomes the main identification system challenged by this level of development. Exploring this identification precipitates the entry into the fourth objective dimension, which is the experience of Essence as objective knowledge. It is knowing by being, rather than through mental activity. This dimension is also that of the teachings of Essence; it makes possible the understanding of how the perspective of each aspect can be a whole teaching, a path for essential realization. All existing teachings regarding Being become comprehensible in this dimension. The perspective of each aspect is seen as a way of freedom from the self of ego. Each aspect becomes understood in its relation to the self, and to the experience of dissolution of this self. This is a wide and deep level of essential experience, which ultimately leads to the experience of ego death, or the annihilation of the self. This happens through the detailed, specific, and objective understanding of the identity of ego. The work is deep and profound, involving realizations that are shattering to one’s identity with ego. The gist of the understanding has to do with what is called ego activity. This is the inner activity, psychic activity, which is the life of the ego self, which cannot exist without this activity.

Questions that Point to the Issue of Objective Truth

Conceptualizing the phenomenon we call understanding as the discernment of patterns in experience and their meaning implies the presence of something to be known, perceived, experienced, and discerned. Specifically, it implies there is content in any given experience that can be discerned, content not produced by our conceptualizing mind. But is there actually something present in experience, and can it be truly recognized for what it is? Or is everything we experience a product of our mind, our subjectivity? Is it perhaps a mixture? And if our mind adds something to an experience, can we truly say that we recognize the pattern of that experience? These questions all point to the issue of objective truth. We need to consider that understanding will not have real significance or true value if there is not something in our experience to be understood, something that is objectively true, independent of our minds and opinions.

The Certainty that the Condition of Oneness is the Actual Condition of Reality

The condition of oneness is seen as a fact; it is seen to be the objective truth. One is certain that this is not a transient condition, but the actual condition of reality. It is really nothing but the total perception of reality. The perception is at all levels, the physical and the spiritual. This is in contrast to ego perception, where it is only physical, based on the physical, and exclusive of any other reality that is not an extension of the physical. There is certainty that the experience of oneness of Being is an objective perception because one is aware that the perception does not exclude anything (including the normal perception), but adds another dimension, that of nondifferentiated Pure Being.

Using Your Will in the Service of Objective Truth

You need to use your truth, and you need to use your will in harmony with the truth. For that to happen, the will needs to be objective, and the truth needs to be objective. Objective, as I said before, means not influenced by your emotional state or your unconscious. You need to use your objective will in the service of objective truth. Using your will in the service of objective truth means using the objective will of Essence according to the objective truth about how things are—not according to your emotions, not according to your beliefs, not according to your dreams. It has nothing to do with desires or preferences. It has to do with how things are, how they function. That’s what “objective” means: to live according to the facts, the truth. As long as you say, “I want it another way,” you are going to suffer. To be even more efficient, both will and truth must be not only objective, but universal as well. “Universal” in this case means not only the truth about you, but the truth about the whole situation, about everything and everybody. Also the will is not only for you but for Essence as a whole. You will see that for you to really live the life of Essence, the life that will protect and nourish and nurture Essence, you have to take into consideration everything and everybody. It has to be universal. When the will and the truth are in harmony and both are objective and universal, that will be the citadel. It will protect the sweet, soft, fulfilling Ridhwan. Ridhwan is sometimes called the “Angel Guardian of Paradise.” It is subtle, soft, and delicate.

We are Not Attuned to What is Real, to the Perspective of True Living

Much of the suffering that we experience has to do with lack of attunement to the objective truth, to the true condition of reality. We are not attuned to what is real, to what we’re supposed to do, to the perspective of true living. Our lack of attunement to the higher principle that is an expression of objective reality means that we operate in ways we were not made to operate. We’re bound to suffer. What I’m saying about purification and the attitude of service has to become heartfelt knowledge. It’s not enough for it to be information in the mind. We need to understand objective reality through the heart, through our soul. What we ultimately want is to live the way we’re supposed to live, which means to serve, which means to be an expression of something much bigger than what appears before our eyes. To be a true slave of the truth, we become one with the truth. The truth lives through us. We live the truth. Fully appreciating this understanding, we realize that the individual soul and the totality of all truth are not two. They are two sides of the same thing, inseparable facets of reality.

We Need to Start Waking Up to the Objective Truth that is Everywhere

Your own soul, your consciousness, is the organ of truth, the window to reality, and that’s why you look inside. This does not mean that the truth of reality is inside; but for a long time the way we experience it is through the reality that’s inside. We tend to believe that that’s how things are—that essence is inside, spirit is inside, truth is inside. At some point, we need to begin to see things more objectively. We need to question our assumptions about inside and outside. We need to wake up at a more fundamental level. We need to stop running after the illusion that truth is inside, and start waking up to the objective truth that is everywhere. For a long time, for many levels and dimensions, the Work of the truth has to do with experiencing things within you—Essence, essential aspects, spiritual experiences that are transforming, exciting, intriguing, and fulfilling. These experiences can bring a lot of excitement and joy into your life, which is very good. If we allow this process to continue, and if we are truly interested in the truth, whatever the truth is, it won’t stop there. Unfoldment won’t just stop at any realization that remains internal, because internal experiences are limited. They take place within the mind, as part of your knowledge. Thus your experience remains governed by the perspective of personal mind, rather than by the perspective of the truth. So even though our inner experience might become more full and rich, without the perspective we are working on now, the world we look upon, our reality, will remain plain, ordinary, drab. We look around and see people, the sky, the trees, the cars, the street, and we feel, “I’ve known this for years and years. This is not the spiritual world. This is not what I want.”

What is Fundamental to Our Process of Inquiry?

We are exploring the place of truth in inquiry and understanding as an element in the Diamond Guidance. Knowing that there is such a thing as objective truth is fundamental to our process of inquiry and understanding. It is also important to look at the role of the major essential aspects in inquiry, understanding, and guidance. We have seen that the capacity for direct knowing is related to the Blue aspect, the aspect of consciousness and knowing. In terms of the four levels of truth, essential truth means experiencing oneself or consciousness on the level of Essence in any of its aspects or manifestations. Exploring particular constellations of conventional experiences, which is the same as understanding specific issues, leads to the arising of Essence as one quality or another. All essential qualities are truth, in the sense that they are objectively present in this dimension. However, we also find a particular essential aspect that is the aspect of Truth itself. Inquiry into this essential presence shows us that it is this aspect that makes it possible for us to discern truth. The specific capacities of our psyche are usually reflections of certain essential qualities that our soul possesses ………. We are able to discern truth—we can know what is true and what is not true in our experience—because inherent in our soul is a quality that is just Truth. Not a particular truth, but the presence of consciousness that is experienced as the presence of Truth. In other words, we can discern truth in experience in general because one pure element of our soul is Truth as such. We can recognize truth because pure Truth is a facet of our nature. The presence of Truth in the soul makes it possible for us to recognize it in everyday experience—whether in a particular situation or in recurring patterns—and on any level of experience.

When is Objective Truth Called Nonconceptual Truth?

Relative truth means that it is relative to our history—the specific manifestations of relative truth uniquely reflect our personal situation and background experience. When the objective truth is independent of our particular history and situation—that is, when everybody experiences the same truth regardless of personal situation or background—I call it essential truth. That’s when we begin to experience Essence and its various aspects. Essential truth will usually arise when we explore a particular relative truth to the point where it becomes freed from our personal history. What will arise then has nothing to do with our childhood, with our history, but reflects the fundamentals of the human soul. The truth in this case is a manifestation of Essence, a quality of essential presence. It could be the presence of Compassion, of Love, or of Joy, Peace, Clarity, Will, Strength, Truth, Intelligence, and so on. It is objective truth, but it cannot be found in the conventional level of experience, only in the essential level. And when the objective truth, which is now essential, is independent not only of our personal history and background but of all mind and its conceptualizations as well, we call it nonconceptual truth. Nonconceptual truth is independent of the concepts of love, hate, strength, brilliance—of all concepts.

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