Main Pages

By Region




Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Objectivity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Objectivity

Absolute Objectivity Doesn’t Happen Except at the Level of the Absolute

Absolute objectivity doesn’t happen except at the level of the Absolute. At the very moment we reach that level, we transcend the uncertainty principle. This is because we see that the recognizer and what is recognized are one, not two. There is no observer and no observed, no explorer and no explored—only one objective existence. The whole basis of the uncertainty principle—the duality between the observer and the observed—has disappeared. Only on this level of nonduality can objectivity be complete. So understanding continues to deepen as we move through degrees of objectivity. More precisely, for understanding to deepen, we must become more objective, more exact, more precise. We then see things more as they are. We arrive again at the insight about truth stated in chapter 23, “Truth in Understanding”: that truth is a moving point.

As Long as there is a Self, there are Limits to Objectivity

There are degrees of subjectivity and objectivity and it is possible to be somewhat objective about ourselves, other people or reality in general while we are not in the diamond state. However, when that state is present, it can make our capacities and perceptions less driven by our subjective identity. Simply having the experience of a diamond state does not make our fallibility disappear, however, nor does it erase overnight the limitations of self. That is a long process. As long as there is a self, there are limits to objectivity. To be outside of subjective mind is a well-known spiritual goal across many traditions. When people hear the word “objectivity” in that context, though, sometimes it brings up fear that presenting a truth as indisputable carries an agenda of fortifying a personal or institutional point of view. This, unfortunately, does occur. But the Diamond Approach works by enabling us to see and know the truth about who and what we are beyond subjectivity and without rigid assertions about what the truth is.

Knowing for the First Time What Being is and that it is Our True Nature

The moment essence is recognized as one's being and experienced as such, a radical transformation occurs. One's life will never be the same. Although the transformation can be total, it is usually partial. Nevertheless, it is a radical transformation: the person knows for the first time what being is and that it is his true nature. As we saw at the beginning in this chapter, this discovery initiates the process of inner transformation. This transformation is both in the mind and on the essential dimension. The mind and personality are clarified steadily, and objectivity becomes more and more complete. Essence transubstantiates into its various aspects and dimensions. Life is no longer the exclusive domain of the personality. As essence unfolds and expands, it exposes deeper and more basic sectors of the personality, bringing about knowledge and objectivity. And these in turn allow essence to displace the personality on more and more dimensions. The discovery of essence is the beginning of the true life. Essence, as we have seen, is not a state experienced once and then always experienced in the same way afterward. Essence is rich and endless in its aspects, qualities, dimensions, capacities, and possibilities. All of this richness starts unfolding, bringing surprise, delight, beauty, value, and fulfillment.

Love and Appreciation of Truth for Its Own Sake is an Absolute Requirement for Objectivity

What we are seeing here is that the love and appreciation of truth for its own sake is an absolute requirement for objectivity, which in turn is required for complete metabolism. If one is not interested in the truth, or is interested in it for other purposes, which amounts to the same thing, then one might get what one wants, but not the truth. Even if one wants complete metabolism, development, or enlightenment, then one is looking for a certain result or end, not for truth. Thus, in the Diamond Approach, the age-old spiritual dictum that desire leads away from truth and towards suffering, becomes a specific understanding of the requirement for objectivity, and hence for metabolism and transformation. This objectivity is not easy to attain, or even to understand. Love of truth for its own sake is actually the expression of essential heart. When one perceives the heart on the Being level, one can recognize that love is the expression of truth. Seeing that a necessary requirement for objectivity, which is usually considered a mental quality, is pure love of truth, which is a heart quality, we observe the organic interrelation between the various aspects of Essence. It is interesting to remember that the beginning of ego has a defensive character, and defense is nothing but hiding a certain truth of experience. So the requirement for inner realization is the converse of the most basic characteristic of the ego; defense and resistance are the enemies of truth, and love is its ally.

Objectivity Deepens and Unfolds Just as the Truth Does

How do we arrive at the objectivity needed for understanding what is true? This objectivity is not something we attain once and for all, after which it continues to be present fully without interruption. That is not how it works. Objectivity deepens and unfolds just as the truth does. In addition, to have an objective understanding of a situation or experience requires more than just objectivity on our part. Objectivity is only one element needed for objective understanding, as we will see by considering the process of inquiry. First we are aware of an experience, perception, or situation. Understanding begins when we realize that we do not understand something about it. Since we love to see the truth, this absence or incompleteness of our knowingness of the objective truth of the situation begins the process of inquiry and understanding. At this point, our lack or incompleteness of understanding usually reflects our lack of objectivity. So our love of finding the truth begins the process of becoming more and more objective in our attitude. Acquiring an increasing objectivity regarding the situation is a matter of clarifying our experience, in terms of both our attitudes and the object of inquiry. This clarifying is a process of cutting through obscurations—the clouds of prejudice, opinions, reactions, defenses, and so on.

Objectivity is the Function of the Diamond Guidance

The love for truth, which reverses the attitude of defense, leads directly to the truth of experience, the truth that was defended against. And, as we already know, it is this truth that is the nutrient for the development of the Personal Essence. This indicates that when the heart loves truth it is approaching the specific nutrition needed for the essential person. So we can say, although it is only a conceptualization, that the heart loves the Personal Essence and its development. This again shows the organic interrelation between the aspects of Essence. These perceptions can go on forever, the understanding becoming more precise and more specific, reflecting the functioning of the Diamond Consciousness. We have shown how objectivity is needed for psychic metabolism, and we have explored the love of truth, for its own sake, as a necessary requirement for such objectivity. Objectivity is the function of the diamond guidance, and hence, love of truth is a necessary requirement for the presence and operation of this indispensable guidance. Another quality, which usually accompanies the love of truth, that of curiosity, is required for purification of the ego. One can have the capacity to be objective, but if one is not curious then one will not have the opportunity to apply it. One must pay attention and be involved in the experience in order to see the truth, and this requires curiosity. Curiosity does not necessarily mean searching for truth. The seeking for truth, realization or enlightenment is a pale reflection of the true quality needed for them. Searching implies desire, it implies an end in mind, it implies preconceptions and assumptions, and hence it is counter to the attitude of love of truth, and counter to objectivity.

Objectivity Means Not Laying Your Trips on What’s Actually Here

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.

Our Usual Understanding of Objectivity is Not Real Objectivity, it’s a Schizoid Isolation

The heart is not initially objective, but when it loves the truth in a motiveless way, it is willing to experience things objectively. Real love is objective in this sense: It doesn’t have beliefs and preferences; it doesn’t perceive through structures and lenses; it doesn’t have ideas of how things should be. This view is the opposite of the conventional idea of objectivity. We have learned that an objective scientist is one who wears gloves; he’s an emotionally uninvolved individual with an antiseptic exterior, more like a machine than a man. In trying not to interfere with the experiment, he becomes inhuman, heartless. That’s why we usually think that heart and objectivity don’t go together. But it’s not that objectivity doesn’t go with heart, it’s that our usual understanding of objectivity doesn’t go with heart. Our usual understanding of objectivity is not real objectivity, it’s a schizoid isolation. It is the result of trying to arrive at objectivity through schizoid withdrawal. Because we don’t know how to deal with our subjectivity, we shut it off. That has been the accepted way of science, and some people have been advocating this approach even for psychology and spirituality. Rather than trying to be as careful and antiseptic as possible—putting on gloves and operating through glass doors—we can be more objective by appreciating that subjectivity cannot be taken out of the equation. Real objectivity doesn’t mean that there is no heart. In fact, objectivity goes along with the heart, with love. Because we love the truth, we can be objective, for the truth we love is objective truth. And you can’t arrive at objective truth while you’re being subjective.

The Primary Way We Lose Our Objectivity has to do With Representations

The way the conventional or ego self experiences things, the way we ordinarily perceive reality, the way we perceive each other, the way we feel, sense, touch, and see are generally speaking not objective. Our normal, everyday perception is filtered through a great many obscurations. An important part of spiritual work, in a sense the point of it—that which is sufficient to take us the whole way on any path—is to experience things objectively: to experience, feel, sense, taste and see objectively. When this happens we say we are experiencing Reality. So, what is called spiritual realization, which is the same as experiencing Reality, does not mean having supernatural experiences. The primary way we lose our objectivity has to do with representations. To experience reality as it is means to apprehend it without our representations of it. In other words, the main reason we don’t experience things objectively is that we look at reality through our representations of it. We take our ideas of it, beliefs about it, images of it, memories of it, etc. as describing it, and then look at reality through these filters. We are using the word “representation” in the general sense of the word, not in the technical, psychoanalytic sense like in self- or object representations. Whenever we need to think, talk, or communicate with others, we need to represent reality. We cannot speak without representing. In verbal representation we take a string of words or a string of letters to represent some percept. Representation makes it possible for us think and communicate verbally, and so, of course, it is important and necessary.

The Void, pg. 151

To be Objective About an Essential Aspect Means to See it From its Own Perspective, Independent of Mind

This clarifies a particular aspect of our understanding regarding the realization of Essential Identity. The realization of any essential aspect beyond mind and concepts means the objective understanding of this aspect of Essence. To be objective about it means to see it from its own perspective, independent from mind. This objectivity always reveals the aspect in a diamond-like form, giving the experience clarity, precision, and sharpness. When we become objective about the Essential Identity, the point of light, when we recognize it just as it is, it appears as a diamond point. This is an amazing perception, unexpected and unimaginable in the conventional dimension of experience. We behold the Essential Identity as a faceted point of light. There is then a certainty about our identity, without this having anything to do with a conceptual or self-reflective knowledge. This objectivity, however, is not related to the color the point manifests itself in.

What We See, in Fact, is Only Our Unconscious Projected on to the World

Usually we believe that if we get what we want, what the personality wants, we will be fulfilled. But fulfillment is ultimately the freedom from desires. What I am saying is that being oneself, being one’s essence, free from the desires of the personality, is the fulfillment. It’s not that you want your essence so you can get something else. It’s not that you want your essence so that you’ll get rich or fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s not that your essence will enable you to have children, do special things, or be famous. If this is your attitude, the dissatisfaction and the suffering will continue because you are not seeing where fulfillment lies. When I say this principle is absolute, I mean just that. It is absolute in the way a physical law is absolute. It has nothing to do with your opinions or your preferences. That’s the way reality is; it is the truth. But we try to hedge that truth, try to change it, try to show that it’s not so. What stops us from understanding and accepting this truth is lack of objectivity. We don’t see things as they are. That is the main obstacle—our lack of objective perception. We see things in ways that are totally dictated by our unconscious, which means that we don’t see things as they are at all, or we see them always clouded and unclear. We see things according to our fears and desires; we see what we expect to see. What we see, in fact, is only our unconscious projected onto the world. We don’t see the world as it really is, we don’t see others as they really are, and we don’t see ourselves. Because of that, our motivation, our direction, is crooked, out of alignment. Our orientation is wrong. We try to orient ourselves according to our dreams and opinions, which are all conditioned by the unconscious.

Subscribe to the Diamond Approach

See past editions of the Diamond Approach newsletter