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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Omnipresence?

The mystical experience of boundlessness and infinity, and that of eternity and nowness, is not the most direct experience of true nature; rather, it is the experience of true nature from the perspective of the time-space grid of manifestation. This is why true nature is usually described as infinite expanse, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, endlessness, infinity, eternity, and so on.

— A. H. Almaas

Omnipresence is that there’s a sense that you’re everywhere; that’s how it feels.

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Omnipresence

Omnipresence Inseparable from the Personal Quality

We also discussed in the final part of The Pearl Beyond Price the process of personalization of the formless-boundless dimensions, which is the individuation of the soul on these dimensions. This is because the personal essence is also the aspect associated with the individuation of the soul, an individuation that develops as the soul’s identity shifts to deeper dimensions. Personalization has another side, which complements the individuation of the soul on the boundless dimensions. This is the personalization of the boundless dimensions themselves. In other words, as the soul learns to be a pearl, personal essence, on a particular boundless dimension, it becomes possible for her to experience this dimension integrated with the aspect of the personal essence. More exactly, we can experience the dimension of pure presence, for example, not only as a boundless and infinite omnipresence, pure and undifferentiated, but as omnipresence inseparable from the personal quality. The personal quality of essence, the pearly quality, can pervade the pure omnipresence, in a complete coemergence. We then experience everything as a oneness of Being but with a personal quality. In other words, Being can be personal, but without having to be an individual form. This is the personalization of the pure presence boundless dimension.

Being Aware that Our Presence is Omnipresent

This point is difficult to comprehend, because we ordinarily think of the site of our awareness as dictated by the location of the body, which is ordinarily the case. However, this perspective implies that the body is more fundamental than the soul, and here we are interested in exploring whether this is the case. This perspective is directly challenged by out-of-body experiences, frequently reported by individuals under anesthesia or in near-death experiences. Reports of such experiences indicate that one can be aware of the body from a different physical location; for example, these reports frequently mention looking down at the body from above. The reports of out-of-body experiences indicate that we can be aware of our environment from the perspective of a different location than the body. A similar perspective arises when we experience pure awareness, or any of the boundless dimensions of Being. In these experiences we are aware that our presence is everywhere; it is omnipresent. Even though we are aware of our presence everywhere, and not only inside the body, our perception is located in time and space. This is interesting because in such experiences we can be acutely aware that we are not the body, that the body is part of the manifestation of the omnipresence, like any other physical objects, but our experience continues to be localized. It is clear that this question is relevant when we contemplate out-of-body experience, whether in life or after death. This understanding shows that awareness is localized, which is necessary for perception, and under these conditions it is not the body that is responsible for the localization.

Elimination of Duality

At this juncture, we understand that believing that we are separate individuals, or autonomous entities, rather than recognizing ourselves as the oneness of all existence, creates alienation from pure Being. To take oneself as ultimately a separate and autonomous person creates the supreme wound, which appears as an abyss, an abysmal chasm, that alienates us not only from our true nature, but also from everybody and everything. This is the supreme betrayal, and the beginning of endless suffering. We also understand, here, the cosmic shell as the experience of the world devoid of its true nature, the infinite pure Being. Looking through the representational world, we see only a world devoid of Being. The quality of infinity and omnipresence of the identity at this level of experience eliminates duality. We experience Being not only as our true nature, but as the nature of everything. This means it is also the true nature of the ego-self. The pure presence of Being is the underlying ground both for aspects of Essence, and for structures of the ego-self. Both become seen as particular formations within the presence of pure Being. At this level, the movement from the duality between Essence and personality is different from that involved in realizing the Essential Identity. In the realization of the Essential Identity, the student experiences the personality in the third person, as if from the outside, as the totality of the suffering individual. She experiences herself as a center of awareness and presence separate from the individual person, relating to that person with compassion, love, and understanding. Or she experiences herself as a personality aware of the Essential Identity as an essential presence, characterized by the feeling of identity. There is duality in this experience.

How Does Essence Arise Within the Soul?

Essential presence unfolds its subtle boundless dimensions until it finally appears as the boundless pure presence. Here the aspects appear as the concept diamonds. The concept diamonds, it turns out, specifically challenge and penetrate the reification of essential aspects. For a long time in her journey, the soul cannot help but engage in the process of reifying her experience, including her essential experience. In fact, essence first arises as if within the soul or outside her, as limited forms of presence, because it is arising in a mostly reified field. Hence, it is very difficult for the soul not to reify the essential qualities, and put them in conceptual packages. If this continues without challenge it will ultimately close the door to essential unfoldment. But the true attitude of inquiry, of loving truth for its own sake, keeps this door open, allowing essence to finally reveal its aspects in the form of concept diamonds. These, one by one, reveal the largely unconscious reification of the aspects, precipitating the soul into the realization of herself as the pure omnipresence of true nature, as we have discussed above in the example of the black peace diamond.

The Ground and Nature of Everything

This essentialization can include all aspects. So the soul’s action can be intelligent, compassionate, clear, steadfast, etc., in a total and full way. And this action can be physical, expressive, or mental. She is presence of essence, but also a dynamic living presence whose morphogenic transformations express the pure perfections of true nature. In this transformation the soul has progressed from the stage of the human soul, the attainment of the second journey, to the stage of the angelic soul, or the essential soul. The second side of the development of nonduality in the journey in presence has to do with essential presence manifesting its ground of true nature. Essence here reveals itself not only as the ontological nature of the soul but as the ontological nature of all existence, all manifestation. True nature begins to reveal its omnipresence, disclosing that it is the ground and nature of everything. This appears as true nature revealing its boundless and formless dimensions that transcend the limited boundaries of the ego-self, even the individuality or personhood of the soul. The soul does not experience herself here as an individual soul, but as a boundless and nonlocal presence that transcends all spatial extensions, as eternal nowness that transcends all time, and as a mystery that transcends all determinations. She is all and everything, she is Reality.

True Nature Consists of Many Dimensions

From the above considerations we see that even though true nature is fundamentally free from spatial and temporal extensions, it appears in manifestation as the experience of infinity and eternity, boundlessness and nowness. However, the mystical experience of boundlessness and infinity, and that of eternity and nowness, is not the most direct experience of true nature; rather, it is the experience of true nature from the perspective of the timespace grid of manifestation. This is why true nature is usually described as infinite expanse, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, endlessness, infinity, eternity, and so on. In the view of the Diamond Approach, true nature reveals these characteristics, and many others, by revealing itself as consisting of many dimensions, each illuminating some of these qualities. In other words, rather than viewing reality as true nature appearing in manifestation with such characteristics, we view true nature as manifesting itself with many dimensions. More accurately, we view reality to be a Riemannian manifold with many dimensions of Being: the physical dimension of time and space, the dimension of subtle energy, and the subtle dimensions of presence. The latter are those structuring the presence of true nature. This view takes us back to our understanding of the soul as we presented it in chapter.

What Reveals the Omnipresence that Constitutes all Forms?

Pure presence can take us beyond ordinary knowledge and penetrate its reifications, but the tendency for reification will remain. As long as the mind is present, and can recognize forms, it will reify them. It will even reify omnipresence, even though it is not a form with shape and size. To go beyond the tendency for reification we need to go beyond the mind that reifies, and beyond the concepts that can be reified. In other words, freedom from reification can be total only when we do not see any concepts, only when we do not recognize any forms. And this can happen only on the nonconceptual dimension of true nature. In the process of inquiry into our sense of self, we first see how our soul is patterned by past impressions. Such impressions perpetuate the past, with its conflicts and ignorance, as patterns of identity and character. Then we recognize that the past continues in representations, which first appear as images and object relations taken from past experiences. Going to the dimension of pure presence, we recognize that these images and representations are composed of reifications, of both basic and ordinary forms of knowledge. Pure presence penetrates these representations by showing that they are reifications, revealing the omnipresence that underlies and constitutes all forms. Yet the tendency toward reification does not disappear, though it may diminish a great deal.

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