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Openness (Pure Openness)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Openness (Pure Openness)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Openness (Pure Openness)

Being Open and Available to the Presence of Being and the Pure Openness of the Void, the Two Sides of our True Nature

As far as the ego is concerned, desire, need, and wanting are all bound up together—maybe with a little love thrown in, because, even on an ego level, we don’t desire something we don’t like. We don’t think, “Oh, I really want that . . . I don’t like it.” No, we think, “I like it; that is why I want it.” So we like, we love, we want, but underneath—and usually not in our awareness—is an emptiness that we defend against. This contributes to the belief that we need to have the object of our desire to fill the emptiness, which can take us into forbidden territory: As we get in touch with the wanting and the desiring, angst often accompanies them, and our longing brings out a need that sometimes can make us feel infantile or deficient because that kind of wanting comes from a very deep place of emptiness. What is that emptiness? It is a way of experiencing the lack of connection to our true nature. In our natural condition, when we are connected, we are open and available to the presence of Being and the pure openness of the void, the two sides of our true nature. The void side of true nature is not lacking in any way. It is the simple, clear purity of openness itself, without which true selfless love is not possible. From the inherent potential in this openness can arise a love that is a giving, loving fullness. However, when the presence of our nature is missing and we feel the disconnection, we feel emptiness. This emptiness is not spacious, open, clear, and bright. No, this is a deficient emptiness, which is more a dull, murky darkness accompanied by the specific sense of lack. “I don’t have love; I don’t have sufficiency; something is missing . . .” This territory is difficult for us because we sense that if we really feel the desire and need, it will take us into that deficient emptiness—and it can! The two go hand in hand: The need and the emptiness are two sides of the same thing. So we desire something to fill the emptiness, and we become focused on having to get something that will do that.

Soul Recognizing Itself as Pure Openness to Experience, the Actual Possibility for Experience, the Free Potential for Experience

The narcissistic impasse is caused by confusing a phenomenological difficulty with a psychodynamic issue. The fact that experiencing the self through a self-representation alienates it from its ontological truth becomes confused with conflicts about separation involving a certain object relation. Understanding this situation is important for self-realization. Whether one can work through it determines whether one moves from dual to nondual experience of essential presence. The student may start feeling that what he truly longs for is just to be himself, merely to be, without even caring to conceptualize what he is being. He just wants to simply be, and that is all. This clarity leads to greater realization of the Essential Identity, and greater differentiation in the properties of this experience. He experiences his essential nature in many ways now, expressing the various functions of this true identity. Sometimes there is a sense of completeness. The act of being himself, which is not an activity, feels complete. The presence has no gaps. The center has no attitudes. It is just a complete existence, which is a perfect act of being. There is no familiar sense of self or no self, no sense of size or quality. At other times he feels he is nothing, but a wondrous nothing. No characteristics, no perspective, no position, and no attitude. It is total freedom. This nothing feels like a fertile nothing, a potential for experience, any and all experience. In other words, the soul recognizes itself as pure openness to experience, the actual possibility for experience, the free potential for experience.

The View of Totality is Even Outside the Notion of World and Universe, for it is Pure Openness, Absolutely Nothing in Particular

Even though each view might be self-consistent, the differences between one view and another do not need to be reconciled in the view of totality. Rather than erasing inconsistencies, the view of totality allows us to understand them by revealing the relationship of one view to another and, in this way, ignites the dynamism of reality to disclose even more of its possibilities. The fourth turning of the wheel basically is freedom in a different kind of realization, in some sense in a different kind of world, a different kind of universe. The view of totality is even outside the notion of world or universe, for it is pure openness, absolutely nothing in particular. We don’t need ourselves or reality to be any way in particular for there to be freedom. We are free to experience any realization, and our life is constituted by these realizations, but there is no attachment to any of them and no need to deem any one as ultimate. This kind of freedom is the hallmark of living our enlightenment, living our realization, living the awakening realization of our true nature, of the philosophers’ stone. Enlightenment is the theme that pervades the second turning of the wheel, which has to do with the realization of the boundlessness or nonduality of true nature. While the main theme of the first two turnings of the wheel is illumination, realization, or enlightenment, when we come to the fourth turning, the main theme is freedom. It is no longer a question of enlightened or not enlightened. If what we are interested in is being enlightened, we don’t need anything beyond the second turning. We can recognize that true nature is and realize that it is what we are and what everything is, and we can stop there.

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