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Organ of Experience

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Organ of Experience?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Organ of Experience

Believing that One Organ of Experience is Going to Help Another Organ of Experience

So if we continue to investigate our desire to help others, rather than taking it for granted as an enlightened inclination, we might encounter various delusions. Even though we might be experiencing ourselves as the vastness of Being, as we move to help someone else, we become identified with an organ of experience relating to another organ of experience. We say to ourselves, “I’m going to help that person. I’m responsible for him. I love and care for him.” We believe that one organ of experience is going to help another organ of experience—one human being is going to help another human being. But in reality, we are each, as individuals, simply organs. So who or what is actually helping the other person? If we are in the enlightened condition and recognize Living Being, we understand that we never help another person—it is always Living Being that helps others—and us. Even to say that Living Being helps is an approximation because, from the perspective of Living Being, there is no such thing as helping. Living Being is growing organs, ripening them, using one organ to develop another, and probably using several organs and many situations to develop any particular organ. So when we understand this, we recognize that as individuals, we are merely one source of help, one part of a process of maturation of any particular organ. It is always Living Being helping itself. Or we could say that Living Being, through its dynamism and intelligence, is ripening a particular organ. And part of this ripening is a manifestation through other organs of a particular functioning or activity or communication that, from our individual perspective, we might think of as one person helping another.

It is the Fullness of Our Soul that is Our Window onto the Universe

Understanding the property of life in the soul deepens and expands our appreciation of life for its own sake. We begin to recognize the intrinsic value of life, and especially the value of human life, for it is the life of the human soul, the soul with infinite potential. Appreciating and loving life is inseparable from loving and valuing the soul. We want our life to be full because it is the fullness of our soul that is our window onto the universe, our organ of experience. We not only want to be free and detached; we want to be free and detached and at the same time for our life to be full, rich, and fulfilled. And because we understand that consciousness is more fundamental than life, we realize that to be free we need to center ourselves in pure consciousness. We love pure consciousness because it is our very identity, truth, and substance, but we also love our living soul because she is what completes it. She is the daughter of primordial pure consciousness, but also its infinite potential.

No Experience or Perception Can Happen Without this Organ of Experience

It is always through our individual consciousness that we know the mystery, even when we experience ourselves as its vastness, its expanse, its luminosity. It is our experience, not somebody else’s. In other words, this perception is happening through a particular individual consciousness, even though we recognize ourselves as this empty vastness. This demonstrates the implicit presence of individual consciousness, of the individual soul. No experience or perception can occur without this organ of experience, so there is no way to know this mystery from its own viewpoint. There is no claim that the mystery knows itself in a way we cannot know it, for it needs our individual consciousness for it to know. But simply put, the mystery can only know itself through a particular individual consciousness, and hence it can never know itself absolutely without it. The Diamond Approach takes the view that the teachings of different spiritual paths approximate the knowledge of this mystery in different ways, some definite and precise, others indefinite and ambiguous. However, we see no reason to take one as true and the others as false. Different teachings can each reflect objective truth about reality in its purity because of this indeterminability of the mystery.

Organ of Consciousness of Reality

Each boundless dimension reveals more of the nature of the soul and her objective relation to true nature on the one hand, and the world of manifestation on the other. We will discuss the contribution of each dimension in the following chapters, but reserve for the last chapters in the book a full discussion of the nature of the relation between true nature and the soul. Divine love reveals that the soul is an inseparable offspring of true nature, a child of the divine. The soul is a body of light, a drop of grace that embodies the total potential of the transcendent, but in a particular and individual manner. She is a potential necessary for the emergence of further possibilities within true nature. This dimension also reveals that the soul is the expression of the love and grace of true nature, and the carrier of this love in the world of manifestation. The soul is the manifestation that can consciously experience true nature in all of its fullness and splendor, contemplate its knowledge and mysteries, reflect on its miraculousness and majesty, and celebrate its beauty and magic. The soul is the organ of experience and expression of true nature and, hence, the organ of consciousness of Reality.

Soul - A Magical Organ of Experience and Action

To experience the richness of our Being, the potential of our soul, we must allow our experience to become more and more open, and increasingly question what we assume we are. Usually we identify with a very limited part of our potential, what we call the ego or personality. Some call it the small self. But this identity is actually a distortion of what we really are, which is a completely open flow out of the mystery of Being. A human being is a universe of experience, multifaceted and multidimensional. Each of us is a soul, a dynamic consciousness, a magical organ of experience and action. And each of us is in a constant state of transformation—of one experience opening up to another, one action leading to another, one perception multiplying into many others; of perception growing into knowledge, knowledge leading to action, and action creating more experience. This unfolding is constant, dynamic, and full of energy. This is the very nature of what we call life.

Soul is Basically an Organ of Experience

When we recognize the inner vessel, and see that it is the locus of all experience, knowledge of the soul begins to unfold. Since the soul is the field where all experience happens, it becomes possible to see that there is no experiencer experiencing the inner events, apart from the soul. This field is a field of sensitivity; it is the consciousness that is conscious of such experience; so the soul is the experiencer. It is a field of sensitivity—we will shortly discuss this sensitivity in its relation to consciousness, awareness, and knowing—capable of what we call experience. It can experience anything arising within itself, within its field. Soul, we see here, is basically an organ of experience. We normally think of ourselves as the experiencer of our experiences, but we do not know what this experiencer is. When we recognize the soul, it becomes clear that this experiencer is the same thing as the field where all experience happens. The experiencer is the locus; there is no duality between subject and locus of experience.

The Human Being Seen as Both an Individual and an Organ of Experience for the Whole Universe

Each spiritual tradition has a different story to explain why we are here. Some say that the unmanifest manifests the universe out of compassion, or out of love, or even out of playfulness. We don’t claim to know the purpose of human life. In fact, we admit the possibility that it may not even be possible to know why we are here. All we really know is that the unmanifest manifests the universe—and we know this from our own experience, which provides the perception of the human being as both an individual and an organ of experience for the whole universe. Experientially, the sense is that the whole universe is behind you, and you are like a window through which it sees. This perception clarifies our understanding of what motivates us to do the work of spiritual transformation. From this vantage point, we see that it is not to free ourselves from our suffering, but to become a clear window for the universe. Now, becoming such a window does result in freeing oneself, but if you conceive of it that way, you remain a self-centered and isolated individual who is working at becoming free. Then the whole conceptual framework within which you hold the Work remains shaped by the egoic perspective and entrenched in that subjective position. Thus, your consciousness remains rooted in the ego and you cannot become free of it. Spiritual unfoldment means perceiving and experiencing objectively, and the objective principle that is lacking here is that of Holy Transparency.

Facets of Unity, pg. 101

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