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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Particulars?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Particulars

In the Nondual Condition all Particulars are Inseparable Parts of the Same Unity

In the nondual condition, all particulars are an inseparable part of the same unity. But the particulars are all equal, and no single particular, including the individual self, stands out. That sense of equality is an important part of nondual realization. Whatever we experience is all the same body of reality. But reality has other secrets and mysteries, which can reveal another kind of realization—that each particular manifestation is not simply an ephemeral form manifested by nondual presence. Each particular manifestation has significance and importance, and recognizing that can help to pierce the mysteries of what the individual human being is. Some teachings actually speak about these mysteries.

The Importance of Particulars

In this book, we are studying true nature in an in-depth way. What is true nature and how does it live? We need to explore these questions experientially, directly, and immediately by looking at the trajectory and development of all our spiritual experiences and awakenings and also at our particular experience in the moment. Our understanding needs to be informed by everything we have known as well as what is unfolding now. One of the things that we learn in the fourth turning of the teaching wheel is the importance of particulars. Any particular form, any particular event, any particular experience is completely itself and also a complete expression of reality. The same holds true for true nature: Regardless of how formless or indefinable it is, it is particular among particulars. That is to say, it is different from the other particulars that we experience, and it is important to recognize this difference True nature is a particular, and it is a particular that is different from all other particulars. One major way it is different is that it is a particular that is an absolutely pervasive particular. Being absolutely pervasive means that true nature pervades all particulars absolutely, consuming them completely—without exception and without leaving anything behind. True nature does not leave any place or any thing outside of itself.

The Manifest World is the Logos’s Unfolding Particulars

More accurately, since the manifest world is also the logos, for it is the logos’s unfolding particulars, and the world is composed of word-concepts, the logos is composed of word-concepts. It is both speaker and speech. It utters the words and is the totality of all the words. However, the manifest world is one indivisible field of dynamic presence, and not disconnected forms and objects. The presence of the logos is then a unified field of words, spoken all at once, for creation is of the world as a whole, instantaneously and continuously. The logos does not utter the word-concepts in succession, it utters them all at once, simultaneously, as if it is uttering one word. In other words, the logos is a word that contains all words. We can understand here why the logos can be referred to as the Word. It is the word of the divine being through which all comes into being. The logos is the Word of Being, the speech by which Being becomes a speaker, and by which the manifest world comes into being.

The Particulars of How the World Appears

At the beginning of a year of breathtaking revelations, Being disclosed the underlying nature of the world as love. Love was revealed as the authentic body of the universe. The manifestation of Being went further, unveiling its body as pure and undifferentiated presence, in which the particulars of the world are seen to be simply differentiations of this supreme presence, unfolding in beautiful patterns. It divulged the nature of these differentiations as concepts within its spaciousness. At the same time it became clear this presence is both fullness and emptiness. The revelations continued, with increasing subtlety. What was revealed next was the nature of the world as beyond the mind. Being unveiled nonconceptual clarity as the truth of the world, in which the world is nothing but the nonmental concepts as and through which Being manifests. The particulars of how the world appears turn out to be nonmental forms, luminous designs inseparable from the total freshness and clarity of Being. To the ordinary state of mind these forms veil the nature of Being, because we experience them as objects. In this realization the forms become infinite beautiful windows revealing the clear luminous nature of Being.

The Self’s Experience of itself

In fact, the self-representation is even more intimately linked to the self ’s experience of itself than the metaphor of the lens and the eye suggests. The experience of the self is actually determined by the self-representation. The phenomenology of the self ’s experience presents itself through this representation, and hence, what the self perceives and experiences as itself, in its present experience, is greatly determined by it. The self-representation actually sculpts the forms that arise as the phenomenological particulars of the self’s experience of itself. This patterning of the malleable substance of the soul is so inherent in the self’s experience that there is no awareness of the distinction between substance and its forms. Under normal circumstances, the self cannot conceive of itself without the particular form it finds itself in. In our opinion, this integration of the self-concept with the self in experience is what the various authors refer to when they speak of the “firm cathexis” of the self-representation.

Total Being Can Experience Itself as Not Concerned and Not Affected by Any Particular Feature of Experience

And even though these categories don’t apply and are not necessary, it doesn’t mean that the experiences of self and no self are completely gone. With total openness, sometimes it seems as if there were no self, and at other times it seems as if there is a self. So there is a fluidity and openness to experience that reveals that these are different ways that Total Being manifests itself. We see that we can experience Total Being in one way or another and also that Total Being can experience itself as not concerned and not affected by any particular feature of experience. Because of its total nonconceptuality, this openness has no problem with concepts. It can hold both the conceptual and the nonconceptual in its awareness, in its consciousness, and recognize them as valid ways of experiencing reality even though they happen to be opposites. As we experience Total Being in this way, we see that its essence and core are completely featureless because it is not characterized by any particular concept or by any particular knowingness. We cannot point to anything about it and say, “This is pure love; that is pure presence; over there are clarity and emptiness.” None of that computes. When I say that it doesn’t compute, I mean that those particulars can be present, but they don’t pattern our sense of being what we are, they don’t define what we are in any way. The concepts can exist and experience can manifest in any dimension, but there is an unyielding sense of realization that is not impacted by any of that.

True Nature is an Absolutely Pervasive Particular

It is in the first turning that we recognize and experience true nature as a particular, different from other particulars and outside the known world of particulars. The radical otherness of true nature points to the fact that it is outside the purview of the world of conventional experience. The second turning of the wheel reveals the other side of true nature: that it is not only a particular but an absolutely pervasive particular. It pervades and constitutes everything, in a way that makes apparent the oneness, unity, and nonduality that is the hallmark of mystical experience. From the perspective of nondual experience, the encounter of the third kind with true nature is still dualistic because, even though in that encounter we recognize the radical otherness of spirit or God or whatever, there is still an “I” experiencing a true nature, regardless of whether we experience it as inside or outside of the self.

We are Not the Particulars of Our Potential

Experiencing our soul as potential, we recognize that we are, more than anything else, the potential for experience, and for whatever is possible in experience. Soul is at the root pure potential, potential for consciousness, knowledge, experience, life, growth, learning, expansion, and so on. We do not merely have the potential for all of these, we are rather potential itself, pure potential. This points to a profound possibility of freedom; for we are not the particulars of our potential—the experiences, forms, qualities, and capacities—we are potential itself, free from the particulars, for our nature precedes them and underlies them. We begin to recognize that the soul constitutes an unlimited possibility of development in all dimensions. The soul is actually a potentiality, free in all ways and containing all possibilities. We do not here experience ourselves as a particular manifest form, but as the unlimited possibility for all forms, teeming with inner reality that can manifest in endless ways. We feel rich with aliveness, with energy, with possibilities. It is almost like feeling oneself to be a fertilized egg with the strong sense that a lot can come out of this, a lot of life. We do not see the forms that manifest, we simply feel the raw potential itself. In fact, all the other properties, qualities, experiences, forms, capacities, and functions that we discuss in this book are nothing but the unfolding of this potential.

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