Being a Human Being and Still Being the Absolute
The development of consciousness has to do with living in this life from the perspective of the Absolute. The Personal Essence, the Pearl Beyond Price, has to do with being a human being and still being the Absolute. If you’re just the Absolute, you are not a human being. But you live in this world, you have a physical body and a mind, you have work and relationships. You need the Personal Essence in order to be able to live personally as a human being and still be the Absolute. So the development of the personal aspect has to do with integrating all of these things that are important for our life into the various levels of consciousness, and then into the Absolute. This is an actual process that has to do with the metabolism of the Absolute into the Personal Essence. Although it is rarely mentioned in spiritual literature, the integration of the person into the Absolute is vital because we live in the world and not in a monastery or cave. Integrating the person into the Absolute is more difficult than experiencing the Absolute. Integration requires that you deal with and metabolize your unconscious and your personal history. You have to really let all of the unconscious come out, to face all of your specific issues and areas of conflict and ignorance. Many traditions don’t care about integration but strive only to reach the Absolute. They don’t care about the personal life. The point for them is to know the Absolute and leave. In other traditions, and in our work, the point is to know the Absolute and live in the world as an expression of it. So how can you live a human life from the perspective of absence? That is the realm of development, change, and transformation within consciousness.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 145
Development of Essence from Being Impersonal to Being Personal
Unlike other aspects of Essence, this personal aspect (the pearl) goes through a process of development, growth, and expansion. Here the concepts of development and growth can be seen in their true and literal meaning. This true personality of the being is born, fed and nourished. It grows, expands, and develops in a very specific sense. It is really the development of Essence from being impersonal to being personal. Others might call it God becoming a human person, an individual.
Experiencing the Pearl Beyond Price
The pearl beyond price, the incomparable pearl, the personal aspect of Essence is central for many important reasons. It is actually the true essential personality. It is the person. It is experienced as oneself. When the individual finally perceives it, the contented expression often is "but this is me!" The sense is of oneself as a precious being. There is then a fullness, a completeness, and a contentment. It is as if the individual feels full and complete, realized. Nothing is lacking. No more search, no desire or wanting anything else. The person feels "now I have myself. I am a complete individual. I am full. I am fullness. I am complete. I want nothing else."
Grounding Inquiry in the Reality of Our Life
The Pearly diamond in the vehicle of the Diamond Guidance grounds our inquiry in the reality of the life we are living. It is this quality of the Guidance that engages us in such a way that we are continually being touched by our life and by the understanding of its truth. And this sense of personal contact and personal meaning is what brings about the integration of our realization. Being personally engaged in the inquiry and wanting to know the truth from that personal place means that the unfoldment of our soul cannot help but transform who we are and how we live our life.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 400
Identity Shifting from Personality to Essence
As the pearl beyond price develops and as the true self is understood and integrated, there occurs another radical transformation. The identity starts shifting from personality to essence. The individual starts experiencing himself as essence, instead of the experiencer of essence. Experiences of ego death occur here. Inner aloneness is accepted. Personal boundaries dissolve. Essence begins to be experienced from the perspective of essence itself. One starts to understand and experience boundlessness, timelessness, not doing, innocence, and purity. Essence and mind start becoming one. This manifests either as complete absence of thoughts, or the thoughts themselves are experienced as the spontaneous outpouring of insight. Life continues to be a process of creative discovery. The process of learning, unfolding, and expansion never stops. Essence continues to unfold, new dimensions arise, new modes of experience and insight emerge, new capacities manifest. The process of understanding continues; however, it is not seen as a necessity, as work, but rather as the process of creative discovery itself.
If you Experience the Divine Love You Experience Your Personal Essence as a Condensation, as a Drop of that Divine love
Student: Can the experience of the pearl get in the way of this?
Almaas: The experience of the pearl itself doesn’t. To be the pearl, the personal essence, is to be an individual on the essential level. Developing this unique personal essence means that you can be a human being and live in the world while still being an expression of the divine. That’s different from the ego sense of being an individual, which is based on the past and all the self images which have developed from that. And it’s also based on being separate from everything else. But the personal essence isn’t separate. If you experience the divine love, you experience your personal presence as a condensation, as a drop of that divine love that is condensing out of that ocean, without being separate from it. At the beginning you experience the personal essence, the pearl, as if it is separate from everything else, because the ego principle is still present. Then the sense of being an individual person still exists, even though you’re experiencing the incomparable pearl.
It is Possible to Experience Egoless Beingness
Thus it is possible to experience egoless beingness, to be, as a substantial presence that is not a mental construct, and still live a human, personal life, in which love, work, knowledge, creativity and accomplishment make sense, a human sense. This true existence, this presence, this being beyond time that makes sense of human and personal life, is the Personal Essence. It is the reality of which ego is only a reflection. It is the truly integrated and developed human being. This is the beautiful presence that the traditional literature of work schools calls the “pearl beyond price.” The experience of universal impersonality of ultimate reality occurs when the separate individuality is transcended, when the separate individuality is seen not to be our true self. But this is the result of transcending the personality in its totality. Something different happens when we investigate the personality’s manifestations in more detail, exploring the hidden essential truth within it. The ego is a reflection of this true element of Being, the Personal Essence, and exploring the characteristics of the reflection can lead us to the reality being reflected. By isolating and understanding the elements of the false, we can begin to approach the elements of the real.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 32
Knowledge of the Incomparable Pearl is Rare
The knowledge of the Incomparable Pearl and the process of its development is rare even in the most complete spiritual teachings, and the traditions that know it do not speak much about it. This is why the overwhelming impression one gets from most spiritual teachings is that the goal of spiritual work is the realization of impersonal Being or the realization of the Soul’s relationship to it (as in the Christian tradition.) The literature regarding the Pearl is sparse, and when it can be found, it is usually couched in metaphorical and symbolic language. Sometimes the language is more direct and descriptive, but it appears metaphorical to most people, because they lack the direct experience. The story, “The Hymn of the Soul,” in Chapter Eight, is an example. There are very few direct references to the Personal Essence in the literature, and these are found mainly in old books not in circulation. In this chapter we will describe some of those references; although they are rare, they tend to confirm and support our own understanding of the importance of the development of the Pearl.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 115
Pearl or Personal Essence and Personalness
What is perhaps most interesting is that the essential aspect that functions as the prototype for self-organization -- the Pearl or Personal Essence – also happens to be the aspect that is the basis for contact, personalness, and involvement. This indicates that these two elements – self-organization and personal contact/engagement – are somehow inherently related, if not coemergent: it is as if one cannot occur without the other also occurring. Perhaps this is why some theistic religions conceive of God as personal.
Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg. 397
Relating Without Object Relations
The Pearl beyond price can relate in a personal way without the need to activate past object relations. So its capacity is not only innate but also natural and spontaneous.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 172
Station of the Pearl
The station of the pearl beyond price is so significant because it is not a matter of a state of consciousness or a state of being; it is rather the condition of the actualization of one's realization in one's life. Being becomes personal being, a complete human being living fully the life of objective truth.
The Essential Structure that the Soul Develops as She Metabolizes and Transcends Her Ego Structure
The pearl can also be seen as the essential structure that the soul develops as she metabolizes and transcends her ego structure. Ego structure gives the ego-self the sense of being an autonomous and unique individual. But this structure is constructed through fixed mental impressions in the soul; hence it both dissociates her from her essential ground and limits her development because of its rigidity and fixation. The essential pearl provides the soul with a sense of individuality and personhood that does not depend on fixed impressions, but on spontaneously arising forms of essential presence that structure her experience of herself and give her the capacity to function as a person. The soul matures and transforms into a person of essence. However, the qualities and actions of this person are quite fluid and flexible and are objective responses resonant to the needs and inputs of the environment.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 223
The Pearl is an Ontological Presence
The pearl is the real, complete, balanced, and rounded personality that psychologists believe they are talking about when they are discussing the ego. We must remember that the ego is a structure, or structured process, whereas the pearl is Essence, which means the pearl is an ontological Presence. We call it the Personal Essence because among all the essential aspects it alone is personal. It is experienced as having a personal flavor to it, in contradistinction to impersonal. All aspects of Essence, even love and kindness, are impersonal. But the pearl is personal. And this is its miraculous quality, totally unexpected and unfathomable.
The Pearl is the Actualized Individuation of Your Soul
When you are who you are, when you are just precisely yourself, you are your “point.” Just that. This has nothing to do with any qualities, functions, capacities, and skills you may have. It has nothing to do with your status in the world, and nothing to do with living this life in a body or not in a body. It is your nature. The Pearl Beyond Price is the connection between this genuine center and all the capacities, skills, and understanding that are a part of your growth as a human being. It allows your capacities, functions and accomplishments to develop in a genuine way as an outgrowth of your spontaneous unfoldment. It is the result of living in the moment, living in a way that is true to who you are. This is your genuine personal life, your own development, your own growth. The pearl is the actualized individuation of your Soul. So the personal essence is connected with your unique function, your unique work in this life. To actualize your particular unique work in this life means to be your personal essence. It is the essence of all that you have developed and integrated in your soul as you live a real life. Everyone is born with the true self, with the point. Although we feel that the point is unique in each of us, the quality of the point is universal. Then how do people become so different in their personal lives? This is due to the particular development of their personal essence.