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Perceptivity (Pure Perceptivity)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Perceptivity (Pure Perceptivity)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Perceptivity (Pure Perceptivity)

Consciousness with No Mind Involved, Awareness with No Knowing of Any Kind

The capacity to discern differences in the field of our awareness is a fundamental element of our consciousness. But here we need to make a difficult and subtle distinction: in describing this capacity, we want to discriminate it from the capacity to actually recognize the forms that arise. So in what we are calling pure perception, associated with what is traditionally called nonconceptual awareness, there is the perception of differences within a field without recognition of those differences. There is awareness that there are different forms, but in pure perception these forms are not discriminated in such a way that they can be recognized or named. This is consciousness with no mind involved, awareness with no knowing of any kind. There is merely the awareness of shapes, colors, movements, qualities; there is no recognition, knowing, or understanding of what one is perceiving. There is differentiation but not discrimination. We refer to this perception without recognition as nonconceptual awareness, for recognition and knowing require concepts. There is awareness of content but no recognition of it; recognition requires a further step in the functioning of consciousness. The traditional metaphor for this pure perceptivity is the mirror. The mirror analogy describes the soul’s primordial and original condition, which is the pure nonconceptual awareness of experience. This is the fundamental ground of any experience, which is the pure nonconceptual bare awareness of experience before recognition, reaction, categorization, or any such phenomena occur. Becoming conscious of this nonconceptual awareness is an important aspect of inner work, and something we begin to understand from the first glimpses of recognizing the soul. Simply understanding that the soul is a medium that is aware of experience within its own field, we begin to understand the mirror-like quality of the soul.

The Presence of Awareness, Not as a Function, but as a Field, a Manifold, Whose Very Substance is Nothing but Pure Sensitivity

Pure awareness is perception without cognition, seeing without recognition, hearing without comprehension. When this level of awareness is dominant in our experience, we can be looking at someone and see a shape and color, lights and shadows, but not register that we are seeing a person, or indeed have any notion about whether there is such a thing as a person. We do not recognize the shape, or even know that there is such a thing as a shape. We see the colors but do not register that there is such a thing as color; we see the lights and shadows, but have no sense or meaning for what we see. We may hear someone talking but have no comprehension of the words; we do not actually know that there is such a thing as words. We hear sounds, without recognizing that there is such a thing as sound. The mind responsible for knowing and discrimination, and hence recognition and memory, is not operative here. We are simply aware, without the sense that there is someone who is aware, without even the idea that there is such a thing as awareness. There is simply pure perceptivity, mirror-like and absolutely innocent. Such a state is not chaotic, not dull, not confused, but the absolute opposite. Recognizing the presence of her true nature as simply a field of awareness, the soul recognizes pure awakeness. She feels awake, bright, and clear, as if she has been perceiving from within clouds, and now she has raised her head above the cloud layer. There is stupendous clarity and inconceivable transparency. She has awakened to her true nature prior to all knowing. Because the presence she experiences now does not include cognition, she can experience her true nature free from all knowledge, all memory, and all association. She experiences a boundless and infinite field pervading all appearance, totally transparent and completely clear. It is simply the presence of awareness, not as a function, but as a field, a manifold, whose very substance is nothing but pure sensitivity, pure perceptivity, pure awareness. There is a vast expanse, transparent and lucent, limpid and bright, which forms the ground of all manifestation.

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