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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Polarity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Polarity

A Living, Breathing, Pulsating, Exuberant Aliveness

Divine eros is the energy of communion and consummation. It inspires our consciousness to become one with our nature in complete interpenetration, where the silent stillness, the awake, lucid radiance, and the love intertwine in delicious intimacy. In the context of daily life, we can feel many combinations of these elements of consciousness. We can be quiet and still in the sanctuary of the deep or we can come forth and celebrate that depth in myriad ways. We taste and touch and feel it, palpably through encountering life and the infinite experiences it offers. We grapple with our inner conflicts and with other people, get through those, open up to something new. But it is not only struggles that open us, it is encountering any experience with openness to learn, and by doing so we end up with new and unending potential for experience. We can have no complete life without one another. And there is no real life without knowing the One. The polarity of heaven and earth come together in the heart as the birth of divine eros—a living, breathing, pulsating, exuberant, aliveness that develops in us the personal beingness that has the capacity to be everything or nothing at all; we awaken to the whole, wide range of all possibilities. What seem to be polarity and opposites in the world of duality are, in the world of divine expression, only different expressions of the same thing. There is one love, one desire, one world, one home; and when we know this, we see this world as the face of our Beloved. The world becomes the expression and the body of our Beloved. That is just the appearance, of course, but if we really look, we see the Beloved shining through. It is that, too, in all its majestic radiance.

Because It is Not Patterned or Bound by Polarity, Total Nonconceptuality is Open to All the Possibilities of Experience

For now, it is enough for us to know that nonconceptuality can go beyond what we usually experience as nonconceptual, whether that is the conventional sense of the nonconceptual as direct experience or the nondual sense of it as the transcendence of concepts. This going beyond nonconceptuality is not a negation of anything. Even to say “going beyond” is not an exact description but rather an approximation of the situation, because there is no “going” and no “beyond.” The move from radical nonconceptuality to total nonconceptuality is one of greater inclusion. Because it is not patterned or bound by polarity, total nonconceptuality is open to all the possibilities of experience—conceptual, nonconceptual, and otherwise. Freedom comes not by eliminating concepts but by becoming master of them, so that what we are is not patterned by them in any fixed manner. As our freedom becomes unconditional, we are able to experience and utilize concepts and no concepts with comfort and ease, with a simplicity that is beyond the need for fixation and an openness that refuses to be limited.

It is Possible for Total Being to Manifest True Nature as a Nonconceptuality that is Not the Opposite of Concepts

As we explore the dimensions of pure awareness and the absolute, which lack any sense of knowing, we can begin to discern that they still harbor certain kinds of concepts. Pure awareness contains concepts of clarity, emptiness, and newness; and the absolute includes concepts of mystery, source, and nonbeing. But these dimensions share an even more subtle concept: their nonconceptuality. Because nonconceptual is the polar opposite of conceptual, it is one end of a conceptual polarity. As long as anything has an opposite, as long as anything is defined as not being its opposite, it is part of a polar dichotomy and is based on some kind of subtle conceptuality. So our experience of nonconceptuality, which is pure freshness and clarity and transparency, is still not completely nonconceptual, because total nonconceptuality has to be something that is not opposed to anything else. Now the subtle conceptuality of the nonconceptual dimensions is not a mental conceptuality, is not something that our individual mind creates. It is part of our natural cognitive development and one of the ways that Total Being manifests awareness. This is a much more basic type of conceptuality than what our mind constructs. These are not concepts that we created. These subtle concepts are a class of experience that we usually think of as fundamental to reality, as a priori elements of reality. As we recognize the subtle concepts in the nonconceptual dimensions, we begin to see that it is possible for Total Being to manifest true nature as a nonconceptuality that is not the opposite of concepts, a nonconceptuality that transcends both the concepts of the conceptual and the nonconceptual. This total nonconceptuality becomes instrumental in illuminating the precognitive structures. Total Being manifesting as total nonconceptuality powerfully challenges and illuminates precognitive structures. It does this by the mere fact of not being opposed to concepts. Because total nonconceptuality is not the absence of concepts, it is a nonconceptuality that has no trouble with concepts. In this condition, both the conceptual and the nonconceptual are categories that manifest within this awareness and are recognized as the two ends of one polarity.

Nonconceptual Positivity Seen as Beyond All Polarities

When we say that Holy Love is the “nonconceptual positivity” of reality, we don’t mean that it is positive because our subjective minds respond to it positively. We mean that is how reality is, regardless of how we feel about it. What we normally describe as positive is something that we like, and what we describe as negative is something that we don’t like. However, the point about Holy Love is that when you objectively apprehend reality, when you experience and see the Holy Truth, you cannot help but feel positive toward it. In this experience, there are no positive or negative categories that your mind has divided things into. There is no polarity here; this nonconceptual positivity is beyond all polarities. The nature of reality, then, is such that the more it touches your heart, the more your heart feels happy and full, regardless of your mental judgments of good or bad. This understanding of nonconceptual positivity is a very unusual idea, since ordinarily, and at the beginning of working on oneself, we think that there are things that are good and things that are bad. As we progress, we realize that this discrimination is only subjective, that dividing things into good and bad is arbitrary. Holy Love refers to the fact that when you really suspend all comparisons, all judgments, and all opinions, you will experience reality as an unalloyed positive value through all the sense modalities. It is pure goodness, and its expression is always goodness.

Facets of Unity, pg. 210

One of the Main Polarities that Controls or Patterns Our Lives

We all have a way of experiencing love to one degree or another, at one level or another. We all know the experience of the love that is not “I love this so I am attached to it” but rather love in the sense of giving, of appreciating, of truly recognizing what we love, seeing it for what it is, and experiencing a pleasurable appreciation of it. So when you really love somebody, you are happy to see that person not because it gives you something, but because you see who he or she is—and it is wonderful, it is beautiful, it is good. There is a sense of openness and unrestricted generosity—generosity of heart, generosity of spirit. At the same time, for most people, this love is usually contrasted with—and in their experience, appears to be opposed to—that which we call passion or passionate desire. One of the main polarities that controls or patterns our lives is the polarity between this open-hearted lovingness on the one hand and, on the other, this wanting, this desire and need, to have something, possess something, get something, which makes love more self-oriented and self-centered. Most spiritual teachings take the position that spirituality is more about pure lovingness and does not have much to do with desire, with wanting, with passion; desire, wanting, and passion are not seen as spiritual. The concern is that engaging in desire, wanting, and passion will take you more into the world, into the mundane, into the physical, and into egoic life. This position is taken because for most people, that is exactly what happens. It is difficult to think of wanting something without wanting it for oneself. We naturally tend to experience wanting—especially strong desire, passionate wanting—in a way that is more focused on the self, that has a self-centeredness to it. So we end up having two forces, two tendencies, two manifestations, in our consciousness and in our experience: giving, open, generous love on one hand, and wanting, desire, passion on the other. And these frequently appear to be in opposition to one another.

Surface and Depth of the Soul are Not a Definite Polarity

Thus, to explore our unified vision of Reality, we begin by addressing the question of soul, a soul that we will come to understand includes what is conventionally called self, but also the spiritual depths and possibilities of humanity. We will refer to the human being as soul, meaning the self as we all know it, but this self is understood to be inseparable from what we in contemporary times call soul and spirit. We will use the two terms, self and soul, interchangeably, but use soul when we want to emphasize the spiritual nature or inner depths—or connection to such—and self when we want to emphasize the everyday identity and self of contemporary people, or the linguistic sense of differentiating a person from other individuals. We will often be somewhat ambiguous about which aspect of the soul/self we are emphasizing, because the surface and the depth of the soul are not a definite polarity, but form a continuum in which experience is in a constant state of flux. Holding this very ambiguity in our language can help us to overcome habits of thought that arose in all of us from our absorption of the conventional dualism of soul/self. At all times, our concept of soul/self includes all possible inner experience of the human individual. It is our interiority, the organ of perception, experience, and action.

The Individual Soul Grows Up Firmly Believing that One Can be Either Separate and Independent or Merged and Absorbed

This issue of rapprochement surfaces each time a new dimension of being is disclosed. It appears as a conflict between the presence of Being and the appearance of the world, between Being and the world. The conflict is the position that it is not possible to have both, not imaginable to experience both simultaneously, because of an apparent polarity. This polarity stems from the early relationship with one’s mother, where one’s sense of self was seen as antithetical to merging with her. So the individual soul grows up firmly believing that one can be either separate and independent, or merged and absorbed. In time, as the process of inner unfoldment deepens, the mother becomes the world and the sense of self is the presence of Being. At the level of the absolute the dichotomy appears as between the world as appearance and the emptiness of the absolute. In the condition of coemergent presence, appearance and the absolute are totally coemergent, completely mixed and coextensive. Everything is absolutely inseparable from spaceless emptiness. The source of all manifestation is indistinguishable from all manifestation, including the individual soul.

Things Being Relevant or Not is Yet Another Polarity that We Can be Free From

Total nonconceptuality, which is total featureless consciousness, allows us to see everything as an experience, perception, and realization that feels very ordinary. Everything is simple, and everything is just itself. If we check to see what “itself” means, whether it means being separate from other things or not, we think, “Well, it’s neither separate nor nonseparate, because those are human concepts.” Reality here is totally nonconceptual and is not the product of individual thinking. Whether things are separate or not separate—which can both be true at times—is not relevant or necessary for life, not necessary for awareness, and not necessary for being. The fact that there is no concern or no relevance does not mean that there is no appreciation or love. We value all experience, but we have no need to attach to any of it in an ongoing way. And in some sense, everything is relevant because things being relevant or not is yet another polarity that we can be free from. All the possibilities—things mattering or not mattering, things being relevant or not—are welcome. Featurelessness is the potential for any feature. If the openness is not truly featureless, it will inevitably exclude something. The fact that the openness is a featureless openness is what allows all possibilities of experience. As we come to understand that Being can appear in this way, we recognize that this subtle featurelessness is actually implicit in all the presentations of true nature: in absolute awareness, in primordial nonconceptual awareness, in knowingness and pure presence, in boundless love, in the dynamism of reality, in the qualities of being, and also in the everyday experience of subject and object. This kind of featurelessness is always there, and we don’t recognize it precisely because it is featureless. We are habituated to seek features. We are always identifying with one feature or another. And because there is the view or the position that if there are no features, there will be nothing—which sounds like bad news to most of us—featurelessness might feel like nothing, but it is actually everything.

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