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Presence (Pure Presence)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Presence (Pure Presence)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Presence (Pure Presence)

In Moments of Quietness We may Become Aware of a Presence that Profoundly Affects the Mind

This experience of a situation being filled with a certain presence also may be felt in the purity and aloneness of nature. In moments of quietness and solitude in nature, a person becomes aware that the natural environment itself has a presence that profoundly affects his mind and heart. It is not uncommon, when one is not occupied with the concerns of the world, when the mind is empty and still, that nature presents itself not only as the objects constituting it but as a living presence. A range of high, rocky mountains can then be felt as an immensity, a solidity, an immovability, that is alive, that is there. This immensity and immovability seems sometimes to confront us, to affect us, not as an inanimate object but as a clear and pure presence. It seems to contact us, to touch us. And if we are open and sensitive, we may participate in this immensity. We may then feel ourselves as one with the immensity, the immovability, the vastness.

On the Dimension of Pure Presence Manifestation Consists of Noetic Forms

On the dimension of pure presence, manifestation consists of noetic forms, forms capable of precise and sharp discriminating knowing. We can know any form, whether it is a star, a planet, a rock, an animal, an organ of the body, a molecule, an atom, a feeling, a state, a thought, directly and sharply for what it is. If it manifests we can know it. We can know it exactly and objectively, with specific details and minute discriminations. We can know it because it is fundamentally a noetic form, because it is fundamentally knowable. It is fundamentally knowable because knowing is a fundamental dimension of the ground true nature and any form is a manifestation that participates in this dimension. We find in this dimension the source of all knowing, and all knowability. Pure presence is the cognitive, more precisely the noetic, dimension of true nature, which makes knowing possible. For all knowing is ultimately the knowing of Being, the knowing of isness. We recognize the source of knowability in the fact that all forms, objects, and processes, are noetic. We do not mean here a vague “mystical” kind of knowing, intuitive and impressionistic, but rather a discriminating exact recognition of the form, its qualities, properties and functions, its components and systems, and so on. We see here the possibility for the precise knowledge of objective science.

Presence Without Qualities, Devoid of Recognizable Characteristics

In the realization of pure presence, the soul understands presence in its most pure and simple state. She finds it to be so simple that she cannot say anything else other than that it is presence, or beingness. Presence here is without qualities, devoid of recognizable characteristics such as love, compassion, truth, joy, and so on. It is presence, and that is all, no more and no less. Since her true nature here is simply presence, it is devoid of opaqueness. From this perspective it becomes clear that the manifestation of a quality or color adds something to true nature; it adds a slight opaqueness. Even when there is color the medium of presence can be transparent, but with color it is not as transparent as when it is colorless. When there is color, or quality, one sees the color, or feels the quality, in addition to simply being aware of presence. Hence one’s awareness is slightly divided between the sense of presence and the color or quality. It is not exactly a division, for in essential realization the presence and the quality are inseparable, but the mind can still discern two things, on two ontological levels. They are coemergent and coextensive, but the presence and its quality or color can be discriminated.

Pure Consciousness, Pure Presence or Pure Awareness is the Primordial Ground

The soul grows as she unfolds, actualizing her emerging potential. The soul does not stay the same. She is not primordially complete and mature, and hence she can have phases and stages of development. She can be primitive or advanced, simply organized or highly integrated, immature or adult and seasoned. She can be infantile, young, old, or ancient. She can be arrested in her development, underdeveloped, undeveloped, quite developed, or complete. All these are characteristics that apply to soul, but not to essence. For the presence of pure consciousness, these qualities do not make sense. Pure consciousness, pure presence, or pure awareness is the primordial ground, totally complete and spontaneously perfect. Essence is eternally itself; it does not grow, and growth makes no sense to it. This is a very important distinction between soul and essence, regardless of the fact that both are consciousness. Essence is pure consciousness, but soul is an organism of pure consciousness. Essence is always complete and perfect, but soul grows and develops; completeness and perfection is her deepest potential, but she needs to grow for this to be her permanent conscious condition.

Pure Presence is a State of Completeness, a Simple and Pure Condition

Pure presence is a state of completeness. It is a simple and pure condition that has no excitement, no drama, and makes no big deal about anything. It is the simplicity of fully being oneself. It is being, without any movement out of the completeness and serenity of being. There is no gap in one’s identity, in one’s sense of oneself; in this condition there is no deficiency, no need, no want, no desire, and no fear. This completeness is not arrived at by completing a process or a project; true nature is eternally complete. It is so complete that there is no excitement about the completeness. It is so complete that there is absolutely no seeking, no looking somewhere else, not even an interest in being aware of the completeness. It is so complete that there is no inner gap that would motivate the soul to even look inward to see the completeness. There is no waiting for anything, no anticipation. When the soul is established in the state of completeness, divine love arises spontaneously, as the only action completeness can take. Pure being is so perfectly complete that it does not arise out of itself to do anything. Its implicit contentment manifests as an outflow of divine love with all of its qualities. The completeness is not a matter of having anything or everything. It is more fundamental; it is the completeness before manifestation. It is the source of all qualities, for these qualities simply emerge out of it, as it morphs itself into these qualities.

Pure Presence is Qualityless Because It Transcends the Essential Aspects and Qualities

Oddly enough, the sense that this pure presence is without qualities does not make it indescribable; we can point to its transparency, simplicity, clarity, lightness, blissfulness, and emptiness. Yet it is free from all the qualities of the essential aspects. More exactly, it is qualitilessness because it transcends the essential aspects and qualities. It is presence empty of any of the differentiated qualities of essence that characterize its aspects. It is essence before aspects, presence before qualities. Instead of richness, there is simplicity; instead of abundance, there is light emptiness; instead of vivid colors, there is transparent colorlessness. In place of the deep fulfillment of divine love there is the unencumbered lightness of being, and in place of the nectary juiciness of pleasure there is the light-hearted blissfulness of simplicity.

Pure Presence is the Ground of all the Aspects

Pure presence is the ground of all the aspects, aspects that now arise as the inseparability of presence and differentiated knowing of the qualities. This basic knowledge differentiates at this point through the manifestation of the inherent perfections of true nature as differentiated concepts. However, these differentiated concepts are inseparable from Being, just as the knowingness of Being is inseparable from Being. They are merely the differentiation of the ground into patterns of color, affect, texture, flavor, and so on. Now, however, we see something new about this differentiation. The color, affect, texture, flavor and so on, are all synthesized into a coherent whole, which is the differentiated concept. The differentiated concept is the totality of the gestalt of the differentiated quality, which the soul realizes is a basic knowingness of the quality. In other words, the differentiation emerges spontaneously synthesized into a coherent gestalt through a cognitive dimension.

Pure Presence Revealed, Felt and Known as the Very Presence of Awakened Awareness

This recognition is an explosive insight, a momentous awakening. Pure presence is now revealed, felt, and known as the very presence of awakened awareness, the very reality of awakeness. Soul awakens to her true nature, and experiences her presence as the presence of awakened awareness. She is now awake, bright, clear, lucent, and transparent. She is also full of bliss and delight, beyond mind and reflection. She is drunk with awakeness, delighted with lucidity, and free beyond bounds. The primary awakening is the recognition of her ordinary awareness, which has always been familiar to her, as her true nature. Such recognition intensifies ordinary awareness to a phenomenological and psychological experience of awakeness. Ordinary awareness becomes awakened awareness, which now reveals itself to be the true nature of all phenomenal appearance. She recognizes that her ordinary awareness is actually both presence and openness, fullness and nothingness, inseparable and undifferentiated. She also wakes up to the fact that she has never lost her true nature, that her nature has always been with her, in all her conscious experiences, and that she can never lose it. True nature is so near to her that it does not make sense to lose it, an insight that intensifies her joy and delight, and shows her that she has always been free, always herself. She can lose touch with many of the differentiated qualities of her true nature; but its undifferentiated ground is always what she is.

The Mind that Knows is Pure Presence Itself

The mind that knows is pure presence itself, which knows its own differentiations. It is the knowing of Being, the knowing of true existence, differentiated into the knowing of beings and existents. It knows through the soul, for it needs to be localized for there to be discriminated knowledge of forms. It provides the soul with her knowing faculty, with her mind and intellect, just as the dimension of divine love provides her with her heart and feelings. This means that it is not an individual soul that knows, although that is how things appear. When we know the boundless dimension of pure presence, which is the dimension of pure basic knowledge, we recognize that it is basic knowledge that knows. Basic knowledge is a dimension of true nature, and not limited to the individual soul. It operates through the soul; for the soul is its organ of perception, similar to how the eye is the organ of seeing for the body but it is not exactly the eye that sees.

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