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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Purity?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Purity

A Fullness of the Presence that We Are

In pure being, there is no possibility for this discernment, for it is no longer a matter of coemergence. It is singleness, simple unity. This simplicity means total transparency, complete colorlessness. The medium is completely see through; there is nothing to obstruct the awareness. There is not even any quality for the awareness to reflect on and recognize. It is presence, however, with the sense of the fullness of beingness. Presence is substantial here, and full. We feel and recognize the fullness of the presence that we are, and everything is. Yet it is a purity, an amazing transparency, a medium that is clear through and through. Such colorless transparency can be thought to possess the quality of clarity, but then clarity is nothing but the absence of qualities. In fact, pure presence is a searing clarity, yet this clarity is nothing in particular. It is the qualitiless characteristic of simple presence, its transparency, its lack of opaqueness. 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.

A Pure Attitude Includes the Virtues

We need refinement, education, and development in our capacity to approach experience. How do we relate to any experience, any dimension, any realm with more balance and maturity? To approach any experience openly, whether it is a difficult emotional state or an essential or divine state, we need to approach it with more and more purity. What does that mean? It means that whatever the experience is, our attitude has to be pure. A pure attitude includes the virtues of serenity, humility, truthfulness, equanimity, detachment, courage, sobriety, innocence, and real action. If we approach our experience with the passions of anger or pride, with deception or envy, with avarice or fear, with gluttony or lust or laziness, the experience will do more harm than good, regardless of how essential or boundless the experience may be. Whether we are experiencing hatred, love, the Absolute, pure awareness, emptiness, or God, we need to approach the experience with a more and more pure attitude. We need to approach the experience with the virtues instead of with the passions. The more the passions determine your attitude toward the experience, the less useful the experience will be for you, for the community, for the truth. The knowledge of essence is needed to bring about the purification of the soul. How will the soul know it is lying if it doesn’t know truth? How will it know what courage is if it doesn’t know strength? So, in some sense, essence teaches the soul by providing experiences of how to be a real human being. The knowledge of essence exposes the impurities and teaches us the way out, or the way of purification. These experiences are teaching elements, not just lollipops. We need to absorb essential experiences so that we will grow from them and not use them to temporarily fill our stomach. The growth of the soul has to do with its refinement and purification.

Arrival at the Discriminating Awareness of True Nature, the Wisdom of Discrimination

Ordinary knowledge is knowledge that comes through memory. In conventional experience, basic knowledge does not experience itself directly but through the veil of these memories. Inquiry penetrates these veils so that basic knowledge can begin to experience itself without their influence. So experience is always basic knowledge, but that knowledge can be more or less direct, more or less immediate. The more immediate basic knowledge is, the more luminous it is and the more it embodies the sense of truth, presence, and awareness. When this purity is complete, we have arrived at the discriminating awareness of true nature, the wisdom of discrimination. The less direct it is, the more it lacks implicit meaning and understanding, the more distorted it is, the heavier and more stale it becomes. But it is always basic knowledge. Basic knowledge means experience right now, the direct knowingness of your experience this moment. It is discriminated information that is happening in the moment inclusive of the observer and the observed. But then you have thoughts about this arising information, reflection on it, and a framework through which you look at it, and that is what we call ordinary knowledge. Inquiry helps you see how ordinary knowledge is affecting your direct experience now. To be liberated from ordinary knowledge means that you feel what you are experiencing right now freshly, without this overlay of old information.

Being, in Its Purity, is a Knowingness, a Consciousness, an Awareness. It is Both Knowledge and Knowing

This is sometimes referred to in religious language as God’s knowledge or God’s mind. It is simply seeing that all of existence, both in ourselves and in the universe, is in some fundamental way, Being. Then the universe is nothing but the self-existing conceptual patterning of this boundless and mysterious Being. Then it is possible to see that Being itself is knowledge, knowledge that is not a content of our minds, but rather is the ground for it, as well as for the universe in its entirety. We recognize here that this Being is not only patterned as knowledge which makes up the totality of existence, but that Being in its purity is a knowingness, a consciousness, an awareness. It is both knowledge and knowing. It is the knower and the known. It is both the presence of knowledge and the capacity for knowing, which is implicit in all knowledge. This ultimate knowledge reveals itself also to be the ultimate good, for it is both our essential nature and the nature of everything. It makes us see that everything is available, and that everything is ultimately good in a realm beyond the dichotomy of good and bad. However, for us to arrive at such ultimate knowledge, we need to start by appreciating knowledge at whatever level of understanding we are living our lives. When we have this real and open appreciation of knowledge, it can reveal to us its true and ultimate nature; it can reveal to us not only the relative and transitory good, but also the ultimate good, the supreme good.

Completeness is so Simple that it is Purity Itself

You’re something much simpler, much, much simpler than all the paradises and pleasures. You’re also much fuller, though it’s not a sense of fullness. When you’re complete, even the experience of paradise comes and goes and the experience doesn’t move you. You’re not pulled, or pushed, you’re not tickled. You’re tickled only if you’re incomplete. Of course, you might experience all kinds of paradises and wonderful things. That’s fine. Why not? The completeness doesn’t have an opinion about that. It doesn’t say no; it doesn’t say yes. It is unperturbed. It is the center. It is a very simple, little thing, but without it, there is incompleteness and there is an endless search. The life of the personality is created from the absence of that simple, little thing. Without it, any experience lacks something, regardless of how wonderful and sublime it is. But, when you are complete, everything is as it is. Your perception is not colored by the distortions of incompleteness. You don’t need it to be one way or another. You see it very simply. There’s no big deal in it, nothing dramatic. Completeness is so simple that it is purity itself, a sense of freshness, fresh air, a clear breeze. When you’re complete, you can be; you can just be and not take any action whatsoever for a million years, and there’s no waiting, no desire for things to change or not change. From this completeness arises the only action possible then, which is love. Love becomes the basis of one’s life. It is abundance.

In Experiencing Itself Through the Veil of Memories the Soul Loses Sight of its Primordial Purity - its Essence

What is identity? As we saw in Chapter 2, one of the most significant characteristics of the soul is that it can identify with the content of experience. It can take any impression, for example self-image, and make itself believe that that impression is itself. It can also take a part of the psychological structure and believe it to be the whole of itself. Identifying with an impression or content of experience makes the self feel that it has an identity, and through this identity it then recognizes itself. Our personal history, constituted by our memories, comprises the basic content of our usual identity. This identification with the personal history provides a feeling of self-recognition, a sense of identity, or a sense of self. So in experiencing itself through the veil of memories, the soul not only loses sight of its primordial purity—its essence—but also identifies itself through and with this veil of personal history. The relationship between identity and identification will be discussed further in Chapters 10, 12 and 13. For now we will simply say that the soul can identify with any dimension of experience—presence, physical body, feelings and emotions, or impressions and images originating from the past. It can identify with its essential nature or with memories, or with specific parts of these memories, or with organized structures of these memories.4 So the experiential identity of the self can be essential presence—which is known in the present—or it can be another, more superficial, dimension of its experience, which is usually determined by the past.

Purity that is Eternal and Stainless, Totally Immune to the Accidents of Time

The property of impressionability is absent in essence, whose qualities are timeless and unchangeable. When we experience and understand essence, in any of its qualities and dimensions, one of the primary things we learn about it is its immutability, its spontaneously and primordially given properties, and hence its incorruptibility. It is not only pure; this purity is eternal and stainless, totally immune to the accidents of time. It simply does not make sense for essence to be corrupted or contaminated. In this regard essence is like space. Regardless what arises in space, space remains the same, totally pure and empty. This is why essence does not develop, while the soul does. Essence is timelessly perfect and free, while the soul has the potential for perfection and freedom. This potential is given to her by essence, which is her ontological ground and her timeless and absolutely precious potential. Through realizing and embodying her essential ground, the soul achieves her liberation and fulfillment.

Purity Ultimately Means Letting Go of All Attachments, All Preferences, All Prejudices and Personal Beliefs and Positions

We see here that the concepts of poverty and purity are connected to letting go of ego, leaving behind the self that believes in impure or pure. To be pure means not to believe anything. Not to believe anything does not mean you have beliefs that are suppressed. To be pure means to have no reified discriminations, but that does not mean that you have discriminations that are repressed. To be pure means that you have no preferences, but that does not mean that you have preferences that you are avoiding. The detached person who does not feel anything, who does not feel his preferences, is not what we mean by pure. Such a person has many impurities, attachments, and discriminations, but is not willing to experience them. The concepts of poverty and purity appeal to our hearts. They inform the path of the heart. They are things that you can actually feel. You can feel the poverty and the purity. Ultimately, poverty means letting go of all havingness. The final havingness is the self. Purity ultimately means letting go of all attachments, all preferences, all prejudices and personal beliefs and positions. When there is complete poverty, there is no self, no you; there is total purity.

Recognizing Yourself in Your Utter Purity

Completeness is a contented kind of ecstasy. It is not an excited kind of ecstasy. Sometimes you are ecstatic and blissful, all excited, and you want to tell everybody about it—your hair is standing on end and your eyes are bulging [Laughter]—but that is more like you’re on something. [More laughter] I wouldn’t call that contentment. When you are contented, you are not even interested in saying anything about it. If you still want to say something about it, then the contentment is not complete; it is not the experience of completeness. When you are complete, you are complete. You become a still, delicate, exquisite pool of milky Brilliancy that is luminous; and this luminosity is exquisiteness, and this exquisiteness is deliciousness, and this deliciousness is complete fulfillment. When you feel the completeness, you recognize your pure nature before you left it, before your consciousness separated from it. You are recognizing yourself in your utter purity before any disturbance happened, before any stirring occurred. We see here that intelligence is the functioning of completeness. Brilliancy appears as an intrinsic intelligence. Because Brilliancy has everything in it, it imbues the psyche with intelligence by providing it with all the qualities it needs for its functioning. And it provides them in a synthesized way, creating a complete synthetic capacity. The psyche can now function in a complete way, which is bound to be an intelligent functioning.

Brilliancy, pg. 57

Spiritual Purity is Indivisible, Even Though it is the Nature of Each and Every Thing

The Diamond Approach views reality as inherently indefinite, and this indefiniteness lies at the heart of its aliveness and freedom. Even in its indefiniteness, reality reveals that it possesses a distinct purity—what I have termed at different times “true nature,” “essential nature,” or “being”—as the ground of all manifestation, as the irreducible perfection at the very heart of all and everything. I have described this ground as being composed of five coemergent dimensions—not as absolute givens but as a way of viewing and understanding true nature and its relation to the forms that we experience. These are universal love, pure presence, nonconceptual awareness, absolute emptiness, and creative dynamism. I have referred to these dimensions as boundless or formless because of their pervasiveness and omnipresence—sometimes conventionally referred to as the nonlocality of this purity. Spiritual purity is indivisible, even though it is the nature of each and every thing. Without focusing on any particular dimension, Book One explores the reality of this purity, which pervades everything. Book Two of the series includes discussions of this purity as love, revealing that true nature is inherently heart, which gives us the capacity to feel and respond. Book Three explores in some detail this purity as presence, the immediacy of being, independent of the constructions of our individual minds. We find here that the dimension of pure presence reveals true nature to be inherently mind, and as mind it gives us the capacity to know and discern. Book Four further elaborates on the experience of true nature as pure presence, and how this purity of presence is the beginning of knowing. What is revealed here is that mind and knowing are different from, even though connected to, perception and experience, and that our capacity to perceive is due to the fact that awareness is inherent to our true nature. The fourth volume discusses in some detail how pure awareness is radically nonconceptual—that it is not only not mental, but is beyond cognition of any kind, even spiritual knowing, or gnosis.

That Purity of Discrimination of All of Reality is Reflected in Our Soul as the Presence of the Diamond Guidance

So discriminating awareness means that the field of experience always arises with its own discrimination. When that discrimination is arising in our consciousness completely from true nature, we do not experience reactions or layers of self-image getting in the way. We have a pure experience of discrimination. That is what is usually meant by the discriminating awareness. This pure discrimination is the ground that underlies all of our experience. That purity of discrimination of all of reality everywhere is reflected in our soul as the presence of the Diamond Guidance. The Diamond Guidance is a function, it is the action in our soul of the discriminating awareness. If you liken it to seeing the moon reflected in a bowl of water, discriminating awareness is the moon, the bowl of water is your soul, and the reflection of the moon in the bowl of water is the Diamond Guidance. So each soul has its own Diamond Guidance, but it is only a reflection of the discriminating awareness of Being itself. And because it is a direct reflection of the discriminating awareness, it has the capacity to reveal all the discrimination within our experience, just as it is. It’s capable of revealing the truth of our experience.

The Attitude of Purity is of No Assertion

Student: What is a pure heart?

Almaas: Pure heart is what I also call the courageous heart. The courageous heart does not eliminate love when there is hatred and does not try to choose one thing above another. The pure heart is open to the presentations of Being regardless of what they are. It is happy to be with whatever God wills, and it asserts no position. The attitude of purity is the attitude of no assertion. You don’t assert any truth. You don’t assert any knowledge, any perspective, any position. You don’t take a position; you don’t have a position; you don’t have a particular truth, opinion, belief, religion. You are absolutely poor. The attitude of purity is that you never close your mind and say that’s it. You never close the door. You are open not because you are uncertain, but because it is not possible to assert this or that about reality in some absolute way. And also there is no need or urge to assert this or that view.

The Experience of the Presence of the Diamond Guidance

When inquiry opens up the soul and orients her toward receptivity to guidance, one may experience the arising of the Guidance as a descent of presence. The Diamond Guidance descends, and it is as if a spaceship has just landed. The power and magnificence of the descent is not unlike what was portrayed at the end of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when the mother ship lands. The air becomes electrified; all is still and yet pulsing with a brilliance of dancing colors and qualities. One may hear the powerful hum of the spaceship’s engines. One can feel a sense of elegance and delicacy. Then consciousness begins to attain a quality of precision, a quality of brilliance, and a quality of exquisite, sharp clarity. It is no longer the normal consciousness that is inquiring but the consciousness pervaded and transformed by the pure light of the Diamond Guidance—the variegated, precise, diamond-like brilliance. One may become aware of a sense of divinity and purity, a sense of otherworldliness that has come into this world. The experience of the presence of the Diamond Guidance is nothing like our ordinary feelings and emotions. It is a feeling of another kind, a freshness and purity that pervades the consciousness of the entire soul. We may feel touched from within by a light that is not only sweet, loving, and kind, but transporting and pure as well. This extraordinary presence changes our experience completely; it is as if the atoms of our consciousness were being cleansed with Arctic ice that has never been touched, with a sense of precision that is crisp and fresh. The sharpness of the diamond consciousness is like the sharpness of an ice diamond: It is always melting at the point where it touches the consciousness of the soul—yet it never loses its precise edge.

The Nonconceptual is Absolutely Sacred, for its Purity is Never Touched by Mind or Body

The dichotomy of the spiritual and the material actually forms the core of the dichotomy of reality and appearance. Related to these is the dichotomy of the sacred and the profane. On the nonconceptual dimension there is only the sacred, and the sacred is not named sacred. It is not named. Yet even though there is only the sacred, this sacred is also the negative, the hostility, the physical, and the mundane. The nonconceptual is such a fundamental ground that no known or knowable category of experience or thought can escape it. It is absolutely sacred, for its purity is never touched by mind or body. It is eternally present, continuously pervading all and everything.

The Purity of Brilliancy

Brilliancy is the aspect that has those same qualities of a strong presence that gives support, protection, security, and safety, and thus is the one most strongly associated with father. The Merging Essence is golden, sweet, nourishing, and loving, while Brilliancy has a sense of a strength and power, and of presence that is not only impeccable but immaculate and immovable. It has a sense of will to it, and a sense of purity too. But this purity is different and beyond the intimate sense of the loving relationship characteristic of the Merging Essence. The purity of Brilliancy is connected with the purity of whiteness rather than the warm gold of the Merging Essence. Brilliancy is a brilliance beyond whiteness, like light reflecting off a mirror in the sun; it is so brilliant that you can’t look at it. So Brilliancy doesn’t really have a color; it is the brilliance of all colors combined. That brilliance gives it a sense of purity and also of innocence, for it is an actual presence. And that presence has a sense of power and strength that the individual usually responds to by feeling protected, feeling taken care of—not taken care of because one is fed, cleaned, dressed, or held, but because one feels safe and protected, enveloped by a presence that makes one feel secure and safe to be in the world. If you then experience the aspect of Brilliancy more fully, you realize that it not only has a sense of security and protection, but it also provides some sense of guidance, which arises from the intelligence that is fundamental to Brilliancy. This intelligence acts as guidance because it is intelligence about functioning, about the world, about how to act and how to deal with life. This intelligence and guidance has historically been the father’s function.

Brilliancy, pg. 174

This Primordial Purity or Ontological Nature is Recognized as the Self’s Ultimate Truth

This consciousness—which is the self—has a fundamental existence, an ontological mode of being. And it can be directly aware of this fundamental existence. This is possible only when we are simply being, not conceptualizing our identity, not reacting, and not manipulating. In other words, we experience our ontological ground when our experience of ourselves is completely unmediated. Although the self is always being itself, the experience of the self is incomplete until a certain development occurs: self-recognition. In self-realization, the soul recognizes its own nature, the presence of Being. It is this immediate, intrinsic self-recognition that gives the state of self-realization the sense of exquisite intimacy. What is presence? What is Essence? The self can experience itself either purely and immediately, or through memories and structures created by past experience. When it is seeing itself directly, it is aware of itself in its primordial purity, without veils, without obscurations. It recognizes this pure condition as its ontological nature. This primordial purity or ontological nature is recognized as the self’s ultimate truth. So we say the self has an essence. The central property of this Essence, or true nature, is that it is an actual ontological presence. Presence is the essence of the self, just as protoplasm is the essence of the body.

We are Born Anew Each Moment, Coming Forward as Radiance and Purity, Void of the Reactive Self Based on the Past

In this way, through practice, we deepen back to the source and become a conduit for its expression. What begins as the release of emotional charge at the surface level of our existence becomes the entry into the freedom of continuous energetic renewal of our nature into manifestation. The ebb and flow of our consciousness is the expression of the pulse of life. The more you sense your belly and the more present you can be when you’re having reactions or experiences of any kind, the more any experience can be an opening to the underlying stillness with its intelligent, creative dynamism. The energy that transports and transforms us is the radiance of the silent stillness, which enables our life to take new form. We are born anew each moment, coming forward as radiance and purity, void of the reactive self based on the past. We are free in such a condition. This is a process that continues infinitely—individual consciousness in a continual, alive embrace with presence and emptiness, looping and spiraling as one living vortex, continually clarifying and purifying, learning and emptying, wanting and loving, blending and disappearing and rising again. This process is not a matter of getting to an ultimate end or any particular state, where you say, “Okay, I get to my stillness or the dynamism and I’m done.” No, over and over again, we’re taken in and are birthed into Being once more in novel ways. This potential is true and present within all experience. Whatever your experience is, whatever is happening, there is freedom to be discovered within it. This is the discovery of the life of a real human being.

We Cannot Separate Brilliance and Purity in Brilliancy

The palpable fluid feels like the presence of purity itself. Brilliance and purity are two characteristics of the same fluid, just as pure water is both transparent and wet. We cannot separate the transparency and wetness in water, just as we cannot separate brilliance and purity in Brilliancy. The presence of purity affects the mind and the totality of consciousness by cleansing them of past experience, of all memory and past knowing. So I feel myself not only as presence that is purity, but also as presence that is virginal, open, and totally sensitive. I recognize this experience to be the prototype of innocence. I am innocence present as pure brilliance, where the purity is the same as innocence. It is like the innocence of an infant—totally open and present, with no mental baggage or premeditation. But this innocence is the presence itself, just as an infant is too innocent to know that she is innocence itself. It is so innocent that it is pure innocence. The same with exquisiteness: The presence is so fine in its texture, so shiny in its radiance, so delicate and smooth in its flow, so absolutely light and happy in a completely open and unrestrained way, that the sense of one’s presence is exquisite and indescribably astonishing in its beauty and refinement, both in feeling and texture. As you can tell, I am not giving you an intellectual or systematic exposition of what intelligence is. I’ve been trying to give you a feeling, some kind of a taste or glimpse of the essence of intelligence. One taste of intelligence is worth many books about it.

Brilliancy, pg. 21

When Consciousness is Experienced in Its Purity It is Experienced as Presence

Most schools of philosophy and spiritual teachings share our understanding that the fundamental dimension of the self, its ultimate nature, is Being. There are subtle differences between the various teachings regarding how Being is conceived of and how it is described. Many traditions conceive of Being as ontological or nonconceptual presence. But some schools, such as the Hindu tradition, conceive of true nature as pure consciousness. There is actually no difficulty between this view and that of presence because presence is the essence of pure consciousness; expressed in a different way, when consciousness is experienced in its purity, it is experienced as presence, the ontological and phenomenological reality of consciousness. Some schools say that spiritual Essence is some kind of light. This again does not create any difficulty with the view of presence. Presence is nothing but the presence of spiritual light; spiritual light can be experienced as a fundamental reality, which has an ontological property. The ontological property of spiritual light is presence, where light and presence are not two separate things. By spiritual light, we do not mean the common experience of seeing light in one’s psyche. The spiritual light we are referring to is the fundamental light of consciousness and awareness. Some will leave the spiritual Essence undefined and merely refer to it as spirit.

When Purity is Not Simply the Absence of Defilements

As the boundless dimensions emerge, they take the soul nearer to the transcendent state of true nature, with each succeeding dimension a little nearer to the primordial simplicity, each one a little simpler, with fewer qualities and features. Divine love is manifest true nature with the quality of love, true nature as heart. Love is a differentiated, recognizable quality, a discriminated quality of Being. The next dimension to emerge is simpler; it arises through the transcendence of the quality of love. We have already seen that love is the source of affective qualities. This gives us a hint of what the next dimension will be like. We refer to it as pure being, or pure presence. Divine love, like all qualities of essence, is being or presence; and all these qualities are definitely pure and undefiled. Here, however, purity is not simply the absence of defilement; it is the absence of differentiated qualities. Pure presence is presence with no qualities, with no discernible color, affect, or taste. It is simply being, with nothing added. It is the simplicity of presence, before presence manifests its qualities and aspects. In a sense, it is like divine love with the love removed, and only the sense of presence or light remaining. But when there are no qualities, the light is not white light. It becomes clear, transparent, colorless light, like clear water or empty space.

When the Presence of Purity Affects the Mind and the Totality of Consciousness of Past Experience, of All Memory and Past Knowing

And yet what characterizes the actual nature of Brilliancy is its direct presence in the soul, which then manifests in the thoughts and actions of that person in the world. In the experience of the presence of Brilliancy, I experience myself not as a body with thoughts and feelings but as a palpable presence, as the very presence of some brilliantly luminous fluid. I am usually in touch with the body and its feelings and thoughts, but I am aware of myself as a sensitive fluid that pervades the body, and which feels deeper and more fundamental than the muscles and bones. And this palpable fluid, which is not really physical—even though it has texture and density like physical matter—feels like the presence of inner luminosity, like condensed brilliant light. This fluid light is so pristine, so immaculate, so true and absolutely uncreated or contaminated by mind or memory, that it has the distinct sense of being totally pure. The palpable fluid feels like the presence of purity itself. Brilliance and purity are two characteristics of the same fluid, just as pure water is both transparent and wet. We cannot separate the transparency and wetness in water, just as we cannot separate brilliance and purity in Brilliancy. The presence of purity affects the mind and the totality of consciousness by cleansing them of past experience, of all memory and past knowing. So I feel myself not only as presence that is purity, but also as presence that is virginal, open, and totally sensitive. I recognize this experience to be the prototype of innocence. I am innocence present as pure brilliance, where the purity is the same as innocence. It is like the innocence of an infant—totally open and present, with no mental baggage or premeditation. But this innocence is the presence itself, just as an infant is too innocent to know that she is innocence itself. It is so innocent that it is pure innocence.

Brilliancy, pg. 20

When You Follow Distractions, Needs and Desires

So commitment implies intention, but it also reflects what you value. Commitment to the truth means that the inquiry is more important to you than the distractions that can arise. It means that the open endedness of inquiry is more important than any particular aim or result. It means that you prefer the truth to anything else, that you love it more than merely feeling good or relieving yourself of difficulties. So our commitment arises from the openness to the truth, and it expresses the love of the truth. Without this love, without this valuing of the truth and its revelation, why would we commit ourselves? And yet, even loving the truth and being curious, strong, and courageous do not guarantee that we will have the commitment, the determination, the will to keep us solid and centered in the face of all the distractions of everyday life. The White aspect itself must be available because it expresses the inherent will of our fundamental openness. Then our openness to the truth is a committed openness. It is interesting that the color of the Will Essence is white, for the kind of dedication and determination we are talking about implies purity. When you follow distractions, needs, and desires, rather than your love of truth, this creates impurity in your soul. Commitment is an expression of the soul’s purity because you don’t let yourself get identified with the distractions.

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