Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Seeing
Contrasting the "Seeing" of the Diamond Guidance and the Brilliancy Aspect
The insight of the Diamond Guidance derives also from a synthesis. However, unlike in Brilliancy, the aspects in the Diamond Guidance are differentiated. Therefore, the synthesis of Guidance happens by correlating the various elements in a situation. The way it works is that the elements are first analyzed, seen separately. For example, in a given situation, there may be anger, sadness, a contraction here, a memory there, this action and that defense. These are all discriminated patternings. The Guidance sees all of these and then correlates them to find the connections between them and between the various groupings. It recognizes their relationships and interactions in a precise and detailed manner. It sees how they connect to each other, how they affect each other, how one leads to another: how sadness leads to the anger, how anger leads to fear, and how the fear is related to the contraction, how the whole thing is related to what one’s mother did, how what one’s mother did led to marrying this or that person, how marrying that person led to having that specific kind of job, which then explains one’s present financial difficulty. That is the process that happens when inquiring with the Guidance....... By contrast, Brilliancy arrives at insight in one shot, at a glance, as if intuitively. It doesn’t need to go through the various correlations. It is fast and breathtaking. However, it does not see the details of interactions and relationships between the various elements of the situation. We arrive at insight, but most of the time we don’t know how we got there. There isn’t as much perception, understanding, or knowledge in the process of arriving at the insight, which often makes it difficult to communicate it to others.
Brilliancy, pg. 72
Looking Without Your Mind
Once you can see reality, when you wake up in the morning you won’t see anything you’ve ever seen before. When you can truly see, perceive and taste something, you will see that you have never actually seen it before. Then you know you are looking without your mind. But as long as you recognize something, in the sense of remembering it in the sense of giving it names and labels, then it is not reality yet and you are not yet truly seeing. To penetrate to reality involves a process of unlearning, a shedding or a dropping away of mind, getting rid of all that we know.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 144
Objective Perception Means Perceiving Reality as It Is
The realization and understanding of space is necessary for the perception of objective reality—what we will call objective perception. Objective perception means perceiving reality, all that confronts our awareness, as it is. It is a matter of seeing things as they are, rather than seeing them from a certain point of view or position. So by objective we do not mean the scientific positivist sense, in which objective means what exists physically outside us rather than in the mind. We also do not mean objective in the sense of not being emotional, or not being experiential. We mean seeing things, seeing internal or external things, as they are, instead of subjectively. Subjective is the antithesis; it means according to our positions, feelings, filters, beliefs and attitudes. So objective perception means pure perception, free from all positions, bias, filters, conflicts, intentions, etc. It is perceiving whatever it is without any obscuration or intermediacy, so we see it just the way it is in itself. The way the conventional or ego self experiences things, the way we ordinarily perceive reality, the way we perceive each other, the way we feel, sense, touch, and see are generally speaking not objective. Our normal, everyday perception is filtered through a great many obscurations. An important part of spiritual work, in a sense the point of it—that which is sufficient to take us the whole way on any path—is to experience things objectively: to experience, feel, sense, taste and see objectively. When this happens we say we are experiencing Reality. So, what is called spiritual realization, which is the same as experiencing Reality, does not mean having supernatural experiences.
The Void, pg. 151
Seeing Non-Conceptual Reality
Seeing non-conceptual reality, what is, does not eliminate the usual world that we perceive. It is as it is, except that it appears more porous. Things are not as discrete from each other as they usually appear to be. We see that they are made out of the same thing—the space, the earth, the table, the rug, me, you. We’re all made out of the same thing. It’s a homogeneous existence. This homogeneous existence is non-conceptual in the sense that there’s nothing you can say about it. When you say something about it, you tend to close it off. The less you say about non-conceptual reality, the more it will open up and appear as it actually is. When I talk about seeing the reality of what is, I don’t mean that you are suddenly going to see all kinds of strange things in front of you. The physical reality is part of what’s there: it’s just not the only thing that’s there. When you see the totality, physical reality will appear differently, as if you are seeing it in a different light. It will have more color, more harmony, and more refinement. You will see more the sense of beauty, the sense of grace in physical reality. But that sense of beauty arises through seeing the porousness and the consciousness that constitute the physical world. This basic, fundamental, pure consciousness and existence is independent of the various forms. It is specifically what I call non-conceptual. So a table is a table, but at the non-conceptual level it is not a table. The concept exists, but it does not exist on its own. The concept is simply a surface phenomenon of something more fundamental.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 313
Seeing Yourself from a Different Place
When you see how fundamental, how pervasive, how deep and entrenched your physical orientation is, you will notice that you don’t look at even your deep experiences from a total perspective. You look at them from the perspective of the body, from the physical perspective. Most of your issues arise from that perspective. When you feel that you are disappearing, what is it that is disappearing? Usually, it’s the image of your body You are terrified because you believe your physical body is the most important, fundamental, lasting real, fundamental, solid you. If that goes, you go. You don’t think, “I’m just seeing myself from a different place. My perception is detaching from the physical senses, and as a result, I am seeing something deeper than the physical.” If you do see it that way, you won’t feel that you are disappearing. You will be aware that you are not just seeing through your physical senses. Then there will be no fear, and no reason for the terror. So the source of the terror is our belief that the physical body is who we are—fundamentally and ultimately. Our whole society focuses on the physical world as the most fundamental reality. We believe that human beings are discrete objects in physical reality, and therefore, physical death is the end or disappearance of what a person is. However, reality does not exist in discrete objects except in the physical universe. When you penetrate the physical universe and you see what underlies it, you realize that there are no discrete objects. Reality is a oneness,a unity. When we are convinced of the oneness, the unity, we are not afraid of death.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 309
The Capacity for Subtle Seeing
The popular expression “I see,” meaning “I understand,” is probably rooted in the fact of this capacity for perception. Here seeing is tantamount to understanding. The capacity for subtle seeing can be developed to the point of being freed from limitations of space and time. One can see inside the body, can see the anatomical parts of the body, even the cells and the molecules; one can see the emotions, the subtle energies, the essence. One can see things at a distance or in other times. There are other capacities for subtle perception, such as smelling and hearing, but here we are giving examples only for general illustration. Connecting these various capacities with different energetic centers does not mean that it is only in those locations that the capacities are exercised. In fact, such capacities can be exercised, when developed, at any location in the body; indeed, they overlap. Texture can be discriminated by taste, even by seeing, as can density and viscosity. This is also true for the physical senses. However, here the phenomenon points to a very deep truth, that of the unity of senses, or capacities of perception. At the deeper dimension of essence, the centers lose their importance. They are important only at the start, as points of orientation or origination. Later, we see that these capacities are part of the essence itself, that essence itself has the capacity for touch, taste, seeing, hearing, smelling, intuition, knowing, and so on. In other words, the essence is the organ of perception. On this level of realization, all of the capacities are one capacity. It is one act of essence. It is possible to say that essence is consciousness, pure consciousness.