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Space (Inner Space)

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Space (Inner Space)?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Space (Inner Space)

All Inner States and Events are Forms Within and Part of the Soul

Our inner field is pure consciousness that is also pure potential for experience. How does this potential become actuality? How does the seed become a tree? To explore this we first need to remember that our soul is not a particular state or condition; it is the medium and locus where all states and conditions arise. The fact that all inner states and events are forms within and part of the soul means that the soul is in constant change. This is clear when we contemplate our experience. We notice that experience is in constant and continuous change and transformation. One thought follows another, one feeling leaves only to vacate the space for another. Inner sensations and movements are never still. Our inner space is like a multiple intersection at the center of a major city, where all streets and lanes are busy most of the time, with an incessant flow of traffic of various kinds and sizes of vehicles. Our inner space is not only busy with content, it is in incessant movement, transformation, development, evolution or devolution, expansion or contraction, and so on. These are the external forms of our soul’s field of consciousness; she is rarely at rest, rarely settled. And when she is settled, this is only a momentary state like all other states. This is why some see the soul as a chameleon, transforming from one condition to another. This points to an important property of the soul, related to its potential: its changeability.

Dissolving Subtle Boundaries

This notion of space as openness in more dimensions than the spatial will help us to construct a theory about inner space and self-image. First, however, we must say more about this new notion of space. As the experience of space repeats, deepens, and expands in the gradual process of dissolving self-boundaries, the individual becomes aware of more subtle kinds of boundaries. He becomes aware of and can dissolve boundaries regarding the depth and extent of his feelings, the kinds and types of feelings and sensations he can have, the extent of his awareness of both mind and body, and the categories of possible experiences of himself and the world.

The Void, pg. 31

Inner Psychological Space Includes the Notion of Space as Spatial Extension

Inner space is, of course, not the usual physical space, and is not tied only to body images. It is affected by self-boundaries that are more emotional and psychological in nature, as illustrated in Larry’s case in the previous chapter. There is a correspondence on the ontological level to the relation between the self-image and the body-image. In other words, just as self-image includes body-image in object relations theory, so in the experience of space, inner psychological space includes the notion of space as spatial extension. Inner space is not restricted to spatial extension, just as self-image is not restricted to body-image, which is analogous to spatial extension. Here we can appreciate how the findings of object relations theory regarding the relationship between self-image and body-image help us to understand more clearly the concept of inner space, and to extend our insight into the nature of the mind as space. This inner space is bigger, more open, more encompassing than the notion of space as spatial extension. Focusing on the dissolution of the boundaries of the body-image, which are mental analogues of physical boundaries, tends to prejudice us towards seeing space as spatial extension. But dissolving these boundaries, which are mental in nature, helps us open the experience of space to other dimensions that are more psychological. We see that spatial openness is only one dimension in inner space.

The Void, pg. 30

Inner Spaciousness is Not the Same as Ontological Emptiness

There is a definite relationship between working through ego structures and the arising of inner spaciousness. This manifestation of true nature expresses its absolute dimension, with its emptiness. Inner spaciousness is not the same as ontological emptiness but is related to it in some mysterious way. The point is that because of this relationship, inner space stands for the total openness and lack of determination of true nature. True nature is ultimately formless, and hence any fixed or rigid structuring, as happens in ego development, is antithetical to it. In other words, ego structures, through their self-representations, specifically obstruct the ultimate indeterminacy of true nature, barring from the experience of the soul the aspect of inner space. More specifically, identifying with a self-image automatically blocks inner spaciousness. Therefore, when the soul finally understands a self-image and does not hold on to it, space arises. With the arising of inner space, the soul regains, at least momentarily, her original openness to her potential. This allows her dynamism to morph out whatever elements of potential, essential aspect or dimension, are necessary for the experience and development of the soul. This is because the ego structure does not only obstruct the inner space. The fact of structure, or using a representation to define the nature of the soul, obstructs inner space, but each structure has its particular content and patterning that obstruct some essential aspect or another. Therefore, in the working through of ego structures space always arises, but the essential presence that manifests differs from one structure to another.

Nonbeing Conceptualized as Space

Space is the reflection of nonbeing in manifestation. Because we do not understand the paradoxical nature of true nature, as a coemergence of being and nonbeing, we conceptualize nonbeing as space and being as manifesting forms. Just as our ignorance of the timeless flow and unfoldment of the logos leads to our conceptualizing time to account for the changes brought about by this unfoldment, our ignorance of the spaceless nonbeingness of true nature leads to our conceptualizing space to account for the accommodating openness made possible by the emptiness of the absolute.

Pure Presence Contains Inner Space Undifferentiated from the Rest of Its Perfections

Pure presence contains inner space, but the space is undifferentiated from the rest of its perfections. Pure presence thus discloses the inherent synthesis of the fullness of Being and its emptiness. Before experiencing this dimension, the soul has experienced presence as a fullness, a substantiality, almost material, although not physically material. Such fullness or substantiality still appears as the characteristic of pure presence, for it is what gives this dimension its sense of being presence. However, this substantial and full presence is undifferentiated from the emptiness of space. Because of this the experience of full presence on this dimension is indistinguishable from inner spaciousness. Pure presence is at the same time an emptiness, a spaciousness, a nothingness. We feel ourselves, and the whole manifestation, as a fullness of presence at the same time that we feel we are nothing. We simultaneously feel full and empty, substantial and like nothing at all. We are the hereness and fullness of reality at the same time that we are its immateriality, its insubstantiality, its utter lightness.

Support for Nondoing

Inner spaciousness is the necessary step for the emergence of Being in the essential manifestation of support for nondoing. It usually manifests as an experience of Presence in a new form, which has the characteristics of solidity, immensity, immovability, strength, groundedness, definiteness, precision, and clarity. We feel solid, as immense as a mountain, as immovable and grounded as a column, but as clear and definite as a cut diamond. We have the innate certainty that we can be, for we are, simply and easily. There is an implicit confidence in our capacity to be ourselves and the determination about and commitment to it. The psychological feeling is that of a singular and clear recognition of support -- of our own inner support. But it is not our own in terms of ownership; we perceive that it is inseparable from the Being that we now recognize as our self. We may feel supported, we may feel the presence of support, or we may feel that we are support.

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