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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Transparency?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Transparency

Becoming Transparent Expressions of the Truth

So the work of purification, the soul's essential realization displacing the self-centered ego perspective, transforms us into a transparent face, a transparent window to objective reality. Purification is a process of evolution and growth. Purification is not an experience. Mostly, experience happens suddenly. We're meditating and suddenly we are the Absolute, suddenly we're full of grace, suddenly there’s love. Whereas experience is sudden, transformation is gradual. The sudden experience is valuable and necessary, but the impact of the sudden experience takes time to develop. We need a certain kind of commitment to the truth, a certain profound love of the truth, more encompassing than the dedication needed to have an experience, if we are to become transparent expressions of the truth. We have to be willing to allow our very substance, our very life, to transform, so that in time we will not only be a servant but be a slave to the truth.

If We Are Totally Transparent then there is No Ego Identity

In the experience of the aspect of Truth, there is a definiteness, a concreteness, a realness, and a warmth, while in the experience of the Clarity aspect there is transparency and coolness. Yet they are both present in the process of understanding. Truth is more of a heart quality, while Clarity is more of a head quality, but they are both manifestations of Essence. Truth brings Clarity, Clarity reveals Truth. And when the mind and the heart operate together in harmony, we call that understanding. As we become clear, we become more objective. When we are totally clear, we are totally objective. Totally clear also means that we are totally transparent. If we are totally transparent, then there is no ego identity, no positions, for any identification with the ego is an obscuration, a dullness. So clarity brings objectivity. In fact, clarity and objectivity are two ways of looking at the same quality. Objectivity means that there is no subjective bias, while clarity means there is no obscuration. Subjectivity and obscuration are related concepts, but they are not exactly the same.

Seeing Through the Surface of the World

When you see through the surface of the world, it doesn't disappear, it is simply transparent. You're seeing the inner meaning of it instead of the superficial meaning that almost everyone accepts. We take that as leaving the surface and going to another world in some sense. That is why we talk about being at the threshold between the two worlds: because they are both there and you are the connection. So, all these issues arise—guilt, hurt, loyalty, faithfulness, resistance to the movement, not recognizing what the movement is really about—but ultimately the central issue in all of these is that they prevent you from seeing your love. They might make you believe that you're not a loving person just because you want to know who you are and want to develop and mature and feel free—when in reality, that is a movement of love.

Love Unveiled, pg. 99

The Change as Objects in the Mind Become More Transparent

And it goes further. As we become more established in pure consciousness, we see that the things we have left behind are also consciousness. We are amazed to discover that our body is made of consciousness; our sensations are consciousness. We see that what our anger and love have in common is that they appear in the ground of consciousness. Once we learn that our being is pure consciousness, it becomes possible for all discriminations to disappear. We abide in pure consciousness so fully that we do not differentiate between essence and ego, between physical and not physical. Consciousness is simply consciousness, independent of all objects, essential or otherwise. In the beginning of the work, our discriminations are so opaque that we need to refine our perception to penetrate that opacity. When we have our attention on the ground of the mind, and at the same time become aware of it without completely identifying with the content of the mind, the objects in the mind become more transparent, until there is only transparency. This transparency reveals to us the state of pure consciousness in which all objects that we have deemed coarse or impure, all that we have felt we had to leave behind, we perceive to be of the nature of consciousness itself.

The Experience of Holy Transparency

The other name of this Holy Idea, Holy Transparency, refers to oneness seen from the point of view of the individual. Instead of looking at the nature of reality from an “aerial” point of view, which would correspond to that of Holy Truth, we are seeing it from our human vantage point. It is the understanding of our place as human beings within the unity of existence, and from this perspective, we see that we are each an inseparable part of the whole, each a cell in the cosmic body, each a part of the “body” of God, inseparable from objective reality. The human being, then, is seen to be one of the differentiations of the Universal Mind. In the experience of Holy Transparency, you can see that you are an inseparable part of the whole because your boundaries are transparent. You see that you are an individual and a person, but you are not separate from the unity of the whole universe. You are as inseparable from the universe as the eyes are from the face. And, like the eyes, you see that you don’t have an existence separate from the rest of the body of the universe. As a human being, you know yourself to be an inseparable part of God, a particularization of the objective reality, an extension, as it were, of Holy Truth. You experience yourself as an individual, distinct from other things, with a consciousness localized in a certain place, yet you also experience yourself as continuous with everything else.

Facets of Unity, pg. 99

The Fact that the Absolute is Non-Being Makes It Totally Transparent

I see that the absolute has a luminosity, a clarity, but not the same as clear light or pure presence. Clear light is colorless, transparent luminosity, a very light and delicate presence. Pure presence is also colorless and transparent, but with a sense of fullness. These levels of consciousness can apprehend the absolute, and can be manifest by the absolute as the ground of all appearance. Yet the clarity and luminosity of the absolute are even subtler than these very subtle forms of consciousness. Its clarity and luminosity are implicit, not manifest. Its blackness is not the absence of light, but its source. The inherent clarity of the absolute is prior to light. There is complete absence of obscurations. The fact that it is non-being makes it totally transparent, without this transparency appearing as clear light. But since, on the other hand, the absolute is not a vacant emptiness, but what truly is, this transparency becomes awareness. The awareness of its facticity is then inherent in the reality of its facticity. This inherent clarity of the absolute is its own intrinsic knowingness. Its facticity is inherently knowing. I experience this knowing as an implicit clear light, not differentiated as clear light, but which can plumb the depths of the absolute. It is a clear consciousness completely inseparable from the absolute.

Transparency to the Divine Requires Vulnerability

This openness and caring is bound to bring up in us a kind of vulnerability and tenderness that most human beings feel ill at ease with. But we cannot be transparent to the divine in its erotic dimension if we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable. “Vulnerable” means “not defended”; when we are not protecting ourselves, we are free to feel our delicacy. We are free to feel the exquisiteness and softness of our consciousness. If our consciousness is thick, opaque, and dense, then it is self-protective. It is not vulnerable, it is not transparent; subtle qualities and forms in our experience don’t freely arise. And most important, we cannot completely receive the other person. We can’t feel them, we can’t recognize them, and we can’t see their uniqueness. We can’t see who they are.

Various Degrees of Transparency in the Functioning of the Soul

To illustrate, when the soul experiences herself as the love aspect of essence she experiences herself as the presence of love. She is love, and love is presence with sweet and appreciative characteristics. When the soul functions she has various degrees of transparency to this presence of love. Although she can be love before complete clarification, when she functions her actions will not be absolutely loving, for she retains limiting impressions that separate her functioning from the presence of love. However, when the soul is essentialized she is totally inseparable from the presence of love. She is completely transparent to the aspect of love, so transparent to it that she is completely indistinguishable from it, fully co-emergent with it. The soul is a dynamic functioning medium, but now fully co-emergent with the presence of love. Her action now is love acting. She is not only love, but she is loving in a complete and full way. She is a presence that expresses itself dynamically as loving action. The dynamism and the presence of love are inseparable, co-emergent.

When the Ego Identity Becomes Increasingly Transparent

What happens, then, to the functioning ego, when a person goes through this process? Here it suffices to say that the ego identity becomes increasingly "transparent"; the person's experience depends less and less on unconscious self-images and object relations units. Thus the person comes into clearer, more objective contact with the environment, and as the experience of space is allowed, there arises naturally within that space a clear, full Presence, which without the rigidity and defensiveness of ego can assume ego's functions in a vastly more mature, objective and deeply fulfilling manner.

The Void, pg. 52

When We Fully Understand Physical Reality It Becomes Transparent, Literally

Student: As the soul lightens, is there a physical sensation or cluster of sensations that are felt along with the soul’s?
Almaas: That’s what I mean when I say that the soul becomes clearer. The soul herself begins to feel the quality of clarity and transparency. Of course, that will affect your physical experience. You will feel lighter, clearer, cleaner, and more lucid. There is more space and less obscuration, less thickness, less opaqueness, less vagueness, less unconsciousness, less sleepiness. There is an increasing quality of being awake and alert, a brightness and clarity. Clarity is actually nothing but the luminosity of our consciousness, the transparency of awareness. So as we get clearer in the process of understanding, our consciousness is revealing its inherent luminosity, its underlying nature. To put it differently, as we engage in clarifying our experience through inquiry, we invite and bring to bear the transparent luminosity of our essential nature. This clarifies the details of our experience by making them transparent. This means that we recognize them as they are, but also that they literally become transparent; it is not just a figure of speech. When we fully understand physical reality, for instance, it becomes transparent, literally.

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